Parents with three children are more likely to be stressed by parenthood than those with other family sizes, according to a 2013 study.
The finding is pretty shocking. Being a parent is difficult, period. And you would probably expect that it only gets more difficult as you continue to add more children to your plate.
But that’s not quite how it works. Instead, the study showed that moms with three kids are actually more stressed than those with four or more kids! They’re also more stressed than those with one or two kids, which isn’t surprising.
The study polled approximately 7,000 US mothers. Participants rated their stress level on a scale of 1 to 10. They also answered questions about the sources of their stress, like the pressure to be perfect, money worries, and work/life balance.
Having more kids can actually make life easier on parents, it seems. With each additional child, parents focus less on perfectionism and more on relaxing and enjoying their family.
See how psychologists explained the fascinating results below.