8.39pm is the time when busy parents relax

The time which parents finally get to relax at night.The time which parents finally get to relax at night.
The time which parents finally get to relax at night.

Parents are so busy juggling work, household chores and childcare that they don’t manage to relax until late in the evening.

Cooking meals, cleaning the kitchen, putting a wash on and putting their children to bed mean that mums and dads often don’t sit down until 8.39pm.

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A study of 2,000 parents found that one in six of those spend their downtime doing more cleaning.

The study, by household towel brand, Plenty, also found that in a bid to get more time to unwind, 44 per cent of parents are turning to meal planning while 29 per cent pre-plan their children’s outfits.

Activity log

Almost a quarter have started a family activity log to keep track of everything that needs to be done.

Leanne McLeod, from Plenty, said: “Every parent knows that raising kids can be chaotic – especially during the day.

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“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.

Efficiency hacks

“Time-saving and efficiency hacks can go a long way to helping parents through this, so that they don’t have to skimp on their much-needed me time and hopefully mean they get the opportunity to relax before bedtime.

Parents’ stress levels were found to peak in the middle of a busy day, at 11.54am, with money and financial issues the most likely cause of this strain for 55 per cent.

Other top stress factors include keeping the house clean (45 per cent), not getting enough sleep (39 per cent) and cleaning up after the kids (37 per cent).

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Almost eight in 10 also admitted to finding it hard to relax in a living environment that wasn’t clean and tidy.

Cleaning-up time

Consequently, the typical parent dedicates an average of 43 minutes each evening to cleaning their home before they begin to think about putting their feet up. However, 78 per cent of women say they do the majority compared to 35 per cent of men.

Television presenter Cherry Healey has joined forces with Plenty to support parents. She said: “Parenting is a balancing act and even though the routine is the same at the moment, each day feels different - some are harder than others.”

Cherry, an author and podcaster, has come up with handy hints for mums and dads. She said: “These tips are small changes that have made a big difference for us as a family and whilst finding the time and motivation can be difficult right now, there are lots of ways we can all help each other through this.

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Cherry's top tips

* Keep talking to each other (children included) about how you’re feeling;* Dedicating mornings to learning and home-school activities helps structure the day, followed by a communal lunch and then playtime;* If your children are bored, suggest a competitive game such as a timed obstacle course with a little prize;* Get the children involved in food prep - cooking and baking can be fun;* Use any materials you might have in the recycling to get crafty and be creative with playtime.

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