Moms on the “Mother Load,” the latest study from the Research Moms at Edison Research focuses on all the tasks that women do when they are called mom. The physical parenting responsibilities as well as the thinking, organizing and planning all contribute to the mental load that moms carry. The report highlights not only the tasks that are managed, but also how those tasks are shared among co-parents and how moms view that division of labor.
The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan was famously quoted as saying “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” In the case of economic data, however, this may not be true. In the October 2018 edition of the Marketplace/Edison Research Economic Anxiety Index poll, we asked a sample of Americans how much they trusted data about the economy that is reported by the Federal Government. 60% said that they at least “somewhat” trust the data, up from 55% in October 2016. And the most extreme reaction, “Do not trust it at all,” declined from 25% to 14%.
However, if we dig a little deeper into this question, we find something remarkable. The October 2016 survey was, obviously, fielded right before the Presidential Election, in the waning days of Barack Obama’s administration. The competing worldviews in the race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump could not have been more different: while Clinton ran on a platform of continuing the policies of the Obama administration, Trump ran under the argument that America was not, as surveys frequently ask, “on the right track.”
At the time of the October 2016 survey, U.S. unemployment was at roughly 5%, a number which is certainly below average (i.e., more towards full employment) compared to historical trends (by comparison, five years prior to October 2016, the unemployment rate exceeded 9%). So, with the government reporting “good” news, those who were currently aligned with the administration were more likely to believe that news. However, economic prosperity is never evenly distributed, a fact that then-Candidate Trump used to his advantage when he campaigned in pockets of America that had seen significant declines in manufacturing and well-paying jobs. If you lived in Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan, your local economy was not doing well, regardless of what the national statistics said.
As a result, there was a sharp disparity between how Clinton supporters felt about government statistics, and how Trump supporters felt, as we reported back in 2016. Then, the 55% trust/45% distrust by the total sample masked a significant partisan divide. While 86% of Clinton supporters trusted government economic statistics, only 31% of Trump supporters felt the same—indeed, 48% of Trump supporters indicated that they didn’t trust these stats at all, compared to 5% of Clinton supporters. With Republicans and Democrats overall, these differences were still highly significant: 78% of Democrats trusted government economic data, compared to 38% of Republicans.
How you interpreted this disparity likely depended on where you personally identified yourself politically. If you were a Democrat, you likely would have been inclined to cite Senator Moynihan’s quote, above. But if you were a Republican, you would likely have made the argument that the facts on the ground are different; that, despite what the national statistics say, there are significant pockets of America that are economically only getting worse. Both sides, in other words, were demanding to be entitled to their own facts.
This year we had a remarkable opportunity to revisit this phenomenon, once again just prior to a significant election, only now under a Republican administration. As noted above, the degree of trust in government statistics did tick up by five percentage points, and it should also be noted that unemployment today is even lower (currently 3.7%) than it was two years ago. While the percentage of those who trust government economic data did rise modestly from 55% to 60%, that rise once again masks a significant partisan divide.
The October 2018 data show that the “trusters” have completely flipped positions from 2016. Today, 73% of Republicans trust government data (compared to 38% in 2016) and 51% of Democrats trust these data (compared to 78% in 2016.) This is truly a remarkable shift in just a two-year period. The percentage of Republicans who “do not trust [government economic data] at all” declined from 37% to 7%. And the “somewhat distrust” figures for Democrats rose from 12% to 32%, nearly tripling in two years.
The opportunity to revisit this question under a new administration has given us a profound insight into how Americans from either side of the aisle perceive government communications. While one might have been tempted in 2016 to proclaim that Republicans were willfully ignoring “good” economic news, the truth is that both sides are inclined to believe “facts” when they are presented by their party, and less likely when they are presented by the opposition party. Yet, the underlying data is the same: unemployment statistics tracked by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just as they have been since 1948.
All of which brings us back to Senator Moynihan. Perhaps we are all entitled to our own facts, after all.
