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Study finds parenting a more stressful task for mothers than fathers

Parenting is never an easy task. In between feeds and nappy changes, there are a whole lot of tasks that go into raising kids. And a recent study has revealed that parenting as a whole tends to be more stressful for mothers than for fathers. In fact, the study revealed that parenting can be a fun task for fathers. Let’s take a closer look at how this translates into the everyday life or a new mother and father.

Differing Roles to Play

dad with kid

One of the main reasons parenting is more stressful for mothers is because the roles they adorn and the responsibilities they have vary greatly than for men. For instance, mothers are more responsible towards the basic childcare chores, including feeding the baby, changing the diapers, putting the baby to bed and so on.

Fathers on the other hand, tend to spend more time playing with the baby and on other low stress activities rather than tending to these chores. Mothers are more into solo parenting wherein they get less time for themselves and experience disrupted sleep patterns for nearly a year after the baby has been born. All of these factors contribute to increased stress in mothers.

Taking care of household chores

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In addition to taking care of their babies, mothers need to allocate time to take care of the household chores as well. This includes cleaning the house, washing the clothes, cooking, washing the dishes, etc. It has been found out that only about 5% of fathers lend an equal hand in these activities when there is a baby in the house. This means double duty for the mother who has to take care of the baby’s basic needs and the house at the same time.

Bound by societal norms

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Not that there is any particular definition that pertains to which tasks need to be allocated for the mothers and fathers in bringing up their kids. However, many believe that this task allocation is more of a societal norm where the mother is expected to handle the household and focus on day-to-day parenting while the husband works to earn a living and spends some time playing with the kid. And any mother wishing to come out of this system is reprimanded back into place by near and dear ones.

Ways to work it out

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One of the solutions to this problem is collectively rethink the expectations of what chores need to be done by mothers and fathers in the household. Accordingly, fathers can lend their hand in raising the kids in order to make the experience less stressful for their wives. Simple tasks like taking the baby for a walk, feeding the baby at nights, bathing the baby, changing nappies and looking after older children, giving mothers some much needed rest. 

Parenting has been shown to be a very stressful activity for mothers when compared to fathers who consider it as a fun activity. This can be related to the allocation of tasks when it comes to raising kids.

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