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Work at office v. home with kids: Which is more tiring?

By Mary Richards | Posted - Oct 9th, 2013 @ 8:32am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Anyone who thinks their boss is demanding ought to make lunch for a toddler. You know, when they ask for a peanut butter and jelly on white bread, hold the jelly, no crusts, cut diagonally, but then they melt down because they really wanted chicken nuggets?

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, parents said 12 percent of their child care time was "very tiring," compared with 5 percent of their paid work activities.

Some parents said kids are more demanding than a boss because it feels like there is never a break. It's something April Perry, a mother of three children, talks about at

"I found that whenever I tried to use the restroom, I had three preschoolers (who) couldn't get along without me or wanted to be with me. You know you are a mom if when you try to use the restroom you have someone on your lap and people at your feet," she said.


The research also shows parents feel being with their kids is more meaningful than time they spend at paid work, and they are happier at home.

Parents said 62 percent of their child care activities are very meaningful compared to 36 percent of office activities. But, many say they're exhausted by it.

Experts said fathers are spending more time with kids at things like games and sports, but mothers spend more time with things like diapers, car pools, and homework.

The data is based on an analysis of the 2010 Well-Being Module of the American Time Use Survey. It's the government's detailed look at how Americans spend their time.

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