A poll of 2,200 mums by TV channel, Cartoonito, found 70 per cent use their child free time to do the housework or the big family shop, and a third simply catch up on sleep to recharge their batteries.
One in ten of the mums polled spent 20 per cent of the family income on childcare costs, and forty three per cent admitted they would employ more childcare if they could afford it.
Out of the working mums that were polled, 14 per cent said they paid for childcare to go on slightly longer than the hours they actually needed to work to get a bit of free time.
The findings also show stay-at-home mums are twice as likely to feel guilty about using childcare than their working class counterparts.
Commenting on the findings, Family psychologist and parenting expert, Dr Pat Spungin, said:
'Mums certainly shouldn't feel bad about enlisting some support so they can take some time out for themselves. Everyone jokes about the 'terrible twos' but for many mums, the pre-school years can be incredibly stressful - especially if you are a stay-at-home mum without the relative respite of a job to go to.
'Motherhood is a full time job. Past generations would have had extended family to call on to share the load, but these days many mums live miles apart from their extended families and so they have to rely on professionals if they want a break.'
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