Millions of mums feel trapped in Groundhog Day, amid the never-changing routine of looking after the kids and keeping on top of the housework, research has revealed. Experts who studied the daily routines of 2,000 mums found eight out of ten spend the majority of their week on autopilot, conducting the same chores in exactly the same order.
The alarming results showed a large percentage of mums now only have social networks to break up the monotony of ferrying children to and from school and clubs and managing the home.
The study also revealed the repetitious detail in which the jobs are carried out, beginning with getting the kids out of bed at 7.15am and out of the door by 8.05am.
Other jobs which are carried out in the same order each and every day include finishing the laundry by 2.45pm and picking up the children by 3.45pm.
The study also found that the tedium of the same routine has led more than half of the mums polled to suffer a lack of confidence in their ability to re-join the world of work.
Jane Scott Paul, Chief Executive of AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), which carried out the research, said:
“It’s only natural that as our families grow our daily routines and priorities change but this doesn’t necessarily mean that one’s career should be negatively affected or sacrificed.
“Employers are missing out on the skills, expertise and knowledge that these women can bring to businesses across the economy.
“With Nick Clegg announcing the need for shared parenting responsibilities, it’s evident that most women take sole responsibility for raising their families ultimately giving up work. While some mums may make this choice, we need to ensure those who want to return to the workforce can do so with confidence.”
The study also revealed one in four mums rely on social networking sites social interaction, interspersed by the odd coffee morning or visit from a friend or relative.
Three quarters of mums aren’t stimulated mentally by their day-to-day routine, while two thirds often find their roles tedious.
Four in ten even feel they are losing confidence, both socially and professionally, by having to stick to a routine that often isolates them.
In fact, 45% sometimes go whole weekdays without ever talking to another adult.
Researchers found 80% of mums feel they carry out the same chores in the same order every weekday, often without even speaking to anyone else in person.
40% describe their social life as bordering on non-existent, and a quarter rely heavily on social media for contact.
Nearly half of the mums who were currently working felt their job was a little beneath them and failing to develop them at all professionally.
However, 57% say they no longer have the confidence or feel capable enough to re-join the industry, and take up the same level of responsibility as before they had children.
The average mum felt her confidence slip noticeably, approximately 12 months after being away from the working world, leading to doubts about their own professional capability.
Four in ten haven’t tried to get back to a similar level of job because they feel they would struggle to re-establish themselves in their chosen profession.
Lack of flexibility was cited as a big block to getting back on the career ladder, while 40% felt they were nowhere near as sharp as they used to be and would struggle to re-join a high-powered office.
Additionally, one quarter were envious of friends and former colleagues they’ve seen climb the career ladder while they have been unable to progress professionally.
Jane Scott Paul continued:
“Many employers invest time and resources into training women, only to lose their expertise when they choose, for one reason or another, not to return to the workforce.
“It’s high time that women not only feel confident when returning to work, but appreciated and highly valued.
“By offering attractive and flexible work packages, these women can be encouraged back into work bringing their skills, knowledge and experience with them.”
Get the kids up – 7.15am
Take kids to school – 8.05am
(Those employed) Start work- 9.55am
Laundry/ washing finished – 2.45pm
Other household chores finished -3.37pm
Pick up children – 3.43pm
(Those employed) finish work – 4pm
Make the children’s tea – 5.05pm
Get kids to bed – 7.37pm