• 75 percent of parents feel pressured to be ‘perfect’
  • Losing their temper is the main cause of parental guilt
  • 1 in 3 have missed a child’s activity due to work
  • 1 in 4 have had their decisions questioned by other parents
  • 31 percent of Millennial parents regularly compete with other parents on social media
  • Barack and Michelle Obama are the famous parent couple American moms and dads admire most


Children may see their parents as superheroes, but moms and dads across America would gladly agree they’re far from perfect.


From trying to keep their family eating healthy to planning activities to please everyone, 75 percent of parents today say they still feel pressure to be “perfect.” And the urge to be a flawless parent comes from everywhere: friends, family, even online through social media.


In fact, American parents feel an average of 23 pangs of guilt in a single week over parenting decisions they feel weren’t quite up to standard.


As a result of these pressures, a new study that examined how parents rate their own parenting skills found that 25 percent find themselves second-guessing their decisions on a regular basis. With pressure comes stress, and the #1 reason parents feel guilt is for losing their temper.


With a third being so busy with work that they’ve missed their child’s activities, sports games or teacher meetings, the results show that not being home enough is another top reason behind parental guilt.


Moms are more than twice as likely to feel bad about giving their kids too much screen time with electronics, nagging kids over chores, and not making enough home-cooked meals.



Food for Thought



While the average parent cooks four meals per week, 70 percent say they would make home-cooked meals every day if they had the time – but realistically have only about 30 minutes to prepare meals on a school night.


The study of 2,000 parents of school-age children commissioned by Farm Rich, one of the nation’s leading frozen snacks and appetizer brands, and conducted by OnePoll, revealed 63 percent of parents say something as simple as making a home-cooked dinner makes them feel like a supermom or superdad.


1 in 3 parents treat their family to a special weekend meal or a trip to a restaurant to make up for some of that guilt.


Waking up early to serve their children a wholesome, nutritious breakfast also makes parents feel successful.


“Today’s moms and dads are under more pressure than ever to be and do everything for their kids, and do it well,” said Shannon Gilreath, Farm Rich Director of Marketing. “But parenting isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy. Doing the best you can often is the best – and parents need to recognize and celebrate all the things they do well and give themselves permission to let go of some of the guilt and set more realistic expectations.


“Kids likely won’t remember the details of what was served for dinner, but rather the time spent together as a family,” Gilreath added.



School & Social Media


Survey results also show the back-to-school season and social media only add to the pressure parents feel.


2 out of 3 parents feel like they have to send kids back to school with a memorable summer experience and a backpack full of all new supplies. Half of the parents surveyed say their goal for this school year is to eat as a family three times a week. 6 in 10 say they will try and serve a home-cooked meal every week night.


For parents, social media has its drawbacks. 1 in 5 parents admit to competing with other parents on social media by posting photos and videos of their “happy” family.


However, older Millennials and GenX parents say they’re more likely to experience inspiration and happiness from the social posts of other parents.


Younger millennials, however, are more likely to experience negative emotions such as guilt and jealousy. And parents who use Facebook experience the most guilt.


62 percent say that if they have something to be proud of when it comes to their parenting, they’ll likely post about it on social media.



  1. Losing my temper
  2. Not playing enough with my children
  3. Not being home enough
  4. Letting my children have too much screen time
  5. When I don’t feel like I’m being a good role model
  6. Not being able to take my children on more vacations or outings
  7. When I don’t have time to make home-cooked meals
  8. Not reading enough to and with my children
  9. Letting my kids eat junk food
  10. Working too much




  1. Being present for my kids
  2. Being a good listener and giving good advice
  3. Being available to help with daily homework
  4. Attending all or most of my children’s academic, social and extracurricular activities
  5. Being able to take my children on vacation




  1. Barack and Michelle Obama
  2. Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds
  3. Prince William and Kate Middleton
  4. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell
  5. Beyoncé and Jay-Z




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