By Nicole Beniamini
This past August, Edison Research conducted an online national survey of 750 parents of children age 21 and under and asked them to indicate who does what in their household, how they feel about their responsibilities, and how much confidence they have in their child’s other parent to handle these tasks. The survey was asked among all mothers and fathers, but for the purpose of the Working Mother WorkBeyond Summit panel, we looked at the data among full-time working parents, or parents who work 35 hours or more in a typical week.
We asked respondents a long list of parenting tasks and had them indicate who is primarily responsible for each one – either they are, someone else is, or they share the task evenly with someone else. The data revealed that most full-time working mothers are primarily responsible for the vast majority of the tasks involving their children, such as making their kids’ doctors appointments, filling out school forms, or going shopping for their kids. All these “invisible” tasks that working mothers are doing is also referred to as the “third shift.” Working mothers spend the first shift at the office, the second shift doing household chores, and the last shift planning and organizing for their family. When asked about the overall division of parenting tasks in their household, 81% of full-time working moms said they handle at least the majority of these tasks, with 27% saying they do all of the tasks. When we compared this data to mothers who are not currently employed, we were surprised to discover that it was exactly the same. Most moms are the “default” parent, whether they work or not.
So, we know what full-time working moms are doing but how do they feel about this mental load? It’s easy to assume that juggling home, work and family would cause these working mothers to combust, but they’re not! Among full-time working mothers, 66% say they feel confident about their parenting tasks, 60% in control and 59% organized. Among the negative adjectives, “overwhelmed” was the one that resonated most with these working mothers – with a third of working moms saying they felt that way.
Yes, working moms are carrying the mental load, but no, they aren’t necessarily overwhelmed by it.
Organizing your daughter’s 5th birthday party. Scheduling your son’s annual physical exam around soccer practice and band rehearsals. Remembering that Tuesday is Picture Day and Wednesday is the plant sale at school. These are just some examples of the mental load, or the behind-the-scenes strategizing that is needed to keep a family running. While household chores are becoming increasingly shared by Mom and Dad, the day-to-day planning, thinking, and organizing of parenting still very much belongs to Mom.
Research Mom Nicole Beniamini will be discussing the mental load of moms at the Working Mother: WorkBeyond Summit on October 8, 2018 in NYC. Nicole will be joining the research panel, “How the Best Companies are Staying in the Game,” where panelists will discuss the challenges of working parents and how companies can address these considerations in order to retain employees.
For more about moms’ mental load, join The Research Moms from Edison Research as they present the findings from their latest study, “Moms on the MotherLoad” on Thursday, November 29th, at 2 PM Eastern. This study highlights all new data about what’s on Mom’s to-think list, how she feels about her parenting tasks, and why she might be hesitant to delegate to someone else.
About the Research Moms
The Research Moms are Edison Research’s team of experienced researchers who also happen to be moms. Combining a solid platform of market research with real life insight, they are a unique resource for analyzing habits, behaviors and trends among moms.
Edison Research and Triton Digital released The Podcast Consumer 2018 earlier this year, marking our 10th year of issuing the most extensive analysis of American podcast listeners available. Today Edison and Triton Digital are proud to release The Podcast Consumer Canada 2018.
This report includes new, unreleased information on the demographics of podcast listeners, frequency and location of podcast consumption, smart speaker ownership, and other podcast listening behaviors in Canada. Data is derived from The Infinite Dial Canada 2018 by Edison Research and Triton Digital.
“All of us here at Edison and Triton are honored to be able to provide our latest data on podcasting to the Canadian public,” said Edison’s Senior Vice President, Tom Webster. “We are also very excited to announce that Edison and Triton will once again collaborate on The Infinite Dial Canada in 2019.”
“We are pleased to continue our collaboration with Edison Research on the Infinite Dial Canada in 2019,” said John Rosso, President of Market Development at Triton Digital. “We look forward to presenting the latest in digital audio consumption and usage, including AM/FM radio, streaming audio, podcasting, the utilization of smart speakers, and more.”
