Camilla Thurlow On Parent Shaming: ‘You Can Start To Doubt Yourself’

The author and former Love Island star tells Grazia how parent shaming has impacted her - and explains why parents need support, not judgement.

Camilla thurlow

by Bonnie McLaren |
Updated on

Love Island is back on our screens, but one reminder that the show can actually create couples that survive life outside the infamous neon villa comes in the form of Camilla Thurlow and Jamie Jewitt. The pair met on the 2017 series, but fast forward four years and the couple now share baby daughter Nell, who they welcomed eight months ago.

Throughout pregnancy, and after welcoming Nell, Camilla has managed to grow her fanbase, and she now often shares adorable photos of the family. In February, for example, she made the announcement that she and Jamie were engaged, and Nell was wearing a babygrow which read 'Mummy will you marry my daddy?' Adorable.

But, like most mums, Camilla experiences parent shaming. And so, the former bomb disposal expert has partnered with C&G baby club - a community which offers parenting advice - to try and encourage people to be kinder to new parents, with research showing parent shaming cause the majority of parents (68%) to feel like failures in the early stages of parenthood and make a worrying 71% doubt their own ability to raise their children. 'Parents need support and not judgment,' Camilla tells Grazia over the phone. 'Because while it's a magical experience becoming a parent, you don't want that to be tainted.'

'It's such a big learning curve, it's the most amazing experience and you want to do very best at it,' she adds. 'And that's why it's so important that you feel like you can get the information you need. You can talk about the reality of the situation, but without being judged or made to doubt yourself.'

One of the main things which Camilla says has made her encounter parent shaming is Nell's sleeping pattern, something she has often shared on Instagram.. But Camilla was surprised when some decided to be negative.

'Nell doesn't sleep through, and she wasn't sleeping through. But we were really happy, she was very content and happy. I was very content and happy, and I was happy to share what was going on with us,' Camilla says. 'But then people make comments and go, "Oh, she should be sleeping through by now." You can start to doubt yourself. And it can distract from your focus and I just want to be actually focused on what works for our family.'

While Camilla might have 1.6million followers on Instagram, she reminds us that this type of negative comment can happen anywhere, and to any parent. 'I honestly think for any parent, there are different avenues where you can experience judgment or critical comments,' she says. 'You can experience it in parks and play areas. And some parents expect to receive judgments from their family members, as well as social media.' And she says this has - sadly - only increased following lockdown.

'Of course, with the pandemic, things have been different, in a sense,' she continues. 'So maybe it's because of being at home a lot, but over half of parents have said that they feel like the number of judgments they received has actually increased. But it's interesting that it can come from different avenues.'

Camilla was speaking on behalf of theC&G baby club #LoveDontJudge campaign, which is on a mission to stop parental judgement before it starts.

READ MORE: CC Clarke On Online Mum-Shaming: 'I Want To Normalise Feelings Of Self-Doubt As A Mother'

READ MORE: Love Island’s Niall Aslam On Why Pre – And During – Show Care Is Just As Vital As Aftercare

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