Love it most of the time but have my moments...
Originally Posted by bluedaisy
a happiness study and said the people who were most happy were those without kids
What measures were they using? I suppose not having kids (and probably not having a spouse!) make one's life a lot simpler - you have autonomy, privacy, more spending money, you can eat what you want, when you want, you don't have to clean up somebody else's messes or poopy bottom, nobody smears bananas on your pants right before you go to work, you can be very self-focused and gratify your own needs without having to consider anybody else's. If that's happiness, then yeah, childless people are probably happier.
But long-term, I obviously found that to be an impoverished measure for happiness, or a kind of happiness that one can get one's fill of. Going out for dinner has never made me so happy that I cried because my heart was so full of love for the food or the chef, sleeping in is nice and all, but looking at DS sleeping peacefully with his arm around his plush goose before I come to bed makes my heart swell more than waking up at 10 a.m. ever did, and the joy of watching him learn to draw, run, or help with making pancakes provides me with a deeper kind of happiness than if I did all of these activities solo.
Having said that, there are also the times when he's been crying, and I've been crying right along with him, times now when I wonder 'what were we thinking?' for deciding to have a second child. Making a baby is the 'easy' part. Being a parent -- biggest challenge a person can take on. It's hard to be mindful, to be patient when I am hungry/tired/just done for the day, when DS is schimpfing for no apparent reason, when he throws something I just asked him NOT to throw. As much as possible, I try to view parenting as a spiritual practice, one that asks me to find inner reserves of strength, patience, and creativity that I didn't know I had, to be present in the moment and really see my child as he is now and to try to meet his needs in a compassionate way.