Artists often talk about pushing themselves; stretching; getting outside their comfort zone; trying something new. You’ll hear athletes, adventurers, business people, and programers say it too. In fact, running a marathon, climbing a mountain or some other means of discomfort or challenge seems to be quite popular in our age – we’re all finding ourselves in adversity. Except, according to one study, doing the one thing that many of us will do. I read this article a few weeks back, and was somewhat surprised by the conclusion. It seems –
” 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 is devastatingly bad: worse than divorce, worse than unemployment and worse even than the death of a partner. “
At the end of the article the author finished by saying:
“The findings are likely to be eyeopening for some policy-makers who are concerned about low fertility rates in their countries and suggest that governments should consider giving additional support to new parents.”
I don’t want to knock support, but my completely anecdotal observations have been that the more people try and keep their old life; their me time; the more they deny the struggle or that they might need to embrace the dark night of the soul; the harder it becomes, even with help, to find happiness with a new baby.
Later the same day I read this blog post that contained the following :
“My midwife once told me not to try to be comfortable.”
Maybe it’s just expectations that rob us of our happiness. Maybe parenting isn’t about being comfortable. Maybe we don’t need that mountain after all. I know I don’t – I’ve got kids and I’ve got art !