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February 3rd, 2010 by Dr. Phil

Read This at Your Leisure

WomenLeis“Women have at least 30 hours of leisure time every week.” HA! Did you get that? Now, don’t kill the messenger. I didn’t say it, and I bet you don’t believe it. Robin sure did not. But that’s what a researcher by the name of John Robinson, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, says was revealed in the research he did. His findings state (admittedly simplified, but you can read more below): Women today have an extra 30 hours to spare each week, even though more of them are working outside the home than in the 1960s.

Did you get that? You have 30 hours to spare. That’s four or five hours per day!!I can hear many of you groaning now, and please don’t punch the computer screen as they are expensive, and you don’t want to waste your free time getting a new one. Obviously, John Robinson didn’t include any of my staff, over 90 percent of whom are women. Many of them tell me they’d have more than a few bones to pick with him and his time-use studies. The study, which Washington Post staff writer Brigid Schulte shines a spotlight on, includes definitions and caveats. You can read more about it here.

I’ll bet your questions include: What constitutes leisure time? Sitting in the dentist’s office, checking business e-mails on your Blackberry, as you wait for your kid? Catching a few minutes of TV while you’re home sick with the flu? I’m sure a lot of working moms who do manage to find extra hours in the week are bombarded with texts or calls from the hubby and kids wondering when dinner is going to be ready or if the dog’s been fed.

I actually talked to a mom today that said she agreed with the study. She said she thinks women are wasting time on the computer messing with Facebook and the like. She didn’t want me to use her name! HA!

So what do you think? Did the researchers find a great hidden truth or did they miss the mark? Please let me hear from you.

P.S. — I sense a show coming on this one!

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143 Responses to “Read This at Your Leisure”

  1. Francine Fortune says:

    He is crazy….he is definitely a male and would never understand what a woman does in the run of a day….

  2. Tricia says:

    No way! I am a a mother to 4 kids (ages 18,17,12,4)at home full time and 2 additional kids (ages 17,16) every other weekend. I also work full-time from home. I drive kids to and from 2 different schools. Fix dinner, Clean house, do laundry, help with home work, maintain a yard. attend school functions, drive one child to and from work, attend church services, I really want that 30 hours and I promise you I will use it wisely to sleep.

  3. Linda says:

    I guess you are talking about mothers in this post. I was visiting my sister this weekend, who is a single mother and has an 11 month old daughter and I can tell you she hardly has any leisure time at all. I was babysitting my niece yesterday morning so she could get some sleep.

  4. Mahmooda says:

    I am a stay-at-home mom of two preschoolers, 3 & 4. I believe my job is a 24/7 job. And, I am also a wife and many other roles I play: daughter, sister, niece and friend. I am not sure if 30 hours a week is really accurate for working moms, stay at home moms or any mom for that matter. What I am interested know though, is: exactly what category of women were subjects of this research? what was their life styles like?

    I am curious because I recently had to negotiate with my husband my “leisure time”. We agreed to hire a sitter, who would give me couple of hours of relief on daily basis. And, believe me, even with that help, I am only getting 8-10 hours of leisure time for “me” during the week days: going to the gym, reading books or catching up with the world.

    Another thing can be defining leisure time: perhaps if I define my chores as my leisure time (I do enjoy doing home chores while I care for my children) then definitely, I have that 30 hours a week of leisure time.


