by: Kevin Torres / KDVR, Nexstar Media Wire
Posted: May 16, 2021 / 12:10 PM EDTUpdated: May 16, 2021 / 12:11 p.m. EDT
DENVER, Colo. (KDVR) – New research shows that working from home affects parents’ mental well-being in two very different ways.
A new study by consulting firm McKinsey & Co. found that fathers are far more remote than mothers. The study shows that 71% of fathers say that working from home helps improve their mental health, while only 41% of mothers reported it.
According to the report, mothers are more than three times more likely to do most of the housework and childcare during the pandemic than fathers.
“That is surely an alarming discrepancy between the two. If you just think of the extra workflow required for households over the past year, it has been a year like no other,” said Dr. Justin Ross, clinical psychologist at UCHealth.
Ross said this includes the amount of information each parent needs to know, the to-do lists, and the planning and thinking that will help keep the household running effectively.
How friendly is your state to working mothers?
“When this burden is not evenly distributed and taken on by a person, it affects not only daily physicality, but also cognitive burden,” said Ross.
Research has found that one in four working women surveyed in North America is considering downgrading their careers or leaving the workforce entirely. For working mothers, especially mothers with young children, the number was 1 in 3.
“Decades of research show that women do significantly more housework and childcare than men – so much so that women who work full-time often work double shifts,” according to the McKinsey report.
This “double shift” also brings with it mental health hurdles, a difficult remote working experience, and concerns about higher unemployment rates, especially among white mothers and single mothers, research suggests.
The United States ranks last in the world for paid time off for young mothers
Alexis Krivkovich, senior partner at McKinsey and one of the authors of the report, said in The Lily that working women have long sought flexibility in work and remote working options, but the pandemic has forced parents to “experiment on flexibility.” that wasn’t fair.
“We found mothers now doing a double-double shift,” she said, noting that this was the first time in the six years since McKinsey’s annual report began that researchers had seen such numbers.