Harry Judd has bravely admitted that he struggled to bond with his baby son when he was born as he tells other parents it’s okay to worry.
The McFly star made some frank parenting confessions during an exclusive chat with Mirror Online as he teamed up with baby product manufacturers WaterWipes as they launched documentary #ThisIsParenthood.
Harry, who shares children Kit, one, and Lola, three, with wife Izzy, said he was saddened by the company’s research that showed 62% of parents in the UK feel like they’re failing within their first year of parenthood.
But it’s something he can definitely relate to, and he wants to remind others that parenting isn’t just the picture-perfect moments you see on Instagram .
Harry, 33, told us: “There was a lovely moment when my wife told me after having Lola that being a parent brought out the best in me.
“But at the same time, when my son was born, it wasn’t such a kind of rosy situation, it was the reality of two young children 19 months apart with both of us working – it was really stressful.
“When Lola was born it was amazing and so lovely and we were really lucky because she was a pretty easy baby but Kit was quite the opposite so it was really stressful.
“I didn’t feel an instant connection with my son as well when he was born and I’ve spoken to quite a lot of parents who’ve felt that and the feelings that come with that are quite strange.”
He added: “It talks about that in the WaterWipes documentary, how you just expect to fall in love with your baby as soon as it’s born and it doesn’t always work like that.
“Don’t get me wrong I’m completely besotted with Kit now, but the first six months of his life were some of the trickiest months for us as parents and on our relationship and everything because it’s really challenging and it adds new pressures to everything.
“Ultimately, we’re incredibly lucky and we have two happy, healthy children, we’re very fortunate but that doesn’t mean that it’s not stressful.
“It’s okay to talk about it and say it’s not easy.”
While Harry admits he and Izzy sometimes struggle to juggle the workload of two children, more could be on the way in the future … just as soon as they find time to have the conversation first.
He said: “At the moment, we barely have time to discuss the option. You get into bed and you’re so exhausted and we need to talk about the other things in life, like bills or admin so actually finding time to have a conversation about a third child is not really doable.
“We’re both working as well and our schedules are so random.
“Maybe if we’re driving in the car somewhere and talking over the top of nursery rhymes, then maybe we’d get a conversation in but it’s not something we’re thinking about at the minute.”
Harry said he and Izzy wanted to get involved in the WaterWipes campaign because they know how it feels to think you’re not doing a good job as a parent.
Harry said: “I think Izzy has felt it more than me, there have been times I’ve had to reassure her and comfort her that she’s doing a great job and she is, but she’s been really tough on herself and thought she’s got stuff wrong and failed as a mum.”
He added: “#ThisIsParenthood aims to build confidence in parents by starting a more open and honest conversation about parenting.
“That rung true with me and Izzy.
“The research revealed some quite interesting results that particularly UK parents feel like they’re failing at parenthood and that this picture-perfect culture makes people feel like they’re failing.
“We just felt like the actual reality of parenthood is a lot different to what gets put out there so the project is something we thought we could get involved in.
“They made this awesome documentary with new parents and it’s a really raw take on the reality of parenting.
“[The figures] did shock me but at the same time it totally resonates with myself and Izzy. There are so many occasions where you feel this pressure as a parent to be perfect.
“But the reality is that no one is going to achieve perfection and you can only do the best job you can do as parents or as individuals and the reality of parenthood is often very different to how it’s portrayed.
“It’s a beautiful privilege to be a parent and it’s the most incredible thing that’s ever happened to me but it also comes with some very tough and challenging times.
“It’s the most important job in the world so projects like this can only have a positive result.”
* Harry Judd has partnered with WaterWipes on the #ThisIsParenthood project that aims to inspire self-belief in parents after research revealed half of parents globally feel like they are failing in their first year of parenthood. In partnership with mums, dads and BAFTA nominated director Lucy Cohen, the project aims to normalise and encourage more open and honest conversations about parenthood across the globe. Join in the conversation via #ThisIsParenthood and watch the documentary here:
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