First Five Years managing editor Belinda Reilly says more than 1000 families from across Australia responded to the survey. Of these, about 80 per cent were nuclear families with blended families, grandparent families, single parent families and same sex families also represented.
Of the 1000+ parents who responded to the survey, they had children under 15 and almost 95 per cent were women. Most came from double income families with one parent working full time and the other working either full or part time.
When asked to reflect on family life and describe how they felt, just under half (49%) of respondents said they felt happy (down from 54% in the last survey), 39% said they were stressed (up from 36%) while 37% said they were overwhelmed (up from 34%).
Parents told us last time and reiterated again that at times they are struggling, with 39% of parents reporting they have struggled to meet essential expenses like food, mortgage/rent, utility bills, child care or important medical care over the past 12 months
A further 26% didn’t believe they had enough money to purchase things they really wanted, after they had taken essential expenses out of their budget.
Time was a theme through the survey
Family time was lacking, with 48% of parents saying they spent less time with their children than their parents spent with them, although this number had dropped from 53% in the last survey.
When it came to spending time together as a family, it was generally during mealtimes.
Dinner was where almost a third of families found time to gather. The night time meal took priority for the 32% (down from 37%) of families who ate together every night and 39 per cent insisting on a family dinner most nights.
However, breakfast wasn’t as much of a priority with only 11% of families eating breakfast together every morning, and 32 per cent of parents only finding time for family breakfasts on the weekends.
Reading with their children is becoming increasingly important with 63% of parents setting aside one-on-one time to read with their child for at least 20 minutes. This has risen from 59.5% in the last survey. However, 14% still said they rarely or never spend this time reading with their children.