How can WOHM spend as much time as SAHM

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
How can WOHM spend as much time as SAHM
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 10:49pm
I read somewhere on this board a post that stated that studies

show that WOHM's spend almost as much time with their children

as SAHM's. I've never seen the studies before and I don't think

it matters as far as what kind of parent you are but I don't see

how that makes sense. If your children are in school maybe but

if you have infants or toddlers and you SAH naturally you would spend

more time with them. I used to work but now I SAH and I definitely

spend more time with my children now than I would if I still WOH.

Like I said, not trying to debate how much the extra time matters as to

quality of parenting, it only matters to me since I want it. But I just

want to see how this can be possible and see how the studies are figuring

time. I thought that many SAHM's were like me, staying home because we

want more time with our children than we would have if we were working

outside the home 40 hours a week or more.


Avatar for mygriffin
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:00pm
Uh Oh....Here we go again. I think that study was the "average" SAHM vs. the "average" WOHM. I'm not average and neither is anyone I know. But there's a study out there that claims it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Thu, 04-10-2003 - 11:06pm
I have a hard time understanding this one as well. Though, I admit that the childs age would play a huge role. If they are in school all day, that takes a big chunk out of the day that those kids aren't with their SAHP, but if we are talking about toddlers or infants, I have a really hard time understanding how anyone could really believe that, in general.

However, when talking about specifics, I would guess that maybe some FTWOHPs do spend close to the same amount of time with their children as SAHPs do. There are lots of factors to take into account, such as bedtimes, naptimes, school (even preschool), hours worked, split schedules, etc.

In general though, most parents who work FT work an 8-5 position, or close to it, which doesn't leave alot of time with your kids in the evenings if your child goes to bed around 8-9pm like most kids do....especially if you have a long commute.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 6:33am
What do you constitute as quality? I mean for you is it being there for children 24-7? For me its not only physical its the emotional, social, cognitive stuff too ... some parents are making sure all of those needs are being met, and some parents don't. Most parents have a good sense of those needs and pursue optimal means to provide for them ... and if it means woh they do it. At least you pointed out you "want" to sah, good choice of words. I "want" to work and my three children's emotional, social, cognitive, and physical needs are being met, have been met. My children are past childhood .. they don't remember wearing diapers, bf-ing, their firsts of rolling over-sitting up-crawling-walking, first day of kindergarten. They certainly don't remember my woh/sah status before they were about 4-5yo, it apparently is second nature to them that mom works too. That might be different if I was to have been home with them for five years and then up and got a 40 hour a week job. What is important to them is that I take good care of them, tell them I love them, and promote their individual interests ... and provide them with a good allowance.



Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 6:59am
I think those statitcis are figuring over the entire life of the child not just certain years.

Also it is not just comparing time that the parent is not working but time actually spent with the child. Your child is takng a nap that is not parent time, the kid is playing with friend that is not parent time, the child is at pre-school that is not parent time.

I was a SAHM for 12 years but once my kids became independent enough to play on their own the parent time went way down.

For an example of how the time difference is not even 40 hours with an infant lets go back about 20 years to a typical day in my house. My DH WOH, I am a SAHM and DD1 is 4 months old.

DH leaves for work at 6:45 and arrives home at 4:15 so he spends a total of 8.5 hours out of the home.

DD get up at 8:00, she naps from 10-11 and then again from 1-3. So I spend an additional 5 hours and 15 minutes per day with her.

So the weekly average is 26 hours and 15 minutes not 40 hours.

Edited 4/11/2003 7:36:15 AM ET by texigan

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 7:27am
Most of the misunderstanding comes about because people don't seem to know what ***average*** actually means. Researchers aren't talking about "just average Joe" -- they're talking about a mathematical average of the time spent by ALL parents with ALL children over the course of ALL those children's lives.

Over the course of an entire 18-year span when the parent is responsible for the child, including all the weekends, vacations, school days, evenings, and so on and so forth, SAHM's spend an AVERAGE of XXX minutes per day more with their children than WOHM's do. Lots more when they are infants. Not so much more when they are older.

It doesn't have anything to do with how much time you personally spend with your personal infant this day or this week.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 8:55am
You forgot number of children. No way a SAHM with 5 kids spends more time with hers than I do with my two.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 9:20am
Okay, I understand now how its figured. And I can see it would depend

on many factors. Everyone's commute, workday and flexibility is different.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:18am
This is how I figure it. It all depends on what you call "spending time with the children".

Does it mean:

Quality time--all your attention is on the child or

Just in the same house---child plays, while you do housework, bills, cook,chatboard(on computer), etc.

Just being home with the children is not actually spending time. So to figure out how much time is spent, it should be stated as how much "quality time" is spent with the child.

Speaking from my experience, just as it was stated in another post here, when the child does thing independently, that time decreases.

I am a WOHM, I drop my daughter off at her God-grandmother's house at 7:15am. I pick her back up at 4:30pm. From the time I pick her up, she gets my undivided attention until her dad gets home around 7:30pm, he takes her then while I shower for the night. She gets put to bed at (8:30-9pm). Cooking gets done while I feed and talk to to her. I don't spend a lot of stove time in the kitchen because I bake my meats instead of frying, so it allows less kitchen time.

Some SAHM may be home, but think about it, they have to cook, clean, run errands, do bills, fold laundry, do laundry, iron some clothes, and some chat on the computer. So in between the hours of the child awakening in the morning and going to bed, the mother most of the time only spends probably about the same amount of *quality time* a WOHM spends with her child. And let's not forget if they have more than 1 child. If they have school kids, then they also have homework to look over and help with along with getting the school clothes ready forthe next day as well as baths. So again attention is split up amongst all of them.

Yes, there may be some events a WOHM may miss as seeing it first because it may happen while they're at work, but it doesn't matter who sees it first, so ong as it's seen and experienced at some time, which would be in just a few hours. A WOHM may miss just seeing their cjild throughout the day. But as far as *quality time*, I feel it's about the same.

Unless the SAHM doesn't have anything to do while thei at home but just spend time with the child. Maybe they have a housekeeper, a driver, a private shopper, an accountant for bill managing, a personal cook, a private tutor. I don't know, maybe. But if not, the time is about the same.

NOTE: This is just *MY* observation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 10:55am
It's an average thing. For all the SAHMs who spend tons of time with their kids, there are many who spend that time doing other things (volunteering, cleaning, ignoring their kids, etc) And for all the WOHMs (like most on here I've found!) who balance their work and family so well and spend a lot of time with their kids, there are a lot who never see their children. So on the average... it equals out. I think that's where a lot of conflict here comes in... SAHMs see those people who WOH, have latchkey kids, and get babysitters all weekend, and think "That's awful!" but in reality, that's just some of them. WOHMs see SAHMs who smother their children, or are militant or whatever and think "Thats awful!" There may be side issues, but there are good parents and there are bad parents, and many in between, and work status doesn't have much of an affect on it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 11:02am
Well said!!