Holiday blues, the return to routine

Parents all over the UK will be breathing a collective sigh of relief this week as the six or seven (or eight and even nine) week summer holiday draws to a close and our little treasures head back to the classroom.  Whether you’ve loved spending time with your children or struggled with bickering, boredom and juggling childcare, the return to routine is good for the whole family, but especially for the primary carers…

New research shows that nearly a fifth (18%) of UK parents return from fractious school holidays only to consider divorce, splitting up, separation or other measures. More London parents return from their holidays to reconsider their relationship with partner or spouse (29%), than anywhere else in the country, followed by East Midlands (24%) and the North East (22%).

Financial pressure

There’s no doubting that the holidays can put additional pressure on parents; when both partners are working additional childcare arrangements have to be made and if you don’t have friends or family to help out, the cost of holiday clubs can present a financial strain too.  Nearly a third of parents (30%) feel stressed about balancing childcare during the holidays. Concerns around childcare are the highest in London (43%), followed by the North West (38%).

Nationally, almost half of the UK parents surveyed (46%) say they come under increased financial pressures during the school holidays, with women (49%) feeling the pinch more than men (43%).
Increased financial pressures during school holidays are felt most keenly in London (53%) and Yorkshire and Humber (53%).

London parents also experience a sharper increase in arguments (26%) than parents anywhere else in the country. This is followed by the North East (24%) and Wales (21%).

Results show that nearly a fifth (14%) of parents across the country think the best time to start divorce proceedings is after school holidays. London (18%), the South West (17%) and North East (17%) parents are most likely to proceed with a divorce after the holidays.

Who’s holding the baby?

Parents in London are at least twice as likely to resent their partner or spouse as they are left to shoulder the bulk of childcare (29%), than any other region in the UK. Also, women (15%) across the UK are more likely to share this sentiment than men (13%).

Parents in London (29%), the North East (22%) and Scotland (16%) are most likely to feel resentful.

What’s age got to do with it?

More than half (56%) of young parents (18-24) across the country are struggling to balance childcare. Parents of 4-7 year olds are under most pressure with the majority of them likely to be feeling the strain of childcare (45%) as well as finances (68%).  Almost a third of parents aged 25-34 argue more with their spouse or partner during the holidays (32%).  The prevalence of arguments amongst parents drops by half when children reach 12-14yrs (6%) in comparison to when children are aged 4-7 (12% strongly agree).

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