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Mummy Time: How much time do UK mums get to themselves?

We’ve all heard the old saying ‘a mothers work is never done’ and from the early morning alarms to the late night wake up calls, mothers take on one of the hardest jobs in the world.

Our latest study has found that this has never been more true, with a staggering 1 in 5 (18%) mums in the UK saying they get ZERO me-time outside their mum and work responsibilities.

As well as this, the research reveals all about the pressures and demands that mothers face as they juggle caring for their child(ren), to managing household tasks, and holding down a job outside the home, all at once.

From our findings, it’s clear to say the least they deserve is a bunch of flowers.

How much self care time do mums get?

Across the world, mothers move mountains to care for their child(ren) and their family, and from our research, we discovered that almost three quarters (73%) of mums wished they had more time dedicated to self-care.

As well as this, the average amount of me-time that mums with child(ren) under the age of 3 are able to receive, is only 36 minutes per day.

Furthermore, 65% of mums wished they had more time for exercise - proof that self care time is just as important for physical wellbeing - especially with lively little ones at home. 

Two thirds (66%) of mothers we surveyed also believe that if they had more time for self care, they would be a better mother.

Pink bouquet

How much time do mums spend running around after their families everyday?

Mothers are always switched on, and the role of motherhood isn't one you can simply clock out of, even on weekends, with almost half (42%) of mums not being able to meet up with friends at the weekend.

As part of the research, we asked mothers how long they spend doing daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, taking their child(ren) to activities, and shopping for the household.

From our findings, it’s clear to see why there is a lack of me-time available, as on average, mothers spend:

• 1 hour and 24 minutes doing housework every day

• 1 hour and 18 minutes cooking every single day

• 54 minutes driving their child(ren) around every single day

• 48 minutes each day shopping for their household


The results found that on average, mums are spending an astounding 4 hours and 24 minutes per day running around after their families.

On top of this, we found that over a quarter (26%) of mums are spending more than 8 hours a week at activities for their children, including playdates, sporting clubs (such as swimming, football and gymnastics) and kids parties.

Furthermore, 61% of mothers surveyed revealed that they are unable to spend a typical weekend looking after themselves, with 57% of mothers saying that simple tasks such as washing their hair often get pushed to the side.

bouquet with coffee and cake

How do mothers balance work and life?

From our research, it was revealed that over half (52%) of mums surveyed said they find it difficult to balance working and being a mother.

As well as this, a further 65% of mums said they tend to spend their weekends completing household duties - a time that should be used to relax and recharge.

Previous research in 2021 from campaigner Anna Whitehouse, a.k.a Mother Pukka, found that increased opportunities for flexible working could unlock around £55 billion for the UK economy, and potentially create over 51,000 new jobs.

By offering working mothers more options, such as working from home, or flexible hours, more could be done to support working mothers in today’s climate, and offer solutions to help with any maternal pressures.

Dealing with mum guilt and parental burnout

With so much time being dedicated to work and household tasks, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

From our findings, we discovered that two thirds (66%) of mothers experience mum guilt - a term given to mothers who feel like they don’t live up to their parenting expectations.

Mum guilt can lead to irritability, anxiousness, and even anger, so it’s important to take time for yourself to relax for both physical, and mental wellbeing, as this could potentially lead to parental burnout.

If you are struggling, reach out and seek support from trusted family members or friends, or visit your local GP for help and advice on dealing with mum guilt and parental burnout.


The research was conducted via a 3Gem survey of 750 mothers with children under the age of 16 living at home. The survey was conducted between 26.02.2024 - 28.02.2024.