One of the most important decisions you will make in your life is deciding how many children you will add to your family.
Some people say that they will have no children or they will make the brave decision to have many. On average, American families have 2.4 children in their household.
Ask any parent and they will tell you, children are great and raising them is a nice experience but it can also be stressful.
This may logically lead you to ask the question, what is the specific number of children that will stress out parents the most?
This question has now been answered and according to TODAY Parents, the answer may be smaller than you ever thought possible.
TODAY Parents surveyed over 7000 mothers in 2013 within the United States. According to their findings, 3 children is more stressful than having only one or two but having four or more children is less stressful than any of those numbers.
Jill Smokler, creator of ‘Scary Mommy’ says that she agrees with those results. She also says that adding the third child to their family was more challenging that they anticipated.
“Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition,” she said. “Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands! Just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I find tremendously stressful.”
Mothers were asked to rate the level of stress they felt every day on a scale of 1 to 10. The results averaged 8.5.
Some women considered stress from work or having a lazy partner but 75% of those polled said that the majority of stress comes from their own personal need to be a perfectionist.
Fortunately, this isn’t something that will last forever.
Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist who was also a mother of four children said: “the more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities,” and you’ll no longer strive to be a perfectionist.”
“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.”
Before you’re a mom, you take that for granted. When you are a mom you just don’t have the time.”
There’s just not enough space in your head for perfectionism when you get to four or more kids.”
What are the other things that stress mothers out?
The survey also talked about other forms of stress. 46% of women said that their partners/husbands caused them more stress than their children. 60% say the stress stems from their inability to do “everything that needs to be done” in a certain amount of time.