  5. Anita says:

    I read the article by Brigid Schulte. Very interesting, yes, includes definitions and caveats. But, still, he seems to believe that pretty much anyone, no matter what thier situation, could come up with 30 hours of leisure time. Me, yeah, I have that and more, especially in the winter, with no grass to mow. I am a housewife, grown children, I make my own schedule and it includes time for whatever I choose to do whenever I choose to do it and I’m not ashamed of that. Now, if you had asked me that back when my children were small, even though I was a SAHM, I would have had a different answer because my life was different then. I cannot imagine how in the world a working mother, could find that many leisure hours, no matter how she schedules her time and even in modern times. I say that because, when I grew up, my mother stayed at home, but we didn’t have water inside the house, we had a well, and carried the water in. No bathroom, no hot water, we heated water if we needed hot water. My mother worked hard, cooked,cleaned, canned, washed clothes on a wringer washer, kept her house and all five of us clean. We heated with a wood stove. We had chickens,and on most Sundays, my mother went outside, chopped off a chicken’s head, scalded it, plucked it, dressed it out, and cooked it.I have on occasion, seen a chicken get up and run for a ways with it’s head cut off, I assume that’s where the saying “running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off” comes from. We always had a garden, she worked in the garden and canned vegetables, which we ate all winter. She even canned mutton one time. Did my mother have 30 hours of leisure time, weekly, I doubt it, even though we did go swimming a lot. Fast forward, even with all of the modern conveniences, our lives are somewhat different. My mother didn’t work, didn’t drive, we never went anywhere except to school and to the grocery store once a week. But nowadays most women work, most kids are involved in extra-curricular activities, and that still leaves, housework, grocery shopping, dr.visits,dental visits, and on and on. I think sometimes things look better on paper than in actual practice. Although, I do believe that he did say that you have to MAKE your leisure time. And that may be possible to an extent, but not 30 hours worth.

  6. What complete and total bologna! A stay-at-home mom with a young child at home cannot possibly have that much free time. There’s no way. If that mom is MAKING free time to relax, to take care of herself, get a little time to decompress, then GOOD for her. The dishes will wait on her, you know?

    Just a side note: I wonder how many of those hours would instantly disappear if we considered how much time every mom spends actively worrying about all the many important details of her life, especially her children? I know I worry about mine constantly. That’s a job in itself. The hustle and bustle of a tight and busy schedule, the many tasks needing completion, the extras to work into the day… so much to keep forefront in the worry section. If I get a free minute to relax and take a deep breath, I will do it without a second’s guilt, but most of the time, I don’t.

  7. Linda RH says:

    As states tighten their belts and rumours are rampant of tax-payer funded jobs like teachers, firefighters, and police being thinned, we hear of measures to become more efficient.
    Well, I have to say that this is the sort of research, and the ones that spend our money to carry it out, that should get the ax first.

  8. Rachelle says:

    I have to agree with the results of the study. Two years ago I was a single mother of 2 children, worked two jobs, and would have been one to say that I had NO free time anywhere…anytime. I would have thought the researchers were completely crazy. However, at that time I made the decision to go back to school to get my MBA and found a whole lot of time I never realized was there. I study several hours each day and many more on weekends. I cant wait until I am out of school (May….WOOOHOOO) and get to find ways to enjoy those extra hours that I never realized were there.

  9. Mary Stevens says:

    I agree that if I totally optimized my life, off-loaded duties to my husband, I could probably come up with more leisure time but not more than an hour a night. Both my husband and I work outside the home, we still more or less divide duties along the traditional lines. My kids are almost teenagers, so I do have more time now than when they were toddlers. But some of that time is sucked up in getting them from one location to another, working from home to make up for time I miss from work for kid stuff, etc.
    I do the cooking, cleaning, homework proctoring, moving kids from one location to another, laundry, work 50-60 hours per week, carry a pager. I also help aging parents with tasks they easily accomplished just a few years ago. We also happen to be the computer tech support people for all of our extended family. Scheduling is a juggling act.

  10. mommyhopkins010 says:

    That is especially true for me… i am a mom of two boys 4 and 3 i need to and should work alot harder than i do… but free time to me is by myself or playing with my son. but 30 to 40 hours a week in free time no not if my kids are here,.

  11. Blgspc says:

    To Linda RH:

    Yep! Your Tax Dollars at work!
    THANK YOU, FOR ADDING THAT! That IS MY opinion, as well!!!


  12. Linda says:

    About my sister. She has been trying to read this book. She started reading it in july I think, and now in february she has come to the last chapter. She hasn´t actually finnished it yet though. That is how much leisure time she has.

  13. Kellie says:

    I believe that if you take 10-30 minutes here or there you might just be able to scrounge up a couple of hours a day of “free time”.

    Being a stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur and college student I would have to say that I have to willingly take free time. It doesn’t just present itself to me.

    Grudgingly, I have to admit that even 10 minutes spent on the computer reading e-mail could be considered a leisurely activity.


