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|8 Out Of 10 Mums Say|
British mothers admit that they don't play with their children enough.
Results from a new poll run by TheBabyWebsite show 81 per cent of mums think parenting is the hardest job of all. And more than half say they don't make enough time to simply sit down with their little ones to play with their toys, games and dressing up.
In fact, playtime is just one of many areas mums feel they could be better at. Disciplining the children, cooking more meals from scratch and running a tidier house are all aspects of motherhood mums think they could improve on.
Kathryn Crawford, co-Editor of TheBabyWebsite.com said: 'Mums are in the habit of giving themselves a hard time, and these survey results are no exception. For many mums, looking after the kids, managing the house and for some, working outside the home too, often turns into one big chaotic juggling act. Mums need to remember that the most important thing of all is to provide a loving and stable environment for the children to grow up in. After that, if they can find a little extra time to play with the children then great - as kids will appreciate one on one attention far more than a tidy house and fine dining.'
The poll shows patience is a big priority for mums as 50% want to try and hold their temper for longer rather than erupting at the slightest tantrum. And education is something mums feel they should be taking more seriously, with 24 per cent believing they need to put more effort into teaching the three Rs.
Finding activities to keep the children entertained proves to be a challenge for many mums - as 17 per cent admit they wish they could be the 'fun one'. Indeed, mums think they should be spending more time thinking up fun games, arts and crafts, and even singing nursery rhymes to their children.
Other parenting jobs mums think they should do more of or be better at include praising the children, enrolling them into more clubs and classes, and listening to them when they have something to say instead of getting on with the housework.
Work/Life BalanceHowever, eight in 10 mums admit they feel under enormous pressure to have it all, and be good at it all, from having a perfect career to a perfect little family. And 53% think it is nigh on impossible to achieve this perfect work/life balance.
Kathryn Crawford continues: 'I think there is a certain pressure on mums to perform brilliantly in every area of their life - and it's only natural that some areas of parenting and work will suffer if we try to do everything. Mums should give themselves a break, as the majority do a fine job of raising children in a happy home.'
Three quarters of mums polled admit they often leave the children to entertain themselves so they can get a bit of work or chores done. And two thirds regularly feel guilty for being unable to do everything - wishing they had more people on hand to help out. But 74 per cent of mums think they do the best they can, given their situation, with the children being content and happy with their lives.
TOP 20 'COULD DO BETTER' PARENTING JOBS
1. Play more with the children
2. Be more patient / hold your temper for longer
3. Cook more meals from scratch
4. Run a tidier a house
5. Read more with the children
6. Educate the children more
7. Do more arts and crafts
8. Think up fun games to play
9. Put the children above cleaning the house
10. Be less of a pushover
11. Enjoy having school friends round for tea
12. Being the fun one
13. Discipline them more
14. Balancing work and home life
15. Listen to the children
16. Enrol the children into more classes and clubs
17. Sing more nursery rhymes
18. Having authority over the children
19. Praise the children more
20. Enjoying role play