The Mother of all jobs

New research has found that parents have taken on 21 different roles a day during lockdown – including TikToker, grammar expert and hairdresser. Covid-era parents have officially mastered the art of multi-tasking, and are adding over 27 hours every week to their workloads as they master a whopping 21 roles a day, such as hairdressing (58%), appearing as TikTok extras (15%) and becoming grammar experts (46%).


The research commissioned by experience provider, Buyagift, in the run up to Mother’s Day reveals that pre-pandemic, parent’s burgeoning to do lists added 16hrs 30 mins to their week. Now in the throes of lockdown, fatigued parents have seen this rise 10hrs 44 mins, adding MORE THAN AN ENTIRE day’s (27 hours 11 minutes) worth of additional work onto their plates every week.

Even before lockdown forced many schools to close, the most common additional role for mums to take on is as a teacher (72%). Nearly half have acted as proof-readers (44%), 42% have lit up imaginations as storytellers and a third (33%) have channeled their inner Joe Wicks to become PE instructors.

Other popular roles include being the family chef (68%), first aider (67%) and importantly, a friend (66%). Almost two thirds (64%) have even been an entertainer in a bid to keep kids amused during the long lockdown months.

As Covid-era mums add more strings to their bow than ever before, many have seen themselves taking the digital world by storm, with a fifth (21%) acting as social media consultants, and more than one in eight (15%) taking part in TikTok challenges to help keep their kids entertained and social feeds exciting. On the flip side, over half (56%) find themselves behind the camera as a photographer.

When it comes to the weird and wonderful, over a third of parents (36%) admitted that some of the roles they’d taken on were ones they’d never expected to do, such as becoming a cosmic yoga partner, astronomer, poet and even clairvoyant.

Things have also got competitive in many households; thanks to the popularity of The Queen’s Gambit nearly two fifths of mums (40%) brushed up on their chess skills to regularly make the perfect challenger for their youngsters. Over half (53%) have also tried their hand at video games, however, a third (34%) admit the most frequent role they play is as a referee between sibling squabbles.

The multitude of roles that mums take on doesn’t stop there, with more than one in three operating as an accountant (35%), as well as a cleaner (72%), taxi-driver (53%), event planner (51%), negotiator (49%), comedian (44%), Personal Assistant (47%), pet groomer (25%) and florist (16%).

It’s clear the role of a parent never stops either, as one in four mums with older children also find themselves performing the job of a relationship counsellor (26%) and careers adviser (20%) as their kids grow up.

Despite nearly three quarters (72%) admitting that balancing these additional roles has been challenging during these turbulent times, over a third (35%) have relished the extra time they’ve spent with their families this year. Looking ahead to when restrictions lift, one in six (59%) are most looking forward to spending quality time with their loved ones by enjoying family experiences and days out.

In response to the findings, Buyagift has launched a new package of experiences ahead of Mother’s Day on 14th March, to celebrate the doting mothers and maternal figures who’ve been non-stop during the pandemic – giving them a moment of magic to look forward to when life looks a little more normal.

Buyagift will be donating 10% of sales of the Afternoon Tea Gift Box Experience sold between the 1st March and 14th March to Gingerbread, a charity which supports single parent families across England and Wales. 


  1. Teacher (72%)
  2. Cleaner (72%)
  3. Chef (68%)
  4. Launderer (68%)
  5. Storyteller (67%)
  6. First-aider (67%)
  7. Friend (66%)
  8. Baker (65%)
  9. Entertainer (64%)
  10. Doctor (59%)
  11. Hairdresser (58%)
  12. Photographer (56%)
  13. Craftmaker (56%)
  14. Problemsolver (55%)


To see the full range of experiences available in the buyagift Mother’s Day Experience Collection, please visit – gift vouchers are currently valid for at least 20 months and Gift Boxes are valid for two years. 



  1. Cosmic yoga partner
  2. Clairvoyant
  3. Poet
  4. Astronomer
  5. Podiatrist
  6. Horologist
  7. Pet funeral planner
  8. YouTube Extra
  9. Food critic
  10. Removal Man/Woman

Research polling 2,000 parents in the UK with children aged 1-17, conducted by OnePoll during February 2021.  27 hours 11 minutes calculation method

Finding that parents roles were 2hrs 20 a-weekday pre-lockdown (so 11hr 40m per working week) and 2hrs 24min in a weekend day pre-lockdown (4hrs 48 min in a weekend) this is a total of 16hrs 27 mins a week when combined. They have spent an extra 1hr 32mins per day in lockdown, so 92 mins x 7 = 644 minutes, 644 divided by 60 = 10 hours 44 minutes each week. 16hrs 27min (pre-lockdown 7 days) + 10 hours 44 minutes = 27 hours 11 minutes. 

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