Our favourite parts and most treasured memories of parenthood may vary widely amongst us mums and dads, but there’s usually a general consensus on what makes up the tougher side of bringing up kids. A recent survey polling the hardships of newbie custodians of critters reveals the top three not-so-fabulous rites of parenting passage – do you agree?
According to a survey of 1,500 new mums and dads by toy company Little Tikes, the hardest parts of taking care of a baby are:
- the constant tidying up (25%)
- the sleepless nights (22%)
- the bedtime battles (14%).
(No surprise then that when it comes to the developmental milestone parents celebrate most, sleeping through the night – 32% – tops the list; although admittedly, learning to do the housework wasn’t one of the options.)
A significant 35% of UK mothers and fathers admitted to being ‘not in the slightest bit prepared’ for just how gruelling baby duty can be. Nearly half (49%) described the adjustment to their dramatically altered lifestyle in terms not unlike that of shellshock.
The research also found that, on average, parents spend around 2,263 hours holding/consoling/cajoling their baby in the first year – and not all of it is the peacefully beatific, Madonna-esque babe-in-arms scenario.
Little Tikes’ Play Expert and Child Psychologist Emma Kenny said: “Clearly being a new parent is an exciting time in anyone’s life and it’s fascinating to see the high and lows of parenting our research reveals.”
What’s most interesting about the survey results is that 66% of participants say they regularly get annoyed with others on social media who pretend familial perfection; while the mums and dads also said the simple things became the most rewarding (for 38% seeing their little one laugh was the most fulfilling feeling), it’s good to know people prefer realism over glossing over the more difficult aspects of childrearing…but truth be told: those nighttime cuddles really are the best thing ever, aren’t they?