If the general hustle and bustle of life is making you feel disconnected from your family, then you’re really not alone, according to a new study.
The other morning, I managed to change my daughter’s dirty nappy (twice) – with crap all up her back, again – bathe her (twice – because of that double dirty bottom), dry and then re-dress her, and get her back into bed, all before 6am.
I lay there shortly afterward and realised that I had managed to complete these not-so-easy-tasks with relative ease on so-called auto-pilot – or auto-parent as it is being referred to – undertaking these crucial family tasks without putting too much thought into it.
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Clearly, I’m not on my own as 8 out of 10 parents have confessed that they too feel like they are on autopilot most days. The research has been carried out by the folks at Dorset Cereals (you, know, the posh breakfast you can get down Waitrose), who polled 2,000 mums and dads about their daily routines.
They discovered that modern mums and dads spend an average of 14.5 and 10 hours respectively per day completing tasks for the family. Add on the eight-hour work day, plus the commute, eating time etc. and you’re left with under six hours’ kip.
It’s no wonder then, that the research showed 71% of parents feel disconnected from their family due to their hectic lives.
It also showed that we undertake a whopping 22 household tasks BEFORE we leave the house each day – the most stressful of them is breakfast, with over half of those asked saying that it was the thing they least looked forward to every day.
Thankfully, my little one is just six weeks old, so the breakfast routine is limited to breast milk still, but I dread the day when the most important meal of the day becomes a war zone.
Here are the top ten task us mums and dads do without the blink of an eye each morning.
- Make the beds – men 35%, 60%
- Pick up dirty clothes and put them in the washing – men 33%, women 58%
- Get the kids breakfast – men 28%, women 49%
- Pack the school bags – men 18%, women 34%
- Clean the loo after your partner/kids have used it – men 18%, 38%
- Make packed lunches/fill water bottles – men 28%, women 46%
- Organise social stuff for kids – men 11%, women 21%
- Organise social arrangements for you and your partner – men 15%, women 18%
- Unload the dishwasher – men 25%, women%
- Put a clean toilet roll on the holder – men 28%, women 46%
Anyway, the folks at Dorset Cereals are teaming with Molly Maids to donate over 100 hours of cleaning time to ease some of the daily burdens and help families come together. It’ll take more than posh cereals to sort that the utter carnage of breakfast time, mind you.