When it comes to kids, this is the magic number… for stress.

Mothers of three children stress more than mums of one or two.

Surprisingly mothers of four or more children actually report lower stress levels, according to a study by TODAYMoms.com survey of more than 7,000 U.S. mothers released on Monday.

  • 46 percent of mums say their husbands/partners cause them more stress than their kids do.
  • 72 percent of mums stress about how stressed they are.
  • Biggest cause of stress: 60 percent say it’s lack of time to do everything that needs to get done.
  • 60 percent of mums say raising girls is more stressful than raising boys.
  • Nine out of 10 mums stress about staying fit and attractive.

Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist in New York and TODAY contributor, said mum stress is a problem she sees daily in her practice.

“Mums are acutely aware of the fact they do not have the time to take care of their own needs,” Taylor said. Forget reading a book, exercising or fun hobbies: Some mums barely have time to shower.

“Before you’re a mum, you take that for granted,” Taylor said. “When you are a mum you just don’t have the time.”

She laughed when she heard that having four or more kids was less stressful than three. Also a mother of four, including a set of twins – Dr Taylor agrees with the survey findings.

Do you agree with these results?

Share your comments below

  • I don’t agree, you can be stressed no matter how many children you have, there are a lot of factors and circumstances to take into account.


  • I can’t have an opinion as I’m a mother of an only child — not how I’d hoped or planned it to be. I can imagine by the 4th (as my Mum had), it’s seemingly easier. I think it might depend on the age too – if you have big age gap, often the eldest can help with the youngest.


  • No, when I had 3 it was more relaxed then since I have 4. Depends of course also on your kids, with 2 special needs kids it can be rather stressful.


  • I agree with all of the above. Especially that my husband stresses me the most and that I don’t have enough time to get everything done… I suppose I should get off here then.


  • Hopefully then number three is twins and you can skip right over the crazy number lol :)


  • Wow nine out of ten stress about how fit and attractive they are that is a lot of pressure on yourself. Just enjoy motherhood it is over before you know it and then you will regret you were too stressed to enjoy it. Get off social media, live in the now and eat healthy and cut out those un-neccessary distractions.


  • Think it’s a lot to do with whether you let stress get you down or not. Four is an easy number to cope with as the children tend to pair off and play together – not always the same pair, but with 3 there is always one left out and with two they have no alternatives. However I never stressed with them at all.


  • I’m a mother of 3 aged 4 and under and boy am I a stress head!


  • Loved reading the statistics. I can definitely relate.


  • For 16 years I was a mother of three boys and yes it was hands on for a while. My daughter came along and it was easy. The hardest I found were the twins who came along when my daughter was 10 and my sons were in their late 20’s. So I think it is how you handle them and what age you are too at the time.


  • Gee I must be doing something wrong if I’m already stressed with just one kid!


  • It all depends on the individual and the children I have 2 and they cause me stress ???? but I’d love a 3rd but just hasn’t happened


  • I do agree with this result. When I only had 3 children there was always one left out of activities and togetherness. Once the fourth one came along then it was two by two – just like Noah’s ark.


  • I believe that if you can feed, clothe, care and have plenty of love for your children, it doesn’t matter how many you have.


  • I’m a Mum to an only child, which I never expected to be. But, 3 kids in any situation does change the dynamic. However, it does depend on each child, their personality, etc. I think we all have to make it work somehow.


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