"Stressed-out moms at risk of poor mental health" -CNN/Reuters [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : "Stressed-out moms at risk of poor mental health" -CNN/Reuters

06-09-2007, 21:24

Stressed-out moms at risk of poor mental health

Story Highlights
• Over a third of moms studied had a stressor that boosted mental health risk

•Two or more parental stressors increased mental health risk nearly 12-fold.

• Moms' mental health has "strong influence" on kids' health, development

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Mothers of young children who feel they lack emotional support or help in caring for their children have more than three times the risk of mental health problems compared with their peers who feel adequately supported, a new study shows.

More than one third of the 1,747 mothers participating in the study reported at least one parenting stressor that boosted their risk of mental health problems, Dr. Ritesh Mistry of the University of California, Los Angeles and colleagues note in the American Journal of Public Health. "If parenting stressors such as those examined here are to be addressed, changes may be required in community support systems, and improvements in relevant social policies may be needed," they conclude.

Mothers of small children are known to face a substantial risk of mental health problems and their mental health has a "strong influence" on their child's health and development, the researchers note.

Mistry and associates conducted the study to determine how certain parenting-related stressors might affect mothers' mental health and whether these stressors were related to financial and social factors.

The mothers of children 4 to 35 months old completed a five-item questionnaire to assess their general mental health.

Women who reported feeling a lack of emotional support (they had no one to rely on for day-to-day emotional help with parenting) represented nearly 14 percent of the total sample and were 3.4 times more likely to report being in poor mental health, the researchers found.

Roughly 12 percent of mothers who said they lacked functional support in caring for their children (they had no one to care for their children when they needed a break) had a 2.2-times greater risk of poor mental health.

When asked about time spent with their child, 37.2 percent of mothers said they spent too little, 11.2 percent said they spent too much, and 51.6 percent said the amount of time they spent with their child was just right. While mothers who said they spent too little time with their children had a slightly increased risk of poor mental health, those who said they spent too much time had a 3.5-times greater risk of mental health problems.

Overall, mothers who reported having one parenting-related stressor had triple the risk of poor mental health, while having two or more stressors increased risk nearly 12-fold.

Improving family leave policies and making high quality child care more "affordable and accessible" could help ease the stresses on parents identified in the current study, they add. They conclude by calling for further research to investigate how such stresses affect fathers' mental health.

Mothering and Parenting, imo, are greatly undervalued by our current society.

Funny thing, tho - I found it wasn't mothering and parenting which stressed me out when kiddo was little, as much as it was working full-time for rotten lawyers and being in a rotten marriage at the same time as I was mothering and parenting a wee one.

06-11-2007, 08:20
Don't want one
Don't need one
Too old to have one
Dogs are easier


06-11-2007, 08:45
Ya know, I'm on medication for an anxiety disorder as it is. If I had a kid, my head would explode. My mom has always had a good life, but raising kids drove her to drink. Having a busy doctor for a husband made her pretty much a single mother. She loved us and is a great mom, but I couldn't help but notice that motherhood stressed her to her breaking point. It was a roller coaster. Some days she loved it, others she hated it. So, now where does that leave her?Yea, we love her and she loves us, but my brother and I have moved on with our own lives and neither of us plan to have kids. So, no grandkids for my parents. Plus, they don't want us to feel burdened, so they plan to go to an assisted living home if they can no longer live independently. At 53, my mother is FINALLY starting to live for herself again. She's just now trying to realize her dreams again. She put it all on hold to be a stay at home mom.
Yes, I know that I am giving something up by deciding not to be a mother, but I am also gaining certain things as well. Now that my brother and I are grown and I look back, I just don't see what the hype is all about.


06-11-2007, 09:03
Motherhood. Some like it, some don't, but without it humanity would die.

06-11-2007, 10:30
Yes, humanity would die without motherhood. But now it seems that humanity can also grow TOO fast. It won't matter that humanity is procreating if humanity doesn't have a planet to live on, clean air to breathe, food to eat, etc etc. I'm not some environmental psycho. I just know that the world's population is growing at an alarming pace and we aren't taking care of ourselves or where we live.
I wish that more responsible, healthy, and financially stable women would become mothers. In Memphis, where I live, I'm surrounded by the exact opposite.


