Monday, 11 February 2013


Multi-tasking Mums Face More Challenges at Breakfast than Business Owners

Mums have to juggle twice as many tasks as business owners, directors and decision makers during the breakfast rush hour, according to new research.

Oh yes I relate to this article.

I have teens, a husband who works 50 miles away and a Grandmother who I care for full time.

Breakfast is a busy time, running from 5.45 am in the morning until 9 am in my house.
Chris grabs his own in the week, he sets off at 6, Conor is hard pushed to eat, choosing to sleep as long as he can he leaves at 7 am, Paige has college 3 days a week so is off by 8.15. Granny wakes at 7.30- 8 am but eats about 9.
I pick one of these times to eat and last year was skipping breakfast while I settled into this mad few hours.

I started the year well making it an aim to eat breakfast and I have had to accept some foibles of my family.

So my first tip for Mums is as long as its edible and reasonably healthy, go with it.

Conor will eat a range of weird and wonderful concoctions, will only eat Warburtons Toastie and the craziest breakfast this week was lentil soup and bread.

Paige is my sensible child, she always makes time for breakfast,even if I don't make it, she will get her own.

She loves a range of foods,not keen on cereal, so she will eat toast and Philly, Marmite, pate, crumpets with garlic cheese (yes another strange breakfast choice.)

Granny loves everything I have ever made her. She particularly loves crumpets and most bakery goods.

I will eat fruit, yogurt and toast or muffins.

My second tip is let your children feel they are in charge.

When my children were little, I found that the best way to encourage them to eat was make time for breakfast,eating at the table was a must. We went through the inevitable trials of refusing to eat. 

Based on my own rebellion at the breakfast and dinner table, I cracked this early on. I felt I had some control by saying no to food as a child,so to encourage eating, I would put on a range of breakfast items, packs of cereal, toast and toppings, then allow Paige and Conor to choose their own breakfast. This way they had that need to be in charge met and I had secretly won the battle.

My third tip is Breathe and relax!!

Weekends are an easier affair, Chris is at home, Paige and Conor are in for longer before they have to leave for work. This is the time for cooked breakfasts where I can.
The good old fashioned fry up or in our house grill up with toast is one of my favourite mealtimes, we can all relax a bit, get fuel to last the day and linger over an extra piece of toast and jam.

French Toast aka Eggy Bread is another favourite, if offered for breakfast its never turned down. I made this using Warburtons Farmhouse white 

Great using Toastie or also Warburtons Half and Half for a great way of getting a bit of extra fibre into fussy teens or tots.

Warburtons have a lovely Breakfast Survival competition running on the Facebook page, you can win prizes every week, this week its these rather cute Monster Oven Gloves and also upload your tips,advice and recipes. These will be added to a handbook being published in April, so you could also be in print.

The findings from family baker, Warburtons, reveal that between 7.17am and 8.30am each weekday morning, coined the ‘Breakfast Rush Hour’, busy mums face a constant series of domestic tasks and chores - from tactical strategies to get their children and partners up and helping children brush their teeth and hair, to orchestrating the family breakfast, getting outfits ready and managing the school run.

And while the scope of tasks and outcomes may differ, mums have to tackle an average of 9.8 challenges during this busy 73-minute window - compared to an average of just 4.2 tasks, which senior business people (men and women) face in their first hour and a quarter at work.

The study by Warburtons also reveals:

  • Over a quarter of mums (27%) say they find the daily morning ritual of the Breakfast Rush Hour and school run more stressful than a visit from the in-laws or parents’ evening
  • Over half of mums (52%) have to make a variety of different breakfasts for fussy family members every day
  • Nearly a half of mums believe their children getting themselves washed and dressed (43%) or eating breakfast more quickly - without being distracted (41%) would help breakfast time run more smoothly
  • TV Supernanny Jo Frost is the celebrity that mums (19%) would find most helpful to have on their side at breakfast, closely followed by CBeebies kids’ favourite, Mr Tumble (18%), and star judge on The Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood (8%).

And finally, because practice makes perfect, an experienced multi-tasking mum will have become expert at meeting conflicting demands on her time and patience, demands that could cause others to throw their hands up in despair.”

But while mums are busy multi-tasking at breakfast, dads face an average of just 3.3 daily domestic chores over the key family Breakfast Rush Hour period- and these are most likely to be ‘one-off’ daily tasks, which are largely unrelated to the family breakfast routine from taking out the rubbish to ensuring the family pet has been fed.

Jonathan Warburton, Chairman of Warburtons and dad of four, said: “It seems the majority of parents play to their strengths during the daily Breakfast routine - mums multi-task across a wide range of breakfast activities while dads tend to focus more on other jobs around the house. But there’s no doubt we have a nation of Supermums juggling a lot of domestic challenges each morning.”

The survey also revealed that the top five tasks that mums perform in the morning include preparing breakfast (81% of mums), helping children pack school bags (79%), domestic chores (75%), helping their children brush their hair (74%) and teeth (65%).

The research involved 1,000 mums and 500 business decision makers, including directors of SMEs, and was commissioned by Warburtons - bakers of some of the nation’s best loved breakfast products such as Warburtons Toastie and Crumpets - as part of a nationwide breakfast campaign aimed at encouraging families to share recipes and tips for managing the Breakfast Rush Hour. The survey findings, recipes and tips will be published in a handbook in April.

Mums and dads with top tips, advice and recipes for juggling the family Breakfast Rush Hour can submit them through the Warburtons Facebook page 


  1. My kids favourite breakfast is toast and marmite. I don't know if that's healthy or not but at least they get vitamin B.