Have you ever sat down and thought about how active you are as a parent on a day to day basis? There’s the chasing around after your children, the nursery/school drop offs, housework, shopping for necessities, and just the constant walking up and down with a new baby to settle them.
Recent research carried out by Graco has revealed how active new parents are compared to office workers. 502 parents and 502 office workers were surveyed. The results found that new parents spent an average of nearly eight hours a day on their feet, with nearly a third spending more than 10 hours on their feet – which is amazingly equivalent to walking nearly a whole marathon each week. This is compared to office workers who spend about five hours on their feet. As a stay at home parent to two little boys I feel like I’m constantly on the go.
Other statistics found in the research includes that 39% of parents only find time to put their feet up once a week or less, with office workers spending on average six hours each day sitting down. The research findings show new parents are truly in non-stop mode, enjoying a relaxing bath on average only once every eight months, having little time for luxuries such as going to the cinema (on average visiting once per year) and going out for drinks (on average once every nine months, or for the whole duration of an average pregnancy).
Research also showed that on a normal day, parents can carry up to 6kg and with the additional weight of a baby to carry this can easily increase to 17.5kg. With our two boys there are always dozens of extra items we need to carry around with us, whether that be drinks and snacks, toys or extra nappies. As I don’t drive I find myself often having the added extra of carrying shopping whilst also juggling the boys.
Graco sent us a FitBit to help monitor our daily routines by calculating the amount of ‘parent miles’ we go through each and everyday. On an average day it was recorded that I’d be walking around 6500-7000 steps and even more on a more chaotic day. Interestingly it also monitored the lack of sleep I’ve been getting, that really isn’t surprising as our six month old still wakes once or twice a night for a feed and has also started teething. The research conducted by Graco also surveyed parents on the amount of sleep they were getting and it was on average 6.3 hours per night (office workers were recorded in excess of these levels).
Tanith Carey, parenting expert and the author of Parent Hacks has shared some extremely useful tips on how to tighten up your daily schedule as a busy parent. Below are a few of my favourites that we have started to use and they have been hugely beneficial:
- Forget bulky handbags which can turn into bottomless pits. Free up your hands whilst pushing a pushchair by wearing a back pack instead.
- Choose one accessible pocket in your bag where – without fail – you ALWAYS put your essentials, such as your debit card, phone and keys when you’re on the move. That way you will avoid panicky moments rooting around to find them – or worrying you’ve left them somewhere.
- Before heading out to the shops with your pushchair, make sure you don’t overload yourself by taking a picture on your phone of the inside of your fridge, so you have an instant visual reminder of what you do and don’t need to buy.
- To give you the ultimate freedom outside the home whether you’re on a day-out, shopping or climbing stairs, choose a lightweight pushchair. At 3.6kg, the Graco Featherweight is about the weight of an average newborn baby, and suitable from birth to 15kgs or approximately 3 years.
- To save on trips collecting missed online deliveries, make friends with your postman and local delivery drivers for the companies you use most. There’s nothing more irritating than narrowly finding the ‘Sorry We Missed You’ card on the doormat and then having to re-arrange delivery, or trudge to a collection point and wait in a queue, with baby or toddler in tow.
- Go shopping at the quietest times – early morning is good. With young children, you’re more likely to be up than the rest of the adult population. Or, now that there are more 24-hour supermarkets, if you have a partner who’s at home, go at night when the kids are in bed to avoid stress, tantrums from bored children, and longer trips.
We’ve put all the above tips into action and they’ve definitely saved us some time and those parenting miles! We’ve been using the Graco Featherweight pushchair to help lighten the load on our trips out and about. As it only weighs 3.6kg it’s lightweight and really easy to use with its one-hand fold system. With a recent recurrence of a bad back I’ve found this pushchair absolutely fantastic for easing the pain as it’s easy to manoeuvre being so lightweight. It also comes with a shoulder carry strap so you can carry it whilst also carrying your little one.
The Graco Featherweight is available in two modern colours of chilli red and black grey. It lies flat for baby to have a little snooze. Other features include a five-point harness, swivel wheel design, machine washable zip-removable seat pad, a handy storage basket and an adjustable canopy with sun visor. Further dedicated accessories can be added (kit sold separately) including a raincover and footmuff to keep baby dry and warm.
Disclaimer: Collaborative post.