By Pearl Stewart

For many single mothers who are attending college, the joyful moments of motherhood are mixed with the challenges of classes, research papers and final exams — along with jobs, child care and housework.

A briefing paper released this week by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that single mothers who are full-time college students spend the equivalent of a full work day on child care and housework, and more time in paid employment than women students without children.

And importantly, they also spend less time on “critical self-care activities such as sleep and exercise” and have less time for studying, according to the report, which was based on analysis of data from the American Time Use Survey.

“As we approach Mother’s Day and college commencement season, we often recognize the dedication of time and energy that mothers and graduating seniors have made,” said Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, the institute’s senior research associate. “Single mothers in college are doing double and triple duty to make a better life for their families, but too few have the support needed to juggle the competing time demands of college, parenthood and employment.”

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