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Stress: Why do mums bear the brunt?

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It's Stress Week on The One Show and Michael Mosley is examining the ways in which stress can affect our daily lives.

See also: How stressed are you? Take our test.
See also: Watch our Stress Week videos.

According to a recent survey of 3,000 working mums, 93% felt under stress trying to balance work with raising a family. In the second film in this series, Michael went to meet Jo Oxtoby in Maidstone. She's a working mum who juggles her partner, her kids, her work and household chores.

Jo is clearly suffering from psychological stress, says Michael.

The cause? Stress expert Ann McCracken believes that Jo is putting herself under huge pressure by trying to do everything perfectly. The survey suggests that Jo is not alone. Many women cited feeling stressed about not having enough time to do everything they feel they need to do. They mentioned trying to live up to the role model of their own mothers or grandmothers, the generation who stayed at home and ran "dream homes".

Tips for working mums
1. Don't feel guilty!! Stress can be caused by exhaustion and guilt.
2. Talk to your employer. Surveys suggests that employers are being sympathetic to the needs of working mums.
3. Get support at home - prioritise and find time for yourself. The domestic workload can get out of hand. Ask for help, if it's all getting too much.

Why are mums feeling so stressed? Surely these days, dads do (or should do) as much work as their other halves? Or is it part of women's genetic make-up to feel the pressure of creating the perfect nest? Or maybe you believe that mums don't know the meaning of stress? Let us know your thoughts.


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