  14. Holly McKinney says:

    I DO NOT believe that AT ALL!! I am a mother of a six year old boy and a two week old girl. I can barely find the time for a shower and the basic things you do everyday. Between making bottles, doing dishes, cooking dinner, giving baths, getting my son ready for school, helping with homework(etc) I just don’t have the time for anything else. I don’t know who this guy talked to, but he could not be more wrong!!

  15. Jan Peterseen says:

    Not a chance! I would wonder about his credentials, then his mind!

  16. Rebekka from Norway says:

    I think this story is the hole truth!

    I’am very tierd when I get home from work. And eat dinner and all that stuff, I just get som tierd when I lie down to the couch I quickly fell in sleep. And if I don’t I just chilling all the rest of the day.

    But I don’t think we women are that lazy as your point it. But this may be some cind of exaiting. I love your show and I think it’s very good that you’re have this show, It’s so nice to see you help people that much you really do. So how are the “dr. phil family”?

    From Rebekka 19, Norway

  17. Rita says:

    Oh sure and I also take a bubble bath each day, go out for a leisurely lunch and race for a manicure and pedicure before dinner. Give me a break! Even with my adult children out of the house and on their own, I’m lucky if I get to sit down and relax by 9 pm. I am up at 6, at work by 8, at the market, cleaners and other errands by 4, pick up my grand daughter at daycare and drop her at home by 5, supper at 6, dishes, laundry and chit chat with my hubby, and then maybe, if I planned things right, some down time by 9. But, lucky me, I get to do it all over again the next day!

  18. Kristin says:

    Dear DrPhil~ I am 27, a sahm of 2 a 2 year-old boy and a 9 month old girl. I am a fulltime student and just became a single mother. I was in an abusive marriage and was abused everyday. I moved to Yorkville with my sister, 4 childrn, and her husband. I moved away from abuse to me, to abuse to my son. I fight with my sister all the time becasue of the way I am raising my son. She calls him “a little annoying son of a b****.” He is 2! We are staying in the unfinished basement and his asthma is acting up. Right now he has Pneumonia, double ear infection, and I am giving him treatments twices a day. He doesnt deserve to be called names from anyone defantly his aunt. I need help and asking u. Can you help get us into a house near my sister? Cause believe it or not we are close. And I need a car because I left everything behind with my ex. I need this help to get my healthy and happy son back. Please help us. Thank you Kristin

  19. Susan says:

    I would say that the amount of time to read depends on each person’s situation, I really don’t agree with Mr. Robinson’s study.

    I have quite a lot of time to read magazines and books, but that is because I have only one child, and he is now 18 years old. When he was much younger, I had very little, if any, time for leisure reading because child care duties plus other things consumed all of my time. Mothers of two or more children, especially very young children, probably no free time at all. Personally, I’d love to know who participated in Mr. Robinson’s study, as I find his results rather questionable.

  20. jennifer says:

    In the words you say from time to time Dr.Phil. Are you kidding me? I surely don’t have 30 hours extra everyweek to spare. Lord knows I love it. I lost my job approx 1 year ago. It’s my full time job looking for a job right now. That plus 2 kids, husband, my house, bills, school activites etc… I have no time for ANYTHING. It was obvouisly a man that said that. I would love that MAN to walk a day in my shoes I’ll tell ya. Talk about someone who doesn’t have a clue.

  21. Bridgette says:

    yes i would half to say i completly disagree with him, I am a stay at home mommy of 3, and i am always on my feet, I don’t even have time to sit down and watch t.v. throughout the day, the only chance i get to sit is at dinner time, The shows i like to watch, including Dr.Phil, I have to record them to my DVR, and watch them after my girls are asleep, so I am lucky to have a hour to myself, I have a 5,3 and 1 year old, one is in kindergarten, the other is in pre school,and the other is here all day, and my oldest gets out of school at 2:30, and my pre schooler is home by noon, then we have lots of homework, school functions,activities,girl scouts. Yes I think he should try to be a mother for a day, and guarantee he would change that 4-5 hours to themselves crap.

