Covid impact and family size

A workingmums.co.uk survey looks at the different impact of Covid depending on the number of children in a family.

Tired women at work

 

Does having more children affect your experience of Covid? The impact can be mixed, of course. While having more children means more homeschooling, it can also mean you can get older children to help with the younger ones.

According to workingmums.co.uk latest survey, there is a difference in impact depending on family size, but not so much on mental health. While 62% of mothers of one child say their mental health deteriorated as a result of Covid, compared to 68% of mothers of two children, there was no difference between mothers of two children and those of three or more children.

However, there were significant differences in terms of the financial impact of the pandemic. Thirty per cent of mums went into debt due to Covid, compared to 22% of those with one child and just 18% of those with two. And mums of three or more children were twice as likely to have visited food banks as those with two.

There was also, interestingly, a significant difference in mums’ likelihood of being furloughed. Only 12% of mums of three or more children were furloughed, compared to 29% of those with one child and 21% of mums of two children. Mums of three or more children were less likely to be given flexible furlough too – 21% compared to 31% for mums with fewer children. And they were more likely to be turned down for furlough due to childcare reasons – 10% compared to 7% for mums of fewer children. Only 2% of those with three or more children who requested furlough for childcare reasons were granted it, compared to 7% of those with two or less children.

Looking to the future

Mothers of three or more children were less likely to still be working than other mothers – 61% are still working, compared to 65% of those with one child and 75% of those with two children. Mothers with one child are the least likely to be looking to change their jobs after Covid – 37% compared to 42% of those with two children and 43% of those with three or more children.

Those with more children were slightly more likely to want to work remotely than those with fewer children [39% compared to 36% of those with two children] and less likely to want to work in a hybrid way [30% compared to 39% of those with two children]. They were also slightly more likely to be considering self employment and less likely to be optimistic about the prospects of more flexible jobs being advertised [67% compared to 77% of those with two children and 70% of those with one].

Mums with more children were more likely to have changed profession after having children – 32% compared to 27% of those with fewer children. However, interestingly, mums’ aspiration to senior leadership was remarkably similar regardless of how many children they had –  at 42% for mums of one child or three or more children and 43% for those with two children.

*More details about the survey can be found here.

 





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