According to a new report from Child Trends, the number of parents who report being aggravated by the toll parenting takes has ”substantially” increased since the late nineties. The only thing that surprises me about this is that the numbers were so low in the nineties.
Just 20 percent of parents said they felt aggravated in 1997, compared to 35 percent of parents in 2007. The report found that the percentage has since plateaued – and frankly I’m a little surprised that more parents don’t admit that parenting is really aggravating sometimes. The findings are based on data collected from the National Survey of America’s Families and the National Survey of Children’s Health.
From Today Moms:
There’s no single, simple explanation as to why parents are feeling more tense, but stresses related to busy schedules, work and modern technology are likely factors, said David Murphey, a senior research scientist at Child Trends and one of the authors of the report.
”The American family has changed in some significant ways in recent years”¦ we have more single parents, we have more dual-income families. Parents feel distracted from the job of parenting by the need to constantly be checking on their email, or other electronic devices, as well as monitor their kids’ use of these devices.”
The study also points to the fact that technology is stressing us all out in more ways than one. Not only are we trying to balance our own consumption of it and that of our children, we are also able to compare our parenting accomplishments to those of others, via social media updates and sites like Pinterest. I know Pinterest had depressed me on more than one occasion – most recently when I looked up “preschool lunches” to get some ideas of what to pack for my kid. Holy crap. I am not that mom.
Amy McCreedy, a parenting coach, told Today Moms that social media is taking “keeping up with the Joneses” to the next level. Also, kids have everything at their fingertips now more than ever – in the form of entertainment on demand and the like – so when they want something they are used to getting it “now.” I can see that.
Parenting is aggravating. Admitting that doesn’t make you a bad mom – it’s just really hard to rear and please a whole other human. My toddler is constantly trying my patience. Sometimes I break down and cry over the frustration of it all – I really do. It’s disheartening that these numbers are rising, but there is one way to look on the bright side – at least more parents are willing to admit that raising kids is no walk in the park. It comforts me to realize I’m not the only one who finds is aggravating occasionally.