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!
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.
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.