New research reveals that almost a quarter (23%) of UK mums spend more than 12 hours every day on gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. One in ten of mums (12%) also admitted to spending 9-12 hours a day on devices, which means over a third (35%) of UK mums spend at least 9 hours a day on their gadgets.
Half of these mums (54%) admitted most of the time on their gadgets was spent on social media platforms, and a third (33%) said they were taking photos and videos of their children to share on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The poll of 2,000 UK mums, with children aged between 0-16, was commissioned by Row.co.uk, a mobile phone and tech insurance company. The results show that mums in England are in fact the worst culprits for spending time on gadgets and social media sharing. Twenty-four percent confirmed they spend over 12 hours a day on their phones 55% said they're browsing social media sites, and 34% said they're capturing their kids' moments to share online. In comparison:
Mums in Wales
22% spend over 12 hours a day on their gadgets
46% spend time on social media
33% take pictures and videos of their kids
Mums in Northern Ireland
17% spend over 12 hours a day on gadgets
63% are on social media
38% take pictures and videos of their kids
Mums in Scotland spend the least time on their phone
14% spend over 12 hours a day
48% are on social media platforms
24% take pictures and videos of their children to share online
Despite the stats clearly showing that many mums are spending more time behind the lens taking pictures of their children instead of playing with them, a whopping 62% of mums were very quick to say "no" when asked if they spent more time on gadgets than they do with their children however almost a third (29%) said they were unsure, suggesting mums are not ready to own up to their socia-media-lite mummy habits.
A quarter of mums (22%) confirmed to feeling guilty when on their phones and not playing with the kids, but they also said they felt they deserved some 'me' time. Six percent of mums said they felt "in company" when on gadgets as being at home with children can be lonely.
So, where do these busy mums find time to take and share pictures of their family online?
30% said they use their mobile phone when they wake up in the night
20% said they use their gadgets as soon as they wake up in the morning
7% are on gadgets during breakfast and lunch time
5% even admitted to using gadgets during family bath times
And what are the kids doing while mum is on her phone or tablet? Well, it seems a socia-media-lite mummy may be teaching her children bad habits as 21% of mothers said their children would be playing games on their own gadgets. It also confirms the rise in crazy soft play dates where many parents kick back and let their kids run wild, as 16% said children would be playing in the soft play centre while they were indulging in their social media pastime. Other mums said their children would be:
Watching TV (19%)
Playing outside (19%)
Eating a meal (8%)
Sophie Tait, part-time trainee nurse, and mother of two to Ella-Boo 11 and Logan 2, comments on the results: "As a mum I understand the social pressures to show friends online that you're getting on great with your mummy adventures with fun days out and holidays.
Even though behind closed doors most of us are probably having a tough day dealing with tantrums and household chores while juggling work at the same time.
We certainly do need to get our priorities right and perhaps even start taking parenting advice from our own parents when mobiles phones and tablets weren't around to distract!"
When the 2,000 polled mums were asked to choose one thing their child loves spending time doing, the top five answers were:
1. Playing outside (39%)
2. Playing with their parents (19%)
3. Watching a film, TV or using a gadget (18%)
4. Arts and crafts (17%)
5. Playing with toys inside the house (8%)
"The fact that a fifth of parents recognise their children love playing with them means we do know deep down that we need to spend more time with them."
"It is hard being a mum juggling all of the jobs and commitments we have, but perhaps we all need to make a pact to stop posting so many pictures of our children with glorified filters. If we see less of them, maybe we'll be less likely to feel pressurised to add our own", continues mummy, Sophie Tait.