“Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition. Two to three, everything was turned upside down.”
Being a parent is a truly wonderful experience.
With that disclaimer out of the way, we can get down to the real deal. Being a parent can be stressful and if you have ever had kids or looked after kids, you know that the house is always going to be messy, something will be broken or out of place, and stains will be in trend for many seasons.
While parenting, in general, can be a bit stressful, it turns out that some mothers are in for a lot more stress than others. There is a specific number of children that can together make the perfect recipe to turn your life into utter chaos and help you age faster. And that number is three!
A survey that involved responses from 7,164 mothers in America, conducted by TODAY Parents, revealed that mothers of three are the most stressed-out ones from the bunch. They are more stressed out than mothers who have one or two children. And contrary to what one might think, mothers of three are actually even more stressed out than mothers of four or more children.
The results of the survey showed that once a mother has four or more children, they find that parenting becomes easier and hence, experience lower levels of stress than mothers of three.
Jill Smokler, the author of Motherhood Comes Naturally (And Other Vicious Lies) and creator of the website, Scary Mommy said, “Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition. Two to three, everything was turned upside down.”
“I did not feel like I had it together…just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I found tremendously stressful,” added Jill Smokler, a mother of three.
Coming to what mothers stress about, the survey showed that there is plenty on the list. Worries about money and having to balance professional and personal lives are some of the stress-inducing factors. Some mothers even feel stressed out when they have to worry about their man-child, a.k.a, their husbands. In the survey, 46 percent of the mothers revealed that their partners stress them out even more than their kids do. (Surprised? We weren’t either.)
However, the survey also noted that most of the stress comes from their innate need to be perfectionists. Mothers often face the pressure to be the “ideal” parent, and they end up being hard on themselves.
60 percent of the mothers in the survey also said that their biggest reason to stress is not having enough time to do things. And to make things worse, some mothers stress out about being stressed as 72 percent of the respondents revealed so.
“Moms are acutely aware of the fact they do not have the time to take care of their own needs. Forget reading a book, exercising, or fun hobbies: Some moms barely have time to shower,” said Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist in New York who often meets stressed mothers.
“Before you’re a mom, you take that for granted,” Dr. Taylor added. “When you are a mom you just don’t have the time.”
Dr. Taylor was described as a mother of four children and when was told that mothers of three are most stressed while mothers of four feel less stressed, she couldn’t help but laugh. She revealed that once you have four kids in the house, perfectionism flies out the window, and it’s just about making sure they are all fed and kept alive. “There’s just not enough space in your head for perfectionism when you get to four or more kids,” Dr. Taylore said. “It just gets to be survival!”
She added, “The more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities. You have to let go… and then you’re just thankful when they all get to school on time.”
Disclaimer : This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.