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American moms report serious stress in new survey

According to a poll conducted by the TODAY Show, moms around the U.S. are feeling considerably stressed. TODAY.com used online survey data of 7,164 American mothers to paint a picture of just how stressful the roll of raising children can be.

Money woes and work-related issues also impacted reported stress levels. Significant others and unrealistic expectations were cause for concern in the survey as well. All told, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest stress level, the average response for moms in this survey was an 8.5.

Chronic stress
Clearly more can be done to support moms in feeling comfortable and calm. According to the survey, 75 percent of those polled said they feel pressure to be "perfect," and that this is a self-inflicted expectation. 

"You always hear about the mommy wars, but I feel like we're judging ourselves more harshly than anyone else," Jill Smokler​ said, one of the mothers surveyed and a blogger on such issues. 

The survey found that family size also plays a crucial roll in motherhood strife, and moms with three kids reported the highest levels of stress. Starting at four children or more, however, stress levels were lower. 

"Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition," explained Smokler. "Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands! Just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I find tremendously stressful."

Family size and unfair expectations were major cause for concern, but there was a long list of other stressors moms reported. For example, 46 percent of the mothers polled stated that a husband or significant other caused more stress than the children themselves.

Another major stress factor was time management, and 60 percent of moms said that feeling overwhelmed with getting everything done was of major concern. A whopping 90 percent reported feelings of stress related to staying healthy, and nearly 3 in 4 moms simply feel stressed about being stressed in the first place.

How to minimize the problem
Moms and their families should use this data to address the issue of stress. Mothers should recognize that it is common to feel overwhelmed and overworked and look for solutions. The website Parenting suggested that moms take time each day to focus on a few activities that can lower anxiety and other negative feelings.

The best tip is to start small and select one positive change that can be made. This may mean finding time to go for a walk or exercise, or perhaps cut back on caffeine. Integrate this into a daily schedule and then find another place to make an impactful change. Asking family for support is also critical.

By taking paid surveys with Opinion Outpost, stressed-out moms can make money from home online and pay for a well-deserved day at the spa to really unwind. When coupled with proactive, daily changes that promote lower levels of stress, a day of relaxation can go a long way.


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