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Why 3 Children Give Moms More Stress Than Other Numbers of Kids

Motherhood changes women: not only does she now have to think about someone else every second of her life, but she does things she’s never done and never thought she’d have to: like sewing costumes for a school play at night, making gypsum crafts for school projects, or baking cookies for a fair. With every additional kid, the amount of work increases exponentially, but once you handle it, we bet there’s nothing in this life you couldn’t do.

Here at Bright Side we figured out what number of kids is considered to be the most stressful one and we know the reason why.

Motherhood is more stressful than it seems.

In 2013, TODAY conducted an online survey on mothers’ stress levels and their reasons, in which 7,164 mothers participated. It turned out that, on average, on a scale of 1-10, a mom evaluates her stress level as an 8.5, and there are several reasons for that.

75% of the moms said that they feel the judgment and the pressure to be "perfect" from - surprisingly or not, mostly from another mom. Other reasons include lack of time to do everything that is needed (60%), staying fit and attractive (90%), and stress caused by their partners (46% reported that their partners caused more stress than their kids).

Moms admit that the hardest transition is when they have a third child.

Children, of course, have their own contributions to mom’s stress too. The results show, that the peak of the stress for a mother is when the number of kids reaches the number 3. Moms report that the transition from one child to 2 is not a very big challenge, but when 2 becomes 3, the world turns upside down.

The reason for that is pretty simple: you only have 2 hands, and together with your partner you’re usually 2 as well, and one kid becomes “extra.” One mom noted that you basically can’t hold all of their hands while crossing the street, and this situation totally seems out of control and your stress levels go to the moon and stay there the whole time.

A blogger mom of 3 also lists many more explanations of the stress that grows with the third child. For example, middle kids get the shaft, since they don't have the privilege of the oldest to help and to do everything first, or the privilege of getting all the attention like the youngest one. Moreover, it's less likely that you'll decide on a movie to watch or a game to play that everyone will be happy about.

But if more come, they just let it go.

According to all this, having more than 3 kids should be just impossible to handle. But as it seems, it doesn’t happen. Moms admit that when they have 4 or more kids, it becomes a matter of survival with no place for perfectionism anymore. And from then on, they take it easier.

At the point of 4 kids, many moms start to be okay with their kids eating markers, jumping in every pond, and eating pizza for lunch, and they don’t give a darn about other people and their opinions. And that’s when life finally gets better.

Are you a perfectionist mom or a let it be a mom? Share the craziest thing your kid did that you managed to keep your cool with in the comments.

Preview photo credit mollybsims / instagram
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