Working mums who order takeaway and hire help are happier: study

by pregnancy journalist

Working mothers everywhere, let’s take a moment to thank some very clever researchers who may or may not hold shares in UberEATS (We’re kidding, they don’t. At least we think they don’t.)

Seriously, though, you might just want to give them a virtual high five because they’ve just made your life a whole lot easier. 

Laura Mazza talks about Super Mum stereotypes

Laura Mazza talks about Super Mum stereotypes

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America has found ‘spending money to buy time’ is totally worth it, and yes, that includes ordering takeaway and hiring help. 

Better yet? It found this was particularly relevant to working mums. 

Want to know more? 

In the study, researchers surveyed a large number of working adults from the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.

All the participants were asked if they forked out money to pay someone to do tasks they don’t enjoy doing, such as cooking or cleaning, in a bid to increase their free time. They were also asked how much money they spent on these services per month. 

Other questions included their household income, number of hours worked per week, marital status, how many children they had and also a general rating of life satisfaction. 

Spending money = increased happiness

From the collected data, researchers were able to identify a link between spending money on time-saving services and increased happiness. But it’s not just the ‘spending money’ part that’s responsible (the results differed when asked about forking out for material goods). It’s all about the time, and having more of it. 

As a working mother myself who is guilty of employing a cleaner when we probably can’t really afford one, I can totally relate. Why would I spend half a rare day off cleaning the house when I could be spending time with my family? 

Less time doing chores = more time for this! Image: iStock

‘The second shift’

The study’s authors get it too, writing: “Within many cultures, women may feel obligated to complete household tasks themselves, working a ‘second-shift’ at home, even when they can afford to pay someone to help.

“In recent decades, women have made gains, such as improved access to education, but their life satisfaction has declined; increasing uptake of time-saving services may provide a pathway toward reducing the harmful effects of women’s second-shift.”

You don’t have to be rich

If you’re reading this and scoffing ‘yeah but surely that’s for the people who have extra cash lying around’, that’s actually not the case. 

The study found it wasn’t just the wealthy who benefited from hiring out help. In fact, there was actually a stronger link between buying time and happiness levels among individuals who weren’t as well-off. 

So what do you think? Will you get some extra help around the house? 

This content was originally published here.

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