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Stress During the Holidays Is Common for Parents, Survey Shows

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If you’re a parent, chances are you’re still trying to catch up on some energy… and probably sleep… after the first round of holidays. Christmas is on the way, and New Year’s Eve is just around the corner. Still, even though the holiday season is far from over, many of us are already tired. And if you’re feeling stressed, it might comfort you to know you’re not alone. If you are counting the days for when the kids go back to school, too, you’re in good company.

The reality is the holidays are really stressful for families, and a new poll shows that many parents struggle around the holidays. The C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health asked a national sample of parents in 2021 about stress around the holidays and discovered that a whole lot of us feel the stress and the pressure of making the holidays magical – and we look forward to the return to normalcy.

The survey, conducted exclusively by Ipsos Public Affairs, LLC (Ipsos) for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, was administered in October 2021 to a random selection of parents who had at least one child at home between the ages of one and 18. The survey found that nearly universally (96 percent) of parents say the holidays are happy for the family, but it’s also really stressful. Things like shopping, staying healthy, finances, and hosting the family are points that cause parents anxiety around the holidays.

And for parents, their kids being off on break is stressful, too. Twenty-three percent of moms who took the poll said having their kids at home during school break causes them stress, while 14 percent of dads say the same thing.

With those numbers, it’s not surprising that one out of three parents have stress relieved when their kids go back to school after the holidays. It’s a little more downtime, a lot less to juggle, and that return to normal that many of us crave after the holidays.

If you’re feeling stressed while we’re in the in-between time between Christmas and the New Year, 71 percent of parents say getting time to themselves is helpful in reducing stress. Hang in there, parents! School is just around the corner!

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