Mothers look back to times that were less pressured

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If you think it’s hard being a mother today, imagine what it was like before washing machines and disposable nappies were the norm.

Labour-saving equipment can make many aspects of being a mother easier but not all of modern motherhood has changed for the better. While the home may be packed with gadgets and gizmos, it’s often not frequented by the wider family, so mum may not have the help from relatives she might have received in years gone by.

And because 68 per cent of modern mothers work, they believe they have less time for themselves than their mothers did. Just 23 per cent of mothers worked 40 years ago. Such is the changing face of motherhood, and it’s a transition that’s being examined in a Procter & Gamble campaign fronted by Radio 1 DJ and mother-of-one Edith Bowman.

The Scot, whose son, Rudy, is two, says: “As a working mum, I know how hard it can be to juggle the demands of home life, and the pressure of trying to be a great mum. I am hugely appreciative of the support networks I have of my mum and friends and put a huge amount of value on these relationships.”

The P&G Changing Face of Motherhood report, which looks at changes from the 1930s to the present day and carried out by the Social Issues Research Centre, found that today’s young mothers see the 1970s and 1980s as the decades they would most like to have brought their babies up in, because they perceive them as being less pressured.

The 1930s and 1940s were seen as the worst time to bring up a family. It also found that today’s young mothers place great value on their own mothers with 47 per cent saying their mother was their most valued source of advice.