Even Science Agrees That Dinner, Bath, And Bedtime Are The Worst Parts Of Parenting
Any parent can tell you that the worst and most stressful time of day with your kids is the evenings. At least this is true of children above toddler-age. Trying to cram in dinner, baths and bedtime all while your child is possibly cranky and tired out from a long day, is basically a recipe for disaster. I know it’s certainly my least favorite time of day to be a parent and now, science has validated my feelings with this survey confirming it.
From a survey conducted by Privilege Insurance of 1000 parents, 5:08 pm is precisely the worst time of day to be a parent. In my experience, that’s about right. The hungry meltdowns start, you’re trying to get dinner going, everyone needs baths and possibly, homework help — it can be a real strain:
It calculated that parents spend a total of 177 days – almost six months – of their lives feeding and bathing their children, as well as battling to put them to bed before they reach the age of 10.
Wow. Well, that certainly puts it into perspective. It’s not surprising, though. We spend a few hours every day trying to accomplish these tasks. It’s going to add up. The survey states that instructions need repeating up to 30 times during what is on average a 70-minute period of dinner, baths and bedtime. Again, no surprise there. I recently had a complete freak-out on my kids over the fact that I repeat directives to them so many times before they listen. It’s an incredible time-suck and also, incredibly frustrating.
Many parents stated that dinner was tough because of picky eaters and that bedtime could take up to an hour with kids taking too long to finally fall asleep. It then touched on homework and extracurriculars, which dominates the evenings in my household:
Additional stress is piled on by the school run, homework, the weekly shop, eating out and “leisure” time, with family days out entailing long car journeys and back seat squabbles.
That’s family life in a nutshell. It can be so hard feeling like you are being pulled in a million different directions. It’s no wonder that most parents can agree that evenings are The Worst. As far as ways to make it easier? Of course, you need to be organized. I’m still working on that. The whiteboard with dry-erase markers hanging in the kitchen helps me keep track of the kids practices and games as well as events at school. Our days are like snowflakes — no two are ever the same — and I know we’re not alone there. It can be hard to establish evening routines in a busy family with everyone off in a different direction. It definitely adds to the stress. I guess this is just one of those things without a concrete solution to fix it but I take comfort in knowing I’m not the only one tearing my hair out and questioning my decision to have kids at all (not really…at least most of the time) when those difficult evenings roll around.