It’s a common running joke that moms tend to see their husband as an extra child in the family in terms of the amount of stress they produce, and a large survey performed by TODAY now suggests that almost half of all moms strongly feel this way. For 46 percent of the 7,000 US mothers that were questioned, husbands were noted as a larger source of stress than dealing with the children.
“A 7-year-old is going to be a 7-year-old. But a 35-year-old acting like a 7-year-old is more stressful because they should know better,” mom Deno Fleno commented.
The survey also indicated that the average stress level for moms is quite high at 8.5 out of 10.
Common worries are that moms aren’t able to do all the things they wanted to do because of a lack of time, but in some cases, spouses form a major source of stress on a daily basis.
“I am exhausted emotionally and physically when my husband comes home. He feels like another job,” was another answer given to the survey.
Splitting up household tasks is another major source of stress, and over 75% of moms feel that they need to do most of the household and parenting chores. About one in five moms are stressed out on a daily basis because their spouse doesn’t provide enough help with the household tasks.
It’s also worth noting that a previous TODAY survey targeted towards fathers indicated that two-thirds of dads would like to have more verbal acknowledgment from their spouse when helping around with parenting tasks. A sort of verbal pat on the back, if you will.
Apparently, women feel that “dad stress” cannot be compared to the stress they endure. This mainly seems to be the case with organizational issues.
“Even though I have a committed spouse, I still feel like all the pressure is on ME to get everything done. I work just as many hours as my husband does, but yet I do all the scheduling.”
“I feel like I am figuring out a lot about parenting on my own without the input of my husband. This stresses me out because when something goes wrong, it is all my fault.”
“He gets all the time he wants and I get none. I can’t even take a relaxing bath without my husband bringing the baby to me.”
“Often times it seems like I am the only adult in my house. My husband and daughter compete with me for my attention.”
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The survey also mentions that the feeling of a spouse being a bigger stress source also applies to lesbian couples. Single moms reported the highest stress levels of all.
Therapist Hal Runkel isn’t surprised by the results of the survey and stresses that communication is always of the utmost importance.
“Marriage is a more difficult relationship than parenting,” he said.
But in the end, the therapist assures that the stress of parenting together is more than worth it.
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