Working Parents Feel 11 Years Older Than Parents Who Stay at HomeJohn Cave Osborne
Do you ever get the feeling that there are too many studies out there? I do. And on any other day, the results from a recent one conducted by PruHealth would have solidified my opinion. The United Kingdom-based insurer has found that working parents feel older than parents who stay at home.
I mean, that’s a no-brainer, right? Surely it’s harder to parent when you have less time to do it. And things that are harder are more stressful than things that are easier. And stress robs us of our energy and vitality which makes us feel older. So in that regard, the results shouldn’t be all that surprising, right?
Wrong. Because as any stay-at-home parent will tell you, keeping the kids all day is anything but easy.
And I was reminded of that fact yesterday when my wife took my daughters to see the Nutcracker. She claims they went for fun, but I think Caroline had to be there. You know, being the understudy to the title role and all. (Kidding honey!) So I was left in charge of my two 3 year-old boys. And just like each and every time I’m alone with some or all of my kids, yesterday was hard.
Putting lights on the tree while refereeing countless fights over the wooden train track? Not easy. Doing the dishes while making sure the boys weren’t coloring on the dog again? No walk in the park. Making those little tyrants eat all their lunchtime fruit before letting them have a cracker? A frustrating endeavor, friend. The girls were only gone for 5 hours, but you’d have thought it was 5 days from my stress level. After all, it’s no fun plucking matchbox cars from the toilet. Twice.
Honestly? If I took care of my kids full time? I’d probably suffer a certifiable nervous breakdown before Valentine’s Day. But PruHealth claims otherwise. According to The Telegraph, PruHealth has discovered that the average working 46 year-old has the energy and fitness level of a 53 year-old. But a 46 year-old stay-at-home parent feels four years younger — an 11-year spread. Here are some the findings that underline the main takeaway.
- Only 43% of working parents eat a balanced diet versus 53% of non-working parents.
- 18% of working parents never exercise, while just 12% of non-working parents fail to break a sweat.
- 30% of working parents smoke, 3 percentage points higher than the 27% of non-working parents who smoke.
- Working parents drink more (though no numbers were given in the article to indicate by what percentage) and sleep less. 28% get fewer than six hours of sleep per night compared to 25% of non-working parents.
So, again, add all those numbers up and the survey of 2,000 parents gives you one final number. Eleven. The number of years younger that stay-at-home parents feel compared to the parents who bring home the bacon.
If true, I think it’s a good thing. After all, raising a child is more important than any other job in the world. Those who do it full time deserve such a perk. Don’t you think?
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