This is how long it takes to get the hang of parenting

A new survey has revealed it takes over a year to get the hang of parenting [Photo: Getty]

You’ve been up all night with a grizzly newborn, last night’s dinner has formed an unsightly crust on your PJs, your living room looks like a jumble sale and you haven’t had a shower in, oh a few days (*don’t judge*).

If all this is sounding horribly familiar take heart in the fact that you’re certainly not alone. In fact according to new research parents have admitted that it takes a good 14 months to get the hang of the whole parenting lark, with many admitting to being “not in the slightest bit prepared” for how hard having a baby would be.

The study conducted by Little Tikes revealed that more than one in three UK parents admitted they were taken by surprise at how difficult their new role would be with almost half (49%) saying they were shocked as they adjusted to their new lifestyle.

[Photo: Getty]

The new mums and dads confessed that the hardest part of being a parent was the constant tidying up (25%), while sleepless nights (22%) and the battle to simply get their baby to sleep (14%) also came high on the difficulty list.

This leaves new parents with just 2.9 hours of time to catch up with Netflix on a weekday evening. The study also revealed the hardest time to be a parent - with those surveyed saying they felt most exhausted at 7pm - particularly on Mondays.

The daily struggles could explain why a third of those surveyed revealed that they enjoyed being a parent only “some of the time”.

And while we are all meant to be in the whole parenting thing together, 66% of participants admitting to getting annoyed with other parents on social media who portray the perfect idea of a family. All this adds to the perfect parenting pressures with almost three quarters (73%) saying that during the first year with a baby they felt pressure from friends and family to be a ‘perfect’ parent.

But it’s not all bad; despite the shock, parents also found joy in the little things with just under half saying that seeing their child smile is the most rewarding, followed closely by watching them learn something new and sharing cuddles.

Milestones, including little ones sleeping through the night and walking and talking were also listed, as high points for the frazzled parents.

The 1,500 parents surveyed as part of the research also said that they had about 4.4 hours of fun a day with their children.

[Photo: Getty]

Speaking about the findings Emma Kenny, Child Psychologist and Little Tikes’ Play Expert said: “Clearly being a new parent is an exciting time in anyone’s life and it’s fascinating to see the high and lows of parenting our research reveals.”

“It’s wonderful to see that despite all the sleepless nights and tidying up, many find magic in the little moments, cherishing the milestones as baby develops.”

Do you agree with the findings? Let us know @YahooStyleUK

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