Study: Husbands contribute to mum stress twice as much as the kids do
Why and how are men stressing their wives? Read on to find out what some mums have to say.
It’s a given that mums are stressed, pretty much most if not all of the time. And you’d think that the stress has mostly got to do with those little angels who have the capacity to drive the poor mums oh-so-crazy! Well, surprisingly or not surprisingly for some, studies show that mum stress is caused by husbands more than the kids!
In fact, studies show that husbands stress their wives twice as much as their children do!
There are many ways in which husbands contribute to mum stress. Sometimes it has to do with them messing up every time they try to do something parenting-related and at times it has to do with them having unrealistic demands and expectations of their wives. In more extreme cases it has to do with their lack of presence, emotional support, infidelity, lack of focus or being overly focussed on their jobs and the list goes on.
But this study refers to another type of mum stress that husbands cause. The stress that is caused by husbands not actively participating in the upbringing of the children!
Yes, in this modern day and age, with all the emphasis on gender equality, working women, feminism and so on, you’d expect that parenting is an equally shared responsibility. Right? Not. Apparently, in many households, the stress of parenting seems to weigh more heavily upon the women and this causes mum stress.
Mums are stressed because their husbands aren’t doing enough when it comes to being a parent!
Lack of support
It takes two to tango, and as such, both parents need to actively and as far as possible, equally participate in the upbringing of their children. And mums cannot come to terms with the fact that the brunt of parenting always seems to fall on them.
Of the women who were surveyed for this study, 45% of them felt that mum stress is more to do with their husband’s lack of involvement than the actual difficulty of raising the kids.
In their defence, the men said that the problem lies with the fact that “women aren’t able to ask for help and assume that they can solve all problems of child-rearing alone”.
The study concludes that proper communication between both parties is the solution, but mums beg to differ. Here’s what some of them had to say.
We brought up the topic of mum stress and how much of it has got to do with husbands and here’s what our Singapore mums have to say.
1. Grow up already
This mum is clearly tired of ‘dad jokes’!
If I see my eight year old son goofing around and treating life as one big joke, I totally understand. He is a child who lacks the maturity and emotional capacity to understand the impact of his actions. But when I raise concerns about the kids, parenting or generally running the home, and my husband almost always decides to laugh it off or make a lame joke out of it, it’s really frustrating.
The way I see it, making a joke is just a form of escaping. It’s like to show me he listens but he’s not actually going to do anything to actively solve the problem. Or it belittles my concerns and that’s even more frustrating.
As the head of the family, I think men can do their part to reduce mum stress by approaching the problems objectively and trying their best to work with their spouses to find logical solutions to the problem.
If that’s not possible, not saying anything might be less frustrating than saying something silly and adding to my stress!
2. You’re not doing me a favour
This mum’s biggest pet peeve is saying that husbands need to help.
How is it that putting the kid to bed or reading to them is doing me a favour? Is that an assumption that only I am supposed to do all of this while you spectate, play games, use your handphone or watch television?
It really stresses me out when men don’t see these duties as their responsibility as much as it is the women’s. Two people made a conscious decision to have a child and likewise two people should make a conscious commitment to raise that child. No one is doing anyone a favour here.
The same goes to running the house in general!
3. You’re not the only one who’s tired
This mum cannot understand why two people go to work but one seems to need rest more than the other.
So let me get this straight. Both husband and wife work and bring food to the table. They spend almost equal amounts of time working and get home equally tired. And the husband needs space to just chill while the wife has to do everything from fixing dinner to getting the kids to bed?
Which era are we in again? This to me is modern day slavery!
And even if the wife doesn’t work, I still think that husbands should take over some responsibilities when they get home. Going out to work is space, for it allows you time to interact with fellow adults. You get breaks here and there, you get to have your meal in peace. But staying at home means being on task all day long and even using the washroom without being interrupted is a onerous task. Don’t women need a break from all of that?
4. Don’t use the ‘N’ word on me
This mum abhors the word ‘nag’.
You know how men always complain that women nag? Does it not occur to them that our mum stress is largely caused by the need to nag? Who in their right mind enjoys nagging? If it’s draining for them to listen to it what makes them think it doesn’t kill us to nag?
We spend the most part of the day nagging at the kids and reminding them of things we told them but they magically forget in 2 seconds. Because kids have selective memory apparently.
But the husbands seem to have selective amnesia. They magically forget everything that they were or weren’t supposed to do and then blame us for reminding them? They call that nagging?
Have they not heard of the saying, ‘behind every nagging woman is a man not doing what he’s supposed to do?
And it drives me up the wall when they say, ‘ok, ok, just tell me what you want me to do.
I’m sorry but I don’t want to have to tell you what to do. I don’t want to be the one solving every problem. I think it’s time that you found the effort and sensitivity to understand what I need from you.
If a man is involved enough, and if he cares enough, he would know what to do!
Well mums and dads, parenting isn’t easy. I once came across a saying,
Having kids today is a recipe for marital discord and psychological catastrophe.
This can happen if you don’t be careful. I guess it all boils down to a lot of communication. Mums, men can get insensitive or remain oblivious to our needs and they often attribute it to how they are wired. While that’s not an excuse, it might reduce some mum stress if you just clearly communicate your expectations to your spouse.
If you’re not a parent yet then this is the best time to talk and set expectations of how you are going to raise your child together.
Reference: Home Remedies Garden