EXCLUSIVE GMB poll on parental burnout shows two thirds of parents suffering in lockdown
An exclusive Good Morning Britain poll has shown that parents across the UK are being pushed to burn out by the demands of homeschooling and working from home.
Nearly two thirds say this lockdown is emotionally tougher than the last and one in ten say they feel like crying every single day.
The poll, commissioned exclusively by Good Morning Britain, by Savanta ComRes interviewed 1,036 UK parents of children aged 4-18 online from 5-8 February 2021.
Good Morning Britain Reporter Tom Barton spoke to some of those affected.
Dad of two Mark Hudson, who has an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old at home, said: “A couple more weeks of this, I’m like, ‘yeah, fine we can do it’, any longer, then I am in trouble.”
Our poll shows that 45% of parents feel burnt out, 26% feel like bad parents and 30% often feel lonely. On top of this, 27% say having children at home has negatively affected their work and 64% say this lockdown is emotionally tougher than previous ones.
Sobia Akhtar, who has a 14-year-old and an autistic 8-year-old, said: “I feel like I can’t do it anymore. Sometimes I just want to escape from it. The only escape I have is having a bath and the tears will be running down my face.”
On how close she has come to burning out, she added: “I’m on the edge of this cliff and one little push and then it’s over.”
Nicola Maidment, an intensive care nurse with two children aged 12 and 13, added: “I have cried virtually every other day these past two weeks. Work has just been...I have hit a brick wall. Home has not been an escape, that’s not somewhere I have wanted to be so I have been breaking down with that, going to work crying, coming home crying…”
Mark, Sobia and Nicola also spoke about struggling to keep their homes tidy while working and homeschooling.
Later in the show, a panel weighed in on the situation with Child Psychologist Laverne Antrobus saying: “I really feel for all parents. Even though we have been here for quite a long time, it is just the incessant nature of the ongoing struggle and juggling so many plates. But what I would say is, we have been here for a while and parents are beginning to work out which battles are worth fighting and which are worth letting go when it comes to homeschooling.”
She added that parents should use half-term as a “reset” and “try to have some downtime” to give them the extra push when homeschooling resumes.
School Governor and mum Carina White urged the importance of employers supporting their staff with children at home, and parents not putting “mum and dad guilt” on themselves.
GMB’s Dr Amir Khan added: “I am getting frequent calls, people who go from parental burnout and then go on to have significant mental health problems as a result… It takes a village to raise a child... Parents are used to having teachers, grandparents, friends helping them and that has all been taken away from them.”
He added that the signs of parental burnout include “feeling more than your usual level of tiredness, feeling emotionally detached from your children and if you are not looking forward to spending time with your children. If you are feeling hopeless, those are things that should worry you and that’s when you should think about talking to someone."