  22. Liz says:

    I am a mom of a 2 year old boy. He generally wakes up around 830-9am. I try to get up at 545am when my husband leaves and that gives me a few hours to read the Bible, clean, shower, drink coffee, exercise, do my nails, straighten my hair or catch up on my tv shows that I have dvr-ed – it all depends on what I need to do and how much time I have. Although I clean in the morning I consider it “me” time because I can go fast with less distractions which free’s up my 2 hours in the afternoon when he goes down for his nap. I have learned to set a timer when I clean. 10 minutes to pick up this room 10 minutes to vacuum and dust. Another trick that has worked for me is my 2 year old loves to help and loves to watch me vacuum. I give him a paper towel to dust too while I dust and he has his little broom when I sweep the kitchen. If I engage him, then when its nap time for him its all “me” time because my housework is done.
    I do have more time for me if I wake up early which isn’t every single day but if I plan right (and I have to, to schedule myself in) then it works.

  23. Pam says:

    Just tell me where to find those hours, I could use them!

  24. Jessica says:

    This message is to Kristin, who I truly hope will read this. I was shaken when I read your posting. I was in an abusive relationship myself for many years and left when my daughter was 6 months old because I didn’t want her growing up in that kind of environment. I want you to know that there are many resources in Toronto for women with children in your situation. Your child does not need to be experiencing anymore abuse from people he is supposed to trust. It sounds like your living conditions are way below par, especially for a child with health concerns. I suggest you immediately place a call to the YMCA women’s shelter. They will help you with everything you need to start a new life and your child will no longer be mentally or physically abused. Don’t be afraid to be independent you will become a whole new women once you are seeing the world with your eyes wide open. I BELIEVE IN YOU!

  25. Gloria says:

    OMG !! Yes, I do think women have extra time these days. One of the problems I see is that kids do not have structure in their lives. If Mom’s would put the kids to bed early and they need the rest. They would have at the very least three hours a night. Mom’s spend too much time entertaining the kids. They also run the kids ragid. Kids need to slow down and so do the Moms.

  26. Lisa Henderson says:

    Leisure time? I forget what that is. I work full time, still have two middle schoolers at home, help with my 95 year old grandfather on Sundays, and I’m also a doctoral student. I feel blessed when I have a lunch break that I can spend not running errands or working. It seems to me that the more things people have to do, the better they become at managing their time. My observation is that the mothers who volunteer at my kids’ school are oftentimes those who have jobs, and the housewives say they just don’t have time to help. Maybe busy women (like me)just give up on the housework and let it go because we’re never home long enough to be bothered by the dirt and mess. I am bothered by the dirt and mess in my house, but dealing with it has had to become lower priority. The plus is that my teens have started showing some initiative and are helping out more.

  27. Tammy says:

    This is just crazy! If you read the link he says that even something like waiting for a tow truck is leisure time? You have got to be kidding me! The things he says are leisure time are just insane! IMO leisure time is different for everyone and to say that all of that stuff is leisure time is just not true. I have 5 kids and live with family and I feel lucky if I get to sit down long enough to go to the bathroom with out being interrupted by a child. In a few weeks when I start working there is no way I will have any me time at all. Oh but by his standards I will have lots of leisure time when I’m traveling to and from work (eye roll)

  28. Heather says:

    My only response to his findings is things always look great on paper..budgets…plans and even time management. Maybe if I ran my home like a military boot camp these extra hours would be possible, but otherwise I am just befuddled as to how he considers some of these things leisure??? I know I could be a little more organized and that would account for some extra time. Let me tell you though, Dr. Phil, If you ever do decide to have a show about this I would be more than happy to volunteer as a guest, and willing to be proven wrong!! It’s a win win situation, if I really do have all that extra time, I would love to find it and make more use out of it, but as of now, I am not agreeing at all with his findings!!

  29. Tammy says:

    This man is crazy! I would like him to walk a mile in my shoes for a week and see where he could find the thirty hours! I am a single mom and work two sometimes three jobs. There is NO WAY I have an extra 30 hours! I leave the house at 7 am and don’t get home until after 1030pm almost everyday! Then I have to do my mom duties as well as daily chores, feed the animals, feed myself and get ready for next day! So I don’t where he found the women he was studying but HE IS WRONG!!!

