Free [Play] Time For Parents + Kids

I don’t know about you, but unscheduled “free” time went out the window when my sons were born. I am not complaining as my boys have brought me unparalleled joy and pride; I simply can’t imagine my life without them. It’s just that some times, I long for a lazy weekend, or even a lazy day, without sports activities or other commitments. I guess my husband and I will have plenty of that when we are empty or semi-empty nesters and then we will long for the days when the boys were young and HAD so many activities, when we got to hang out with our friends who were also watching their kids play on the Con Ed baseball or soccer field on Avenue D and East 16th Street near the FDR drive in New York City.

A recent survey by a UK supermarket chain polled parents and found that when everything else is subtracted they have 90 minutes of free time to themselves a day. This actually sounds like a lot of free time to me! May I am way different than the norm; It takes me about an hour a day just to commute back and forth to work–is that considered “free” time? More survey details follow:

According to the parents surveyed, following is a breakdown of daily activities:

Get up 6:42am
Get ready (shower, dress, coffee) 55 minutes
Get children ready 47 minutes
Commute to work 52 minutes
Working day 7 hours
Pick children up 33 minutes
Makes / eat dinner 46 minutes
Children’s play and bedtime 1 hour 9 minutes
Household chores 1 hour 13 minutes
Work from home 1 hour 12 minutes
Go to bed 10:45pm
Spare time = 1hour 30 minutes

Here are the things parents miss most:
1. Spend more time with the children – 48 per cent
2. Read books – 37 per cent
3. Do more exercise – 34 per cent
4. Put feet up in front of the TV – 32 per cent
5. A lie in – 31 per cent
6. Go to the pub – 30 per cent
7. Have a better sex life – 26 per cent
8. Meet friends – 25 per cent
9. Take a walk in the park with their partner – 22 per cent
10. Go to the cinema – 19 per cent
Reading the survey results also makes me wonder–as a result of having little “free” time, do I then over-schedule myself so that I make sure I don’t go deprived and fit in fun activities I enjoy, such as going to Broadway shows? Is all of this defeating the purpose of free time? What do you think?

About The Playtime Mom

Unofficial NYC ambassador, play advocate, toy and youth entertainment industry insider and mom
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