How Losing Control Can Make You a Happier Person (and a Better Mom)

Self on 06.21.11


A ForbesWoman survey of more than 1,200 mothers found that 70 percent of them resent their husband or partner for not pitching in more with parenting and around the house -- but many of them are also unwilling to give up control of their duties. 

Carley Roney, editor-in-chief of The Bump, which partnered with ForbesWoman for the survey, says that asking for help is not something most moms are eager to do. “It’s literally ingrained in most of us to want to be Super Moms, and that feeling is so often compounded in working moms, who feel the added guilt of being away from their children for a number of hours each day to begin with," she says. "When they have the chance to be a mommy, to give up any control can be quite painful.”

Time points out that the women who responded to the study said that -- regardless of whether they worked outside the home or stayed home with the kids -- they were responsible for the majority of the cleaning, shopping, cooking, feeding, and childcare. Forbes found that the primary caregivers spend about 12 hours more per week with their children than the secondary parent does -- causing 94 percent of working moms and 97 percent of stay-at-home moms to request a "time out" from their jobs as parent.

So what can an overwhelmed mom do? You have to ask for help, says Roney, to ward off stress and resentment -- and get that much-needed time to yourself.  “At some point," she says, "you’ve got to say: I can do a lot of it, but I don’t want to do it all.”

How do you and your partner share household responsibilities?

More from Forbes.



Photo: Terence S. Jones/Creative Commons


Top Articles on Moms and Stress
Working Moms Hire Grandmothers to Help Out at Home
Why Isn't There an Emergency Helpline for Mothers?
Things You Can Learn from Non-Traditional Families