By Aleksandra Vayntraub
The average American parent loses nearly 4,000 hours to “brain fog” while raising their child, according to new research.
A study of 2,000 American parents over 30 revealed this breaks down to about 219 hours for every year of parenting.
The average respondent gets so distracted that they lose focus in up to three tasks a day — resulting in a loss of 36 minutes daily.
Six in 10 blamed “the blur” of not getting enough sleep and having low energy as the reason they don’t always properly hydrate (44%), miss meals (33%) and forget birthdays (28%).
Two in five said they rely on their kids’ activities just to keep track of which day of the week it is.
On an average weekday, respondents felt most energized at 11 a.m., but their energy began to crash just three hours later.
Two-thirds said they find their energy levels depleting at the same time each day — 2 p.m.
Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MitoQ , the study also explored the links between energy and productivity for working parents.
Of the 43% of respondents who work from home or in an office, more than one in three (35%) had the “Monday blues,” naming it the most hated day of the week, with 46% saying “it just feels long.”
If you really want a successful meeting, then make sure to avoid scheduling it during lunch time. Working parents said the most unacceptable time to schedule a call or meeting is between 12:30 p.m. and 1:40 p.m., the one time they likely take for themselves during a busy day.
Meetings can be a drain, as the average working parent said they’re capped at three a day before fatigue sets in.
By the time Wednesday arrives, energy levels are so depleted, one in five begin to have trouble recalling details from the start of their week.
To improve their energy or mental focus, half of the respondents turn to coffee and more than one in three rely on energy drinks.
Still, nearly six in 10 (58%) said they sometimes feel like they’ll never feel fully energized again.
“Parents, especially those who are working, are juggling multiple tasks and so don’t always take the time to address their health needs,” said a spokesperson from MitoQ, a cell health company. “They’d like to have more resilience, but they don’t know how to get sustained energy and focus, and therefore often turn to things like coffee to get them through.”
Nearly two-thirds (64%) said they would be more effective at balancing work and parenthood if they had more energy.
With more energy or better mental focus, the average parent would prioritize being more available to have fun with their family (53%) and living a healthier life (49%).
And 46% said they’d participate in hobbies/activities more regularly.
“The benefits of replenishing your energy throughout the week extend beyond the workplace,” the spokesperson added. “With the average parent wasting 219 hours a year, imagine what they could achieve with the energy to power through their tasks.”
THINGS WORKING PARENTS TEND TO FORGET
- To properly hydrate/drink water 44%
- To eat regularly 33%
- Birthdays 28%
- To exercise 26%
- Meetings/call times 25%
- Colleagues’ names 22%
- What day of the week it is 20%
- What time of day it is 19%
- When co-workers are on vacation 18%
- Kids activities 14%
Lack of focus
Losing focus for 12 minutes x 3 times a day
= 36 minutes lost a day, or 13,140 minutes a year (219 hours)18 years of parenting x 219 hours a year = 3,942 hours