Tesco Modern Motherhood Survey reveals loneliness of modern mothers
It should be the happiest time of a woman’s life, but for the majority of new mums the first year of motherhood is the loneliest time of their lives, according to the Motherhood Survey, commissioned by Mother & Baby Magazine and Tesco.
Cut off from family, friends and work colleagues, new mums find the modern world of motherhood very different from the cosy one they imagined. 64% of new mums now live miles away from their own mum and 53% say they feel ’lonely and isolated’ where they live. Nine out of 10 also lament the loss of their pre-baby social life (87%). Many don’t have friends or family nearby to offer simple baby advice and support.
The Mother & Baby Magazine and Tesco Baby & Toddler Club research shows only 29% of mums with babies or young children live in the ’same town’ as their parents and only 7% live in the ’same city’. While, only 32% of new mums have a ‘sibling living nearby’, only 29% ‘old school friends’, only 10% have ‘college or uni friends’ in the vicinity and six out of 10 mums ‘miss their old work colleagues’ (62%).
As a result, mums today have to create a completely new network of friends and neighbours to combat loneliness. However, only 10% of mums with a baby ’mix with their neighbours’ and only 4% of these ’go out together socially.’
Cut off from their own family and friends and barely on nodding terms with the neighbours, more than half of all mums with a baby say they ‘feel isolated and lonely’ where they live (53%). A third ‘feel tearful’ (33%) and 20% feel they have absolutely ‘no-one to talk to’. More than half say ‘their self-esteem has dived since becoming a mum’ (53%).
Elena Dalrymple, Editor of Mother & Baby Magazine, said: “Leaving work and having a baby is a huge physical and emotional adjustment for women. It’s a whole new ball game and a totally different way of life to the one they knew before. Friends without babies drift off, grandparents live miles away, neighbours are barely on nodding terms. Other mums you bump into at the shops aren’t your type and your social life you once knew has ground to a halt.”
Seven out of 10 mums with a baby say their ’social life’ is either ’non-existent’ or ’a fraction of what it was before baby arrived’ (69%). A further two in 10 say it’s ’half what it was’ (18%). Only 13% of mums with a baby are ’pleased’ with the extent of their social life.
Eight out of 10 mums say they would ’welcome opportunities to meet up with other mums’ (82%) and as a result, Mother & Baby Magazine and Tesco are launching ’The Mother and Baby Local Campaign’ offering mums the chance to meet up in Tesco cafes throughout the country for a coffee and chat.
Jenna Copeland, Tesco Baby & Toddler Club Manager, said: “There are many joys associated with parenthood, but the issue of isolation is also very real for mums. We know from our own members that being able to talk to and meet up with other mums in similar situations is a great help. It’s in direct response to our members feedback that we wanted to launch this campaign to encourage mums getting together – and our store cafes provide a good baby-friendly meeting place for that to happen. And for those times when mums can’t get out, they can log-on to the website and go to our Chat Room to meet up with other mums, whatever time of day it is.”
Tesco plc, a UK-based international grocery and merchandising retailer, is Britain’s largest supplier and the world’s third largest grocery retailer, by both global sales and domestic market share.
Founded as a food specialist in 1929, Tesco has now expanded into diverse areas such as flowers, books, music, clothes, gifts, telecoms and even baby buggies. The company employs over 250,000 people, operates 1,779 stores across Europe and Asia and serves over 15 million customers.
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