In today’s society, we perceive childless couples as abnormal and sometimes even sad. According to the article Do Children Make us Happy, this is in all actuality not the case. Several studies disclose that people with children have a decreased sense of wellbeing as opposed to those who do not have children. I found this article to be intriguing and very thought provoking. Ever since I was a little girl, I have wanted to have children. Though my feelings toward having a family may be slightly influenced by society, I have always loved being around kids. They make me happy.
I do not currently have any children, but I frequently babysit and have been a summer nanny numerous times. When I was a nanny, I spent an average of ten hours a day caring for the children, preparing their meals, giving them baths, and putting them to bed. The predominant difference between my role as a nanny and their parents was that at the end of the day, I was able to go home and have a break. There were days that I thought I would lose my mind if I had to be there any longer. I believe that my nanny job was the closest to any “parenting” position I have had.
When I started as a nanny for the Euclide family, their twin girls were 2 months old and their oldest daughter was 18 months. They were quite a bit of work, especially the twins. I would finish changing one diaper and then the other twin would poop. At times it was exhausting. I really learned a lot from their mom though. The article mentioned the importance of parents taking time for themselves and at first, I felt like the mom was always leaving for reasons that I viewed as unimportant. After reading this article however, I realize that she needed that time for herself or she probably would have been unhappy.
The article mentioned society being judgmental toward those who admit the difficulty and sometimes unhappiness associated with raising children. I was very interested in that segment because I myself have judged those who complain about how unhappy having children has made them. I love kids so much that it was hard for me to step back and realize why they were feeling that way. Being a parent is demanding and often times draining, and I have come to realize that parents can love their children but still be unhappy with the constant demand they create. I think that love and unhappiness are being confused here and that isn’t at all the case.
I disagree with the portion of the article that discusses the difficulty of parenting even after the children leave home. I discussed this part with my own mom and she offered her insight, which I found to be very interesting. She agreed that parenting is difficult but she said it became much easier as we grew up and showed more independence. My older sister and I are in college and my younger sister is a senior in high school. My mom said that she feels content about the two of us in college and is very ready for my younger sister to leave home and go off to school.
Her opinion proved to me that for some people, parenting does get easier once you are an “empty nester”. Overall, this article was very interesting and made me recognize that I was making judgments about some parents when I shouldn’t have been. It has in no way made me question whether or not I want to be a parent but instead has shown me some ways that I can make parenting more of an enjoyable experience. It reminded me that parents need to take time for themselves and also not worry so much about everything being perfect.