A new survey has uncovered some pretty startling findings about the toll carpooling takes on parents.
As a mom of three, I spend basically my entire life in the car. My kids not only go to three different schools, but they are also each involved in different after-school activities. Thus, my vehicle is kind of my second home.
It seems I'm far from alone in my feeling that transporting my brood around is beyond time consuming, and exhausting. According to the Second Annual Survey on the State of Back to School Transportation in America by the ride service for kiddos, HopSkipDrive, many parents spend so much time behind the wheel, driving a mom or dad taxi feels like a part-time job!
I was floored to find out that nearly 40 percent of the 1,000-plus parents surveyed spend more than 5 hours a week driving their kids around, and a third spend more than 10 hours! The survey also found that BTS time equals mega stress, with 2 out of 3 working parents admitting having to tote their kids from point A to point B disrupts their work on the regular. Of parents who reported spending 10 or more hours a week driving to and from school or extracurricular activities, 42 percent felt they have put their job at risk in order to meet their child's transportation needs. Yikes!
Almost a quarter of parents say unreliable transportation means their children can't participate in enrichment activities. And here's one more interesting tidbit the survey uncovered: almost half of parents were unaware that Uber and Lyft are not licensed to transport unaccompanied minors.
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Life in the carpool lane is clearly far from ideal for many American families. Raises hand. About the transportation nightmare facing parents like me, Joanna McFarland, HopSkipDrive CEO and Co-Founder said in a press release, "Our second annual survey confirms yet again what we hear from our customers and experience ourselves as working parents; managing family transportation logistics consumes a great deal of time and creates tremendous stress for families. When we looked at the actual number of hours spent coordinating logistics and actual driving time, it is the equivalent of a second job."
And of course, even when you aren't physically in the car, you're often figuring out the logistics of transporting your kids where they need to be on a daily basis. In fact, the survey found that 37 percent of families talk about transportation logistics once a day. "Pass the bread, who's picking Mary up at ballet and taking her to soccer practice?"
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At least, according to the survey, 87 percent of parents share the burden with their spouse of figuring out how to make it all happen. But 75 percent of the logistic coordination falls on us moms. Sigh. At least we aren't alone, right road warriors?