I’m not suggesting that a problem does not exist—there are plenty of unhappy people out there, and many of them happen to be parents—I just think many people are taking their eye off the prize. Offspring means that someone is going to love you unconditionally for your entire life (even if they hate you for grounding them in high school), and you’ll need someone to take the keys away or dismantle the car engine when you become too old to drive. A child can save your life.
So I’m using my mommy wisdom (all TWO years of it) and offering my own tips to being a happier parent. Yes, I love lists.
1. Don’t be an asshole.
2. Everyone says that parenting is hard because it is. Don’t be surprised when you find out for yourself. You have not been tricked.
3. If you want to go out every night or roll out of bed and run out the door to a brunch date, don’t have children.
4. Date nights are a good idea. Think of it like cleaning house (not literally). It’s an hour or two to clear your mind of the screaming and you can start fresh. With a hangover. And you might get lucky.
5. Don’t be an asshole. Did I mention that one already? Well, it’s important. Everyone has his or her moments. I certainly do. But parents that are assholes usually end up with kids that are assholes.
The moral to this story is that you really can’t learn to be happy from reading about it in a book or magazine or on a blog. So I’m going to go back to being my cynically happy self and tend to the daughter that is screaming for my attention. I love it when she does that.
Are you a happy parent?
If you want a more eloquent response to the New York Magazine article, visit Mama Sarahndipity. Yeah, what she said.