So I wrote a blog about 10 months ago about whether children make you happier. It looks like I’m going to discover the answer for myself… I’m due to have a baby girl in November!
I’m pretty apprehensive about it. In just over a year I will have gone from being single and living on my own to being married and having a child. On the one hand, it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me and I feel almost overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. On the other, it’s quite a shock to the system! I’m old enough to have seen many of my friends go through similar experiences, though spread out over a number of years. Falling in love and getting married has been a massive boost to their happiness, as it has to mine, despite the need to compromise over which pictures should be hung where and whose friends we are having dinner with. But as my friends have transitioned to being parents it has often appeared more tricky. I’ve heard them complaining about their partners for the first time, and I’ve seen the strain in their faces as they try to sound interested in what I’m up to, but I can see that what they really need is a good sleep instead.
As I found out before when I researched it, parenthood is not all cute babies and idyllic family photos as Facebook would have you believe. Indeed it seems like there is much more information and evidence around that it is really hard. I Googled “Joy of parenting” and all but one result were about how difficult being a parent was. But yet…but yet…just announcing my pregnancy has already brought huge joy to my parents, my in-laws and my friends. They are thrilled for me. And to be honest, I’m pretty thrilled for me too (despite a large dollop of apprehension). Every time I feel her wriggle or kick, I can’t help but laugh, even when I’m trying to be serious.
It’s clear from the briefest of observations that there is huge joy around parenthood. I often ask people in workshops what makes them happy. There are always several people in the room who answer…