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Working Moms Experience 40% More Stress (And It’s Harmful)

Stress is among one of the preeminent causes of debilitating physical and emotional health decline, in the expanse of motherhood. More specifically, in connection with working mothers, the strain is proven to be sizable.

As reported by Global News, according to a UK study, biomarkers for chronic stress are 40% higher in mothers with two or more children than working women with no children. Still under more pressure, at 18%, if they only have one child. Indicators were blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress-related hormones to measure the stress of the participants.

Working fewer hours is crucial to mitigating stress, as it’s reported that flexible jobs hours and/or working from home has no power over habitual stress. Both women and men equally benefit from reduced hours, according to Chandolat. None of the men in the study were the main caregivers to children while working full time. Therefore, the prevalent cause of stress is the fact that working mothers bear double the responsibilities - work and home.

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The stress can prompt everything from insomnia and lowered immunity to mood swings and weight gain. "Excess stress boosts the output of the cortisol hormone, which in turn can increase the risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, and anxiety," says Brent W. Bost, M.D., an OB/GYN in Beaumont, Texas.

The results are critical, especially upon examining the impact of maternal stress. According to APA psychologist Lynn Bufka, Ph.D., how a mother endures her stress is largely a model for the rest of the family, says Bufka. Furthermore, coping with stress in unhealthy ways may alleviate symptoms in the short term, but ultimately, end up creating significant health problems over time, and, ironically, more stress.

According to Working Mother, Welch’s commissioned a study of 2,000 American mothers with kids between the ages of 5 and 12. What they found was that, on average, working moms essentially spend 98 hours a week working. With a traditional week being 40 hours - the rest would be considered overtime. The 98-hour workweek was calculated by using the fact that the moms in the study, on average, started their days at 6:23 a.m., with family duties or work not being completed until 8:31 p.m. That makes for a 14-hour work day. Multiply that by seven, you get 98 hours.

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Another punch - mothers are losing themselves within the all-encompassing sphere of juggling careers, raising children and the monumental invisible labor, adding to an entirely new level of intensity for both mind and body.

An inaccurate assertion would be that working mothers always have a choice - but it should be noted that financially, being a stay at home mom is not commonly feasible. Furthermore, while it is imperative for some mothers to work, for others, as Scary Mommy says, it represents, not sacrificing one dream to have another.

The study also found that moms claim to only get only one hour and seven minutes of “me time” each day. Another study reveals that a quarter of working moms cry once a week from the guilt of trying to “have it all.”

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"Mothers often put their family needs first and neglect their own," says Bufka. "It's okay to relax your standards — don't put a lot of pressure on yourself to have the 'perfect' house or be the 'perfect' mother. No one expects you to be a Superwoman."

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