A long-term study has pointed to a link between half-baked surveys, and mothers feeling generally irked.
The research by Dr Cog, a blogger with the sole aim of generating a bit of traffic to her website, reveals that pretty much every parent on the planet, from all walks of life, wishes ‘experts’ would keep their opinions to themselves unless they know for sure that their ‘advice’ will be helpful to most parents.
In a recent survey of a handful of mothers Dr Cog says the results, while not conclusive, appear to back current evidence that any old rubbish on parenting seems to get in the Lancet, and who has time to read the flipping Lancet anyway when you are trying to raise an actual human being, rather than a healthy statistic?
But, she says, experts should still have a choice whether or not to publish divisive, undermining, unhelpful tat. It’s just a shame the media gives it the time of day.
Regarding the findings – published on this blog – she stresses there are many half-baked surveys that insult a parent’s intelligence, although to avoid skewing the data too much, she did try to rule out the main known triggers of ‘how to vex a Mum’, such as studies on breastfeeding, nut allergies, and taking holidays in term time.
Dr Cog, from the Federal University of Cogito Ergo Mum in Blogville, said her study offers a unique insight because, in the population of her mates that she studied, everyone agreed with what she says regardless of socio-economic background.
Most of the mothers, irrespective of social class, were lectured to constantly about how best to raise their newborn – some for less than a month and others for more than a year.
Those who were lectured for longer scored higher on measures of general peaved-ness
But Dr Cog does say the study findings cannot confirm this and that much more research is needed to explore any possible link between shoddy advice and parents feeling anxious about life. What all experts do agree on, however, is that publishing anything on how women perform their roles in society generally, makes the aforementioned experts famous AND undermines the confidence of new parents, especially mothers, and therefore women. What’s not to love?
Dr Blah, national director of Blagging One’s Way to the Top, said there was strong evidence that if he provided a comment on any article on how best to parent, he would generate some publicity for his department. He kindly recognised that mothers do have a choice in what they do, and whatever choice they make he will be happy to provide someone who can produce a study that judges their parenting skills to be sub-standard.
The Royal College of New Mums said “New mothers need support, not a load of pish shoved down their necks at every opportunity. But we can’t do much to help them, because they keep cutting our funding”.
Professor Austerity, chairman of the Royal College of Making cuts, said: “Isn’t it weird that in these tough times, there is still a budget for allowing people to publish half-baked facts? But what do I care, I’m famous now. I’ll probably get a pay rise!!!!”
It is important to note that divisive surveys by ‘experts’ is one of many factors that can contribute to a new parent’s general annoyance. Poor day time telly scheduling, no sleep, and no milk in to make a cup of tea also have an impact. However, this study emphasises the need for parents to ignore all ill-considered ‘advice’ and instead suggests we focus on the provision of support to all new mothers based on proven science and information tailored to their individual needs and the needs of their children.
But that would make new mums, and women in general, feel good about themselves. Where’s the fun in that?