The study, which looked into the daily lives of 2,000 moms and dads, showed that parents spent about 18 hours on average per week taking care of the kids. About 24% of the respondents reported spending more than 30 hours per week caring for the kids in addition to other responsibilities.
On a daily basis, 32% of parents said they don't stop working until 8:00 at night (quite conservative, if you ask not just us but our moms on Parent Chat and Smart Parenting Village).
If you add up those number of hours, it's no wonder little is left for me-time — so much so that the survey respondents had to admit they sometimes hide from their own children to carve out space (sounds about right).
Experts warn about the importance of self-care, saying that failure to do so could lead to parental burnout. In another survey conducted by Belgian researchers, 12% of the 2,000+ parents surveyed had high-level parental burnout, which is characterized by exhaustion, emotional detachment, and inefficacy. When you reach this stage, it's so easy to lose your temper and take out your frustrations on someone else, such as your partner or the kids. But we probably already know that.
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So you see, caring for yourself is not a luxury but a necessity. And, with the findings about the very limited time one actually has to recharge and unwind, me-time becomes all the more imperative.