At three, most families choose Community preschool programs, which often only run for two hours a day. Kids go to another child care provider after this. Then when parents come home after working a full day they are still left with all of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and housework to do. Schools typically have at least 10 weeks of vacation/break time throughout the year. If parents split time off to reduce expenses for camps and childcare, they are LUCKY to be able to spend a few days together, as a family, without jockeying work, home, and all the other things of life. Plus, many parents worry that our streets/neighborhoods are not safe for children to just go out and play in.
We do some of this splitting as parents. I work early till about 3pm most days of the week and then my wife goes to work as a figure skating coach until about 8pm most nights. That does leave each of us “solo” parenting for their chunk of the day most of the year.
She gets about 6 weeks off as spring ice ends before summer ice begins. Then there are another 4 weeks of from the end of summer ice to the start of fall ice.
I have certainly been finding myself tired at the end of a long day (where I did dip in and out of some chores and helping with the kids because I work at home) and letting the TV attract the attention of the kids. I do this more often than I want, but…I feel so tired at the end of the day. At least that’s my excuse.
Overall, good post on the challenges parents face as they hear about the ills of screentime, but wonder how on earth they get the basics done while keeping their kids away from screens.