It doesn’t make a lot of sense at first thought that three kids cause more stress than four and above. However, research seems to indicate that three may be the most problematic. Having kids always means there will be some stressful days. From infancy to adulthood, you will have put in a lot of time, effort, and energy- which is as it should be. It’s not all negative, however, children do have their own way of bringing an aura of joy to a home, even if it’s alongside a little trouble. Moms of 3, according to a survey in 2013, have it the worst.
Moms of 3 have the hardest time
A 2013 survey carried out by Today Parents shows that moms with three kids tend to get more stressed out than others. 7,164 mothers in the United States participated in the study. It was discovered that moms of three have to deal with the highest amount of stress, reaching an average of 8.5 on a scale of 10. Sixty percent of the moms insisted that girls are more stressful to raise than boys. The thought is that girls may require more care and attention. Of course, this is debatable.
“Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition,” said Jill Smokler, one of the moms who took part in the survey. “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 this tremendously stressful.”
Most people would argue, that four kids should definitely be more stressful than three. Perhaps, this could be true. On the other hand, according to Psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor, three kids is literally the breaking point for many parents. After three, you find it hard getting stressed out about anything anymore. The whole process becomes too cliché. “There’s just not enough space in your head for perfectionism when you get to four or more kids. 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.”
Moms of four and above have become veterans in the game.
Other major mommy stress statistics
Information garnered during the survey led to the following statistics:
- 46 percent of moms say their husbands/partners cause them more stress than their kids do.
- 72 percent of moms stress about how stressed they are.
- 60 percent say it’s the lack of time to do everything that needs to get done.
- Nine out of 10 moms stress about staying fit and attractive.
Taking care of kids is a major stress on its own, but some moms insisted their husbands stress them a lot more. Kind of ironic, isn’t it? And being the women we are, we have to complain about the stress we are going through, which ends up stressing us even more.
From the survey, it can be observed that moms stress about their bodies the most. It’s not news that most moms undergo major physical changes after childbirth, especially when they’ve had more than one. They worry so much about keeping that pre-pregnancy body, but there’s just not enough time to hit the gym. This lack of time leads to worrying while getting other things done. Body changes are one of the major causes of post-partum depression.
Another stress-causing factor is feeling bad about not accomplishing all of our daily tasks we set out to do. Between waking up, making breakfast and lunch for school, house chores, going to work, school drop-offs or pickups, taking your kids to games, getting them to music practice on time, and doctor’s appointments, there’s just never enough time in a day. This is why a lot of moms never want to leave the spa when they find the time to go in for some pampering.
“When it comes to kids, three is the magic number…for stress,” – Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Every mommy (and daddy) who wants three or more should gear up to undergo the time of her life. Level one-kid is full of eagerness and excitement. Level two-kids is when the stress starts creeping in slowly, and at level three-kids, Mom is just short of losing it. At level four-kids-and-above, mom will most likely have become a pro at stress management.
Either way, kids are the candles that light up every home. The noise, the clutter, the bickering, the smiles, the laughter – when you sit back and take it all in, you’ll know that they’re worth it.