“A good mum feels guilty all the time!” says parenting company guilt-tripping new parents

Ever on the lookout for ways to make women feel bad about themselves, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph newspapers recently pondered the question ‘Why do mums these days feel so damn guilty all the time?’ 

Guilt of modern mothers at having too little time for children

Modern mothers are constantly wracked by guilt – with not earning enough money or being able to give the children the attention they crave topping the list, it emerged today.

Being too busy or tired, not being able to afford everything the kids want and returning to work also made the list.

Other issues which leave mothers feeling bad include not going on more family days out, relying on the television to occupy kids while doing housework and a lack of patience.

Source: The Telegraph, 21 January 2013

The Daily Mail took it one step further, suggesting not only are some mothers feeling guilt pangs, but in fact MOST mothers are:

The trick here is quite apparent: tell the world that most mothers are constantly wracked with guilt – even if this isn’t true – and you’ll make those mothers who aren’t feeling guilty worry that they’re missing something, or that they’re less attentive and responsible than other mothers… making the number of mothers who feel guilty that little higher. 

Plus, if that weren’t enough, there’s even a handy checklist of things most mothers are worried about (read: things a GOOD mother OUGHT to be worried about). 

Still, this is PR after all, so who is behind it?

Joanne Evans, head of marketing for NUK, said: ‘It seems mums are suffering a huge amount of guilt when it comes to their kids, within days of their child being born because of the myth surrounding how we should care for our babies.

‘Whether using a dummy or deciding to use formula milk instead of breastfeeding, mums can feel like they are doing something wrong within their child’s first few days of life.

‘And these results show that the guilt never goes away – if anything, it only gets worse as their child gets older.

That would be NUK, the babycare product company, telling us that all mothers are worried all the time about fears which could allayed by buying affordable babycare products, such as:

2. Not being able to afford everything they want
6. Not earning enough money
14. Not having more money to spend on new clothes / toys for my children
17. Not having enough time or money to provide freshly cooked and healthy meals
25. Feeding a baby formula milk instead of breastfeeding
26. Being a stay-at-home mum and not bringing in any money
27. Leaving my baby to cry and self-soothe

The research came once more from polling company OnePoll, with a churnalism analysis of the resulting press release making for interesting reading:

The Daily Mail’s article took 77% of the original press release and published it verbatim – that’s reasonably interesting. However, The Telegraph managed to take this press release and turn it into two articles, both taking over 90% of their copy from the one press release.

If that doesn’t make you worry, I’m not sure what does.