Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. It's backbreaking, emotional labor that takes us on the highest of highs and the very lowest of lows. It can be even harder if you're a working mom, have health issues, have no support, or if your kiddos have special needs. We hear all the time from moms who are being crushed by their motherhood load, but as moms, we just keep trudging along. For all of the hard work, there is so much reward, and it all kind of balances out, right? Plus, when it comes to our kids, we expect the stress and emotional labor.
But for a lot of moms, it's not motherhood that is causing them the most stress. It's their husbands and partners, according to a survey. The results are incredibly eye-opening, but for a lot of women, probably not very surprising.
A TODAY Moms survey of more than 7,000 U.S. mother found that the average mom has a stress level of 8.5 out of 10. That sounds about right, honestly! But it's not the kids, or their work, or managing a home that causes them the most stress. For 46% of survey respondents, it was their husbands. Their biggest gripe? Moms complained that oftentimes, their husbands behaved more like big kids than equal, supportive partners.
So rather than feeling like they have a strong co-pilot, they felt like they had another kid. It makes them feel like the bulk of the day-to-day parenting responsibilities fall on them.
Three-quarters of the moms who responded to the survey said that they did most of the parenting and household duties. Not getting enough help from their partner was a major source of daily stress for one out of five moms in the survey. The moms say that mom stress is totally different from dad stress, and their partners tend to not recognize the amount of stress they are under. This failure to feel supported or see eye-to-eye with their partner just leads to ... more stress!
Listen, parenting is hard. But so is marriage! In a lot of ways, marriage is even harder. It takes constant work, communication, and understanding. And when one half of a partnership isn't pulling their weight, it's not surprising that it would negatively affect the other half.