Why Do Moms Feel More Stressed? Multitasking!

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How often do you find yourself simultaneously tending to your child and work?

According to a newly published study in the American Sociological Review the answer to the above question would be, quite often.  Most moms are spending more hours multitasking and it’s making us grumpy!

The Los Angeles Times reports that U.S. dads are now contributing more to household chores, but moms are still stressed.  The culprit for this increased stress: Multitasking.

The article reveals that fathers and mothers are nearly equal in “time performing paid and unpaid work combined.” However, mothers spend a greater number of hours multitasking at home and work. This should come as no surprise to most modern moms.

The image of a multitasking mom is one that we are far too familiar with. She is the mom who is pushing a child on a swing at the park and emailing a client. She is also the mom who takes her children to afterschool activities and waits for them while she returns work calls. The feeling of guilt that accompanies such multitasking only magnifies stress.

Moms wish they could be more present, spend quality time with their child and not feel distracted. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to “do it all.”

Fathers also multitask, however they are most often found interacting in pleasurable activities with their children. An example would be a dad kicking a soccer ball with his child and simultaneously checking emails. Also, their multitasking is not as related to their children’s basic needs.  According to the latest research, mothers are still most often the ones taking the child to the doctor, helping with homework and providing food.

The research for this survey was collected in 1999 and 2000. Given the pressures of today’s economy, that stress has only increased. It’s no wonder that we need to take “time outs” to relax. 

So give yourself some down time whenever possible and don’t feel guilty about it! It might be hard to accomplish, but finding creative ways to combat stress is imperative.

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