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05th Jul 2021

Mothers took on extra 173 hours of unpaid childcare during pandemic, study finds

Kat O'Connor

We’re not one bit surprised…

2020 was a year we’d happily forget about. If someone could click their fingers and erase it from our minds then we’d be more than grateful.

Our entire lives turned upside down when Covid-19 took over the world. We took on new roles, were walking balls of worry, adapted to working from home and yearned for that weekly trip to Dunnes Stores.

Parents became teachers, taxi drivers, children’s entertainers and everything in between. They had to grapple with Irish verbs and learn how waterfalls were formed. They worried about cancelled Communions and Confirmations. They were torn from their support networks and being able to access childcare was like mission impossible.

It’ll come as no surprise to learn that mums took on three times more childcare duties than men did in 2020.

A new study revealed that mothers did an additional 173 hours of unpaid childcare during the pandemic, while men took on an extra 59 hours of unpaid child care last year.

What’s more is that a team of researchers at the Center for Global Development found that women living in low and middle-income countries took on an extra 217 hours of unpaid child care.

Overall, women around the world took on a total of 615 billion hours of unpaid childcare. The eye-watering figures show just how intense and overwhelming 2020 was for families across the globe.

The study authors commented: “This staggeringly large and unequal childcare workload may have been one factor behind the disproportionate fall in women’s employment and closure of women-owned firms during the pandemic.”

It’ll come as no surprise to learn that mums are now suffering from burnout more than ever before. In a study by Motherly, an astonishing 93% of mums said that they were suffering from burnout after 2020.

The constant worrying, added stress and increased workloads have taken their toll and we could all do with a holiday (or ten) right about now.

You can reach out to your GP or mental health professional for support with burnout.