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It’s official: the School Run is a job

1
I wonder if any of this sounds familiar to parents of school-age children. Before the school run, you shout ‘Put your socks/pants/shoes on!’ about a million times. You load yourself up with their coats, bags and your stuff and the casual walk always transcends into a frantic run. Yes, you are indeed a school run parent. It’s brutal, it’s challenging and on some particularly difficult days, I want to high five the other parents in the playground when the little darlings have made it into the classroom on time. Well, pat yourself on the back,
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because research says that the school run is equivalent to a job. I bloody well knew it.
The School Run research
Finally, there is evidence to show that mornings and the school run are flipping hard work (official term). A study by Kellogg’s of 2,000 working parents reported that millions of us do an extra days’ work a week due to the manic morning marathon. Furthermore, the study found that, on average, working parents complete 43 tasks before they start work. That is both astounding and frightening. 43 tasks! What are those jobs, crammed into a
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few hours, doing to our stress levels?
What are these morning tasks?
These jobs include the obvious such as making breakfast and lunch for children, putting a wash on, packing school bags, checking homework and taking food out of the freezer for the evening meal. Yes, I can relate to those. Strangely it makes me feel better that many others are also racing around at a million miles per hour before the school run and it’s not just me. Admittedly, some of these could be done the night before, and with good intentions, I try to do that. But
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forgetfulness, tiredness and the just can’t be bothered attitude often force prevention and add to my morning chores.
Some of the other tasks
I said earlier that the average number of jobs parents do before they leave for the school run or work is 43. I count myself lucky that some of the other reported tasks don’t apply to me. Like feeding a pet or taking a dog for a walk. Doing girl’s hair in plaits, or whatever style they require. Watering plants, as if. Paying bills or styling my hair. Wowsers, if I’m the average parent, then I just brought
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my daily morning tasks down to a measly 37. Easy peasy.
Rise and shine
Regardless of whether you work or not, the school run is tough. There are temperamental children to nag, schedules to adhere to and unpredictable weather. The average parent gets up at 6 am to ensure they complete all their additional tasks before they leave the house in the morning. A staggering third of parents in the study woke at 5.30 am. Eugh, makes me shiver even to consider that hour. I am more of a 7 am crammer. The boys are on a military routine with no option of change.
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Breakfast must be served at a specific time. Yes, sir. It’s stringent. But it works and I’ll take that.
What does this mean?
What it means is that all this extra work we’re doing to be a parent before the school run adds up to an average of ten hours a week. It’s more than a usual day at work. It’s ludicrous and unsustainable. Maybe we can help ourselves by challenging what we REALLY need to do each morning. For me, it’s having my breakfast later in the morning and spending very little time getting myself ready. I know I could do more school
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prep the night before. Or perhaps I need to delegate more to my husband. Hmmm.

Only you know how malleable your morning schedule is. If getting up at 6 am allows you to prepare you and the kids for the day ahead, who am I to challenge it? We do need to consider what tasks we do in the mornings that could be carried out another time. Perhaps they’re not necessary at all. Regardless of these suggestions, you’ll still hear me hollering ‘We’re going to be laaaaaaaate!’ most mornings wherever you are in the world. No one’s changing that task.

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The school run

- 31 Jan 20

I wonder if any of this sounds familiar to parents of school-age children. Before the school run, you shout ‘Put your socks/pants/shoes on!’ about a million times. You load yourself up with their coats, bags and your stuff and the casual walk always transcends into a frantic run. Yes, you are indeed a school run parent. It’s brutal, it’s challenging and on some particularly difficult days, I want to high five the other parents in the playground when the little darlings have made it into the classroom on time. Well, pat yourself on the back, because research says that the school run is equivalent to a job. I bloody well knew it.

The School Run research

Finally, there is evidence to show that mornings and the school run are flipping hard work (official term). A study by Kellogg’s of 2,000 working parents reported that millions of us do an extra days’ work a week due to the manic morning marathon. Furthermore, the study found that, on average, working parents complete 43 tasks before they start work. That is both astounding and frightening. 43 tasks! What are those jobs, crammed into a few hours, doing to our stress levels?

What are these morning tasks?

These jobs include the obvious such as making breakfast and lunch for children, putting a wash on, packing school bags, checking homework and taking food out of the freezer for the evening meal. Yes, I can relate to those. Strangely it makes me feel better that many others are also racing around at a million miles per hour before the school run and it’s not just me. Admittedly, some of these could be done the night before, and with good intentions, I try to do that. But forgetfulness, tiredness and the just can’t be bothered attitude often force prevention and add to my morning chores.

Some of the other tasks

I said earlier that the average number of jobs parents do before they leave for the school run or work is 43. I count myself lucky that some of the other reported tasks don’t apply to me. Like feeding a pet or taking a dog for a walk. Doing girl’s hair in plaits, or whatever style they require. Watering plants, as if. Paying bills or styling my hair. Wowsers, if I’m the average parent, then I just brought my daily morning tasks down to a measly 37. Easy peasy.

Rise and shine

Regardless of whether you work or not, the school run is tough. There are temperamental children to nag, schedules to adhere to and unpredictable weather. The average parent gets up at 6 am to ensure they complete all their additional tasks before they leave the house in the morning. A staggering third of parents in the study woke at 5.30 am. Eugh, makes me shiver even to consider that hour. I am more of a 7 am crammer. The boys are on a military routine with no option of change. Breakfast must be served at a specific time. Yes, sir. It’s stringent. But it works and I’ll take that.

What does this mean?

What it means is that all this extra work we’re doing to be a parent before the school run adds up to an average of ten hours a week. It’s more than a usual day at work. It’s ludicrous and unsustainable. Maybe we can help ourselves by challenging what we REALLY need to do each morning. For me, it’s having my breakfast later in the morning and spending very little time getting myself ready. I know I could do more school prep the night before. Or perhaps I need to delegate more to my husband. Hmmm.

Only you know how malleable your morning schedule is. If getting up at 6 am allows you to prepare you and the kids for the day ahead, who am I to challenge it? We do need to consider what tasks we do in the mornings that could be carried out another time. Perhaps they’re not necessary at all. Regardless of these suggestions, you’ll still hear me hollering ‘We’re going to be laaaaaaaate!’ most mornings wherever you are in the world. No one’s changing that task.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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