The Challenges of Parenting

and where to find help

Recognising the Challenges Being a 21st century parent poses different challenges from days gone by. Although admittedly there are likely more than ten, the following list summarises some of the common challenges (and questions) faced at some point by parents and carers of babies and young children in the UK. 1. It can be lonely and isolating. There are lots of challenges facing parents and carers of babies and young children and almost all parents will feel lonely or isolated at some point. The solution is perhaps to find supportive friends who are going through the same phase as yourself (NCT friends, toddler groups, Baby College at Home support groups, or FB support groups such as Inspiring Parents UK) 2. It can be overwhelming. Sometimes being a parent can be overwhelming. You probably had no idea just how much work being a parent involved or how much you would worry about them. Can you remember how you felt when you arrived home with your tiny baby and realised that you didn't have an instruction manual? 3. It is difficult to know what is “right”. Is it possible to be “practically perfect in every way” or is “good enough” a more realistic ambition? You have probably been given conflicting advice (or annoying unwanted opinions)? Do you worry that you are getting it “right”? (If the answer is no to that question should you be worried about that?) 4. It is tiring. This one may be stating the obvious, but sometimes it's good to remind oneself that it is exhausting and that it is ok to ask for help! And it is good to laugh at your spectacular fails brought on by tiredness - going shopping in your slippers, leaving the car keys in the fridge? 5. It can be difficult to deal with peer pressure. It is lovely to be surrounded by supportive friends but sometimes peer-pressure can be difficult to resist. If "everyone" does something a particular way in your circle it takes strength to stay true to yourself if you just don't agree. Your family. Your baby. Your way? 6. Your own expectations may be unattainably high. "I used to be able to hold down a successful and demanding job, my house was tidy, my hair was washed, and I still made time to meet up regularly for fun nights out (remember them?)... how hard can it be to look after a baby?" You've had high expectations throughout your life, is that putting too much pressure on you now as a parent? Do you suddenly feel that you, a very capable woman, are now failing? Or perhaps motherhood has propelled you to new heights and you have discovered hidden talents and a fulfilment you hadn't truly expected? 7. Social media can make many of the above harder. Social media can be a friend or a foe. You might find your “village” or a friendly group to tell you “you got this mama” or some support at 3 am to talk you down at a moment of crisis. Equally, comparing yourself to the glamorous selfies of a beach-body ready celebrity mum can add extra pressure at an already challenging time. 8. It is hard to recognise your own instincts. Tired, unsure, and overwhelmed: it can be hard to trust your instincts as a parent. Has there been an occasion when you didn't go with your gut feeling or perhaps you've had to battle hard to get someone to listen to you when you've instinctively known there was something wrong? Is there even such a thing as parental instinct...? 9. You may be disconnected from your wider family. Lockdown has certainly kept many families apart, which has probably meant that you have had less access to your natural support groups. 10. It can be hard to find a balance between work and family and this may put a strain on your personal relationships. We reserve the right to 'have it all', but is balancing your career and home life proving to be exhausting and frustrating? Did you miss out on the maternity leave you hoping for during the lockdown? When you went back to work how accommodating were your employers to your new situation? Has having a baby changed your view on your career, perhaps you've decided to completely change direction and focus? Have you been liberated from old constraints? Of course, social media can also be positive! Many parents find comfort, companionship, advice, and support from their own new “villages” on Facebook and Instagram. It is all about finding the right online community to support you. Baby College SA is a UK franchise and you can have a look at their Facebook page to help you as a parent. What can Baby College UK Facebook group Inspiring Parents UK offer to take away some of the strain and help parents meet and cope with the above challenges?

Our Values

  • We aim to be non-judgemental

  • We are inclusive

  • We are always friendly and welcoming

  • Our classes and our Facebook Groups aim to be safe spaces

  • We aim to be supportive

  • We try to help parents have a positive experience

  • We rely on well-qualified and experienced experts to inform and guide us

  • We base our insights and knowledge on the latest peer-reviewed science

  • We recognise that every child, every parent, and every family is unique and there isn’t just one right way to parent

  • We believe that confident, well-informed parents make better parenting decisions

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