Science proves becoming a parent sucks the happiness out of life

Someone recently told me I changed 5 years ago, for the worse. I wondered what could have happened that would have turned me into a horrible person, when it dawned on me- 5 years ago I had a kid!

The reality of parenthood, taken 30 seconds after the first, Thanksgiving 2012

The reality of parenthood, Thanksgiving 2012

That was the end of sleep/sleeping in/getting enough sleep, having nice things, cleaning only your own poo, leisurely meals, peaceful car trips, etc. The lack of sleep alone is enough to make people irritable and irrational, never mind the crying. I think most parents would agree that having a kid was a profound, and possibly irreversible, life change.

Et voila! Science proves it.

It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment — even the death of a partner

Life has its ups and downs, but parenthood is supposed to be among the most joyous. At least that’s what the movies and Target ads tell us.

In reality, it turns out that having a child can have a pretty strong negative impact on a person’s happiness, according to a new study published in the journal Demography. In fact, on average, the effect of a new baby on a person’s life in the first year is devastatingly bad — worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner.– The Washington Post

Parenthood is, in its way, worse than getting divorced, losing your job, or the death of a partner. Read it and weep (or perhaps I should say keep weeping if you’re already there).

I can’t imagine being a single parent, or not having the choice whether or not to have a child. Even at the lowest points, at least Mac and I could fall back on, “We got ourselves into this mess.”

It may be a choice to procreate, the end result may be positive, and parents may not choose to change anything, but parenting is freakin’ hard. Especially that first one.

So, on behalf of parents everywhere, apologies that we couldn’t be sunshine and roses when sleep-deprived and devoid of free time. Sincere thanks for folks who tolerated us and supported us during that transition.

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The image of 3 year old Aylan laying face down in the sand. It broke me. I saw my 3 year old son. I imagined the desperation of his parents to flee.

I watched the videos of families laying in the streets of numerous cities with nowhere to go. I wanted to climb through the screen, find a displaced family and bring them home with me. Keep them safe. Give them comfort. Instead, I immediately went online and looked for ways I could help.

I signed this petition urging the British government to act. I signed this petition urging the US government to act.

I made a donation to the UN Refugee Agency, and another to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station. I filled out the paperwork to ensure my employer matched my donations.

It did little to quiet my conscience. It did nothing to erase the image from my mind every time I looked at my own son.

This morning I saw this poem.

Mermaids by Hollie Poetry (Source)

Mermaids by Hollie Poetry (Source)

Just heartbreaking. See below for info on more ways you can help the migrant crisis in Europe.

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Wordless Wednesday: Credible Hulk

Credible Hulk

Credible Hulk

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This morning Nemo woke me with this book in his hand, asking me to read it. He climbed in, snuggled up, and we read.

We usually reserve reading for bed time, but perhaps because I was out last night and wasn’t home for bed time, he thought this was a good make-up session.

I do love reading to my kids. The cuddling, the funny voices, the read-alongs to the books they’ve mostly memorized, love it all. Even after an ordeal to get them ready for bed, we can set aside our differences and enjoy a story together.

Later in the day I read this interesting article from the NY Times Well Blog about the benefits of reading on young minds:

The different levels of brain activation, he said, suggest that children who have more practice in developing those visual images, as they look at picture books and listen to stories, may develop skills that will help them make images and stories out of words later on…

Dr. Hutton speculated that the book may also be stimulating creativity in a way that cartoons and other screen-related entertainments may not.

“When we show them a video of a story, do we short circuit that process a little?” he asked. “Are we taking that job away from them? They’re not having to imagine the story; it’s just being fed to them.”

So enjoy reading to a kid! You get the quality time, the laughter, the snuggles, and they get all that and some brain development too.

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Wordless Wednesday: GMOs

Encountering a lot of people who ‘believe’ the science on global climate change, but reject the science on GMOs. Not sure what the disconnect is. There is no ‘belief’ in science- either the data support the conclusion or it’s not true.10440909_1045963868757957_6873704695044085609_n

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Cannot believe I haven’t updated this blog in so long. My life has kind of been taken over by a fight.

My home, my children, my community is being threatened by a huge energy company’s plans to expand a natural gas pipeline that runs near our home. They want to make it so large that an accident would destroy our house. Neighbors homes may be torn down to make way for the construction. They want to build a new section adjacent to the elementary school where Mabel will start kindergarten next year, so close to it, that a blast would kill any kids playing outside. They want to emit hundreds of tons of additional pollutants into the air we breath.

Our local officials oppose the project. After months of orchestrating call-in campaigns, our Federal officials are barely lifting a finger to help.

The system is so broken. Our safety, health, and well-being are being ignored so a huge energy company can export natural gas for a profit.

I feel anxious, angry, hopeless, relentless, scared all at the same time. On one hand I cannot give up knowing the risks. On the other hand, I just want to know my fate. We’ve been fighting for over a year. We’re tired. The physical, emotional, and financial toll is nearly unbearable.

This fight to stop the pipeline has cost me time with my kids (Mabel now plays “Pipeline Meeting” and Nemo screams “Pipeline!” from the back seat when he spots a yard sign), time with my husband (we take turns attending hearings, meetings, protests, etc), and so many hours of sleep (I now have chronic insomnia, I wake in the night feeling anxious, I’ve been having panic attacks). It’s horrible.

The only upside is that I’ve met so many wonderful people- neighbors, activists, local elected officials.

It’s ironic. This threat to my community has made me appreciate it more, feel more a part of it, and it may all be lost if this energy company has its way.

So, forgive my absence. I’m fighting for my life, my children, my home, my community. It’s scary and stressful. It leaves little time for anything else.

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Wordless Wednesday: FU SCOTUS

Source:  FB

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July 2, 2014 · 11:22 am