Life

Pressure to be a perfect parent

A new survey has revealed that mothers are finding it hard to keep up the perfect, yummy mummy façade.

With Elle Macpherson and Claudia Schiffer looking perfectly groomed at the school gate, or Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani being cooler than cool, looking immaculate and raising perfectly behaved angels, no wonder the average woman has beads of sweat on her brow (and probably some Play Doh stuck in her hair).

The survey, carried out by Netmums and which 5,000 mums took part in, discovered that the majority covered up and told ‘white lies’ about their parenting skills and general home life. Many felt inadequate and guilty about not being able to achieve the idealised views of parenthood.

Day to day things such as how much TV their children watch, what they cook their families and the amount of quality time they actually spent with their partners were all big ‘deception’ issues among mothers. Two thirds of those surveyed said they were less than honest with other mothers about how well they were coping, and one in five lied about how long they actually played with their children.

The survey also revealed that this sense of inadequacy stemmed from peer pressure from other mothers at the school gate or nursery, rather than being driven by images of celebrity mothers in glossy magazines.

In response to the findings, Netmums have launched The Real Parenting Revolution, which encourages people to accept the reality of how they live, rather than feeling guilty about not living up to perfection. Netmums’ Siobhan Freegard adds, “mums need to be more honest with each other.”

Do you struggle with being mum? Do you find yourself telling white lies to hide the fact that life is not quite perfect? Tell us about your experiences in the comments section below.

Picture credit: Rex Features