Having This Amount Of Kids Is The Least Stressful, According To Research

Science says there's a magical amount of kids for a stress-free life.

neighborhood kids playing together Jacob Lund | Canva

A big family with five or more kids is no longer a thing.

Parents now need fewer farm hands, birth control access, and expenses are on the rise. But what is the magic number of kids you should have for a happy home?

Some say the less, the better, but a new study has found a very shocking answer.

RELATED: Why My Mother Told Me Never To Have Children


According to a 2013 survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers conducted by TODAY, mothers who have three kids are pretty stressed, but mothers of four kids have lower stress levels. They're calling it "The Duggar Effect."

That doesn't sound right. What's going on? Dr. Janet Taylor is a psychiatrist and mother of four and she wasn't surprised by the survey's findings at all.

"There's just not enough space in your head," explains Dr. Taylor. "It just gets to be survival mode."

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The same survey found that a lot of stress that weighs down mothers is from wanting to be perfect.


A whopping 75 percent of mothers report being stressed from the pressure they put on themselves to be perfect and avoid judgment from others.

How stressed are mothers today? On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the most stressed, the average mom in the survey put herself at 8.5.

What do moms have to be stressed about you might think? Well, a lot, from financial issues to balancing working a full-time job and still having to come home and make dinner and take care of everyone. Many moms also have the feeling that their husbands are never going to pick up the slack and help them, and he just might be one of their kids, always demanding her attention. 

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Other statistics about how stressed mothers are? 46 percent of the moms said their husbands/partners cause them more stress than their kids do, and 72 percent of moms stress about how stressed they are.

The biggest cause of stress for them? 60 percent say it's a lack of time to do everything that needs to get done. And, 9 out of 10 moms stress about staying fit and attractive.

However, Dr. Taylor also thinks "The Duggar Effect" has to do with "practice makes perfect."

"The more children you have, the more confident you become in your parenting abilities," Dr. Taylor continues. "You have to let go ... and then you're just thankful when they all get to school on time."


So, if you want to stop caring about mommy wars, you should think about having four kids.

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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.