Friday, October 2, 2009

Working Moms & Cuddle Time: What I've Always Known

I am "borrowing" a post from my new favorite blog: The Motherlode on It's a hip, funny and upbeat blog for working moms and stay-at-homers alike. It's a nice mix of mommy-related news items and guest posters.

I read this post by Lisa Belkin, and was thrilled. Especially since I carry around a suitcase-worth of guilt about having to work full time. I'd like to know what readers out in blogdom think, so leave me a comment and let me know where you stand on the working mom vs. stay-at-home arguement.

And when you're done here, surf on over to the Motherlode. I'm sure you'll love it as much as I do.

Working Moms and Cuddle Time
By Lisa Belkin

There are endless ways of trying to measure the immeasurable, and researchers in Australia are now counting cuddles. Their conclusions: the babies of mothers who work outside the home get just as many as those of mothers who stay home — an average of 138 minutes a day.

Not only was cuddling-time equivalent, the report last month by the Australian Institute of Family Studies concludes, but so was the amount of time that babies were held, read to and talked to during the day.

The data was taken from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, a time-use diary kept by the parents of 3,000 babies between the ages of three months and 14 months. Counting snuggly moments, the researchers found that the cuddle equivalence was partly because working mothers who spent much of the weekday away from their infants became efficient about creating time together when they were home, and also because fathers were stepping up to prevent a gap.

“When mothers work full time, they spend 83 minutes less per day with their child compared to a stay-at-home mother, but the child spends an average of 81 minutes more a day with their father,” the report’s co-author, Jennifer Baxter, told the Australian newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

Other data from the study:
Breast-fed babies got an additional hour of one-on-one time with Mom each day, compared with bottle-fed babies. They were also read to, talked to and sung to more — about 27 minutes extra per day, and “held, cuddled, comforted and soothed” for 32 minutes more per day, though one would think that most of that overlapped the time spent breast feeding.

On the other hand, breast-fed babies slept 40 minutes per day less than bottle-fed babies and spent five minutes more per day crying than bottle-fed babies.
Mothers who are college graduates spend 22 minutes more per day reading to their babies.

Start that clock, and commence cuddling.


Anonymous said...

I love your blog. I keep thinking I am going to start one, sometimes soon but never fuster up enough time. I am struggling with being home for 2 years with my 2 year old daughter and 8 month old son. I want to go back to work but cant wrap my finger around the idea of being away from them 12 hrs a day but can't imagine staying home 12 hrs a day anymore....