You might be patient and kind, with a great line in funny voices and a dab hand at single-handed night-time nappy changes.
But if you’re a police officer, lawyer, salesperson, labourer, receptionist or politician, none of this matters, according to a new study. It seems society will simply assume you’re not a very good parent. This is because your job is viewed as aggressive, weak or impersonal and the opposite of what you need to display as a parent, according to the research.
On the other hand, working in a warm, caring profession – for example being a teacher, doctor, nurse, head teacher or university professor – means that complete strangers will assume that your parenting skills are superior to everyone else’s.
American researchers have found that people have very pre-conceived ideas about whether or not others are good parents – and it’s based on what you do for a living.
As a result of this, the research suggests that lawyers, salespeople and police officers often feel far more stressed about their parenting skills.
“If a person is constantly met with scepticism, he or she can begin to feel stressed because that scepticism will take a toll over time,” says Mark Walker, doctoral student at the University of Iowa.
“These parents are always swimming upstream trying to convince people they are, for example, a legitimate parent or a legitimate attorney.
On the other hand, if society assumes you’re a good mum or dad, parenting apparently becomes much easier.