  30. G. Datzgrate says:

    Could it be that these now ‘pissed-off women’ are failing to count all the hours spent in front of the old boob tube? Those are leisure hours, too, you know; count also the times on the phone, shopping, applying make-up, sipping coffee, snatching a few pages of a favourite novel, volunteering or visiting each other– etc, etc, ad infinitum…maybe, THEN, we can all ‘calm down’ and realize that the ‘real’ issue here is not whether they actually HAVE such time, but HOW THEY ARE SPENDING IT, and without realizing it, HOW MUCH OF IT THEY ARE ACTUALLY WASTING!!!

  31. G. Datzgrate says:

    Maybe the REAL issue here is not whether these now-pissed-off women actually have such a body of leisure time, but HOW they are spending it! Maybe they are overlooking the fact that many activities with which they busy themselves and become so burdened, while not ‘required’ or absolutely necessary, when added up, come to a significant body of time. Also, some of the things that these women are counting as daily ‘obligations’, rather than, in reality, more along the line of leisure activities, might better be spent more productively.

  32. Chan says:

    Leisure time, maybe? I think if you have one child, it’s easier to find that leisure time and your at home with the child. But I believe, if you have more than one child, and both parents are working, I would find it very hard to believe that any leisure time even exists. Maybe after the kids finally moved out. I stay at home with one child part-time. and I keep myself busy enough to keep the house clean, mouths fed, and still have time every day to catch a Dr Phil episode, or Oprah if I have already seen the episode. I think the 30-40 hours every week is not realistic or an average number, I think they should be looking around 10-20 hours a week.

  33. Patricia says:

    This man has to see a “shrink” himself! I tried that “extra job” for two weeks when my youngest was going on 1 year. At that time I “only” had 7 kids. Well, that was a disaster. This was in the summer, so the kids were out of school, so I thought I’d see about getting a job so I’d have some spending money, besides being able to help with the family budget. Like I said it lasted two weeks. I got up in the morning, got the kids their breakfast, did all the necessary things that moms have to do in the morning. Then, I got their lunch. While they were eating their lunch, I fixed their dinner, so it would be heating during the afternoon. I had a high school girl come in to watch them until my husband got home from work at 3:30. I left at 2:30; walked about two blocks to work at a 3:00 to midnight pizza manufacturing place. When I got home around 12:15, the dirty dishes were still sitting on the table; the dinner was spoiled because the baby sitter had not put it away when they were done eating. Dirty clothes and toys were all over the place. Up until that time, the kids always took their dishes out to the kitchen when they were through; the bigger kids took the little one’s dishes out too. They always picked up their toys before they went to bed, and put their dirty clothes in the hamper or clothes baskets. Now, mind you, this was during the summer; August to be exact. The girl put the kids to bed at 7:00, so she could watch TV and talk with my husband until he went to bed. She was supposed to go home when he came home, but she stayed and “watched” them until I got home at 12:15 am. Now, where would I have found enough leisure time to hold down a third job? Being a wife, mother, homemaker is a full-time job on its own. Then to hold down one or two more jobs. That’s for a Superwoman, not a human, breathing woman. I know not all women’s lives are this typical; some are better; some are more hectic. At least I had from 5:00 to 5:30 in the morning to read, watch TV, work jigsaw puzzles before my husband got up to go to work. Then when I got finished clearning everything after 12!15 the next morning, I read for a while, just to wind down. You sure can tell this was a man who did this time management study. He only has the one job; doesn’t have to take care of children and a home.