06-11-2007, 10:36
SG, you and I know someone that needs to read that "finding".

Yes, parenting is a stressfull "job".

Mrs. VR
06-11-2007, 10:37
No matter how much I may vent, I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world. Again, it's a VERY personal choice, yet, I find it sad when I have friends tell me they couldn't IMGAINE spending all day with their own kids. :sigh:

Every choice in life has consequences, we gain some things, lose some things, and it all balances out. The key is to figure out what is right for you, and I would say that so far every single poster in this thread has done just that;)

06-11-2007, 10:48
Originally posted by sweetatergal
SG, you and I know someone that needs to read that "finding".

Yes, parenting is a stressfull "job".

And I know at least one person who'd think the finding was nothing new...nothing he'd not already heard.

06-11-2007, 10:57
Yep, I know several people that can't stand spending time with their own kids. That's really SAD. Don't blame it on the kids! :(

06-11-2007, 11:03
Originally posted by SouthernGal
And I know at least one person who'd think the finding was nothing new...nothing he'd not already heard.

I jsut sent her the link and she printed it off for him to read as well. :thumbsup:

06-11-2007, 12:30
Originally posted by sweetatergal
I jsut sent her the link and she printed it off for him to read as well. :thumbsup:

I know who you're talking about. You obviously know who I'm talking about as well :)

06-11-2007, 15:07
Originally posted by Lesatvv
Rach, guess what?! I'm pregnant!



06-11-2007, 15:15
Rach, guess what?! I'm pregnant!

EDIT: Eh, I knew you wouldn't fall for it. ;)

ATL Peach Girl
06-11-2007, 22:51
Originally posted by Lesatvv
Rach, guess what?! I'm pregnant!

EDIT: Eh, I knew you wouldn't fall for it. ;)
Bwhahahahahahahhahahaha!!! :banana:

06-13-2007, 07:59
If someone doesn't want to have children, then great, I think we should all be thankful they don't, especially if they don't seem to like them much. However, there are plenty of women who have made the choice to have children, love their children, and love spending time with them. Perhaps both "sides" need to better respect each other's choices.

06-13-2007, 09:04
Patricia~ I agree. I have been judged and attacked for my decision. So, when they stop attacking me for my decision, I'll stop fighting back. I'm trying to stand up for CHOICE for women, but there are so many women that don't feel that there is a choice.
I couldn't believe the kind of push back I got from people I work with when they found out I was getting sterilized.

06-13-2007, 09:26
Well, it is certainly no fun to be judged, is it? People that have no say in other's lives seem to want to butt their way in anyway. They don't matter, but they will still do their level best to tell you what they think. Best to ignore them. Your choice is not what most people would call the norm, but it is your life, not theirs.

Don't feel the need to fight back if you believe in yourself.

06-13-2007, 14:36
mmm. FWIW, even if you get tied AFTER having a couple kids, you'll get a certain amount of flak from the folks who think you should be popping them out til you're menopausal or dead.


06-13-2007, 14:47
Mrs. C~ AMEN!! You're damned if you do and damned if you don't, as with so many other issues. :thumbsup:


Mrs. VR
06-13-2007, 14:48
For some reason, this is a subject that people ALWAYS think is their business to ask about, prod about, complain about, no matter WHAT you decide. Frankly, ANYTHING that goes on inside someone elses relationship is just that, between THOSE two people. No one else has to walk in YOUR shoes, and vice versa. And thank goodness for THAT! :supergrin:

06-13-2007, 15:23
Mrs. VR~ Yes, THANK GOD. Get the heck out of my marriage and my uterus people!!!

06-13-2007, 16:54
If you want people to mind their own business and not yours, perhaps the best way is to lead by example. Those who want to have their choices and their life respected should start with giving others the same courtesy. I have met far too many people who LOVE gossiping/criticizing/or just plain trashing others who really don't seem to like it much when the shoe is on the other foot.

