Tuesday November 27 is the loneliest day of the year for parents – with new mums hit the hardest, according to research.
A miserable mix of dark nights, bad weather and struggling to budget for Christmas are the most common triggers.
But waiting for payday and staying in to save money for the festive season also leaves many parents feeling more isolated than at any other point in the year.
Almost three quarters of mums pinpointed November 27 as the toughest date in the calendar, as it falls just ahead the final payday before Christmas.
The date is also two months after September 26 – the day when more babies are born – with 67 per cent of mums polled admitting they felt lonelier after becoming a parent.
The study by parenting site ChannelMum.com also found half of parents can no longer afford to attend festive bashes after having children, while 93 per cent are put off meeting up with friends and family by grim November weather.
ChannelMum.com psychologist Emma Kenny said: “It’s common to feel a little low at this time of the year – but today really does bring together all the worst factors.
“Looking after children can be very isolating, and on this date it’s compounded by money worries, dark nights, terrible weather and feeling disconnected as you can no longer socialise as you use to, leaving tens of thousands of mums feeling very alone.
“With nine in 10 mums saying they hide how they feel, it’s vital we’re all more open and honest.
“We can only end loneliness by reconnecting with each other, so why not turn today into an opportunity to do just that and make new friends?”
Worryingly, more than half of mums admitted they are lonely as they no longer feel ‘body confident’ to dress up and attend Christmas get-togethers.
Mums with newborn babies face extra pressures, with nine in 10 describing themselves as ‘very lonely’ at this time of year.
Seven in 10 feel ‘isolated’ at home with a baby, while 42 per cent confessed to feeling ‘abandoned’, as friends and family show less interest as their tot grows up.
A further 51 per cent turned down invitations to meet other people as they struggled to stretch out their maternity pay.
And half of the 1,372 parents polled said they were left feeling lonelier after looking at friends celebrating the run up to Christmas Day on social media, with a quarter claiming it negatively impacted their mental health.
A quarter miss out on socialising at parties around this date as they have no-one to babysit while one in 20 cannot booze as they are still breastfeeding.
Furthermore, the new consumer trend for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales has also left mums feeling lonelier, with 42 per cent unable to get to the shops with small children or to afford a shopping spree.
Worryingly, 92 per cent confessed they try to hide how they feel, refusing to tell anyone they are lonely.
In response, four in five mums want to find more friends and for parents to be more honest with each other about how they feel.