Parents spend more time taking care of the household chores than they do playing with their children, a study has found.
Day-to-day admin tasks and cleaning jobs mean parents are struggling to get quality time with their children, but many admit that ignoring the chores leaves them feeling too stressed.
More than three quarters even said they need to completely leave the house in order to really make the most of time with their little ones.
And a worrying 83 per cent have days where household chores and other commitments leave them feeling like they haven’t spent any real time with their children at all.
The study, a study by bedding giant, Slumberdown, found the average parent spends almost four hours a day – the equivalent of more than 59 full days a year – completing household chores. That’s over two months every year.
In comparison, just three hours and 28 minutes a week, or 52 days a year, is spent enjoying time with their children.
Long working hours, busy diaries, social calendars and children preferring to watch TV were also blamed for getting in the way of family time.
Sally Hotchin, Brand Manager at Slumberdown, said: “Family lives are becoming busier than ever, and unfortunately this means the quality time we get to spend with our children is decreasing.
“No-one likes to have an untidy house or chores piling up but it seems this is getting in the way of us having fun with our partners and children.
“Ignoring the chores can be a simple solution for some, but this can end up adding to the stress and ruining the time you do have together.
“That’s why at Slumberdown we are on a mission to help mums make the most of their time with their kids. So mums can focus on being a partner in crime to their children and put the housework to one side every now and again.”
The study of 2,000 parents found 88 per cent feel they spend a large chunk of their time on household chores.
And 79 per cent feel like these daily tasks get in the way of spending quality time with their family.
As a result, 86 per cent of parents wish they had more time to spend with their children away from the distraction of the household chores.
More than four in ten even said their children had made comments or complained about the time they spend cleaning the house rather than playing with them.
But eight in ten say they would need to ignore the cleaning or household jobs in order to have enough time with their children, although 71 per cent say they find it difficult to leave the chores to pile up.
And it is mum who misses out the most with 65 per cent saying most of the household chores are her responsibility.
The least liked chore is ironing with 40 per cent of mums agreeing that this was the job they wish they could ignore, closely followed by cleaning the bathroom (33%) and cleaning the kitchen (20%).
Three quarters have even resorted to encouraging their children to clean with them to spend time together and get the chores done at the same time.
Almost four in ten have considered, or already have hired a cleaner to try and lighten the load.
Sally Hotchin from Slumberdown added: “We know how much parents, and particularly mums, would love to spend more time having fun with their kids.
“This is why we want to empower parents to get that time back with their children, because life’s what you make it.
“We’ve come up with a whole load of ingenious ideas for games you can play with the kids without leaving the comfort of your own home.
“We are also running a national competition to win your house work done for a year, giving one lucky winner more time for fun.”
For more inspiration or to enter the competition visit: Slumberdown
Top ten things that get in the way of quality time with your children
1. Household chores
2. Long working hours
3. School timetables
4. Children’s homework
5. The children would prefer to play computer games
6. Everyone in the family is too busy on computers/phones/tablets
7. The children would rather watch TV
8. Anti-social working hours
9. Children’s extra-curricular activities
10. The children would rather go to their friend’s houses
Top ten most hated household chores
2. Cleaning the bathroom
3. Cleaning the kitchen
4. Polishing and dusting
6. Changing bed sheets/ towels etc
8. Cleaning the car
10. Sewing/mending clothes