The constant demands of parenting can put a real strain on mums and dads – but a study has found husbands cause a higher level of stress in their wives than their offspring.
A survey of 7,000 mums by Today found on average they rate their levels of stress at a worryingly high 8.5 out of 10. And 46 per cent say their husbands add more stress to their day-to-day lives than the children they care for.
Many mums complained that they view their other half as ‘big kids’ rather than equal partners, giving them yet another not-so-little terror to keep an eye on.
Mums also believed that the stress they experience is very different to ‘dad stress’, leading to an inability to see eye-to-eye as a parenting team which only, again, increases levels of stress.
Three quarters feel the majority of parenting and household tasks falls largely on them, and mums stress most about not having enough time in the day to complete everything that needs to be done.
One in five also admit a daily source of stress is being left to feel like they don’t feel like they get enough support or help from their spouse.
Hal Runkel, a therapist and author, said the ‘problem is not men, it’s marriage’, arguing even good marriages are stressful by nature.
He believes ‘marriage is a more difficult relationship than parenting’ and combining the two is a recipe for stress.
But on the other side, a survey of 1,500 fathers found that dads feel like they are contributing more to raising their kids than ever – and not getting any credit.
Two thirds said what they wanted most from their partner was acknowledgement of the work they do, such as a ‘good job’ every now and then.