Everything Parents Do To Get Their Kids Ready In The Morning Equals Out To An Extra Work Day

Mornings already suck, and things only get worse when you become a parent. You’re constantly exhausted and can hardly get yourself together. On top of turning yourself into a functioning human being, you also have to try and turn your kids functioning humans too.

Making sure the entire house gets out of bed, gets dressed, has breakfast, and does all the other little things can add up to a lot of time. In fact, one study showed it’s basically an extra workday. No wonder parents feel like they’re working overtime.

Everything Parents Do In The Morning Equals An Extra Work Day

Alfie Dingley watches a video on a tablet as his parents Drew Dingley and Hannah Deacon prepare lunch at their home
Jack Taylor/Getty Images
Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Yep, a full extra work day. A new study that surveyed 2,000 working parents showed they have to complete an average of 43 tasks in the morning. Before they can even start the normal 9-5 grind, parents put in a daunting amount of time in the morning getting their lives together.

The study estimated that all the extra morning tasks add 10 hours and 15 minutes of work to their week. That means you’re working six days a week, and being a parent on top of that.

The Daily Checklist Is Daunting

Kennedy Schram, 8, gets help from her mother Katrina and dad Cary during their morning routine
Lewis Geyer/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera/Getty Images
Lewis Geyer/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera/Getty Images

The daily checklist that most working parents go through before they even get to work is, well, exhausting. Parents have to get the kids up and dressed, make breakfast, pack lunch, make the bed, load the dishes, prepare dinner, put away toys, and organize childcare or after-school clubs. And that’s just what they do for kids.

That doesn’t include having to shower, get dressed, eat, and prepare for your own workday. Oh, and if you have pets, then you have to do all those extra tasks for them too.

Working Parents Are Feeling Exhausted By 11 A.M.

The Wigneys in an early morning rush to get the kids to school and off to work
Fairfax Media/Getty Images
Fairfax Media/Getty Images

The parents surveyed said that on average, they get out of bed at 6:01 AM to start the say. One-third of parents even admit to getting up before 5:30 AM to tackle the day. With the early morning hours and all those daunting tasks, most working parents said they felt they have completed a full day’s work by 11 AM.

When you think about it, it makes sense. If you’re up at 6:00 AM you’re already five hours into your day by lunchtime.

It’s Not All Terrible Though

morning routine at their Erie home Tuesday morning
Lewis Geyer/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera/Getty Images
Lewis Geyer/Digital First Media/Boulder Daily Camera/Getty Images

This might all sound pretty awful but there is a silver lining. Nutritionist Laura Clark estimates that all those morning tasks can burn over 300 calories. That means if you had ‘hitting the gym’ on your morning checklist you can take that off and save some time.

Science has also proven that people are generally more productive in the morning, especially between the hour of 7 AM and 8 AM. It’s really rough out there for the parents of the world.

Modern Day Parents Need To Find A Balance

ready for school before dropping them off at school on Friday morning
The Washington Post/Getty Images
The Washington Post/Getty Images

When all those tasks add up, you end up with some seriously busy parents. The same study estimated 42% of working parents end up skipping breakfast because it’s so low on the priority list in the mornings. When they finally do get to work, they find themselves unproductive and often end up staying up to an hour late to get things done.

While doing all these tasks isn’t easy, what’s most important is that working parents try to find balance in their lives.