So­cial me­dia made mum feel like a fail­ure

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS - BY KAITLIN EAS­TON

An Aberdeen mum says that see­ing “un­re­al­is­tic” ex­am­ples of moth­er­hood on so­cial me­dia made her feel like a bad par­ent.

Leah Chen­jerai strug­gled with be­ing a lone par­ent and even­tu­ally turned to fam­ily sup­port char­ity Home Start for help.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion has now launched an aware­ness drive to en­sure that strug­gling par­ents are not ad­versely af­fected by per­ceived “perfect” ex­am­ples of par­ent­ing they may see on­line.

The sit­u­a­tion was an­a­lysed by the char­ity in a new study, with 60% of par­ents who re­sponded feel­ing pres­sure from so­cial me­dia.

More than half of those polled said that the fear of other peo­ple think­ing they were a bad par­ent would put them off ask­ing for help.

Miss Chen­jerai said: “Peo­ple post a lot of stuff on so­cial me­dia but they only post what they want you to see. Peo­ple are not post­ing what they are liv­ing.

“It makes peo­ple strug­gle when they see fam­i­lies on Face­book hold­ing hands, perfect, when they’re try­ing to build up a fam­ily.

“When you’re so bro­ken that you can’t even take your child to the park, that can make you feel like a bad par­ent.

“It dam­ages your self-es­teem and fam­ily re­la­tion­ships.”

Home Start Aberdeen man­ager, Eleanor Mcewan, added: “I would say that there is no such thing as the perfect fam­ily. Ev­ery­one al­ways puts their best face on so­cial me­dia.

“No one should be re­luc­tant to ask for help, we all need it some­times.”

Miss Chen­jerai added:”My kids were young when I started go­ing to Home Start and I was go­ing through a lot. I had my kids my­self for six months straight – without a break.”

Leah Chen­jerai

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