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Iceni Magazine | August 16, 2022

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‘Picture perfect’ parenting portrayals leaving six in 10 feeling they are ‘failing’ during baby’s first year

‘Picture perfect’ parenting portrayals

Six in 10 parents felt as if they were ‘failing’ during baby’s first year, according to a study.

Adapting to sleepless nights, battling tiredness and struggling with feeds lead to many new parents worrying they ‘aren’t good enough’.

Unrealistic ‘picture perfect’ parenting portrayals in TV, film and advertising were also among the contributing factors.

The worldwide poll by WaterWipes, of 13, 064 adults, found Britain is the country with the second-most anxious parents, with only mums and dads in Australia and New Zealand being more self-critical.

Cathy Kidd, global VP of marketing at WaterWipes said: “The global research speaks for itself – at times parents are left feeling like they are failing, especially when they are surrounded by false images of perfect parenting – with the UK one of the most likely countries to experience this.

Four in 10 parents in the UK feel as though they can’t be honest about their struggles due to fear of judgement.

And 50 per cent admit to putting on a brave face rather than being honest about their parenting reality.

UK mums are twice more likely than dads to feel pressure to be a perfect parent from social media, and half of parents in the UK feel as though they cannot relate to the

parenting images they see on social media as they are too perfect.

By celebrating the realities, normalising the ups and downs, and bringing parents together through shared experiences, WaterWipes wants to inspire self-belief in parents across the globe.

Dad of two, musician and author Harry Judd is a long standing advocate of breaking perfect parenting stereotypes and is also supporting the #ThisIsParenthood project.

He said: “Parenting is hard enough without the wealth of pressure from others, and the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves.

“Izzy and I have always tried to be realistic about the challenges of bringing up two little people, particularly through what we post on social media.

“It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done, but hands down the most magical and rewarding, and there is absolutely no shame in being honest about that.”

Through the project #ThisIsParenthood, worlds purest baby wipes, WaterWipes wants to change the conversation around parenting and inspire self-belief in parents across the globe.

Consisting of a documentary, short films and a photography series, #ThisIsParenthood has been made in partnership with mums, dads and BAFTA nominated director Lucy Cohen.

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