It is the dilemma facing every working mother - how to devote enough time to their children, while juggling career demands with household chores.
Now, a new study has disclosed that in Britain, those who work outside the home spend on average one hour 21 minutes a day looking after their families - including meal times.
Stay-at-home mothers managed almost twice as much time directly caring for their children, with 2 hours 35 minutes dedicated to activities like meals, bathtime and playing games, according to the research by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
The report, which compared surveys in 21 leading industrialised nations found the time UK working mothers spent caring for their children was almost half that in some other countries.
Those in Ireland spent 150 minutes a day caring for their children, while those in Australia managed 137 minutes, with working mothers in the United States, Canada, Italy, Sweden and Spain all spending more time looking after their children than those in Britain.
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Family campaign groups said the emotional development of children was being damaged, because too many women felt under pressure to work long hours, while others prioritised careers over time at home.
But psychologists said it was more important how the time caring for children was used, and that less time than 81 minutes could be enough if it included fun activities which were sufficiently bonding.
The report examined how much time parents spent involved in childcare as a "primary activity" - covering things like meals, dressing, playing, and reading bedtime stories to