• Joni Ganguzza

Dear Today Show: Stop Feeding Into Women Comparing Themselves to Others

A friend of mine recently shared an article written by the Today show that said “Moms of 4 or more kids are less stressed.” Being a mom of 7, I laughed at the title and initially I had was a little bit of pride as if I got some sort of credit from someone that I wasn't insane to have 7 kids. I read it while wearing my yoga pants that had some sort of food smear on them from my 2 year old, an oversized t shirt, with my hair pulled back with my daughter’s scrunchi, after getting 7 kids to bed which most times includes another 30 minutes of me yelling at them to get back in their bed or 3 or 4 of them to suddenly realize they are so thirsty at that moment they need to come down stairs for water. On top of that I had 4 kids home sick that day so plans for any relaxation for myself were thwarted, I have the stress of my ongoing chronic disease to deal with, and in general feeling completely worn out every day. I realized at that moment that we are all walking different journeys in life and the comparison of yourself to another mom based on a single factor needs to stop.

We are all walking different journeys in life and the comparison of yourself to another mom based on a single factor needs to stop.

My Background is in science. My bachelor’s degree is in Biology and my masters is in Physician Assistant Studies so I have read many scientific articles in my professional life. When you study people’s psychological state, there are so many factors that feed into how a person feels. For example, are the moms they surveyed single or married, how old are they as a 40 yo mom has different stressors than a 17 year old mom, what is their income level, do any of their kids have special needs, what is their support system, do they work outside the home. There are so many socioeconomic factors that truly feed into stress level other than the quantity of children.

There is also the question of sample size. There are a lot less of us that have 4+ kids so the sample size likely affected their conclusion. What if out of the 7000 moms, only 100 of them had 4 or more? They don’t publish that because if their study looks scientifically weak, they couldn’t put an outrageous title on their article that gets shared thousands of times.

Here is the real truth about this article, it is just another push for moms to compare themselves to others.

We as women need to stop this. We are all on our own journeys and no 2 of us have the same path to walk. Don’t compare your stress level with your 2 kids to my life with 7. I am not living your life and you aren’t living mine. I can remember sobbing on the floor when I had 2 kids. I was trying to potty train my 2 yo while my 6 month old was teething and screaming. I have had times when I am out with all 7 and I want to pinch myself because they all look like angels. I have been out with my 7 when they are screaming and fighting and I can feel the judgmental looks from strangers.

At the end of the day I think we are all trying to just do the best we can each day. I’m trying to raise little humans to become productive members of society that love God and their neighbor and whether you have 9 kids or 1, you probably have the same goal. I think the title of article should read “Moms that support each other and don’t compare themselves to other moms have less stress” because no matter the number or kids, that is a true statement.

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