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.
@ParentModernFam @YummyMummyClub @Femail so, basically, mothers need to relax regardless of if they have 1 or ten. that's what i'm getting.— Ellen Ripley, Alien Slayer (@Ellen Ripley, Alien Slayer)1421016998.0
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.
@ParentModernFam @YummyMummyClub @Femail I agree. 4 makes me less stressed because I feel like I've finally got "this"— Jessica Terry (@Jessica Terry)1421016885.0
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.
I remember my mother in law telling me. If you have three kids, you should have four.... So I stopped at two. https://t.co/WUQdW5DUPs— JasmineJafferali,MPH (@JasmineJafferali,MPH)1539815693.0
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.
@people I have 3 kids- all 2 years apart. Life is full of stressors but my children make it all worth it. Wouldn't… https://t.co/3u40jBadIa— TinaBW (@TinaBW)1539897235.0
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:
@people that is correct. i am a mom of 3. ages 5, 4 and 2. i cry myself to sleep almost everynight 🤣 #ccheryrose— RootedCenteredPlanted (@RootedCenteredPlanted)1539892338.0
@JodieLeibowitz @people it didn't say it was sad, it said it was stressful. You can feel joy and stress simultaneously.— Angie (@Angie)1539892565.0
@people I feel the pain.— StacyStew22 (@StacyStew22)1539891521.0
@people Was once told by a mom of 8 and another or 10 that 3 children was the busiest and most stressful. I agree b… https://t.co/378Ctcsp2N— Dutchgirl (@Dutchgirl)1539891489.0
Finally, a study that states what we all already knew 😫😭 Megan Rachel https://t.co/x2BWDWgWal— Katlyn Manha Street (@Katlyn Manha Street)1539985569.0
Yes we are! https://t.co/3VsUvRMe1F— Jodie Wright (@Jodie Wright)1539955031.0
There are many difficult jobs in the world, but few more difficult than being a mother...especially a mother of three!