The lonely, isolated and challenging lives of many parents
Three mothers and a father give their accounts of what parenthood can really feel like
Gavin Leonard with his three-year-old daughter Jade. Gavin tries to meet up with dad friends periodically but says ‘every time we try to arrange something, one of us will have an issue so generally we spend most of the time rescheduling’. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw
Ask any parent what the most difficult thing about parenthood is and an array of different answers is certain. Sleep deprivation, the struggle to juggle and tantrums are likely to feature, but not all challenges are easy to admit.
Loneliness and isolation in parenthood are often associated with the early days’ restrictions and mammoth adjustments involved. But for many parents, loneliness persists well beyond the early weeks, creeping into their daily life and making up a significant part of their parenthood experience.