As Mother’s Day approaches on May 13, many of us will take extra time to show our appreciation for the women who brought us into the world. Juggling hectic schedules, carrying kids around, balancing life, family, and work – every mother works hard. But a recent study commissioned by Wahl Home Products suggests that the physical demands of motherhood can take a toll on women.
The study, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation, interviewed more than 500 mothers with children 12 and younger. Nearly 80% of study participants reported experiencing muscle tension or regular pain predominantly in the neck, shoulders and back, with 40% of participants reporting neck and shoulder pain at least 10 days a month.
The frequency of pain appears to be consistent across the age ranges, but pain seems to travel to different parts of the body with age. Mothers younger than 30 with children younger than 3 were most likely to experience soreness in the arms and legs, while moms with children 4-7 experience more pain in the neck and shoulders. See, Mom wasn’t lying when she said you were being a pain in the neck. Pain was concentrated in the back for women with children ages 8-12, and mothers 45 and older reported joint pain.
How do these moms spell relief? The majority of moms, six out of 10, reach for over-the-counter pain medication. Nearly 25% of the moms find time for massage therapy, but only 13 percent visit doctors for pain management.
If you want to take a peek into a stay-at-home mother’s schedule, you won’t see any time for television and bon-bon eating, but rather, the study indicated that moms spend nearly 40 hours a week transporting children to school and events, cooking, cleaning, and running errands. If that weren’t enough, 72% of study participants spend 25 hours per week working from home or volunteering. Eight out of 10 mothers surveyed said they spent less than two hours on themselves, and more than half only get 30 minutes a day of personal time.
So, the next time Mom tells you about the joys and pains of motherhood, don’t roll your eyes. Give her a hug, and say thanks.