Feel like you pretty much live in your car?
New research confirms parents are spending a crazy amount of time on the road driving back and forth from school, sporting events and sleepovers. And all for the sake of our social and active kids!
Just how many hours are we racking up behind the wheel with the kids in tow?
An average of eight hours a week. Yep, eight hours! That’s a whole working day!
Spread that out over the year and we’re spending about 416 hours a year on the road, driving our active (and sociable) kids around while we listen to them complain about being hungry or the sun being in their eyes.
This is why mums NEED coffee. And wine.
Have kids. Become their personal chauffeur.
According to a national survey from Allianz Australia, 61% of parents spend the equivalent of a full day’s work on taxi duty. But without the pay of course.
And some mums are clocking up even more hours. 12% of mums admit to spending more than nine hours per week on the road. And there’s no rest on the weekends either with 44% of parents reportedly spending up to six hours driving the kids around every Saturday and Sunday.
What is going on? Can we blame the traffic? Or the jam packed schedules of our kids?
Driving our kids is driving us crazy
According to Sydney mum-of-two, Maria, we have our kids’ schedules to blame for our excessive driving needs.
Maria spends upwards of 18 hours every week driving her two children, Amelia and Vince, to school, preschool, swimming lessons, soccer, gymnastics and dance.
These insane hours behind the wheel are taking its toll on Maria and countless other mums on the road.
“With working nearly a full week and spending so much time driving my kids around to activities, my life is a constant juggle to keep everything afloat. I do find my schedule exhausting emotionally, mentally and physically,” Maria tells Mum Central.
Driving can be stressful, especially in peak traffic and with kids in the back seats fighting over who gets control of the heater.
Keep your cool and bring the coffee
So what can we do, mums? Can we go on strike and refuse to drive the kids anywhere anymore? Can we shift the duty to someone else, like an Uber driver? Probably not.
For Maria, the answer lies in organisation and communication.
“In our house, everything is packed the night before so we can get out the door in the morning,” Maria explains.
Maria and her husband, Albert always talk about the day’s activities so both are in control and aware of who needs to be where.
Allianz Australia suggests looking into a mum taxi carpool and sharing the load with other children-chauffeuring parents. Or we could always limit the number of activities our kids do.
How many hours are you clocking up on your kids’ weekly driving needs? Looking for more proof that parenting is full-on? Check out this study that confirms mums work the equivalent of two full time jobs.