Why the stay-at-home life isn’t as relaxing as people think

I finally get to relax at about 11pm as my head hits the pillow.

Then suddenly it is 6am and my alarm is going off ready for another day.

I am exhausted. 

Toddler on my hip, six hundred bags to carry at once and my youngest pulling on my coat as she tries to keep up with me. Always racing around at one hundred miles an hour, too many things to get done and never enough time to do them all.

I am a busy mum. 

Friends often joke that I am lucky that I get to stay at home all day, that I must love being able to sit and relax while their days are spent at work and down the gym. I know they don’t mean it really but it does get me wondering how they view my days compared to their own.

I sometimes wish I could sit at a desk all day so I could have a break!

New research from Graco has revealed that stay-at-home parents are actually more active than office workers. It shows that stay-at-home parents spend an average of nearly eight hours a day on their feet – not the relaxing feet-up ideal that people conjure up in their minds!

That is equivalent to walking nearly a whole marathon (20.5 miles) each week.

In comparison, office workers who may even go to the gym actually lead a much more sedentary lifestyle, spending an average of just five hours a day on their feet with nearly half of those polled (46%) spending less than four hours a day up and about.

As well as being on their feet all day, research shows that parents report much less sleep compared to their work days, with a mean average of 6.3 hours per night compared to six hours solid from their office counterparts. I can definitely relate, with three kids taking turns to wake me up every night!

Graco sent me a Fitbit to track my steps and measure my sleep patterns – so how did I get on?

As you can see, most of my steps are done between 9 and 10 when I will pop to town to get things done. It then spikes around 3pm when I will go to get Gracie from school. It is so interesting to see how much I actually do as although I feel exhausted every night, it is good to see that there is a genuine reason for that.

Over the last few months, Wills has improved sleep-wise and so my quality of sleep has definitely improved. I still stir quite a bit and on this night I think I got just under 7 hours which isn’t bad at all actually.

The problem is mainly those days when the children wake up with poorly tummies or if Wills starts to teeth again. Those nights I barely get any rest at all!

Top tips for an efficient daily routine

Tanith Carey, a parent and author of Parent Hacks, has a few top tips for making the most of your day so that you can hopefully have more time for ‘me time’.

Free your hands. Use a backpack instead of a bulky handbag to free up your hands and spread the weight across your back.

Choose a lightweight stroller. Give yourself the ultimate freedom on a day-to-day basis or on a day trip with a lightweight stroller. At 3.6kg, the Graco Featherweight is about the weight of an average new-born baby, and suitable from birth to 15kgs or approximately three years.

Think ahead. Don’t overload yourself with unnecessary items. Take a photo of your fridge before you leave so you only buy the essentials.

Organise. Group errands together so you cut down on the time spent on your feet going here there and everywhere. Choose a supermarket, or shopping area, that has other services you need, like dry-cleaning, shoe-mending, a pharmacy and postal services.

– Go shopping at the quietest times.  With young children, you’re more likely to be up earlier than the rest of the adult population. Or better still, if you have a partner who’s at home, go at night when the kids are in bed to avoid stress, tantrums and bored kids.

Taking on board Tanith’s tips…

I have been trying to keep myself organised, making lists of errands that need doing and grouping them together to get done during the time that Lils is at nursery. It is such a small window but I have been making better use of the time by getting things done when I only have Wills to worry about.

Taking advantage of quiet times is such a great tip and one that I have been putting into practice early Saturday mornings. I hate not being able to find parent parking bays, but if I go shopping at 8am on a Saturday there are always bays available.

We live in a particularly hilly town and so having a lightweight stroller is invaluable when marching up and down from school drop-offs. The Graco Featherweight is perfect for quick trips up and down the hill and the fact that despite its size, it comes with a shopping basket, is great!

The Featherweight is available Chilli Red and Black Grey and also comes with additional features including a zip-removable seat pad that is machine washable and adjustable canopy with sun visor. Further dedicated accessories can be added (kit sold separately) including a rain cover and footmuff to keep baby dry and warm.

I will be sharing a full review soon so keep an eye out for that!

This post is written in collaboration with Graco as part of my ambassadorship.

 


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