2021-04-27

Parenting: Time is of the Essence

How much time is possible to spend with your children a week?

Let's get right to it...Less than 40 hours if you are a working parent. This is even a high estimate!
There is research out there that says most families spend only 10 hours of face time together a week... 

I am basing the numbers off the ability to see your children whenever you want. Therefore, this is for all parents. It is just more difficult to see the numbers for a parent who does not have that full legal right...

Preface

I want to preface, for many you are doing what you can. Due to various circumstances you may not be able to make certain changes in your life that would give you the luxury to spend more time with your children. This is not to make parent's feel guilty, there is enough of that with super parent blogs and social media. We all know a lot more goes on behind the scenes than what appears on Facebook or Instagram and it's not reality. 

The "Math"

There is a lot that you could factor in, but we are taking into consideration the basics: such as routines, work hours, recommended sleep hours for children of a specific age, etc..
Also, to help show the point this is not even factoring in taking time for your self, watching a show, using the restroom, changing a diaper, and so on..... Which would obviously make the possible time even less..
I have two children, 3 yrs and 5 yrs old, so we will use the numbers of hours of sleep based on those ages.

Work Week

  •  8 hours = work day
  • 42 minute = commute, round trip
    • many have a higher commuter average. For example Northern Virginia can reach up to 40 minutes one way!
  • 30 minutes = morning routine
    • Getting the child breakfast, dressed, and out the door.
  • 11 hours = child sleeping
    • around the bare minimum for 2-5 years old. some may be 1-2 hours higher or lower
  • 30 minutes = Dinner / arriving home
  • 30 minutes = Bed time
per day:
21 hours and 20 minutes on routines.
2 hours and 40 minutes for time.

possible time per work week, Monday-Friday:
13.4 hours

Weekend Week

    • 30 minutes = Morning
    • 11 hours = child sleeping
    • 30 minutes = Dinner
    • 30 minutes = Bed time
    23.5 hours a weekend, Saturday-Sunday


    Possible time
    37 total hours per week (rounding up)
    If your children are of older ages with less "doctor" recommended sleep - then you are looking between:
    38-46 hours a week.

    Take Away

    Your children will remember you by the time they spent with you...Not that one of their friend's got better cupcakes for their birthday than what you gave them. Not what kind of career you had. Not the things you bought them. 

    Even if you have limited time with your children, remember that you can always spend quality time. Quality time can be just as or more important than quantity.

    Therefore, change what you can to increase your time with your children... or just as well, change what you can so that the time you spend with your children is more qualitative (ie: less stressful job).


    References:

    average commute:
    26.4 minutes - US
    21.6 minutes - Columbus Ohio

    26.7/29 minutes - Arlington Virginia
    26-42 minutes - NoVA https://www.insidenova.com/news/transportation/10-northern-virginia-commute-times-ranked/article_a06df730-bd90-11e8-a119-f70ed2e6f14a.html
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/10/07/nine-days-road-average-commute-time-reached-new-record-last-year/
    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/22/study-states-with-the-longest-and-shortest-commutes.html#:~:text=You're%20not%20alone.,nearly%20nine%20days)%20per%20year.

    https://www.bestplaces.net/transportation/city/ohio/columbus#:~:text=The%20typical%20American%20commute%20has,US%20average%20of%2026.4%20minutes.

    5 hours face to face with kids - https://www.studyfinds.org/modern-family-average-parent-spends-just-5-hours-face-to-face-with-their-kids-per-week/

    10 hours in a work week on tasks before starting work - https://www.scarymommy.com/survey-kids-ready-extra-work-day/

    sleep:
    https://www.webmd.com/parenting/guide/sleep-children#1
    https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need
    https://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/sleep/Pages/Healthy-Sleep-Habits-How-Many-Hours-Does-Your-Child-Need.aspx
    https://www.parentingscience.com/sleep-requirements.html
    https://www.happiestbaby.com/blogs/toddler/how-much-sleep-do-toddlers-need