Think you're busy? A mom in the 1960s was even busier

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Study: Modern Moms are Not as Busy as 1960's Moms

It probably feels like, between shuttling kids to an ever-expanding array of activities, being tethered to work via your phone and the pressure to provide a Pinterest-worthy childhood for your family, you’re living in the busiest time in history, right?


According to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings (via The Atlantic), moms in the 1960s spent less time sitting on their butts and more time playing with their kids, doing housework, and even exercising. To wit: in 1965, a mom spent 14.2 more hours getting stuff done than being sedentary, but in 2010, moms spent 3.8 more hours a week sitting than being productive.

This startling realization comes via data from the American Heritage Time Use Study, which has tracked a nationally representative group of people through the last five decades. But hold up: it’s not so much that the modern woman is a slacker, it’s more than time-saving devices like dishwashers and washing machines are now commonplace (they weren’t then), freeing us up from a lot of hand-scrubbing chores. However, the internet and the rise of the cable—and the variety of screens we can use to consume them—have made being a couch potato more seductive than ever. Also, we spend a lot of time in our cars.

In other words, women have come a long way … but then decided to sit a spell.

Mom of two Sasha Emmons is a writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.