Tuesday, March 20, 2007


My son Josh sent me an interesting article. It's funny how we get certain ideas in our head, and reality is actually quite different. The article is entitled "Despite 'mommy guilt,' time with kids rising."

The article say "In 1965, mothers spent 10.2 hours a week tending primarily to their children -- feeding them, reading with them or playing games, for example -- according to the study's analysis of detailed time diaries kept by thousands of Americans. That number dipped in the 1970s and 1980s, rose in the 1990s and now is higher than ever, at nearly 14.1 hours a week.

This is especially striking because it is at odds with how today's mothers view their own lives: Roughly half of those interviewed said they did not have enough time with their children.

"This is part of the burden of this generation of parents: enormously high expectations for how children develop, how they feel about themselves, how they achieve and how successful they are in the world," said William Doherty, a family studies professor at the University of Minnesota. (I had to throw this quote in because Doherty is one of Beverly's favorites).

For married mothers, hours with children rose from 47 a week in 1975 to 51 a week in 2000. For married fathers, the increase was greater: from 21 to 33 hours a week. Time spent by single mothers slipped from 50 hours a week to 44.

What the researchers could not capture was what they think of as "accessibility": when a parent might be uninvolved but is around to be called on -- inside the house, for example, when the children are in the back yard.

This may help explain why some mothers still feel their time with children is not enough, Doherty said. "You may get home from work at 4:30 and spend hours interacting with your child, but you may feel bad that you weren't around all day."

Sociologist Kathleen Gerson of New York University points out that parents of the 1960s worried about mothers smothering their children with attention.

Now, she said, "the concern is: Are children getting as much face time as they need, as much quality time?"

If you want to read this in its entirety, go to www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17696109. I must say that I am impressed by what I am seeing from the current generation of 20s and 30s when it comes to parenting. They seem to have a better priority toward family than the Boomers did.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

I'm thankful we are in a position for one of us to be home with the kids.

Our kids bring so much joy to our lives and we have been blessed by them.