One in five stay-at-home mums with toddlers are so exhausted by the pressures of parenting they only enjoy half the time they spend with their little ones, according to research.
– 52% of mums with children under 5 didn’t have any childcare support because they couldn’t afford it
– 76% of mums wish for just an hour or two child-free time a week
– 43% said they would employ more childcare if they could afford it
– 25% of those who didn’t use any childcare said a lack of good quality care in their area was the reason.
The findings emerge from a study of 2,200 mums with pre-school age children by TV channel Cartoonit which is launching a Facebook community for parents.
Family psychologist and parenting expert Dr Pat Spungin says: “Mums certainly shouldn’t feel bad about enlisting some support so they can take some time out for themselves. Everyone jokes about the ‘terrible twos’ but for many mums, the pre-school years can be incredibly stressful – especially if you are a stay at home mum without the relative respite of a job to go to. Toddlers are mini whirlwinds with boundless energy reserves and a million questions on a good day, and terrific tantrums on bad days.”
The study also asked mums how they felt about using childcare:
– A positive 33% of all mums said childcare was a good thing for them and their children; half cited developing socialisation skills as the biggest positive for their child
– But almost a quarter (22%) of said they felt guilty about using childcare.