Survey finds husbands stress us out more than our kids, and I kinda agree

Posted in Relationships.

Mondays are my most relaxing day of the week. My husband is back at work after a busy weekend and it’s just me and my two little monkeys, free to fill the day however we wish.

I always thought the reason I love Mondays so much is because I cherish the time I get to spend with my loves on my day off from work. After reading this study though, I’m starting to think there may be another reason why I’m so chilled on Mondays.

According to a poll of married or defacto mothers, our partners are stressing us out.  

Partner or big kid? 

Lots of mums joke that they sometimes feel like they have another child to look after. While our big loves can be amazing dads and partners, they can also contribute to our stress levels, not to mention the washing load.

Our partners can sometimes be as needy as our little ones, only in a different way. While we adore them, I’ll admit I sometimes feel that the pull of my husband’s needs on top of my kids’ needs can leave me a little stretched and stressed.

What’s stressing you out?

It turns out I’m not alone.

When Today surveyed 7,000 US mums and asked them to list the reasons for their stress, they discovered something that will come as no surprise to partnered mothers: our big loves stress us out, sometimes more than our little ones.  

The vast majority of the mums surveyed rated their overall stress level at a whopping 8.5 out of 10, with 46 percent of mums admitting their husbands cause them more stress than their kids.

Father and baby sitting on couch - feature

Blame it on housework

But what is at the source of all this added partner stress? The Today survey reveals that mums feel their partners don’t do their share around the house.

75 percent of mums surveyed said they always feel the need to do most of the household and parenting chores, because they don’t think the work will get done otherwise.

One in five mums also said their partners simply don’t help with any household chores, and a few even accused their husbands of making their jobs harder.

“I am exhausted emotionally and physically when my husband comes home. He feels like another job,” one mum explained.

Mother holding baby emptying washing machine - feature

Personally, I blame it on kid-stress

As for me, I don’t think it’s so much the divvying up of housework that makes me feel stressed by my husband. My man is okay (not great, but okay) in that department, although I do have to nag him to mow the lawns or to take the washing in.

He’s also a wonderful, hands-on dad who is always wanting to spend time with me and our boys. Fatherhood isn’t a chore for him. He changes a nappy because it just needs to be done and he also gets to be the ‘nap nap tickle monster’. But I do feel we stress each other out as parents. When the boys are pushing our buttons, we can’t help but moan, sigh, flick each other annoyed looks and generally amplify the bad energy in the room.

We also try to make the most of our family time when we’re together, and this often results in the weekends getting too busy and our boys getting tired. As all parents know, overtired kids are a recipe for tantrums and family stress.

Making everyday more like my Monday

So what’s the solution? I think we all need to have a little think about why they may be contributing to your stress levels. If housework is the culprit, then it’s probably time you had a good, constructive chat (when you are both in a good mood!) about how you can better manage it together. 

I’m going to scale back our weekends and plan to have some more downtime at home. I will also be talking to my husband about how I think we feed off each other’s parenting stress and to be more mindful of this. If we do this, then maybe we can have more days like my Mondays — with our partners. Motherhood is stressful enough without our big loves adding to it.  


Get more babyology straight to your inbox