No Surprise: Moms Stress More About Parenting Duties

Researchers wanted to find out why moms feel more stressed out about parenting than dads—and tedious chores have something to do with it.

Mom holding baby in messy kitchen
Photo: Shutterstock

In a new study that will surprise absolutely no moms, ever, researchers discovered that moms feel more stress about parenting than their male counterparts.

In a study published in the American Sociological Review, researchers from Cornell University surveyed 12,000 American parents in 2010, 2012, and 2013, and found that moms were far more stressed out—and often, the balance of parenting chores versus the fun stuff was often tipped far more toward drudgery for the moms. Which is probably exactly why our stress levels are higher, don't you think?

"Mothers are doing different things with their children than fathers are, things that we know aren't as enjoyable," said researcher Kelly Musick, associate professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell. "Playing with their kids is a particularly enjoyable experience for parents. And dads are doing more play as a share of the total amount of time they spend with their kids."

Musick goes on to muse that societal roles and norms could be to blame, and that this research could be a call to balance the scales a little bit more and stop expecting moms to do the necessary, but not-so-fun parts.

I vote we get started today! So while we know that there are tons of dads out there doing the day-to-day heaving lifting (and yes, stressing out about it!), if you feel like your partner needs to step up in the carpooling/teeth-brushing/bedtime enforcement department, and you could do with a few more games of catch, then say so. Who's with me?

Lisa Milbrand is's In Name Only blogger and a mom of two.

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