Survey says average American parent has spent 59 hours cleaning up after their kids during pandemic

If you’ve lost track of time during the pandemic and you’re a parent, we can’t blame you. That’s because according to a new survey, the average parent has spent 59 hours cleaning up after their kids since last March. 

The non-scientific poll of 2,000 parents sponsored by the National Watermelon Promotion Board — yes, it’s a thing — says the average child has caused 222 messes since the start of the pandemic. If you’ve lost count, here’s a tip: that’s an average of six a week. 

Each mess takes on average 16 minutes to clean up, adding to 3,552 minutes — or nearly 60 hours — since the lockdown life began. 

Sixty-five percent of the parents polled said their messy kids are a major cause of stress — and nearly 70% say their rugrats get so gunked up, they can’t identify what’s on them.

Of those polled 35% say “sticky” messes are the worst to feel on their kids, though “crusty” is a close second, with 33%. Perhaps it’s no surprise one parent called their child a “snot monster.” 

That said, 48% say spilled — or stray — food was the most common cause of a mess; 43% say errant toys  and 43% said clothes.

Parents admitted they’re not against threats to get their kids to clean up — like one who vowed to “report [them] to Ariana Grande” — or bribes: one promised their kid a steak dinner to get their stuff together.