  34. That Robinson guy is crazy! All my 3 children are in school now. Well one of them just got her GED. By the time i get the other 2 in school as long as my job is close by i could be there @ 9am and by the time my youngest gets out of school i could only work til 1pm, that leaves me about 20 hrs in a monday through friday work week. I dont approve agree or want to work evennings nor weekends because my children can get out of hand and quite franckly dont consider any of my children nor their father responsible enough(most evennings he drinks talks on the phone and builds things out of wood, totally depriving all of us any clossness or affection appreciation or care) to care for my youngest daughter and anytime my husband had to take the kids to the doctor he would complain about losing hours and money at work. I really dont consider a 20 hour a week job worth it considering the children have to be taken to the doctors during those work hours as well, not always but they are for the past 2 years think they need to go to the doctors quite frequently, who would want me to work for them on such limited time and availability,plus i still do things around the house and after schhool with or for my children,i couldnt even get my 2 older children to keep thier laundry and room clean,i stopped doing it for them, so now it doesnt get done,which drives me crazy cause i like things clean and organized or i merely couldnt function, which actually has given me some liesure time which as before i barely got any, i dont feel it would be fair for me to have to work outside of the home.my husband makes me feel bad because i havent gotten a job, apparently he doesnt consider what i did for the past 17 years as work nor what i do now.Children,the home and pets are by no means easy to take care of and do take alot of time, and my husband has no clue because hes never had to do it he has always and only been responsible for the financialy side of things, he doesnt lay a finger around this house for 17 years neither do my children, and i dont ask cause i believe the house is my job, work and school is thiers, and that when he works he works hard enough that i dont feel it fair for him to have to come home and worry about anything else, some love and affection would have been nice, which there once was. there’s this lady girlfriend of his i havent been able to get rid of in like 4 years which has totally ruind our marriage, he thinks im supposed to forgive and forget over and over again while he sleeps over at her house giving her love and affection that is solely supposed to be mine and i have done that, forgiving and starting over but simply cant do that anymore everytime i die more and more inside and he has no clue or care. forgiveness from me to him simply means apparently nothing to him, he believes and acts as if he has no consequences for any of his actions and talking to him about anything gets nowhere because hell bring up things that happened over year ago that he plays a part in for my decisions that i may have done that has absolutely nothing to do with the problems that he continues to create on an ongoing basis with this lady.im tired of being hurt.im tired of feeling sorry for myself. im tired of feeling unappreciated. im tired of not being loved or treated fairly or even with respect and im tired of him always escaping any consequences of his actions or parts to play in this marriage and family.i need help emotionally, mentally,and financially.i want a divorce and i want someone to love me.my self esteem is down to nothing. when i met him at age 21 and he was 33 i had self esteem the 2 of us have shreded that apart.What would i have to do to get help for a divoce making sure that all my children and i’s rights are protected in the divorce, things that we are entitled to?Could you help me? I have received in the past child support from him but that is no longer being forced because we have gotten back together under the same roof and i requested them to stop enforcing it although the actually order is still in effect, in a state we no longer reside in. ive told him that i want a divorce and that i no longer want child support i want fixed spousal support for life instead, with him carrying life insurance to continue spousal support after the event that he dies and half his social security.Right now i could file for an absolute divorce on the grounds of adultry,but am scared that if i do anything he will leave us helpless financially and dont know if i could emotionally get through it he is the type of person that would make things as difficult as possible.always a game player.

  35. Mary Lindsey says:

    Ummm… does he want to come & be a “mom” at my house? I have a 2 year old & 8 month old triplet boys! I have MAYBE 3 hours a day total – 1 during naptime when EVERYONE is napping plus the 2 hours I have (if I decided to stay awake that long) once the kids are in bed. What is he trying to say? This is the hardest job in the world!!!!

  36. Desiree says:

    If I had any leisure time to spare surely I would be sleeping. My 16mo old is up every hour on the hour at night. On top of that I have a 20mo old foster daughter with FASD who requires a lot of extra effort and patience. As well as a 3yr old son who as he should thinks that the world revolves around him. On top of that I have a home daycare.
    Leisure time…pffffftt. If I want leisure time I literally have to run away from home on my husbands days off. Leisure time HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Dr.Phil the comedian!

  37. Teresa says:

    Are u kidding me!!!!…Moms are a nurse,doctor,teacher,protector,nanny,maide,friend,cook,babysitter,hair styles ,on call..we work 24 hours aday…most have a job too!!!…and if u have more then one child is more time with each child!!!…he has no ideal what he is talkin about…he should try it sometime!!

  38. Teresa says:

    Taken care of a child is like taken care of elderly people…full time and all day job!!…U have to bath them,brush their hair,brush their teeth,change their diapers,feed them,put them to bed,give them meds if they take it and watch them,take them where ever u go,shoppin,bathroom,doctor appts,ect..u even have to do these thingseven if u are sick or hurt….Most of the time u dont even have time to do these things for yourself!!

  39. Carole W says:

    You are out of your mind! When my daughter was a baby, I had NO free time. She consumed each and every hour of my day. In fact, she was up all night and slept on a few hours each day due to colic. Whoever said Moms have 30-40 hours of free time a week are insane.

