Lockdown Life: Exhausted Parents Don’t Get Minute To Relax Until Nearly 9 P.M., Survey Finds

LONDON — What time do you relax and unwind each day? Most adults are able to kick their feet back around five or six in the afternoon, but a new survey finds that parents have essentially lost all of their R&R time thanks to COVID-19. On average, exhausted moms and dads can’t relax these days until 8:39 PM.

In all, 2,000 British parents were surveyed for the research. They were asked how the coronavirus and subsequent school closures and lockdowns have impacted their day-to-day life. Life as a parent has always been hectic, but between entertaining and teaching their now home schooled kids, household chores, and working from home, parents can hardly catch their breath these days.

Among the most frequently cited tasks blocking mom and dad from the couch were cleaning the kitchen, making sure the kids are in bed on time, and cooking meals. Surprisingly, one in six respondents even said they use their free time to clean even more. A parent’s work is never done.

The research, which was commissioned by Plenty, also noted many parents are employing new strategies in hopes of freeing up some more time. In all, 44% are trying out meal planning and 29% have started pre-planning their kids’ outfits — for the following week.

Nearly a quarter said that a family activity log has been helpful in terms of keeping track of daily chores.

“Every parent knows that raising kids can be chaotic – especially during the day. This is even more so at the moment, as many parents are juggling work – including working from home in many cases – with having to look after the children without the usual childcare and school schedules,” comments Plenty spokesperson Leanne McLeod in a statement.

Over three in four (76%) parents said they feel like a circus clown trying to juggle all of their daily tasks, and another 86% called their current life a “balancing act.”


Most respondents said they feel most stressed and busy just before noon (11:54 AM) most days. As far as what is stressing moms and dads out the most, financial concerns (55%) were the top answer, followed by keeping the house clean (45%), insomnia (39%), and constantly cleaning up after their kids (37%).

Cleanliness is key to relaxation for most parents; close to 80% said they can’t unwind when their home is a mess.

On average, parents spend 43 minutes each day tidying up. To that end, 77% are always on the lookout for new cleaning products that can make cleaning faster and easier. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 78% of female respondents said they do most of the cleaning around the house, while only 35% of surveyed dads said the same.

The survey was conducted by OnePoll.

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John Anderer

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