By Astrid Hall

Hard-working parents don’t get to finally put their feet up until 8:53pm, a study found.

The incredible extent to which running a home leaves mums and dads with very little ‘down time’ was revealed by a study of 2,000 parents.

Parents get just 48 minutes of time to themselves a day.

And eight in ten wish they had more spare time.

One in ten said it was gone 10pm by the time they finally managed to relax after the stresses and strains of managing everything family life throws at them.

Two thirds of parents’ evenings are frittered away preparing and cooking dinner.

And one third agreed dinnertime is one of the most stressful periods of the day.

Claire Davenport, CEO of recipe kit delivery service HelloFresh, which commissioned the study to launch its new Family Box, said: “Family life has become a juggling act. Where more parents are working to make ends meet, evenings are no longer a time to relax and unwind.

“We hate to think of so many parents finding dinnertimes stressful and we are always looking to provide solutions to help them make more time for themselves.

“Evenings used to be an opportunity for families to come together, but with so much to get done mums and dads are left with a fraction of time to make dinner into a family event.”

Within the top 20 list of things busying parents in the evening are buying food for dinner, washing clothes and helping the kids with homework.

And deciding what to have for dinner is absorbing time for over a quarter of parents, and stirring anxiety in one sixth of mums and dads.

Nearly one third of parents are kept busy trying to get the family to sit down to dinner, with trying to get kids to finish their dinner consuming time for 28 per cent.

Three quarters of mums and dads struggle to get their kids to try new foods, cooking something their family don’t like once a week.

Nearly half of parents are planning meals for the week in a bid to save time over deciding what to eat, which is a regular struggle for nearly two thirds of mums and dads.

Arguments with their partner is triggering stress levels in one fifth of parents where arguments over who will cook dinner being a common occurrence for one quarter of couples.

Mums and dads are spending the equivalent of eight hours and 22 minutes a week on dinnertime; from choosing what to eat to doing the washing up.

Claire Davenport continued: “To take the hassle and worry out of meal planning and prep we’ve launched our new Family Box, giving parents more time back to spend on the things that really matter.

“The new range of recipes in our new family box have been rigorously tested by parents and kids with clever twists so the whole family will enjoy them.

“We want to help parents #StressLess and make family meal times more enjoyable, delicious, nutritious but most importantly totally fuss and hassle-free.”

Six out of ten parents admit they wish they had more time to themselves, with the children being the top reason for having a finite amount of ‘me time’.

Long working hours, money worries and ferrying the children around are some of the reasons mums and dads are finding themselves with little to no ‘down time’.

Just 12 per cent enjoy taking part in their own hobbies or sports in the evening, with six in ten saying they get very minimal time to themselves.


1. Preparing and cooking dinner
2. Doing the dishes
3. Getting the kids to bed
4. Cleaning
5. Bathing the kids
6. Helping the kids with homework
7. Washing/ironing clothes
8. Getting the family to sit down to dinner at the same time
9. Household admin
10. Feeding the pets/Walking the dog
11. Trying to get the kids to finish their dinner
12. Deciding with the family on what to have for dinner
13. Play games with the kids
14. Prepare lunches for the next day
15. Ferrying kids to and from school, clubs and friend’s houses
16. Buying food for dinner
17. Settling arguments within the family
18. Replying to work emails
19. Take part in your own hobby or sport
20. Finishing off work


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