  40. Gina Zylstra says:

    Women who have a job along with being a mother (one in the home and out of the home) undoubtedly do not have 30 to 40 hours per week. Women of very young children are likely the same. However, women who stay at home and also have children in school likely have a lot of discretionary time. Simple math related to the fact that kids are in school 30 to 40 hours a week and older children will entertian themselves grants this discretionary time. From the stay-at-home ladies perspective, they are busy as bees. Human nature will detect that the undepressed fill the time with tasks/non-paying work (e.g., volunteer) and stuff, but at the end of the day it is a luxury to have these choices.

  41. Cindy Coburn says:

    I watched your show today and i think that it is obsurd that the doctor could say we have 30 to 40 hours of leisure time. I am a mother of 1 and he is a handful. He is 41/2 years old. He goes to preschool 4 days a week. My day starts at 7:00 am. I am taking my son to preschool and then i come back home to do my dishes and do my homework before i go to my job 5 days a week. No i don’t have time to do much at all. This is my day everyday.

  42. Brandy says:

    I really think it is the definitions used that has mothers outraged and this doctor defending his research. As a mother of 2 now, 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son, who works full time outside the home, I can’t imagine that what I do during the day or evening constitutes leisure time to anyone, although this is my lunch break that I’m using to discuss this, so I’m using one of my 30 minute periods of leisure time a day. Yes, while nursing my son I can sit and play with or read to my daughter. Is this leisure time? In his definition I’m sure it is. Most mothers would not agree. It’s certainly not “free” time, which is what we crave. Leisure time implies that you can do something else more constructive with that time. Most often that is not the case. I have to feed my son, therefore I am limited in what other activities can occupy that time.

    5:15 – Wake, shower, fix and eat breakfast, dress/makeup, brush teeth
    5:45 – Wake up daughter, constantly prod her to get dressed, finish eating, brush teeth, fix her hair
    6:00 – feed son, continue prodding daughter along
    6:30 – have the truck loaded and leave the house
    6:45 – drop off son at babysitter’s
    7:00 – drop off daughter at preschool
    7:30 – get to work
    8:00 – pump for 10-15 minutes
    10:00 – pump for 10-15 minutes
    12:00 – eat lunch while pumping for 10-15 minutes
    2:00 – pump for 10-15 minutes
    4:00 – leave work
    4:30 – pick up daughter
    4:45 – pick up son
    5:00 – get home and unload family
    5:10 – feed son while playing with daughter
    5:45 – start supper, load dishwasher from previous night, do laundry or some other small task
    6:30 or 7:00 – eat supper
    7:30 – feed son, get daughter ready for bed, prod her to change clothes, brush teeth, read short story, sing, say prayers (is this leisure time?)
    8:00 – tell daughter if she gets up she’ll be in trouble
    8:00 – get bags packed for next day, including bottles cleaned and prepped, pump equipment cleaned, etc
    8:15 – sit down to visit with my husband for a few (here’s where my leisure time is)
    9:15 – get ready for bed
    9:30 – try to go to sleep
    5:15 – start again

    So my leisure time as I see it, is when I’m pumping, eating, or feeding my son and the hour I get to spend with my husband. Maybe when I’m in the car? Some days the chores don’t get done because on Tuesday’s my daughter has dance. She gets one 1 hour activity. On Wednesdays we go to church, which intrudes on our family and sleep time, but must be done. Saturdays and Sundays are a version of this with less outside work and more housework, plus church which is my leisure activity. Again, this is not FREE time, but his definition of leisure time.

  43. Brandy says:

    oh and that schedule does not include the numerous night wakings.

    What did I do with all that free time before my son? More work got done, the house was a little cleaner, and I didn’t hear “Mommy, please play with me” as often. Isn’t that what our JOB is as a mom, to teach and spend time with our children? When did that become our leisure or free time as people?

  44. mary says:

    Seriously, as a stay at home mom of 2, there were some brief periods when I did have some leisure time, they were phases that passed quickly. I NEVER have more than 10 minutes of down time, I stand all day long while I’m home. If you have down time, you’re not doing it right…that’s right, I said it.

