Thursday, September 2, 2010

Parenthood. Are we having fun yet?

This post title was also the hook on the cover page to a story about parenting I read in the glossy magazine from last Saturday's Courier Mail. The story went on to discuss the apparent contradiction between the belief most people hold that having children will make them happier and the consistent research findings that suggest mostly the opposite (for example, decreasing marital satisfaction with increasing family size, the finding that caring for children ranks low in pleasurability compared with activities such as cooking, exercising, shopping and even housework).

Then I found this post on one of the other blogs I look at.

This describes me exactly. This past weekend, we caught up with friends who've been married for less than a year, have just bought a lovely home and are now expecting their first baby.We had a great time together, but I came away feeling just the way this blog post describes. Just a weeny bit jealous...and weary. There's always some task to be done in our family at the moment. Dealing with the washing, finding and cooking something that everyone including the baby can eat, making sure the homework gets done, appointments for haircuts and dental check ups are made, finding money for the Father's Day stall, finding the lost library book, realising someone has outgrown their school uniform and needs a new one. It's relentless and it's not always fun. It feels as if Chris and I are spending all our time co-ordinating schedules and exchanging information on who is going where.

Mostly I love my life. It's full, it's worthwhile, I know I have something to look forward to beyond it as well which is an amazing gift. When I reflect on my experiences as a parent (maybe about 5% of the time if I'm lucky) I feel very blessed.

But some days it's hard to find the joy and fun in the midst of the remaining 95% of what has to be done. Jenny's was lost in the mountain of unfolded washing. I think mine is lost in the box of paperwork on the kitchen bench that I am avoiding sorting out.

Edited to add that I don't actually have one of those family stickers at the top of this post on our car...

1 comment:

One for a wish.. said...

I was discussing something similar with a friend and she said she was often tempted to get a shirt made for herself that said , " I use to be a fun person too". The busyness of life just sucks all the fun out of it, I find. I have discovered that I need to do stuff that reconnects me to who I was BC (before children). So I ignore housework, ironining, fighting children and I read a book. I have also tried to make a point of going to a quilting class every second week. I put James into costs us a bomb, but at least I get to talk to other adults for 3 hours, interruption free.
i then come home a much happier person..until I step in the cornflakes that someone has left all over the floor...