Key findings from The Podcast Consumer Canada 2018 include:
- 19% of adults are Weekly Podcast Listeners and 28% are Monthly Podcast Listeners
- Podcast listeners have higher incomes and education levels than the average adult.
- Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours per week listening to podcasts.
- Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of 5 podcasts per week.
- Over half of monthly podcast listeners listen to the entire podcast.
- In-home is the top listening location for podcasts.
- Almost half of podcast listeners listen to podcasts from Public Radio producers.
- Monthly podcast listeners who also own smart speakers are more likely than average to own an Alexa.
Canadians are quite familiar with the term “podcasting,” with 61% of all adults 18+ saying they are familiar with the term. Almost half of Canadians 18+ (47%) have ever listened to a podcast, and the younger the respondent, the more likely they are to have listened. Sixty percent of adults 18-34 have listened to a podcast at some point in time.
Twenty-eight percent of all Canadian adults are monthly podcast listeners, and the younger the listener, the more likely they are to be a monthly or weekly podcast listener. Forty-one percent of those age 18-34 are monthly podcast listeners.
The same holds true for weekly podcast listening, with the younger demos showing a higher concentration of weekly podcast listening. Nineteen percent of adults 18+ have listened to a podcast in the past week, while 27% of 18-34-year-olds are weekly podcast listeners.
Podcast listeners have higher incomes and education levels than the average Canadian 18+. Twenty-nine percent of monthly podcast consumers have an annual household income of $75K-$150K compared with 22% of the total population.
Canadian podcast listeners age 18+ also have higher education levels than the average Canadian adult. One-third of monthly podcast listeners in Canada have at least some graduate school or an advanced degree, and 27% have a four-year degree.
Monthly podcast listeners are much less likely to be retired and more likely to be employed full-time or to be a student than the average adult in Canada. Only 13% of Canadian monthly podcast listeners are retired, compared with 24% of the total 18+ market. Fifty-three percent of podcast listeners are employed full time and 13% are students.
Podcasts can range in length from just a few minutes to well over an hour or even two. Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of six hours and four minutes per week listening to podcasts. Thirty-six percent of weekly podcast listeners spend five hours or more per week with podcasts.
Weekly podcast listeners listen to an average of five podcasts per week, with 21% listening to six or more in that same period.
Over half of monthly podcast listeners say they listen to the entire podcast, while a little over one-third (35%) don’t listen to the entire podcast, but do listen to most of it. Only 10% say they listen to less than half or just the beginning of the podcast.
Those who have been listening for the most number of years were more likely to consume podcasts more often. Twenty-eight percent of weekly podcast consumers have been listening to podcasts for five years or more, while 24% of monthly podcast consumers have been listening five years or more.
At home is the overwhelming top location to listen to podcasts, with 63% of monthly podcast consumers listening most often at home. In-car/truck is a distant second place at 14% and is close to the number of those who listen at work, 11%. Four percent say they listen while walking around.
Just under half all podcast listeners (47%), listen to podcasts from Public Radio producers such as CBC, Radio Canada, or NPR.
Podcast listeners (10%) are just slightly more likely to own a smart speaker, either an Amazon Alexa or a Google Home device, than the average adult in Canada (8%).
Of the podcast listeners who also own smart speakers, they are more likely to own an Amazon Alexa but no Google Home (37%) than the average adult in Canada. Overall, the Google Home is a more popular choice with 56% of monthly podcast consumers owning a Google and no Alexa compared to 63% of the adult population of Canadian smart speaker owners. When it comes to Amazon Alexa, though, 37% of podcast listener/smart speaker owners have one compared to 30% of the adult smart speaker owners in Canada. Seven percent of both groups own an Amazon Alexa AND a Google Home.
About The Podcast Consumer Canada 2018: In Q1 2018, Edison Research conducted a national telephone survey of 1,000 Canadians aged 18 and older, using random digit dialing techniques to both cell phones and landlines. The survey was offered in both English and French, and the data is weighted to national 18+ population figures.