Parents spend more time on household chores than playing with their children

Parents spend more time on household chores than they do playing with their children, a study has found.

Friday, 27th January 2017, 12:13 pm
Updated Friday, 27th January 2017, 12:16 pm

The survey by bedding giant Slumberdown found the average parent spends almost four hours a day - more than 59 full days a year - on housework.

In comparison, just three hours and 28 minutes a week, or 52 days a year, is spent enjoying time with their children.

The survey of 2,000 parents by bedding giant Slumberdown, revealed that 83 per cent have days where household chores and other commitments leave them feeling like they haven’t spent any quality time with their children.

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And more than four in ten admitted that their children had commented or complained about the time they spend cleaning the house rather than playing with them.

However, long working hours, busy diaries, social calendars and children preferring to just watch TV were also blamed for getting in the way of family time.

But eight in ten of those asked said they would need to ignore the cleaning or household jobs in order to have enough time with their children - with mothers feeling most put-upon, with 65 per cent saying most of the household chores were their 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.

And almost four in ten have considered, or already have hired a cleaner to try and lighten the load.

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.

“We know how much parents, and particularly mums, would love to spend more time having fun with their kids.”

Top ten things that get in the way of quality time with your children

1. Household chores (50%)

2. Long working hours (38%)

3. School timetables (23%)

4. Children’s homework (23%)

5. The children would prefer to play computer games (23%)

6. Everyone in the family is too busy on computers/phones/tablets (22%)

7. The children would rather watch TV (20%)

8. Anti-social working hours (18%)

9. Children’s extra-curricular activities (18%)

10. The children would rather go to their friend’s houses (14%)

Top ten most hated household chores

1. Ironing (40%)

2. Cleaning the bathroom (33%)

3. Cleaning the kitchen (20%)

4. Polishing and dusting (17%)

5. Gardening (16%)

6. Changing bed sheets/ towels etc. (15%)

7. Cooking (14%)

8. Cleaning the car (13%)

9. Hoovering (12%)

10. Sewing/mending clothes (12%)