Time spent with children

In Australia, working mothers are spending 137 minutes directly caring for their children on average a day (including meal time), while fathers spend 69 minutes according to a recent Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development survey (OECD).  This compares with stay-at-home mums and dads, who manage 236 and 105 minutes respectively.  Working mothers in British spend on average just 81 minutes a day caring for their children (fathers 43 minutes), this compares to 150 mins in Ireland. In Japan - working mothers spent just 1 hour per day with their children and father . . . this is shocking . .  20 mins (but this is probably a cultural things perhaps).

Mothers spent 60 per cent of their time on physical care, such as dressing, feeding, changing nappies, providing medical care and supervision.  While fathers were much more likely to spend time on educational and recreational childcare - helping children with their homework, reading and playing games.

Why do some couples have children?

Who is bringing up this generation of children?

Primary childcare in minutes per day (parents aged 15-64)
Age of children: under the age of 18, under 15 in Australia
Source: Cooking, caring and Volunteering: unpaid work around the world, OECD 2011

Perhaps this is in part of the woos of this world - we no longer have time to spend with our children . . .  time to NURTURE them . . . time to TEACH them . . time to WATCH over them . . . time to TRAIN them. . . . time to LOVE them.  Perhaps this is why some of our children feel isolated and alone, because they are.  If parents are spending so little time with their children, they don't have time to listen to them, so critical for teenage children . . . the age where they need someone to talk to . . . so they talk to their peers and are led astray.  But who is really to blame for this?

This is a real tragedy.

God never intended parents to have children and then spend so little time with them.

Train up a child in the way he should go: 
and when he is old , he will not depart from it. 
Proverbs 22:6



  1. This is a real eye-opener! Now that my youngest is at school I am feeling the pressure to re-enter the workforce. I don't want to, though, as I can't figure out how I will juggle work and children and house to my satisfaction.

  2. Jo: Wonder what homeschooling mummies average? ☺ Though I did know one woman who handed her son his books & shut him in his room until he was done.

  3. Mum-me, I am a working mum (have been for ages), but I work in the Public Service that gives me flexibility to attend school activities, sick children and I can decide my leave and start times – these aren’t always options in other places of employment. I also had to become highly organised so I didn’t waste time doing housework in the afternoons when I got home and could spend it with my 2 boys.

    I only have one at school now (year 12) and one has left home, so life is so much easier and quieter – but in saying this, I was reading a job application at work this morning for my eldest and making sandwiches for my youngest (before I left for work) – I have learnt to juggle very well!!! There is an art to it.

  4. Ganeida - it would be interesting, sadly there are hardly any studies on stay at home/homeschooling mums. But the average should be much higher.

  5. I am a homeschooling mum of a 7 year old and I spend close to 12 hours a day talking to, interacting, teaching, playing, caring for her etc, :)

  6. Hi! Another Homescholler here :-) Can't quite figure how stay at home mums are still only spending, what, about 4 hours with the children??

  7. Ruby - Because they are sending their children to school rather than home schooling.

  8. Wow, those are amazingly horribly statistics! I am SO thankful for the blessing of being able to stay at home with my children and homeschool them. You are right in everything you wrote here - and it is a tragedy. Just today I was chatting with a school teacher (in the public system), and it was terrible to hear what high school kids are like and how their parents treat them (or rather the lack thereof). :( What will tomorrow's world and parents of the future be like with all of this just getting worse and worse?

  9. I stumbled across this blog and thought I would post a thought here (even though this post is older...). I am a stay-at-home mom, and I would say that I spend about 3-4 hours hands on with my 4 children (during the summer - we homeschool during spring, fall, and winter). The reason for this isn't because I don't love my children, it's because I LOVE my children. I send them outside to use their imaginations, play with each other, problem solve, and enjoy the great outdoors; they have chores that need to be done on their own; they have books and toys that are used creatively. I see no issue with this, in fact, it's how I (and probably most of you) grew up. I don't need to be spending every minute of the day with my kids, they need to learn and grow some without me helicoptering around them...

  10. When my sons were younger they loved playing outside creating all sorts of games, I certainly didn't hover over them all the times. My mum did the same with my brothers and I and we had a wonderful childhoods.

    Thanks for stopping by.


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