PARENTS

More Than 90% Of Mums Feel Lonely After Having Children And Many Don't Confide In Their Partner

A campaign is hoping to change that.

07/03/2017 17:01 GMT

More than 90% of mums in the UK admit to feeling lonely since having children.

In a survey of 2,025 mothers by video parenting site ChannelMum.com, 54% also admitted they felt more “friendless” since giving birth.

Many are suffering in silence, as three in five admitted to trying to hide their feelings and 38% have never told their partner.

The majority (80%) of mothers said they want more “mummy friends” however, 30% said they have never started a conversation with another mother that led them to becoming friends.

In response, Channel Mum has launched their #CMYANA (Channel Mum ‘You Are Not Alone’ challenge) campaign, to help connect mums online and offline. 

“We all know having a child takes a physical toll on your body, but it can take a mental toll too,” said Siobhan Freegard, founder of ChannelMum.

“It’s terrifying that in our connected ‘always on’ society, nine in ten mums still feel isolated and lonely, often with deeply troubling consequences.” 

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More than half (55%) of lonely mums said being isolated has left them suffering anxiety, while almost half (47%) feel “very stressed” about it.

One anonymous mum said: “I’ve felt alone and lonely since giving birth. I get visitors here and there, and my partner has days off, and I have my son everyday - but I don’t get to properly interact with people or go out, or have an actual conversation with someone.

“Some days I have no motivation to do anything.”

Another mum said: “I feel like I have changed as a mum and it’s hard to accept. I find myself feeling so lonely even if people are there.

“My mum guilt makes me feel like I’m dying on the inside.”

Four in ten (37%) mums said they regularly cry and 29% have feared leaving the house.

The poll found the biggest source of loneliness comes from “cliquey and bitchy” groups at the school gates or baby and toddler groups, with 51% of mothers revealing they felt excluded. 

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Almost half (42%) admitted looking at other mums “perfect lives” on social media makes them feel worse, while a third (33%) compare their bodies to other mums’ online.

The report revealed 80% of mothers want more mum friends. To achieve this, two thirds of mums agreed (68%) they want to slow down their busy lives and make more time to talk with other mums and 55% said mums must be less judgemental.

“Being a mum can be tough but we need to remember there is more that unites us than divides us,” added Freegard. “Scratch the surface and us mums are going through the same fears, worries and joys.

“As a society, we need to get back to the idea of it taking a village to raise a child, and to help and support parents.

“So today, take the time to smile at another mum - it may be the only smile she gets all day, and could lead to the start of a new friendship.”

As part of the #CMYANA campaign, mums are being challenged to carry out one of five daily activities to widen their friendship group, meet new mums and feel supported. 

1. Go to a toddler group or baby class and sit with a mum who’s there alone.

2. Go to the park and chat to another mum who is there by herself.

3. Smile at every mum you meet.

4. Get the phone number of one of the mums you meet today.

5 Text them and arrange to meet for that coffee.

For more information, visit http://www.channelmum.com/youarenotalone.

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