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  • 'Staying at Home With Kids Is Even Harder Than Going to Work'

    A new survey of 1,500 parents in the UK reveals what they didn't expect in their first year as mom and dad.
    by Kitty Elicay .
'Staying at Home With Kids Is Even Harder Than Going to Work'
PHOTO BY iStock
  • The next time someone says, “Ah, nasa bahay ka na LANG pala,” you now have the best comeback: staying at home with kids is even harder than going to work, according to a new survey. It’s especially true for new parents, who are overwhelmed with the responsibilities that come with raising a tiny human.

    The survey was commissioned by a baby skin care company in the United Kingdom and over 1,500 parents participated.

    “Becoming a parent is an amazing experience, but we understand that entering this new chapter of life can also bring with it a great deal of stress and worry, so we wanted to discover more about what new parents experience in the first few years, what they wish they had known, and how best we can support them,” said Rebecca Bennett, the brand’s skin expert.

    Unsurprisingly, 55% of those surveyed admitted that having a baby is “hard work,” even with help available, with 31% confessing that staying at home with a child is harder than going to work. Twenty percent said they found parenting “really difficult.”

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    The survey also revealed how new moms and dads perceived parenting before having kids and how it’s changed now that they are raising children.

    One-fourth of the respondents thought breastfeeding would be easy, while 28% thought they could bring their children anywhere. Forty-three percent said they weren’t expecting that leaving the house would be similar to a "military operation."

    There were other realizations parents around the world are familiar with: 38% admitted that going to the bathroom in peace has become a thing of the past, you will eat most meals with one hand (33%), you will always feel tired (39%), and that your back will always hurt (17 percent).

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    The saying ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is also made true by the survey — 45% of the women respondents said that they turned to their mothers for advice and believe they wouldn’t be able to survive caring for their babies without their mom’s help.

    Millennial parents also feel the pressure thanks to social media — 71% admits social media makes them feel as if parenting was a constant competition and 22% felt the pressure to be a perfect mom or dad. It leads them to over worry about their children. Twenty-seven percent of parents get stressed thinking about their child’s development, 22% worried about their child’s eating habits, and nine percent constantly looked out for their kid’s sleep patterns.

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    “From what you put in your baby’s mouth to what you put on their skin, every small decision becomes much bigger and you worry you might not be making the right choice, or are being judged by others,” said Bennett.

    While the survey revealed that parenting is a tough job to crack, it also showed how child-rearing can be so rewarding. Fifty percent still believed that starting a family is a "perfect experience," with 41% said that having a baby brought their partner and themselves closer. Forty-two percent of new parents said that having a child made them feel “complete, unconditional love for the first time.” 

    This survey isn’t the first to show the realities of parenting — we've reported on several similar topics such as working moms taking on more responsibilities, moms feeling exhausted from emotional labor, and mothers who are unhappy from being forced to stay at home. It only underlines the immense difficulty that all parents (but most especially moms) go through. The next time other people judge you for staying at home to take care of your little ones, don’t feel bad and instead be proud of your decision. Motherhood in itself is already the hardest job in the world.

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