This Is How Many Days a Year We Waste Putting Our Kids to Bed, According to Science

 mom reading bedtime story

If you feel like you're wasting your life away each night as you beg and plead with your child to get ready for bed, you're not being overdramatic -- you actually are wasting it. A new study found out exactly how much time parents spend getting their kids to go to sleep, and it's more than most of us get in vacation time from work. 

  • The toothbrush company Firefly asked 1,000 parents of kids ages 3 to 12 years old about their bedtime routines -- and the time spent will shock you.

    The company found that parents spent 140 hours a year on average helping their kids brush and put on jammies. That's almost 18 workdays' worth of time fighting over floss. 

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  • Sorry, parents of toddlers, wrestling on that pull-up every night might seem like the worst, but it turns out older kids are even harder to get ready.

    Parents with 5- and 6-year-old kids spent the most time trying to get their kids to brush their teeth every night.

    But it's the parents of 7- and 8-year-olds who really have to channel their inner zen. This is the age group where parents report taking the most time to get their kids ready for bed. 

  • The toothbrushing struggle is real. Most kids brush without being begged only four times a week. The rest of the time ... well, you know how it goes.

    And if you've ever trusted your kid to brush solo only to go in afterwards and find his toothbrush dry, you're not alone -- 57 percent of parents reported that their kids will sometimes lie about whether or not they brushed. Maybe they're saving some cereal in between their teeth for later?

  • Turns out a lot of us abandon our plans to hop on the treadmill once the kids go down. But moms are the heroes of the nighttime routine.

    We're all tired from putting the kids down -- 77 percent of all parents admitted to feeling exhausted after the kids finally fall asleep. But when it comes to getting the children ready for bed, it's moms that get the job done.

    Although only 57 percent of dads admitted to having trouble getting kids ready for bed compared to 63 percent of moms, the moms polled said they were better at giving the kids a bath and getting them dressed for bed. And they got the kids out of the bathroom a whole two minutes faster than dads (*polishes crown*). The average time for dads? 17 minutes.

  • And no, you're not a crappy parent if you let your kid fall asleep in his clothes or are too tired to brush once in a while.

    Half of the parents in the study admitted that sometimes they're just too tired to make sure the nighttime checklist gets checked off completely. And 48 percent said even when they do go through the motions, their children don't brush, floss, or dress themselves well enough, so Mom or Dad have to help with a do-over round.

    Hang in there, moms and dads. Yes, getting the kids ready for bed is a major time suck. But at least we know we're all in this same boat together.