Eight out of ten young mums will feel lonely this Mothers' Day

27 March 2019

Mothers’ Day is often a joyous time for mums when children go out of their way to make the day special for their mums, but motherhood can be an isolating time for women, especially young mums as research by Co-op shows that a staggering 82% of mums under 30 feel lonely some of the time, while more than four in ten (43%) are lonely often or always.

The sense of isolation is felt most acutely by younger mothers who may lose contact with their support networks after discovering their pregnancy and having their children, with a third aged 19 or under stating that they are always lonely compared with just one in ten (9%) of those aged between 26 and 30. More than half (54%) of single mums are often or always lonely compared with 38% who are married.

Those who had their first child when they were younger than 16 are 10 times more likely to always feel lonely compared to mums who had their first child when they were 27-29 (30% vs. 3%).

When asked what stopped them meeting friends, six in ten (60%) cited lack of money while 55% said feeling tired, 47% claimed they wanted to stay with their kids and 38% said the hassle of organising childcare was a reason why they didn’t socialise with friends.

Previous research by the Co-op and British Red Cross, who have been working in partnership for the past four years to help tackle loneliness, identified that becoming a young mother was one of the life-changing events that can trigger loneliness. However it was the least likely to be recognised as an at risk group by the general public.

Home-Start one of the leading family support charities in the UK, has partnered with the Co-op and British Red Cross to expand its community-based young parent support groups to help lonely mums, between the ages of 18 – 25 to gather, meet, talk and create their own support networks.

Paul Gerrard, Group Policy and Campaigns Director at the Co-op, said:

“Mothers’ Day can be a difficult time for those young mothers who are suffering with loneliness. As the figures show, despite public opinion, this group is highly susceptible to loneliness, and is a major problem within our society.

“Initiatives such as Home-Start are imperative to addressing this problem; it’s great to hear stories such as Sarah’s that prove that these support groups truly are having a positive effect on those who previously felt isolated.”

Vivien Waterfield, director of fundraising and communications at Home–Start UK said:

“Being a parent is never easy. Loneliness and isolation can have a devastating impact on parents and it can be especially tough for young mums and dads. Often they feel like there is nowhere they can go to meet people like them. That is why these groups, especially for parents under 25, have been so important and have made such a big impact.”


Sarah, 32, mum of four, from Yorkshire

Sarah was 24 when she had her first child. Sarah moved to York in 2016 but didn’t know anybody here, Home-Start have helped her meet new people.


Survey was conducted by Atomik Research among 1,010 mums aged 30 and under in 2018.

Further information:

Sarah Fitton

Corporate PR & Media Manager

External number: 0161 692 2468

Mobile: 07702506126

Email: sarah.fitton@coop.co.uk