Time Is On My Side
Do parents spend enough time with their kids?
With all the travel, family and food of Thanksgiving upon us, there is little time for "Moms Talk." Less time for mom's writing. I find it difficult to believe anyone who normally reads "Moms Talk" has the time to click the link this week.
The Thanksgiving holiday gives stay-at-home parents a chance to pawn their kids off on eager grandparents. It gives working parents the chance to spend more time with their kids.
Mom stays home from work and bakes pies while dad tosses the baseball in the yard. It's families spending time together, 1965 style.
Or is it?
Social scientists have been tracking how Americans spend their time for decades, and it seems parents are spending a lot more time interacting with their kids now than they did in the "Dick Van Dyke" age.
In 1965, according to data from the 1965-66 Americans’ Use of Time Study, mothers spent 10 hours weekly on childcare as a primary activity. Fathers spent 3 hours.
I spend a good part of 10 hours a day interacting with my children. I don't recommend it if you want to hold on to your sanity.
According to a recent analysis by economists Garey and Valerie Ramey, the norm for college-educated moms is to spend 21.2 hours just hanging with the kids. If you're a mom from the school of hard knocks, the average is 15.9 hours a week.
Betsey Stevenson and Dan Sacks at the University of Pennsylvania calculated that college-educated dads now manage to entertain their kids up to 9.6 hours per week.
Thanksgiving Day 2011 I am thankful to have a job that includes my kids. I am thankful I am the kind of person who can be around my kids a lot without going completely crazy. Emphasis on completely. I am thankful for Diet Coke, coffee, Amazon prime, third row seating, my Starbucks cup and collard greens from the Midway.