London: British women who stay at home to raise their pre-school age kids are finding the work so exhausting that they are paying to keep nannies, says a new study.

The study highlighting the pressures of parenting found that two-thirds of mothers who stay at home rely on nurseries and nannies. One in 10 pay up to 20 percent of their income for a break from their offspring.

Raising children was such hard work that many women -- at least 20 percent -- admit they only enjoy half the time they spend with them.

A whopping 70 percent said they used their 'child-free time' to do housework and shopping while 30 percent simply catch up on sleep, found the study by a TV channel.

“Mums certainly shouldn't feel bad about enlisting some support so they can take some time out for themselves. The pre-school years can be incredibly stressful, especially for stay-at-home mums without a job. Toddlers are mini whirlwinds with boundless energy and a million questions on a good day or terrific tantrums on bad days,” says family psychologist Pat Spungin.

(Agencies)