Parents have been encouraged to reach out to one another after research revealed today is the loneliest day of the year for mums and dads.
Feeling forced to stay in to save money for the festive season, as well as short days and bad weather, can leave parents feeling isolated – with new mums being hit the hardest.
Almost three quarters of mums circled November 27 in their calendars as the toughest of the year in a study by ChannelMum , falling just before the final payday ahead the festive celebrations.
The date also marks two months after September 26, the day of the year when the most babies are born.
Mums with new born babies struggle in particular, with nine in 10 describing themselves as ‘very lonely’ at this time of year – with 67 per cent of mums and dads in general saying they feel more lonely since becoming a parent.
That’s because half of parents feel they can no longer afford to attend Christmas parties after having children and 93 per cent are more likely not to see their friends during the November blues.
ChannelMum.com psychologist Emma Kenny said: “It’s common to feel a little low at this time of the year – but today really does bring together all the worst factors.
“Looking after children can be very isolating, and on this date it’s compounded by money worries, dark nights, terrible weather and feeling disconnected as you can no longer socialise as you use to, leaving tens of thousands of mums feeling very alone.
“With nine in 10 mums saying they hide how they feel, it’s vital we’re all more open and honest.
“We can only end loneliness by reconnecting with each other, so why not turn today into an opportunity to do just that and make new friends?”
Worryingly, more than half of mums said they were lonely as they no longer feel ‘body confident’ to dress up and attend Christmas get-togethers.
A further 51 per cent of new mums turned down social invitations as they struggled to stretch their maternity pay, and half of the 1,372 parents polled said they felt lonelier seeing their friend’s celebrations on social media.
Mums confessed they tried to hide how they feel, with a staggering 92 per cent admitting to not telling anyone they were lonely, with four in five saying they want to find more friends.