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.
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.