Skip to content

Parenting Has Its Ups And Downs: Study Finds Mental Health Impact On 66%

While 84% of parents find raising a child fulfilling, 66% report adverse effects on their mental wellbeing, says Calpol study.

The best things about raising a child are their cuddles, seeing their personalities develop and having a laugh.

A poll of 1,300 moms, dads, guardians, and carers of children, aged up to 13, found 84 percent consider becoming a parent to be the greatest thing to happen to them.

And this is thanks to such highlights such as the youngsters’ quirky questions and funny remarks.

Watching kids’ movies, seeing them do something you’ve taught them and reading bedtime stories together were also among the many wonders of having children.

However, the study by Calpol, which is marking its five-year partnership with the NSPCC Helpline by launching its “Don’t Bottle it Up!’”campaign, found being a parent has impacted the mental wellbeing of 66 percent.

While 38 percent claim the period prior to their children turning three is the most challenging on their mental health.

A mother holds her premature baby at the Kangaroo Mothers Unity in the peditric department of the University Hospital Center (CHU)in Treichville in Abidjan on June 19, 2023 in Ivory Coast.  A study by Calpol, which is marking its five-year partnership with the NSPCC Helpline by launching its “Don’t Bottle it Up!’”campaign, found being a parent has impacted the mental wellbeing of 66 percent. PHOTO BY ISSOUF SANOGO/GETTY IMAGES

And 24 percent revealed they felt a lot of pressure to form an immediate connection with their little ones.

Kam Thandi, head of the NSPCC Helpline, said: “Parenting can look different to everyone.

“Whether you have learnt your parenting behaviors from previous generations or have formed your own individual parenting style, a strong support network really goes a long way.

“So it’s just as important to look after your own mental health as well as your child’s wellbeing.”

The study also found 14 percent love listening to the conversations kids have with each other.

And 12 percent similarly enjoy feeling like a ‘hero’ after doing something minor like replacing a toy’s batteries.

Nearly a quarter (23 percent) also think having new experiences for the first time with a child is one of the greatest joys.

While 19 percent believe having kids can help you appreciate the little things in life all the more.

But only 61 percent of those polled said they had enough support and resources into how to be a parent in the first six months.

And 35 percent were also not lucky enough to have a strong support network around them to raise their child.

Of those with more than one child, polled via OnePoll, 72 per cent believe they were a ‘better’ parent the second time around.

Parents also consider patience to be the most important attribute for guardians to have (41 percent), followed by a loving nature (30 percent), and being ready for the unexpected (20 percent).

Calpol, along with the NSPCC Helpline, is hosting a free online panel discussion on parental worries on July 10, from 12 P.M. until 1 P.M.


1.    The cuddles
2.    Watching their personalities develop
3.    They make you laugh
4.    Hearing some of the funny things they say
5.    Having new experiences with them for the first time
6.    They make you appreciate little things in life more
7.    Reliving the magic of Christmas through a child’s experience again
8.    Seeing them do something you’ve taught them
9.    The many quirky and wonderful questions they ask
10.   Birthday celebrations
11.   Seeing the world through their eyes
12.   Learning new things alongside them
13.   Watching kids’ films together
14.   Reading bedtime stories together
15.   Listening to conversations they have with other children
16.   Feeling like their hero when you do something minor like replacing the batteries in a toy
17.   The cute compliments they give
18.   You appreciate your own parents more
19.   Taking them to the zoo
20.   Getting to make friends with other mums/ dads/ caregivers
21.   Hearing them talk to themselves in bed at night
22.   Buying them toys you secretly want to play with yourself
23.   Still being able to go into soft play as an adult
24.   Getting to buy toys and browse in toy shops
25.   Making novelty bakes at occasions like Easter

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Saba Fatima and Asad Ali

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners