Parents Do So Damn Much Getting Kids Ready For School It's Equal To An Extra Work Day

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Willie B. Thomas/Getty

Parents put in the equivalent of a full work day each week just getting their kids ready in the morning

Do you ever get to the finish line on another exhausting circus of a morning getting the kids ready for school and feel like you lived an entire day in those few hours? As it turns out, you’re not dreaming — a new survey of parents found that all those joyful hours spent begging tiny people to put on clothes, brush teeth, and for the love of god, put on shoes adds up to a whole extra work day each week.

Research including the replies of 2,000 parents concludes that all the extra shit we do every single morning to get our kids (mostly) washed, dressed, and out the door is equivalent to a day’s work at a paying job. Yup. It’s that rough out there, moms and dads.

The questions were asked and research compiled by Kellogg’s, and what they found probably won’t surprise most parents. For example, by the end of the school year (which is so close, praise) parents will have asked their kids to hurry up almost 540 times. Feels about right, huh?

Overall, the average parent puts in a good 10 hours over the course of the week while doing all kinds of tasks before even clocking in at their paying gig. They include brushing their own teeth and getting themselves dressed, helping or supervising their kids in doing the same, commuting, making breakfast, packing lunches and school bags, unloading the dishwasher — it literally feels endless.

The actual total number of average tasks a parent does each morning is 43.

The survey also brought us the annoyingly real stat that in the course of an average school week, kids will mess up their clothes with spills twice while getting ready for the day. I for one am shocked.

Researchers found that in order to accomplish this entire day’s worth of work in just an hour or two, the average parent of school age kids is up and moving by 6am (5:30 over here!) and that’s because aside from physically getting a whole household dressed, washed, and fed, parents are also laying groundwork for the entire day ahead. Defrosting food for dinner, signing permission slips, making daycare arrangements, paying bills, and trying to squeeze in a workout are all items on that 43-job list that parents attempt to fit in at literal dawn.

No wonder we’re all exhausted by 11am.

“We wanted to shed light on what real mornings are like for parents before their kids go off to school,” said Jeremy Harper, Vice President of Marketing, U.S. Snacks, at Kellogg. Um, YEAH, that list is real AF. My brain’s about to explode just thinking about tomorrow morning and it’s a good 18 hours away.

So we know what “real mornings” are like, but will this knowledge change anything? I’d like to think I could turn over a new leaf and get more done the evening before so my mornings with the kids are less crazed, but sadly, my evenings are just as packed with their sporting events, my own errands, cleaning the house, and cooking that food I defrosted at 6am for a quick dinner only half of us have time to eat.

We can’t win or get a break, but at least if we know we’re totally overburdened, we can make sure to split things as evenly as possible with a partner (if we have one) and to maybe get the kids to chip in. That way everyone can breathe a little — and maybe even sleep in once in awhile.

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