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WonderKiz

Is there a difference between mother’s stress level and father’s?

Is there a difference between mother's stress level and father's?

4 solutions to Lower Parental stress 

4 mins read

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I came across an interesting study about stress levels within a couple with an ADHD child. Apparently, there are many studies done on mothers’ stress levels related to parenting an ADHD child, but not as many on fathers’.

So this study was conducted for both mothers and fathers in South Korea.

Please note, as the study mentions, “parenting stress differs between cultures” since mothers are primarily responsible for raising children in South Korea, where this study took place.

Nonetheless, I want you to keep reading because the conclusive theory applies to many couples.

In summary, it says mothers’ parenting stress level is significantly higher than fathers’. And fathers’ mental health is more affected by mothers’ stress and anxiety levels than parenting an ADHD child.

It means the more a parent is involved in parenting, the more stress they experience.

It makes sense. 

This is a study in an Asian country, where mothers are traditionally more responsible for taking care of kids, but I wonder what the ratio of time spent with the mother versus father is in North American countries.

Of course it varies from family to family, but in my case, I spend much more time with my kids due to my husband’s work shift. (We live in Canada.)

Therefore, I was the one who got into a depressive state mixed with burnout.

Now I learned how to get out of the dark ADHD parenting depression, but it took me about 2 years.  With countless cries.

During those years, guess what?  My husband was much more worried about me, than parenting our ADHD son.  Exactly the study shows.

So what could be a solution to avoid so much overwhelming stress if this study applies? 

 

    1. First, acknowledge that you’re doing a HUGE role that you weren’t necessarily prepared for – this high demanding ADHD parenting job.

 

    1. Intentionally take time for yourself, without kids, if possible.  I used to feel guilty doing that, as many happy moms post “I want to spend more time with my kids” on social media.  I thought I was supposed to feel the same.  But what matters is quality time rather than spending more time. In order to spend quality time with a smile without feeling stress, you need to charge your battery.

 

    1. Share your experiences and feelings with your partner.  Your partner may not even know what kind of morning you go through every day.  He could offer help or find a solution so that you feel less stress.

 

    1. Learn about ADHD.  When you know it, your kid’s misbehaviors and symptoms seem less intentional.  Thus you feel much less upset.

How about your situation in your household? 

Can you agree with this time spent ratio = higher stress level theory?

*Another side note… from the same study, what fathers feel is dissatisfaction in their paternal role than “fathers with typically developing children.”

Which I’ve never really felt. Have you ever felt that too?

 

Ref:

JKMS, Psychiatry & Psychology https://jkms.org/pdf/10.3346/jkms.2022.37.e89#:~:text=It%20is%20possible%20that%20maternal,be%20related%20to%20social%20support.

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