Parental stress, depression, and anxiety increased when new national restrictions had been introduced according to the latest report from the Oxford University-led Covid-19 Supporting Parents, Adolescents, and Children in Epidemics (Co-SPACE) study.

The impact on working mums is important – 9 out of 10 working mothers say their mental health has been negatively impacted, with more than half of women with children ages 0-16 stating that balancing working from home and childcare had impacted their wellbeing.

See more information on Oxford University - Parental mental health worsens under new national Covid-19 restrictions.

Research has also shown parental work schedules can influence the cognitive trajectory and learning experience of a child (Han & Fox, 2011). In this study, they found that working years of night shifts as a mother (and to a lesser effect, as a father) can have a negative impact on school test scores. This means that considering your child when scheduling work patterns is crucial for their wellbeing. Especially for working parents who have to manage night shifts, extra creativity is needed to effectively plan and spend time with your children.

Some of the difficulties experienced by parents outlined by the study were:

  • Being unable to attend children’s events
  • Not spending quality time with children (note – this means spending the available time you have in the most meaningful way e.g. completing homework together)
  • Familial eating patterns and meals (healthy vs unhealthy)
  • Parents' knowledge of child’s whereabouts

Figure 1: Mean maths scores compared with the differing shift patterns, across ages 6-14 (Taken from Han & Fox, 2011).

Figure 1: Mean math scores compared with the differing shift patterns, across ages 6-14 (Taken from Han & Fox, 2011).

Below are some links with tips on scheduling, managing and communicating shift works in families. You can also get in touch with a member of our Keeping Well BLMK team to discuss difficulties you’ve been having.

Updated on: 21/04/2022