When I had my 2nd child, I was told by a friend that it was great that I now had a boy and a girl, because now I was DONE. I politely told her that I didn't recall asking her permission about my family planning. Years later, she went on to have a boy and a girl, and then three other children. :supergrin: Sure, I could have smirked and asked what happened to being DONE, but I simply said congratulations. ;)

06-13-2007, 17:51
Y'all lemme know when you're done goin' back and forth about kids, lives and whatnot. Heaven forbid the pregnant woman with the toddler and new house to move into say anything about having stress.

If a woman doesn't wish to have children, that's fine. But touting that fact at every available opportunity is all but asking to be questioned or looked at differently. None of us that have chosen to have children make posts simply about that fact or joke about it constantly. You don't want us meddling in the affairs of your uterus? Don't invite us.

Yes I'm a stay at home mother. Yes I have one kid and another one due in 6 weeks, both boys. That's the choice my husband and I have made. Being a mother is something that I always am, but it's a long way from all I am.

Mrs. VR
06-13-2007, 18:23
Originally posted by FF Wife
Being a mother is something that I always am, but it's a long way from all I am. I always knew that :hugs: :hearts: :hugs:

06-13-2007, 20:21
I'm a lively, liberal person, so yes I tend to joke about tons of things. Yes, i joke about having and not having kids. So sue me. I have met SO many mothers that judge me, that I can't help but look at the situation and laugh. If they want to force me to have kids, they better work a lot harder at marketing the idea to me. Therefore, I joke about mothers that paint a perfect picture when they are attempting to sway my mind, and then they turn around and discuss the consistency of baby poop, screaming spells, etc when I'm still around. It's funny. I wish that more mothers would just come out and admit that it's not all peachy, but it's worth it. That's all I want. I want people to admit that it's not all wine and roses, because I know that mothers struggle. I don't doubt for a second that that struggle is 110% worth it. I just wish more mothers would be honest when they discuss motherhood with me.

06-13-2007, 21:17
As I read through this thread for the 1st time since I posted the article, I found myself trying to recall a time when I could even remember anybody trying to delve into whether or not I would have another/more child/ren, much less taking issue w/whatever my response would have been. Maybe I've just been living in a hermit's hut all these years :supergrin: darn if I can bring any scenario to mind. Wierd, perhaps?

Maybe there's something in the proverbial water in some locales which make various and sundry generic 'people' feel they should do that? ?Take a woman to task for whatever her choice has been?

I can vaguely recall a faceless 'somebody or another' lightly (perhaps even humorously?) ask, 'well, you gonna have another' (back when kiddo was little) - but nothing specific. Maybe I inadvertently cut someone off at the proverbial pass by volunteering, "Good thing one is enough and all I feel I can do *well*, because getting him here darn near killed both of us!" and didn't realize it? :supergrin:

06-13-2007, 21:35
insecurities when confronted with those who've made other choices.

to decide to nurture another is an act of hope and committment, done deliberately, the primary REASON for committment, beyond what is pleasureable and convenient.

any one with sense is fearful of that choice, heck of a downside, from your own death to birth defects to burying your child to raising one that's dishonorable..

can't HELP but have a bit of fear, no matter your faith, and faith can be stretched some too.

it's somewhat understandable that people react with great emotion to those choices which may cast doubt on their own, as best. and that doubt may well be all internal, and the hostility directed only at the catalyst.

i have that tendency, STRONG tendency, when discussing male vasectomy, and bring a gun if you intend ME to agree to it, you'll need one. you Can get thrown to hell out of my house without much ado over the issue..

i am a LIBERAL. what you do is your business and i KNOW it. i'm about human rights 100%, and i don't CARE you have a vasectomy, only don't TELL ME.

now that's seriously true. i don't want to hear about it.

i relate entirely to any woman with some parallel emotional response to similar cause.

that don't make it Right, each to their own. but understandable.

take the kneejerkers with a grain of salt. they ain't salty enough. :)

and some of us even KNOW better.. :wavey:

