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A leap into less than happiness?

This morning my eyes slowly opened and I looked over at my sleeping husband. I smiled through my sleepy blinks at him lying there next to me. I pressed myself up against him and breathed deeply, taking in his smell of shampoo and sleep. He didn’t notice me this morning because he was in too deep of a sleep. That’s fine, I let him sleep a while longer.

I rolled out of bed and went to my computer to catch up on whatever happened while I was away sleeping. While browsing through Facebook I came across this article: If parenthood sucks, why do we love it? Because we’re addicted.

I’ve heard it before, parenthood actually decreases your happiness. According to this article the only reason people keep popping out babies is because of the occasional high you get. Most of the time parents with young children are miserable.

Yikes.

The thing is, I suspected that all along. It’s a huge part of why I’ve waited and resisted all the pressure to start adding more humans to the planet so far. I’m so happy with my life as it is, am I really ready to screw that up?

Will I ever be ready?

Who is ever ready to be less happy?

Joel and I have what is my idea of a perfect marriage. We love each other fiercely. We fight but we do it fairly. We forgive each other and move on after making mistakes. We have long afternoons filled with passionate sex and intimate cuddling. We take trips to exotic locations on a whim.

All these things and more make me so happy. When I lie in bed staring at Joel I can’t imagine doing it through bleary, sleep depraved eyes that haven’t gotten a good night’s sleep in months. Will I be able to stare at him in those last moments of sleep or will I desperately be trying to catch every last second of shut eye before I have to return to my motherly duties?

I know myself. I become a grumpy monster without good sleep. Not sleeping makes me miserable. Naughty, whining children drive me crazy. I’d love to believe that I’ll be such an awesome parent that I’ll produce perfect children but we all know that’s not the case. My kids will have my DNA which means they’ll almost certainly be stubborn, creative, little evil geniuses.

When I remember some of the ways I acted towards my mom, dad and babysitters I cringe. I once convinced a babysitter to play a game that involved tying her hands to a doorknob. Then I convinced her to sit down. Then my sisters and I ran giggling out of the room leaving her unable to stand up. From the time I knew how to talk I knew how to manipulate things so they went my way. I never took no for an answer well. I got in a good deal of trouble but was very good at talking my way out of my punishments.

Then of course there was Joel. The stories he tells me about jumping off roofs, climbing trees and doing flips down steep hills on his bike terrify me. He basically poked his eye out when he was 6 and is now blind in that eye. Frankly I’m shocked that that’s the only major injury he ever got. He was such a dare devil. If we have a child like him I don’t know that my nerves can take the experience.

But then again, I look into Joel’s beautiful blue eyes and wonder what a mini version of him would look like. I see my beautiful sweet nephews and wonder if I could be as good at raising kiddos as my sisters have been. In the end I want to be surrounded by my children and grandchildren. I want a big happy family.

However, taking that leap into years of less happiness kind of feels like jumping out of a plane with a questionable parachute.

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14 Comments

  1. strawbrykiwi

    Aside from the marriage part? I cannot tell you how much I feel the same way.

  2. Liz

    Bahaha… It's not really that bad. Babies aren't as stressful as this article (or you!) make them out to be. 😉 Just have your kids far apart. Having one baby is fun!

    I think you over-analyze it too much. Once you take the leap you'll find it's the biggest and most exciting adventure of your life. And yes, probably the happiest. You'll come around eventually.

    For the moment though enjoy your pre-kid life!

    • See, that's actually one of the big pressures. I don't want to have kids at home forever. Once we start having kids I would like for them all to be close in age. I guess we'll see how things work out. I know it will be quite the adventure.

  3. wifeychronicles

    Gahh this is exactly how I feel. Hubby wants to start by at least 25 which would make me 23. Before being a nanny I was baby crazed, then I started taking care of a baby & 2yr old and seriously I'm not a parent but that article is so right. I get so stressed and lose all my patience then maddie cuddles or Garrett hugs me and I forget I hate my job haha. I am no where near ready for kids. I love sleeping in too much:)

  4. As a newish parent, think long and hard. every point you made here is so very true. I would trade Ian for the world but if I could have had a few more years with Casey footloose and fancy free I would have.

    • That's so good to know. I'm enjoying every childfree moment with Joel. I'm sure we'll enjoy being parents but for now I'll just enjoy the happiness that is our marriage.

  5. Pssst! You will NEVER be ready for parenthood! Our SECOND child was planned, calculated, wanted & when that stick test was positive I STILL at 33 had a meltdown because it changes every freakin thing even when it's not your first. It's like anything else, good & bad. You trade in your freedom but you gain a family & a chance to see everything brand new all over again (so cliched but it's true once they get a bit bigger you forget how you once didn't understand the world), My best advice is to truly enjoy your time as a couple and do it for a long time! You don't want to look back once you have kids & wish you did more or had more time. I was 30 when I had our first & I still wish we had waited a few years. At 32 I was in momma mode.

    • I guess I've felt a lot of pressure in my head to be a young mom. I always kind of thought I'd have a kid by the time I was 25. Now that I'm 2 months away from there it's kind of overwhelming. I guess I don't need to worry about anyone's time line but my own. It is my life after all. Thanks for reminding me. 🙂

  6. AAAAMMMMMEEEEENNNNNNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!

  7. My husband & I have the relationship that you described & I can honestly say that while yes, things do change, having a baby has only made our relationship better. That intense love that I felt for him before is magnified every time I see him holding, snuggling and loving our little girl. I don't think it's true that parenthood makes you less happy, I think that it just changes what makes you happy. So long as you keep your marriage a priority, having baby only opens doors to a happiness you can't even imagine.

    • That's really good to know. I'm so glad we've waited as long as we have so far. Our marriage might not have stood up to the pressure if we'd jumped right into parenthood. Now that we've gotten to know each other so well I think things will be much better.

      And every time I see Joel with kids I swoon. He is amazing with them. I definitely look forward to seeing him with our own. He's going to be an amazing daddy someday.

  8. I used to be an awful grumpy person without much sleep. I've adjusted over time. I can survive on much less sleep now than I ever imagined. It's almost to a point, where I really don't think I need as much sleep as I used to in order to function normal. We're adapatable to things us humans.

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