By Seth Meyers, Psy.D.
A new Pew Research Center survey of parents with children under 18 shows just how stressed many feel on a daily basis. Among all working parents with children under age 18, more than half (56%) report that it’s difficult for them to balance the responsibilities of their job with the responsibilities of family; 14% percent say this is very difficult, and 42% say it’s somewhat difficult.
As a therapist who works with families, I can tell you that some parents are actually more bitter than they admit to family, friends and coworkers (and pollsters). While a handful have a fairly pleasant experience parenting, others have significant resentments and bitterness as they try to meet their children’s seemingly endless emotional and tangible needs.
Who are the most bitter parents? In my work, I have found that the most bitter often have little social support; received neglectful or conflict-laden parenting when they were young; or have children who are difficult or challenging (sometimes to the point of meriting a mental-disorder diagnosis).