Monday, October 22, 2012
The Perfect Day? (Surprise, surprise: it doesn't include kids)
Recent research published in the Journal of Economic Psychology revealed something interesting, but probably not surprising to us childfree folks.
Researchers asked 900 women what they do each day and how they feel about it and then based on this information assembled a "woman's perfect day". Here is the breakdown:
- 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep
- 106 minutes of intimate relations with their partner
- 98 minutes of computer (email and internet)
- 82 minutes of socializing with friends
- 78 minutes relaxing
- 75 minutes eating
- 68 minutes exercising
- 57 minutes talking on the phone
- 56 minutes shopping
- 50 minutes preparing food
- 36 minutes working
- 33 minutes commuting
- 2 minutes doing housework
- 2 minutes with their children
This research is all over the morning shows today and the show hosts are carrying on and cackling about the revelation that women are so into "intimate relations". What they downplayed, though, is the more interesting factor - that time with their children is all the way at the bottom of the list of things that comprise a woman's "perfect day".
This is interesting when we consider that motherhood is touted as a woman's greatest joy in life and the thing that brings her the greatest life satisfaction. Moms are constantly congratulating each other and holding each other up as virtual saints, and continually praising their mom role in every venue available. Meanwhile, women who choose not to have children are perceived as misguided and unhappy and derided for being clueless, having empty, meaningless lives and not knowing what is truly important in life.
Yet, when research like this comes out, the truth reveals itself. If motherhood is such a joy, why does "time with their children" rank at the very bottom of the list of things that comprise a woman's perfect day? If being a mom is so joyful, and motherhood is the most satisfying part of a woman's life, shouldn't we expect to see "time with kids" toward the TOP of this list?
Research such as this illuminates the buried truth about motherhood - that it is primarily drudgery and not the joyful nirvana it is made out to be. Look closely at the description above of the perfect day and ask yourself: who is more likely to experience a perfect day - a childfree woman or a mom? I think you know the answer.