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Poll reveals school gate stress for working mothers

Published 04/09/2015

The return to school brings mixed feelings for mothers, research reveals
The return to school brings mixed feelings for mothers, research reveals
The return to school brings mixed feelings for mothers, research reveals

The start of the school year leaves working mothers feeling guilty and under pressure, a poll claims.

It suggest that around a third of mothers (34%) sense tension at the school gates between those who work and those who stay at home.

Around six in 10 (62%) of the 1,000 people questioned agreed that working mothers miss out on opportunities to make playdates for their youngsters because they are not around at school drop off or pick up time.

A breakdown of the results, published by education consultancy Gerard Kelly and Partners also shows that more than half of those who work (58%) find it stressful if they cannot attend events like plays and music recitals, compared to just under half of those who are stay-at-home parents.

Working mothers were also more likely to admit that they feel inadequate when they see the costumes, artwork and cakes that other parents make their children for school events.

And nearly a third (31%) said that their children make them feel guilty if they are not around to pick them up after class or welcome them home from school.

One mother-of-two said: "Many of the stay at home mums I know had successful careers before they had children.

"They often undertake these tasks and competitions with the same level of professionalism they would have approached a project at work."

Another said: "A school will often say that a music recital is not a key event in the calendar but you can never be sure how many parents will see it that way."

The poll comes the day after a separate survey suggests that parents are more likely to be happy to see the start of the new term than upset to see their youngsters back in class.

The findings, published by parenting website Netmums, found that over a third (36.2%) of the 1,600 people questioned said they miss their children and get upset when term-time begins, while three in 10 (30%) said they are relieved when their youngsters go back, but do not like to admit it, and a further 21.6% said they look forward to the start of the school year.

:: The OnePoll survey questioned 1,000 mothers with school age children between June 5-7.

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