Having any number of children is stressful. But which number is the most stressful? If scientists are to be believed, the number is three. That's right, according to a 2013 survey of 7,164 mothers, Today came to the conclusion that having three children is more stressful than having one, two, four, five, or even ten.
Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist, seemed to counter-intuitively grow more relaxed after having their fourth child:
There's just not enough space in your head for perfectionism when you get to four or more kids.
Put simply, after having four kids, mothers begin to go a little easier on themselves and no longer expect to constantly do a perfect job. Taylor continued:
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.
Going from two children to three was a different story, according to Jill Smokler, founder of Scary Mommy:
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.
In general, however, Mom's were a pretty stressed bunch. On a scale from 1-10, the average stress-level for mothers everywhere was sitting around an 8.5. To be fair to the children, however, 46% of mothers also reported that their romantic partners were the main cause of their stress.
60% of mothers reportedly worried more about their daughters than sons, while another 60% were simply worried there wasn't enough time in the day to get everything they needed to finish completed. Twitter certainly understood the feeling:
There are many difficult jobs in the world, but few more difficult than being a mother...especially a mother of three!