The best things about raising a child are their cuddles, seeing their personalities develop – and having a laugh. A poll of 1,300 mums, 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 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.
And 38 percent claim the period prior to their children turning three is the most challenging on their mental health.
Meanwhile, nearly a quarter (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 behaviours 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.
And 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, 72 percent believe they were a “better” parent the second time around, the OnePoll research revealed.
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 12pm until 1pm.