MUMS spend more time taking photographs and videos of their children to share on social media, than they do parenting them.
New research reveals that almost a quarter (23 per cent) of UK mums spend more than 12 hours every day on gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. One in ten of mums (12 per cent) also admitted to spending 9-12 hours a day on devices, which means over a third (35 per cent) of UK mums spend at least 9 hours a day on their gadgets.
Half of these mums (54 per cent) admitted most of the time on their gadgets was spent on social media platforms, and a third (33 per cent) said they were taking photos and videos of their children to share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The poll of 2,000 UK mums, with children aged between 0-16, was commissioned by Row.co.uk, a gadget and home appliance insurance company.
Despite the stats clearly showing that many mums are spending more time behind the lens taking pictures of their children instead of playing with them, a whopping 62 per cent of mums were very quick to say “no” when asked if they spent more time on gadgets than they do with their children – however almost a third (29 per cent) said they were unsure, suggesting mums are not ready to own up to their socia-media-lite mummy habits.
A quarter of mums (22 per cent) confirmed to feeling guilty when on their phones and not playing with the kids, but they also said they felt they deserved some ‘me’ time. Six percent of mums said they felt “in company” when on gadgets as being at home with children can be lonely.
So, where do these busy mums find time to take and share pictures of their family online?
• 30 per cent said they use their mobile phone when they wake up in the night
• 20 per cent said they use their gadgets as soon as they wake up in the morning
• 7 per cent are on gadgets during breakfast and lunch time
• 5 per cent even admitted to using gadgets during family bath times
And what are the kids doing while mum is on her phone or tablet? Well, it seems a socia-media-lite mummy may be teaching her children bad habits as 21 per cent of mothers said their children would be playing games on their own gadgets. It also confirms the rise in crazy soft play dates where many parents kick back and let their kids run wild, as 16 per cent said children would be playing in the soft play centre while they were indulging in their social media pastime. Other mums said their children would be:
• Watching TV (19 per cent)
• Playing outside (19 per cent)
• Eating a meal (8 per cent)
Sophie Tait, part-time trainee nurse, and mother comments on the results: ‘As a mum I understand the social pressures to show friends online that you’re getting on great with your mummy adventures with fun days out and holidays.’
‘Even though behind closed doors most of us are probably having a tough day dealing with tantrums and household chores while juggling work at the same time.’
‘We certainly do need to get our priorities right and perhaps even start taking parenting advice from our own parents when mobiles phones and tablets weren’t around to distract!’
‘The fact that a fifth of parents recognise their children love playing with them means we do know deep down that we need to spend more time with them.’
‘It is hard being a mum juggling all of the jobs and commitments we have, but perhaps we all need to make a pact to stop posting so many pictures of our children with glorified filters. If we see less of them, maybe we’ll be less likely to feel pressurised to add our own.’