This is the most stressful number of kids you can have

The answer might surprise you

August 23 2018

From budget to boot space – there are plenty of factors that go into considering the amount of kids you want to have, but here’s one you might not have thought so explicitly about. Stress.

A survey of more that 7000 mothers found that the least stressful number of kids is four, while the most stressful number is three.

Scary Mommy blogger Jill Smokler told Today that she wholeheartedly agrees.

“Going from one to two was an easy, breezy transition,” she said. “Two to three, everything was turned upside down. I do not feel like I have it together. You only have two hands! Just crossing the street and not being able to physically hold all their hands I find tremendously stressful.”


This was 2 days after I gave birth to Layla. Eating my "nice meal" provided by the hospital. An over cooked steak and sides. I was in new territory. . Learning to breastfeed this little human being that I just brought into the world. Wearing these big mesh panties, still sporting a pregnant belly.. no one told me your belly doesn't go down immediately. No one told me I'd be bleeding out. . No one told me that I would spend hours crying and full of emotion. I remember just laying there in the hospital bed crying. I was crying because my babygirl was finally here.. FINALLY! But wait.. that means she isn't protected inside of me anymore. And that's a scary feeling. . At what point, I think Kevin was at a loss. I realized that when I was being held by him in the hospitals shower and I was just crying uncontrollably. It's all a blur but I do remember saying "she's not safe inside of me anymore" and that was a really hard thing to work through. . I was also in so much pain.. no one tells you that typically with a "quick delivery" comes a bad rip. I ripped all the way up and down, and also side to side. The weeks following I couldn't walk. I couldn't use the bathroom. I wore these big depends diapers. I never thought I would be normal again. Kevin had to help me do EVERYTHING from pee, to walk up stairs. . Being a mom is the ultimate sacrifice. You give up your body for 9 months to grow this little baby. You go through labor and delivery. You go through the emotions that come with childbirth. . You let go of all shame as you walk around your house in diapers and ask your SO to spray warm water on your rip while you pee to avoid that burn. . You spend tireless hours latching your baby and feeding your baby to establish and keep up your milk supply because you want to breast feed so. damn. bad. You remain patient through leaps, growth spurts, and cluster feeding. . Don't ever discredit a mother. You don't know the half. . I used to be Autumn. Fun loving, crazy, outgoing Autumn. But now I'm Layla's mama. And I'm okay with that. ✨ (Via Autumn Benjamin)

But as for why four is the golden number? Some mums speculate that it's because you well and truly give up perfectionism at that stage and it's a huge weight off your shoulders.

“The more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities,” Dr. Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist and mum-of-four told Today. “You have to let go… and then you’re just thankful when they all get to school on time.”

And when it comes to gender, it’s not misbehaving boys wreaking havoc on their parent’s blood pressure – 60 per cent of mums say that raising girls is more stressful than raising boys.

But unsurprisingly the spiral of stress is never ending with 72 per cent of mums stressing about how stressed they are.