Mrs. VR
06-14-2007, 06:03
Mitch, you are so RIGHT ON lately! :animlol: I have friends who have kids, who went back to work when the babies were six weeks old, not because they HAD to, but because they WANTED to. Fine, their choice, certainly never MINE. WE STRUGGLED for a LONG TIME so I could stay home with our kids, PB&J's, Generic Mac and Cheese, old cars, etc, but I have very dear life long friends that seem threatened because I made a different choice than they did! Seriously, you wouldn't believe some of the comments I've heard about being a "stay at home mom". (which is funny, cause Im out of the house all the time;) )"I could NEVER stay home with my kids all day", "I make X amount of money", "not everyone is LUCKY enough to be able to AFFORD to stay home" (HA!) and when we decided to HOMESCHOOL our kids...holy cow, you'd think we accused some folks of child abuse for sending their kids to public school!

The thing is, I've never, ever ONCE said anything even remotely judgemental to any of those people. I truly believe it comes from their OWN insecurities. I don't really care all that much what other people do with THEIR kids, I care what WE do with OURS.

I had a mom who I knew vaugely from the neighborhood basically accost me when she found out we were going to be homeschooling. She was active on the local PTA (we were in a CRAPPY school district at the time, btw, very poor performing school), "If all the INVOVLED parents decide to homeschool, what's going to happen to all those poor kids who's parents don't care???" "how is the school going to get any better??" I told her, quite frankly I wasn't willing to sacrifice MY children for the "greater good" until the school got their "stuff" together! And that was from someone that I HARDLY KNEW! :rollingeyes:

06-14-2007, 17:41
I've caught way more flak over homeschooling than any other choice we've ever made regarding children. And the vast majority of it has been from...family. And we're not even the first in my family to make this choice.

A side note of honesty about my being a mom...
The most annoying part of my being a mom: being trapped in a mini-van chauffeuring other people (esp. tired, cranky, whiny people) to places i don't actually wish to go...or just the frustrating process of getting everyone into the van at something approaching a timely fashion. I have nowhere near the patience i ought to have.


Mrs. VR
06-14-2007, 18:49
Mrs. Cicero...we might be related. :supergrin:

Funny thing, my inlaws were the MOST opposed when we started homsechooling, now they BRAG to people that their grandchildren are homeschooled. :rollingeyes:

06-15-2007, 16:42
I've been on both sides of the fence. I've been a career woman with two young children. I finally reached the point where I couldn't stand watching everyone else spend more time with my babies than I did. AND it isn't easy to have a career and have a family at the same time, if you try to give 100% to both.

I was blessed with a husband that was willing to cut WAY BACK on our budget and give me the chance to stay home and be a full time mom.

Many people told me, "You can't go 100 miles an hour and just stop dead on. You'll be right back!" Doctor's told me to "Call me when you want to come back...I'll hire you in a heart beat!"

But I stayed home full time for 7 years. I never looked back and enjoyed every minute. It wasn't easy.

My girls applaud our choice, and when they think about it they didn't miss out on a thing. We may have been able to travel first class more had I stayed in my career; but the trips we made were fun and we have fond...and hysterically funny memories of them now!

I admire women that choose to stay home today. I understand the women that say that just can't make it on one income. We shouldn't have done that, but we made it okay. We had a very happy home life and we are still together, happy and our children praise us for the life we gave them now.

There is no One right way, there is no one wrong way.

We have a deep faith in God and he helped us through it all. We never wanted for anything.

I wish I had known and understood homeschooling better when my girls were younger. I definitely would have gone that route. We have friends that have home schooled all five of theirs. They are the most amazing...non-geekie children I've ever met! I adore them and have become their "aunt". The way they make everyday situations a learning situation is awesome!

We should be more open minded to new ideas and less ready to criticize!

Some of us are forced to do what we must do, and that's okay, too!

Other's are fortunate to have more choices than others and that is truly a blessing for them!

As women, we should support and be happy for each other. Learn from each other. Share with each other!

I admire mothers that homeschool so much! Wish I had done that!

:zipmouth: I've said too much, as usual!

:hugs: :hearts:

Mrs. VR
06-16-2007, 08:40
Karen, you could never "say too much" :yourock: