From budget to boot space – there are plenty of factors that go into considering the amount of kids you want to have, but here’s one you might not have thought so explicitly about. Stress.
A TODAYMoms.com survey of more that 7,000 mothers found that the least stressful number of kids is four, while the most stressful number is three.
Scary Mommy blogger Jill Smokler told Today that she wholeheartedly agrees.
“Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition,” she said. “Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands! Just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I find tremendously stressful.”
But as for why four is the golden number? Some mums speculate that it's because you well and truly give up perfectionism at that stage and it's a huge weight off your shoulders.
“The more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities,” Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist and mum-of-four told Today. “You have to let go… and then you’re just thankful when they all get to school on time.”
And when it comes to gender, it’s not misbehaving boys wreaking havoc on their parent’s blood pressure – 60 per cent of mums say that raising girls is more stressful than raising boys.
But unsurprisingly the spiral of stress is never ending with 72 per cent of mums stressing about how stressed they are.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.