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Weekly shops with the kids top the list of stress triggers for mums

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Shopping with kids, bedtimes and long car journeys with youngsters in the back have emerged as a modern mums’ greatest stress triggers.

The Top 20 also featured being constantly plagued by requests of ‘Can I have this?’, and tantrums mid-aisle when the answer is ‘no’ means supermarket shopping strikes fear into the heart of young mums.

Meal times also leave many mums pulling their hair out, along with trying to keep youngsters happy when they are strapped into the back of the car for hours on end.

Other situations on the list include getting young kids in and out of the car for things like the school or nursery run, entertaining them on a rainy day and even simply getting them dressed in the morning.

Researchers also found that the average mum feels stressed at least three times a day – with more than one in 20 admitting they suffer from stress every single minute of the day.

A spokesman for Ford Retail, who commissioned the research to mark the launch of the new family-orientated Ford B-Max, commented on the findings:

”Being a parent can be testing at the best of times, but it seems there are certain situations which are worse than others.

”Travelling with young children is clearly a key stress factor revealed by the research – whether mums are struggling to get young children in and out of car seats, entertaining them on long journeys or dealing with traffic jams, the issues are apparent.

”Car journeys certainly feature highly in the top ten stress triggers and in many cases, being prepared is the key – making sure you have plenty of snacks, toys and games planned can help to keep even the longest shopping trip or car journey stress-free.”

The study of 2,000 mums of young children found that the weekly shop topped the list of stress triggers, followed by bedtimes and long car journeys with children in the back.

Getting children to eat certain foods and taking them out to friend’s houses where they aren’t used to children- and worrying about the chaos your children will cause- completed the top five.

Being stuck in a traffic jam with children in the car was at number six in the poll followed by meal times, entertaining kids on a rainy day and getting them in and out of the car.

Getting children dressed in the mornings rounded off the top ten.

Bath time, packing for a holiday and children’s birthday parties also featured in the top twenty.

Researchers also found that the average mum feels stressed three times a day – with first thing in the morning and early evenings named as the most stressful times of day.

However, a surprising one in 20 admit they feel stressed every single minute of the day.

40% of mums also named weekday mornings as the most stressful time of their week, when they have to stick to their routine, get the children to stick to the same routine then get to nursery, school or work on time.

More than half also said they are more likely to get stressed if they have too much to do and not enough time to do it in, while another 54% find things harder when their children are misbehaving.

Tired or hungry children, partners who don’t help out enough and having somewhere to be at a certain time can also make things seem more stressful.

However, the study found that 41% of mums admit stress actually helps to motivate them, while a sweet 82% of parents say the smiles and cuddles they get from their children make the stressful moments worth it in the end.


1.            Doing the weekly shop

2.            Bedtime

3.            Long car journeys with children stuck in the back

4.            Getting children to eat certain foods

5.            Going to someone’s house where they don’t have children

6.            Being stuck in a traffic jam with children in the back

7.            Meal times

8.            Entertaining children on a rainy day

9.            Getting kids in and out of the car

10.          Getting children dressed in the mornings

11.          Bath time

12.          Busy attractions and days out

13.          Packing for a holiday

14.          Cleaning children’s teeth

15.          Shopping for new clothes

16.          Getting their children to eat their food at all

17.          A child’s birthday party

18.          Illness

19.          Eating out

20.          Going on holiday

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