Latvia's moms are exhausted, survey shows

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Anticipating Mother's Day on Sunday, May 14, a survey conducted by the parent organization Mammamuntetiem.lv conducted a survey which showed that nearly all mothers of Latvia feel overworked and exhausted, Inga Akmentiņa-Smildziņa, the organization's head, told Latvian Television Thursday.

The survey with 774 respondents shows that 96% of mothers in Latvia are feeling overworked. According to the survey, in only 13% of the households the mother and father share household chores. In 85% of cases housework and childcare in the family are mostly on the shoulders of moms.

“The [housework] division 50 to 50 is only in 13% of the cases and largely explains why moms are feeling exhausted,” Akmentiņa-Smildziņa said.

The survey shows that moms are also asking for help in housework, but still, the lack of time for themselves is disastrous, said the chief executive of Mammamuntetiem.lv. “They often only have time to brush their teeth in the morning and evening,” she said.

In the meantime, the cognitive biophysical psychotherapist and co-author of the survey, Sabīne Bērziņa, drew attention to the fact that in the survey, moms point out that free time depends on both the mood of children and whether the husband can help. “Mom's time is very much dependent on the rest of the family,” Bērziņa said.

Akmentiņa-Smildziņa added that the survey shows that moms have very high expectations of themselves:

"Moms also write that they want a tidy house, a warm lunch, to have their husband rested, they want to be hard-working. [..] One mom has written she wants to be like Mary Poppins."

The respondents were particularly surprised by the answers given by mothers to the question of their appearance. “There was a question whether you felt satisfied with your appearance. These answers surprised me in negative terms, as only 10% responded with a convincing yes. 54% responded with a convincing no,” Akmentiņa-Smildziņa said.

“For moms to feel good every day, prevention is very necessary – their resources need to be restored regularly, not only when there is no strength at all. Unfortunately, only 10% of moms regularly care about their emotional well-being. It is also sad that moms do not have enough time for regular physical activity,” Bērziņa said.

On Saturday, May 13, the organization Mammamuntetiem.lv invited all mothers to a festival and concert at the Hansa platform. “It's going to be a day of treating and inspiring moms. I hope the moms will tell themselves after this, yes, I'm cool,” Akmentiņa-Smildziņa described the upcoming event.

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