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04th Apr 2024

The ‘co-mum-drum’ – More and more people are unsure if motherhood is something they want

Sophie Collins

parenthood motherhood

In the world of modern dating, conversations about parenthood are taking centre stage,  according to research

It is particularly among women grappling with the decision of whether or not they want to become mothers. 

Bumble, the renowned women-first dating app, has highlighted this latest phenomenon, coining the term ‘co-mum-drum’ to reference the uncertainty many women are facing when it comes to motherhood.

Recent research conducted by Bumble has shown a significant shift in societal perspectives, particularly among Irish women.

A notable 59% believe they can lead fulfilling lives without children, underscoring the evolving dialogue around parenthood.

The pivotal question of ‘to parent or not to parent?’ poses a unique challenge for women, and it’s sparking discussions on social platforms about ‘the female load’ – which is the disproportionate physical and mental burdens placed on women as mothers.

Despite strides toward gender equality, there remains a prevailing belief among 52% of people in Ireland that societal expectations for each gender still have a long way to go. 

Intriguingly, 9% of Generation Z have expressed skepticism about the current state of gender equality.

The repercussions of gender imbalances extend beyond parenting roles, and are beginning to permeate professional spheres as well. 

Bumble’s research highlights the prevalent notion that mothers experience more guilt about advancing in their careers compared to fathers. 


This is particularly pronounced among Generation Z, with 56% acknowledging this disparity.

The narrative surrounding motherhood has seen a kaleidoscope of perspectives, ranging from the idealised ‘tradwife’ influencer content to the laid-back lifestyles of ‘DINK’ (Double Income No Kids) couples flooding social media platforms like TikTok. 

Amidst this cacophony of voices, women are sharing candid reactions to the pros and cons of parenthood, spurred on by viral trends such as ‘The List’.

For single individuals, navigating the ‘co-mum-drum’ can be especially daunting, as societal pressures to achieve relationship milestones loom large. However, Bumble’s insights suggest a silver lining, revealing that an increasing number of Gen Z and millennial daters are engaging in open conversations about relationship goals, including children and marriage.

Dr. Caroline West, Bumble’s Sex and Relationships Expert, says: “Women can feel a lot of pressure to adhere to traditional relationship milestones, especially when it comes to motherhood, and the messaging around this seems to be forever changing. 

“One minute you’re being told you should balance a career whilst having a child, and the next you’re being sold a dream of being a ‘stay at home girlfriend’ on TikTok. 

“This pressure can be even more difficult to manage if you are someone who is looking to become a parent through modern family planning options, such as adoption or IVF.

“It can be overwhelming at times, but I’d encourage women to try and cut out the noise from social media, and even friends and family. 

“In fact, over a fifth of women are actively avoiding friends and family who put pressure on them to make decisions about marriage or children.”

Bumble’s research serves as a poignant reminder of the nuanced landscape of modern motherhood and the need to foster open dialogue and empowerment among women navigating the ‘co-mum-drum.’