You might have read about the study that tells us husbands stress their wives out two times more than their kids do. Of course, news of this went viral because it’s generally accepted that our children are the ones who drive us around the bend – not our husbands.
It’s the kids who wake us up at the crack of dawn and keep us up and on our toes until the moon rises (and sets).
They’re the ones who ripped up our vajayjays, cracked our nipples and made us lose our hair. Let’s not even talk about our hour-glass figures of the past.
It’s the kids we worry about until we think our minds might explode: Is she eating enough? Is she eating too much? WHY did she slap that other child – do I suck as a mum? OMG, her fever is so high, does she have dengue or something worse?
It’s the kids’ duties that force us to forego our facials, pedis, even showers on some days, so that we look and feel like cave-women.
So why then, does science say that husbands stress mums more than our children?
Here’s my theory.
Child in an adult’s body
Children are children, and as such, they are mostly expected to behave in a childish manner due to the immaturity of their still-developing brains and bodies. We accept their behaviour because of this, and we deal with it.
Husbands are adults, with fully matured brains and bodies. One would think most of them have common sense and the capability to think independently, both of which are supposed to accompany adulthood. But sadly, this is not always the case.
In other words, husbands are not children. However, they behave like them.
Here are just some of the things they do that make them no different from an overgrown child:
- They leave toilet seats up and clothes down on the floor.
- They squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube and make a huge mess in the bathroom.
- Husbands often don’t do their chores unless asked to.
- They dress the two-year-old in clothes that are clearly marked “size 5” (older sister’s clothes), showing the comprehension levels of said two-year-old.
- They run to mummy (their own) when hurt.
- Some of them cannot cook or clean – two things all adults irrespective of gender, should be able to do. They also wait to be served, like children.
- They whine when your bee hoon soup doesn’t match their mother’s or fuss when their socks go missing. (Yes, the washing machine monster ate them *rolls eyes*).
- Two words: Man Flu. Okay, I can’t stop at just two words here. Try pushing a child out of your private parts and then behave like you’re dying.
- They have selective hearing (like teenagers), and when we have to repeat ourselves to ask them to do something, they tell us we’re nagging!
They increase our anxiety levels more than kids, because they are not kids, but sometimes, behave like them. And THIS is what stresses us out and annoys us to no end. Because we expect them to behave like grown-ups.
“It’s time to grow up”
Husbands, your wife loves you. She truly does. But remember that there is also a study that shows the more children a woman has, the higher her risk of heart attack is. So when you too behave like a child, not only do our stress levels rise, but we could also drop dead, just like that.
It’s time to grow up. Please observe your surroundings, and if you see something that has to be done, don’t wait for your wife to tell you to do it. Just do it.
Be perceptive. When you see that look on your wife’s face like she’s about to have a meltdown, don’t make matters worse by asking her what’s for dinner. Diffuse the situation by making dinner.
Show that you understand a woman’s need for cleanliness and order. You wife hates placing her bum on a cold toilet seat sprinkled with urine. Clean up, and put the seat down. Teach your sons to do the same while you’re at it.
Finally, be a team player. You can’t clap with one hand. You and your wife both made those beautiful children (who cause heart attacks) by coming together (literally and metaphorically). So both of you are in this parenting thing together – and for life.
By showing her that you understand parenting is tough, but that together, you and she can tackle anything, you’re bound to earn her love (including some extra loving tonight) and respect.
And, very importantly, drop her stress levels.
*Disclaimer: The author is is no way discounting the contribution of many, many awesome husbands out there (including her own), to making this parenting game fair and square. Do keep it that way, okay?
Also read: Mums with more kids at higher risk of heart attack