5 things all 2020 parents should know

From embracing diversity to saving the planet, modern motherhood is more exciting and empowering than ever
Plain Picture, Stocksy



1. You can globetrot with a tot

‘In my experience, babies adapt well to planes, climates and jet lag. And as children under two travel at around 10% of the cost of an adult fare, it’s the most economical time to fly with kids. The key is to try to stick to your routine – it’ll make it less stressful for all of you,’ says Helen Wright, travel writer and blogger at passportstamps.uk, who has travelled to 13 countries (so far) with son Finn, three. ‘Travelling with little ones can offer perks at airports, such as speedy boarding lanes and facilities. Often, buggies are available to borrow, so I ditch mine with the luggage. A baby carrier also makes navigating the airport much easier,’ she adds. ‘Plus, look out for airport activity areas, so toddlers can burn off energy before boarding.’

2. Flexible working is worth fighting for

Modern mums have made flexible working a workplace trend for everyone – hurrah! One of the ‘foremothers’ of this, Anna Whitehouse (@motherpukka), shares her tips: ‘Suggest a trial period and prove it works by measuring productivity over that period. Form a flexible working group and include everyone, not just mums/dads, so companies can’t take a head-in-the-sand approach. Focus on the business benefits. A happy, healthy workforce is a productive one.’ She also suggests using flexible-working recruitment sites, such as Timewise, to find forward-thinking companies that you can apply to.

3. Parenting is a double act

Modern mums are all about sharing the load – the good, the bad and the whiffy – and understand the importance of equality for dads, too. That’s why we love these movements:

  • #MITEY (miteyuk.org) Men In The Early Years campaigns to raise awareness about the fact that so few men make up the early years workforce, and calls for employers and careers advisors to question the stereotypes that surround working with young children.
  • #LoveTheChange Celeb papa John Legend has teamed up with Pampers to call for more baby-changing facilities in men’s loos. Because you don’t need boobs to change nappies.
  • #HowAreYouDad With studies suggesting nearly one in 10 new dads experiences depression, we love this awareness-raising mental health campaign, started by Mark Williams following his own experience of depression after the birth of his child.
4. Mental health matters

And that’s why the work of these women needs shouting about. Dr Stephanie de Giorgio raises awareness about poor access to treatment for pre- and post-natal mental illness (she launched the #Hiddenhalf campaign with the NCT): ‘The effect of a traumatic delivery can be lifelong. I remember talking to an 80-year-old woman and it was still affecting her,’ she says. Here are three more names to know:

  • Vicki Psarias (@honestmum) ‘A more transparent culture around parenting has evolved online, and for many, blogging about the tougher times has become a form of therapy.’
  • Victoria Jennings (@bloom classes): ‘My first experience of motherhood was exhaustion and anxiety. So, when I set up Bloom [classes to help parents and infants bond], it was important to be honest. Raising awareness of PND is at the core of what we do.’
  • Patti Miskolczi (sayanything.co.uk): ‘Being a mum exposed me to an extreme new level of emotional life. I created Say Anything [a wellbeing app for mums] to give others a voice and remind them they’re not alone.’
5. It’s time to channel your inner mum-tivist

2020 mothers aren’t just multi-taskers – changing nappies while sending emails – they’re activists, too. For a start, lots of mamas are joining the fight for the planet: check out zero-waste champions @mamalinauk and @kate_arnell, plus @sustainablychic for tips on dressing responsibly. While breastfeeding in public is another important issue: we raise our breast pumps to celebs such as Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen and Pink for unashamedly sharing their pumping selfies. Get in on the act by making your employer and/or MP aware of the need to support breastfeeding mums who return to work. And when it comes to fighting for diversity, respect to Ranae Von Meding, who’s fighting for equal rights for children of LGBTQ+ parents (@equalityfor children); and Candice Brathwaite, the co-founder of @makemotherhooddiverse. We also love littleboxofbooks.co.uk, a subscription service for kids’ stories that feature diverse characters and family set-ups.

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