Parents will resort to hiding in the bathroom to get a ‘parenting break’

Only 14% of parents get enough “parenting breaks” every day. A recent survey of 2,000 parents with school-age children (ages 5–18) discovered parents sometimes get creative to take a break — including hiding in the bathroom (40%) or pretending to be asleep (34%). Sometimes, though, an extra set of hands does the trick. Respondents credit a parent of their own (59%) and a grandparent (53%) with “saving the day” by taking care of their child. Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Family Dollar, the survey also found the absolute must-haves for taking care of their young ones, including snacks (57%), toys (56%), wet wipes (55%) and arts and crafts supplies (55%). A blanket (52%), towel (50%) and games (43%) were also popular among parents, even outranking smartphones and tablets (37%). The average parent spends 177 hours a year shopping in person for the products in their “lifesaver” stash. However, parents tend to run out of these necessities 54 times a year. The top three occasions parents rely on their must-haves the most? Traveling (44%), playdates (34%), and school (33%). People also shared the things they wished they had an unlimited supply of when they entered parenthood, with many noting “diapers” and “wet wipes.” “There’s never enough time in the day for busy parents who are looking for creative ways to do more with less,” said Bonita Price, SVP of Merchandising for Family Dollar. “By making it convenient and affordable for parents to replenish their supply of wipes and snacks or pick up a toy, they can do more for themselves, their families and their budget.” Upon realizing they’ve run out of a must-have parenting item, 28% go to the nearest physical store that has it, while 26% use an alternative item. Forty-four percent say having a specific parenting item on hand has come in handy in an unexpected situation for both their own and another parent’s child. That may be partly why over a third (34%) would give themselves an “A” for parenting. “Shopping online may seem quick, but when they need something in a pinch, a brick-and-mortar store can help parents ‘save the day,’” Price added. PARENTS’ MUST-HAVES Snacks - 57% Toys - 56% Wet wipes - 55% Arts and crafts supplies (paper, crayons, pencils, etc.) - 55% Blanket - 52% Towel - 50% Games - 43% Books - 42% Smartphone/tablet - 37% Coffee - 32% Vacuum cleaner - 29% A babysitter - 28% Storage bins - 28% Backpack or tote bag - 27% Slippers - 27% Smart devices (e.g., speakers, thermostats, etc.) - 27% Planner - 26% Thermos - 24% Pressure cooker/slow cooker - 24% Headphones - 20% Handheld/body massager - 11% Parents run out of must-have items for taking care of their child 4.5x a month x 12 = 54 times a year 3.4 hours a week shopping in person for must-have items x 52 weeks in a year = 176.8 hours a year Survey methodology: This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 U.S. parents of school-age children (ages 5–18) was commissioned by Family Dollar between Jan. 30 and Jan. 31, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).