It’s not hard to imagine, but life without kids would be undeniably better. Kids don’t make me happier. Since I’ve had my boys, I’ve found my joy plummeting. Truthfully, I understand why so many sperm donors run away from the task. Raising kids will always be one of the most challenging challenges in life.
In countries supportive countries, happiness can increase. However, it decreases when:
- Family is too busy to help
- Parents only get three months paid leave
- Jobs are more flexible with time off with children
- Employers do not value and accept “mental days”
- Hospitals don’t charge so much
This is an American thing.
No matter the reason, this continues to happen:
The research is real, and my experience isn’t too much different. After having one kid, my stress level peaked. Having two increased my anxiety/insanity in a way that I can’t explain with words.
And the best has yet to come. Oh my gosh, Becky. Look at those teenagers.
As a parent, these things are the most disturbing for me:
- My infants and toddlers can’t give me a minute to think (it’s impossible for them)
- Sleep is possible but challenging (being awakened by screams changed me)
- They talk, and I listen (because that’s the way God intended it)
- I can’t hold onto to a solid emotion because they’re always crying and screaming (for what appears to be no reason at all)
- They always want
Parenting is hard by all means, and though it does lower my happiness, it also increases how fulfilled I feel.
Life without kids – Fulfillment
Fulfillment is very different from happiness, and it’s much more difficult to measure. Happiness measures my stress levels. However, fulfillment measures how accomplished I feel.
Someone can be miserable while trying to become an actor but they may feel accomplished knowing that they’re working alongside Denzel Washington.
Parenting means dealing with a little creature that screams and shouts, poops, vomits, refuses food and sleep, and opposes authority and rules. However, for me, it’s about shaping better versions of me. I get to provide my kids with everything that I wish that I had.
I understand why some parents run away from the job, but life without kids is meaningless for me. These kids define a piece of who I am.
Ending on a high note
I could end on a high note, but I want some parents to know that they’re not alone.
Look, I can’t say that I always feel like parenting. I will throw a kid in front of a TV screen the second I need a break.
I was raised on those things and look at how awkward I turned out.
And I don’t think my perspective has changed since I’ve become an at home dad. When I worked a lot, parenting was still quite challenging. I’d come home after a long day and give the kids my last few hours of the day. On weekends, I made sure they had me all day. Now that I’m at home, I feel a pressure to keep them engaged and help them grow.
The biggest problem with parenting is receiving breaks. Having “a night out” may help restore some energy, but it can’t make up for the energy you invest. For those that are genuinely struggling, you have to build a network around you. If you don’t have a lot of family members to rely on, you have to create one. A family isn’t limited to a blood connection. It’s about who loves your kids the most.