A recent study published in the American Sociological Review this month has found that working moms are more often multitasking and feeling stressed than their working male counterpart.
The study gave 368 working moms and 241 working dads a watch that would beep seven times throughout the day. Each beep would require a data entry of every activity that the parent was doing at the time, in addition to whether they felt stressed, happy, or simply wished they were doing something else.
The study concluded that mothers spent an average of 10.5 additional hours a week multitasking than fathers! While the fathers often multitasked by doing work-related things, moms were found multitasking doing household chores, possibly working or helping with homework.
Moms however, more often reported feeling overwhelmed and stressed, while dads felt contented.
Long hours of multitasking, as seen with the mothers, is quite different than short-term multitasking, as seen with fathers. Biologically, we are designed to multitask only so much. Chronic multitasking leads the body to have chemical responses similar to the stress response, limiting the amount of information the brain can retain.
Many of us are aware that females are simply better at multitasking than males (yes, studies prove it). Bottom line however, is that females are reporting more stress because of this extra multitasking.
From a holistic health point of view there are a few things a stressed-out mommy can do to ease their pain:
Communication- talk to your husband if you’re feeling stressed. If he still doesn’t get it, listen to a simplified version of the study through npr’s blog.
Stress outlets- There are many ways to relieve your stress. At the top of the list would be to get a good workout! Getting exercise is a great way to release tension and stress (not to mention the hundreds of other health benefits, including being a confident hottie mom).
Meditation is another great stress reliever.