In our fast-paced world today, both men and women have to shoulder more responsibilities and stress. Add children into the mix, and life can get pretty hectic, pretty quickly. We all do our best, but all of life’s pressures can get overwhelming, especially if one person doesn’t pull their weight. Also, women usually bear most of the caretaking responsibilities for their children, so they already have high levels of stress in most cases.
Married women experience stress, just like single moms. They have to maintain their job, households, relationships, themselves, and possibly children as well. According to the American Psychological Association, women have more symptoms associated with stress, such as fatigue, lack of energy, and anxiety. Women also report having more emotion-related stress, such as feeling like they could cry or lie awake at night due to overthinking.
Most people would think children cause more stress in people’s lives than their spouses, but according to a survey by today.com, 46% of wives say their husbands cause them more stress than children.
Below, we’ll go over the various ways that husbands may cause stress in their spouses’ lives. (This isn’t to hate on the awesome husbands out there, by the way! However, perhaps you can take a pointer or two away from this article). 🙂
1 – Taking care of a husband can feel like having an extra child.
Men just take a longer time than women to mature. This fact might mean that it feels like the woman must take care of her man as if he were another child in the family. While this might help them bond with their children more, it adds a lot of stress to a man’s wife if she must parent both of them. Between nonchalant attitudes about important issues to staying up late playing video games instead of helping around the house, men sometimes have a way of getting under a woman’s skin.
Most of the time, dads engage in playtime with children, but moms typically do fewer fun activities such as washing clothes and cooking. Of course, moms do anything for their children, but the added responsibilities can take their toll. Gender roles have become more equal in recent years as stresses and chores increase, but studies show that moms still carry the burden of tasks compared to men.
Mothers pay more attention to their children’s health, discipline, sleep schedule, education, and other essential aspects of their lives that are crucial for development. Women just follow their children’s needs more because they are natural nurturers and caregivers. While children might seem to favor their dads more because they have more playtime with them, women play just as important a role in bringing up their children.
Women do more solo parenting, according to Cornell University, so this adds to their stress as well. Researchers stated that women do play with their children, but it accounts for less of a share of their time than men since women have to juggle more household chores related to parenting.
Ways dads can help out:
- Offer to do some of the chores during the week. Make some of the child’s doctor appointments, cook dinners, do laundry, or clean up the kitchen. Any little thing helps to take some stress away from mom.
- Make sure to talk to your wife about ways you want to discipline children. Both of you should be on the same page when it comes to setting rules and boundaries for your kids.
- When you get home from work, see what your wife needs help with instead of plopping down on the couch and watching TV. There’s always time for that in the evening, but your wife will certainly appreciate a helping hand in the household chores.
2 – The mounting household chores can get overwhelming.
A study found that 20% of moms say that not having enough help around the house contributes to their daily stress. Wives allocate more of their time to housework while men spend more of their time in leisure. Women must often clean, cook, wash clothes, pay bills, take care of the budget, and other tasks that help keep the family afloat. Taking all of this on as one person can get overwhelming very quickly. However, doing chores as a team promotes bonding and can even be fun if you play some music and talk about your day as you move through the tasks.
Ways dads can help:
- Have shared household responsibilities, or at least do them together.
- Tell your wife you appreciate what she does for the family
- Have your parents or grandparents watch the kids for a night or two so you and the wife can have some much needed quiet time without chores.
3 – Women often feel alone in parenting and that they’re strained for time.
If women work full time and care for their children at night, they will undoubtedly feel strained for time. Tending to the child’s needs, making dinner, cleaning, paying bills, and doing all the expected duties can take a toll after a while. Plus, their man might work more hours so the woman can come home to their child, but parenting alone is no easy feat. In addition to feelings of loneliness with parenting, feeling constrained to the 24 hours in a day to accomplish everything can become overwhelming.
Plus, women often take the blame for feeling guilty when something goes wrong in their family or personal life. This is probably because women feel obligated to take care of their families since they are natural nurturers. Guilt can lead to additional stress, especially if something happens to the child when the man is at work or doing other chores.
Ways dads can help:
- try to cut down on work hours to help out around the house more. Even if that means working from home a couple of days a week, this could help the woman greatly with the chores and responsibilities.
- Give your partner a day at the spa and take over the parenting. She will thank you because moms could use some more self-care days!
- Help her with significant decisions, so she doesn’t feel as guilty when something goes wrong. Working as a team is always better than doing things alone.
Here are some tips as a whole for reducing stress:
1 – Find Social Support
- Continue working as a team with your partner
- Have friends that uplift you and help you mitigate stress
- Create an emotional support system
- Minimize social stress by unfollowing harmful media pages and reducing or eliminating toxic people from your life
2 – Take care of yourself
While it’s essential to take care of your children and family, you have to fill your cup up as well. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat balanced meals
- Have some alone time devoted to relaxing things like meditation or yoga
3 – Create balance in your life
Try not to over-schedule yourself with activities, and that includes children’s activities as well. Have a healthy balance between work, play, social relationships, leisure time, and children’s needs. Downsize your expectations and demands on yourself, so you get more out of your obligations and responsibilities.
4 – Foster positive mental health
Getting in the right frame of mind will enhance your relationships as well as your mental health. Plus, you’ll enjoy your kids more if you’re in a good mood and feeling positive about life.
- Soak up the good times
- Remember that the bad times are temporary
- Give thanks every day for what you’ve been given.
- Focus on what your spouse and kids are bringing to your life, not the stress they cause you
- Know that your marriage or relationship will change after having kids, and this is normal. However, it’s no reason to panic or think of divorce as a solution.
- Have date nights
- Do things that make you laugh
- Be patient with yourself and your family
- Have play dates with other moms and their kids
- Take time for yourself
We’re not here to knock the dads and husbands out there. We know you work hard and do a great job of raising your children and families. We’re just here to point out some ways to improve your relationship with your wife and children. In general, simply be there to help your wife out with whatever she may need. We know it’s not as fun as playing with the kids, but helping to cook dinners, clean up, wash clothes, and pay bills will take a mountain of stress off your woman’s shoulders.
Relationships are teamwork, and you’ll face many battles in this lifetime. However, when you can tackle problems together, they are that much less scary in the long run. Remember, your wife and kids just want to spend time with you and cherish every moment, and helping out around the house more allows more time for memories to be made.