The research institute IFOP published research on summer mental workload and stress after returning to school. After analyzing the responses of the surveyed couples, it seems that women return from vacation more tired and stressed than men. Does it surprise you?
Having just returned home, you already have to think about the start of the school year and its organizational part: getting school supplies, children’s activities, childcare, etc. There are many areas of concern, and according to this Ifop study, they mainly concern women . “The mental burden involves thinking about everything, all the time, and when it comes to scheduling, it falls entirely on me. ” laughs Agnès, a 48-year-old from Rouen, mother of a little girl who is already excited by the idea of continuing her activities and going to school.
This IFOP survey on summer mental workload and back-to-school stress was conducted among 2000 people, for the place Good deal on travel to New York. It has been shown that women return from vacation more tired than men and that they take on more tasks associated with returning to school. “For the beginning of the school year, obviously. Yesterday I left the office early to pick up my daughter and take her to buy school supplies. This is also the period when we have to organize activities, go and register our children, this is a crucial moment that we must not miss” continues the mother.
70% of women end their leave much more tired than men (57%). Women in relationships say they are more “under stress” (53%) than men (39%).
I also organize the vacation, I organize the whole circuit, and my husband buys the plane tickets. But what takes time and energy is organization. My brain never rests!
Agnès, 48 years old from Rouen, 8 years old child
Their spouses are perfectly aware of this situation! Among couples who went with children, twice as many men (56%) than women (28%) admitted that they rested more than their partners during their vacation.
This female fatigue is related to the fact that women took on much more housework: 53% said they took on more housework than their partner: 39% did “about the same” 8% “less” than him.
The overload of women is present in all tasks related to the management of the residence: washing clothes and preparing the main meal are mostly done by women. The only exception: cooking barbecue, which remains the prerogative of men. An exception that confirms Sandrine Rousseau’s theory.
But watch out for the caricature! By assigning roles to everyone, we settle comfortably into clichés. “I am the daily organizer, the one who plans, but my husband manages the shopping and meals, and he does it with good will ” specifies Agnès.
But it is precisely among couples with children that the uneven distribution of parental tasks is most evident: women are more responsible for suitcases (71% compared to 12% of fathers), laundry (72% compared to 13%), preparing meals in case of activities (53% compared to 17%).
The difference in stress between the sexes must also be put into perspective with “worries about returning to school”: returning to everyday life and its problems is a greater source of worry for women (60%) than for men (47%)
Most of the tasks related to the return to everyday life are performed by women: 65% of women manage the return case. Laundry cleaning by 74%. Purchase of school supplies by 64%.
But this stress is also linked to the fact that many vacationers end their vacation in a situation of financial stress: 28% ended their vacation with less than €100 in their bank account, 9% even stated that they ended their vacation with an excess amount.
“This research clearly shows that women are never on vacation as much as men because during this period they are still subject to the unequal distribution of housework that they face during the rest of the year. However, this holiday gender disparity prevents many women from “recharging their batteries” as they should. This backward-looking devolution of leisure organization to women is based on an undoubtedly conservative vision of their leisure time and a very strong social prohibition: putting the well-being of one’s family before one’s own needs. Understanding annual vacation through the prism of gender shows that summer vacation does not question unequal marriage and family models, and even worsens them. Why ? Because if a woman’s professional activity legitimizes a more equal distribution of household work, moments of inactivity such as vacations encourage a return to the “natural” role: taking care of your children and your home first and foremost ” analyzes François Kraus, director of the gender and sexuality department at IFOP.