  45. Amy Marie says:

    I was a student of Dr. Robinson’s last year in his Time & Leisure class. What is not being pointed out, unfairly, is that Dr. Robinson is using self-report diaries for his research. Which means that women themselves reported this leisure time! So don’t blame him, blame the women who reported all this extra time!

    While I was in his class we did self report diaries and found we all had a lot more leisure time than we thought as college students with jobs and homework. I fully stand behind his findings because I have done the research myself. If you want to read a book of his it is called Time For life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time.

  46. Dawn says:

    Ok Dr. Phil. I was completely laughing during the entire show today. I have to say as my son is getting older i do have a lil more time on my hands since he is in school 6 hours a day and i am a stay at home mom. But when he was a baby there was no way i had 1 hour to myself. I worked a full time job took care of my son and his father who was terminally ill. There were night i hadnt even slept. But as a mother we are on the clock non stop there is never a time we are off duty. now that i am a single mother when he is sick its mommy 24 -7. Catching throw up whipping noses and no sleep. I do have to say that i do now have a wonderful partner who when he is off he does help me with my son. but sometimes I get upset and think that my sons father got the easy way out since he passed away when our son was 2. i think that the gentelman who did this study needs to do another study by going into homes and actually spending time watching us mothers run around with ourheads cut off.

  47. Nicole says:

    Here’s my question: so what if we have 30-40 hours free time per week? What is that?? It’s not even 2 full days in a 7 day week. AND it’s as much time as most men spend working. Many men work a 40 hour week, come home and they are off work- totally off work; no chores, no housework, etc.- just done. So if stay at home moms have 30-40 hours leisure time and men have 30-40 hours total work time… that doesn’t really balance, does it? So out of 168 hours/wk., men WORK 40 and women relax 40; men have (by the standards listed) 128 hours leisure time and women have 128 hours work time. Um?? Doesn’t really balance. So I say.. who cares if they are saying we have 40 hours leisure time. Not only is the study grossly skewed- but it also shows that we put in more work time than we do leisure time. Can most men say the same?

  48. twinmommy says:

    This is a case of misinterpreted definitions. A root canal is NOT leisure time… although this study defines it as such. I suppose, right now, I am having “leisure” time as defined by this study. I am currently typing this while one of my twins is napping and the other is in my lap trying to eat my cable bill envelope! Pretty much every moment of my day is spent trying to multi-task while making sure my twins are cared for. I eat while feeding them, I shower when they nap… you get the idea. My “leisure” time is doing necessary things like eating, showering, sleeping for a few hours at night (my twins still wake up 3-4 times a night). If the house gets cleaned and laundry gets done, then that’s icing on the cake. And let me add… I wouldn’t trade this life for anything but it’s not easy or “leisurely” by any means!

  49. carmela says:

    Dr.PHil, I watched your show today,whenever I get a chance, and I have to agree with everyone, we moms don;t have any leisure time, it is hard being a full time mom, doing the cleaning, calling for the plumber when your bathtub is flooding, and taking care of everything else that our HUSBANDS don’t take care of, I agree with that the men have work to do outside of the home, but if you ask the husbands to switch places with their wives I guarnatee they wont last a week, I am a mother of two kids, a girl of 16 and a boy of 9, autistic child mind you, who needs my attention 24 hours, 7 days a week, i don;t even have time to breath, I take a shower when he is in school or when my daughter can watch him for 10 minutes, but when he is in school, i clean pay bills, cook , do the laundry that stuff all day, and if i have slept a good eight hours a night that would be a treat for me. sometimes i lay down on the couch at night, and fall asleep after 5 minutes and that is not even resting, cause i have hubby waking me up for something or my son needs me. sorry i don;t mean to go on here, but i am trying to say is that before they write articles like that, they should really take a look at what a woman is really about., stay at home mom or not.
    thank you.

  50. Jeanette says:

    Dr. Phil

    I was watching you show and i asked a my eight year old son am I busy mom since i have four childern and I’m a stay at home mom, and he said Mom I been wanting to play a game with for three days and everytime i ask you to play with me you chacing one of the other chidern every five min. So is that leisure time. I think this guy need to swich with us and tell us where the leisure time is cause i can’t find it

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