In the last few weeks there were a lot of articles online about children, parenting, and do kids make us happy. The debate I’m sure has been going on for decades, but the recent one started with the article in New York Magazine. Then the answers followed… In New York Times Blog, in Babble, in blogs, over email, Facebook… everyone has an opinion. So I guess, three weeks late, here is my 2 cents.
Overall, I am happier that I have O. Before O came into the world, even DH has said, we were bored. We were in a pattern. A pattern that was not really all that healthy. We didn’t travel (DH is self-employed so it’s hard), we didn’t go out to fancy dinners, we didn’t do much of anything, except work, come home, argue, and go to sleep. Then one fantastic trip to the Bahamas, unbeknownst to us, O was our future.
When all of these studies interview parents on how they feel, it’s so much easier to quantify and explain that horrible feeling of loneliness, exhaustion, frustration. But the joys, are not necessarily few and far between, rather, how do you explain to someone, it’s when I go to pick her up from day care, and she screams MOMMY!!! MOMMY!! And stomps her feet in happiness. Or how she sings her songs in the car. The way she tries to put the letter back in the envelope while singing the alphabet song. Or how her dad was teaching her to hide behind the counter, jump up and say Boo, which she found the funniest thing in the world. Cacky, Aboo, Cacky Aboo (she wanted him to do it again.) Or how she talks really softly pretending she’s whispering. Or bossing the dog. All of these are only really cute to the parent.
It’s so much easier to talk about how she just starts crying for no reason. She doesn’t want to brush her teeth, so she’s throwing a temper tantrum. That she doesn’t want eat and try new foods. It’s so frustrating that she doesn’t to go and play by herself.
But if anything, I think O has made me a little more laid back. I stop sweating the little stuff. I am more focused, especially at work since now I don’t stay late, so I have to get everything done before 5 pm. I still get overwhelmed, but I wouldn’t be human or a mom if I didn’t feel like that at times. And the balance that DH and I have established is good. It has taken a whole year and a half to get into the balance, but I think we have it now. For DH is much easier now that O communicates and let’s be honest does not lack a personality. We both understand her more, and we both understand each other more.
Or maybe, even with the stubbornness and the crankiness, we got really lucky and got a pretty easy-going baby (most of my friends would say that any baby of mine, could never be easy-going….)