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Sunday, August 24, 2008

No Kids Equals Happiness?

G'Morning, Maxwell House Filter Packs!

Yup, that's what I'm slurping down on this overly sunny morning in San Diego. I know, Maxwell House Filter Packs - not the Trader Joe's Dark Roast that I'm used to. But since my dad-in-law made it, and he's the one with stage 2 tongue cancer and the whole reason we drove 25 hours here from Seattle, I'm certainly not going to be the coffee snob who's like, um, sorry everyone, but I'm way too good for this coffee-flavored water. Besides, two full cups did the trick in terms of lifting my spirits and fueling my customary morning bowel movement, so I'm not complaining. As you know, caffeine for a caffaddicted person is like a newborn infant to a KuKd Strong Momma: you take what you can get. Beggars can't be choosers.

(Please don't take that comment, by the way, as a suggestion that out of desperation we all go out and steal babies - although I do think what Holly Hunter did in Raising Arizona was totally freakin' cool. She totally deserved to baby-steal. And if you're a KuKd and/or Trying Desperately to Make a Person, you should seriously check out that movie again - you'll see it in a whole new light. Plus, Nicholas Cage was such a cutie-boy back then!)

On another note, here's the kind of article that - when combined with Maxwell House Filter Packs - makes me want to do cartwheels and loudly sing Zippety-Doo-Dah. And to all my babyless homegirls out there, before you go off and try to steal some rich person's septuplet, you ought to read this article several times. Put it in the bathroom so you can really give it a good, pooping-and-reading-simultaneously Zen type of read. Revel in it. Believe it, if only for a few minutes. Allow it to color the way in which you view yourself, your life without a screaming ungrateful toddler, your current level of overall satisfaction.

For anyone too lazy to read the whole article, here are a few key quotes:

"Parents experience lower levels of emotional well-being, less frequent positive emotions and more frequent negative emotions than their childless peers."

"Marital satisfaction decreases dramatically after the birth of the first child—and increases only when the last child has left home."

"Parents are about 7 percentage points less likely to report being happy than the childless."

"Parenthood [is] significantly more stressful in the 1970s than in the 1950s."

"From baby-lotion commercials that make motherhood look happy and well rested, to commercials for Disney World where you're supposed to feel like a kid because you're there with your kids, we've made parenthood out to be one blissful moment after another, and it's disappointing when you find out it's not."

Of course, every research study is full of gaping flaws. And, I love my kid-having friends dearly. But this article sure got my attention.

Check out Nicholas in his Raising Arizona days. Something about him just makes my heart go pitter-patter.


*~*Lis*~* said...

I have to admit, sometimes I wonder if the reason I had to go through all the KuKd shit and all the IVF shit after it is because I just wasn't "supposed" to have kids. Then I feel guilty as hell for feeling that way.

OK that wasn't quite the point of the article I guess, but I do remember I was less stressed and my relationship with my hubby was more fun.

Monica LeMoine said...

Hey 'Lis! Glad to get a KuKd-Strong-Momma-With-Kids perspective on this issue. What shall we call you and your ilk? KuKdKu? KuKdw/K? Endless possibilities.

sharonvw said...

YAY! I love the article. Just a few more reasons to help me to my point of CTT (coming to terms) with being childless.
Loving it!

Michelle said...

Hey Monica - great article and yet more thought provoking ideas. I think I finally reaching that point that Sharon calls "CTT".
Keep that coffee brewing girl!