Keeping young kids entertained and comfortable on car journeys as well as simply getting them in and out of the car have emerged as top stress triggers that the modern mum with toddlers has to deal with on a daily basis.
A new survey has revealed that three of the top ten stress triggers that affect mothers of children under five involve travelling by car.
Long car journeys with children bickering and moaning in the back, kids being bored and causing a nuisance in traffic jams and just getting babies and toddlers in and out of the car all add to increased stress levels.
The weekly shop, meal times and bedtimes also leave many mums pulling their hair out according to results from the survey of 2,000 mums.
Other situations in the top 10 stress inducers include entertaining them on a rainy day and even simply getting them dressed in the morning.
The survey was commissioned by Ford Retail, which owns dealerships nationwide under brands Dagenham Motors, Heartlands Ford, Brunel Ford, Lindsay Ford, Polar Ford and Ford Retail Online, to mark the launch of the new family-orientated Ford B-MAX.
A spokesman for the dealer-group explained: “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 bad tempers when in a traffic jam, 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.
“Mothers face a variety of stressful scenarios each day and the B-MAX is designed to ease the pressure and make travelling with babies and young children a far more relaxing experience – from a new door system which makes it easier than ever to get them in and out of the car to a spacious and comfortable interior designed with young families in mind.”
The study 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 was number ten.
Bath time, packing for a holiday and children’s birthday parties also featured in the top twenty.
Forty per cent of mums also named weekday mornings as the most stressful time of their week when they have to stick to their routine to get to nursery, school or work on time.
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.
But the study found that 41 per cent of mums admit stress actually helps to motivate them.
And 82 per cent of parents say the smiles and cuddles they get from their children make the stressful moments worth it in the end.
A spokesman for Ford Retail added: ‘’The new B-MAX is designed to alleviate many of these stressful situations, helping to eliminate the stress involved with travelling with young children and setting a new benchmark for stylish, compact and family-friendly cars.
“With its innovative, easy-access door system, the B-MAX is the perfect car for the modern family – whether you are taking the kids to school or popping into town, the B-MAX provides a comfortable and stress-free drive.”
Ford Retail has 52 dealerships across the UK trading under five brand names: Polar Ford (North England); Dagenham Motors (South East England); Heartlands Ford (Birmingham); Brunel Ford (Bristol); and Lindsay Ford (Northern Ireland). It also sells online at www.fordretailonline.co.uk.
Top twenty most stressful situations for mums
1. Doing the weekly shop
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
19. Eating out
20. Going on holiday