British parents get less than one hour to themselves every day, a new study has revealed.
A poll of 2,000 parents found that, on average, the amount of time they have to themselves in a single day is just 48 minutes. For most this does not occur until almost 9pm but one in ten does not get the chance to simply unwind until after 10pm.
Evenings are eaten up by chores such as preparing and cooking dinner, doing the dishes, washing and ironing clothes and preparing the next day’s lunches. Unsurprisingly, dealing with the children is also time consuming. Those who took part in the survey cited helping them with homework, getting them to finish their dinner, playing games with them and making sure they’re bathed and ready for bed as activities which regularly eat into their evenings.
Walking the dog, replying to work emails and taking part in a sport or hobby also made the top 20 things parents claimed kept them busy. As a result, as many as eight in ten parents wish they had more spare time.
The survey was commissioned by online recipe service HelloFresh. CEO Claire Davenport said that family life has “become a juggling act” for many parents as more of them “are working to make ends meet”. Evenings are no longer “an opportunity for families to come together”, she added, because “with so much to get done mums and dads are left with a fraction of time to make dinner into a family event”.
Parents are not the only ones with little down time. A study published earlier this year suggested that schoolchildren were actually busier than their parents. Many children are “over-scheduled” with activities despite the fact that they learn better “when there is not [so] much going on and the child has to entertain themselves” according to child psychologist Dr Sam Wass.