A study by ForbesWoman and the pregnancy website TheBump.com found that 92 percent of working moms and 89 percent of stay-at-home mothers felt "overwhelmed" by their responsibilities inside and outside the home.
Almost 30 percent of working moms claimed they do the lion's share of the chores, and 31 percent said they are accountable for "all of the parenting". A further 70 percent of working moms and 68 percent of stay-at-home moms admit to feeling "resentful toward their partner” for not helping out more with parenting duties.
While those stats may not surprise you, what if we said you bring all that incumbent stress on yourself?
“It’s not just that women can’t ask for help," said Meghan Casserly, a reporter for ForbesWoman, "They don’t want to. [She] feels it’s damaging her sense of motherhood to ask for help. And it’s causing resentment.”
According to Carley Roney, editor of TheBump.com, it's more a case of a woman possessing "a secret desire to be superwoman.” Roney claims the seeds of this burning desire to be Super Mom are planted early on in childhood, often with the example of our own do-it-all-without-grumbling mothers.
First comes guilt and a reluctance to ask for help, which Roney calls the Martyr Syndrome. Then, when help isn't immediately forthcoming (ie. our partners don't have built-in crystal balls), resentment kicks in.
“There’s ego in motherhood,” Roney admits. “And an ego in being a wife. It’s the nature of being a mother—that you’ll just do it. That you’ll take it ‘like a mom.’” But if mothers are to survive, she says, we must overcome that first hurdle -- admit that we need help, then ask for it. “At some point, you’ve got to say: I can do a lot of it, but I don’t want to do it all.”
It seems two-year-olds aren't the only ones who benefit from time-outs. So the next time you feel your blood boiling and your temper starting to flare, clearly ask for help, then disappear into a quiet room for a few minutes to recharge.