Feel like you've done a full day's work just getting the kids to school? That's because you have

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Every morning I wake up. I don my battle armour and head to the inevitable war.

Battle commences in the bathroom, migrates to the kitchen and culminates in blood curdling screams by the front door – usually mine. It's the "getting ready for school" battle and I'm yet to win.

All over the world, millions of parents are doing the same. We spend hours a week coaxing resistant children to get ready. To shower, to dress, to clean their teeth.

We argue the point that "we have to do this EVERY day", but it falls on deaf ears. No one can choose what they want for breakfast. Siblings fight over the largest piece of toast and EVERY SINGLE THING we need is lost.

The treasure hunt for hats, shoes and homework starts - only minus the clues and any form of valuable reward - and then I start clean up round 35.

I mimic the motions of a Dyson on high speed, picking up all manner of debris as I whip through the house. I pick up dead socks and disregarded toys. I make beds and put on a wash. I mentally prepare a to do list before writing it down.

My stomach grumbles, but there's rarely time to eat. I go into battle fuelled by only toast crusts or a handful of fruit loops. Survival is about beating the clock not about food.

Quite frankly, it's bloody exhausting.

By the time I drop the kids off at the gate, I feel like I've done a whole day's work. And, according to new research, it seems my feelings are right.


The study, conducted by Kelloggs, found that on average parents are undertaking 43 tasks per day before they even leave the house.

Tasks included packing the kids' bags and lunches, making breakfast, finishing off homework and making the beds. And then there are all the tasks that aren't directly child related like unpacking the dishwasher, wiping down the kitchen, defrosting dinner and feeding the pets.

The study highlighted that parents need to remind their kids at least twice in the morning to get dressed, brush their teeth, or put on their shoes and, by the end of the year, parents will have asked their kids to hurry up almost 540 times.

Similarly, it found that time constraints meant that 43 per cent of women put on their makeup during the morning commute and 52 per cent of men shave. Likewise, parents skip around two breakfasts a week because their children make them late.

While the study offers no resolutions to the problem, it shows that we're all fighting the same battle and I can feel justified in saying I'm constantly tired.

The mental, emotional and physical exhaustion is real. The proof of the hours of extra exertion is right there.

So, will going into battle tomorrow make it any easier with the knowledge that I've allies out there in the field? Highly unlikely!

But at least when I see another zombified mum at drop off, we can bond. We can at least say we've won today's battle even if we're yet to win the war.