Good Kid: 11-year–old paints picture, raises more than $150,000 for Gulf. Source: Scholastic
Parenting: Why some adoptions don’t work. Source: Brain, Child
By now you’ve heard about or maybe read the New York Magazine article about parenting and happiness. If not, surely you’ve heard of all of the studies that say parents are less happy than their childless peers. I think such articles and studies should come with a big asterisk.
*Many parents believe parenting is hard work and that it is the toughest job they have ever had. These parents say they wouldn’t change a thing about their experience. In short, our research shows, these parents love parenting. These parents are not represented in this study.
Parenting is about problem-solving, and I enjoy finding solutions. I clearly remember thinking I would dislike parenting. I had heard parents bemoan all of the work. A few weeks after Simone arrived, I wondered what all the fussing was about. But you have a good baby, I was told. That was not true. I just adapted. I think parenting requires a certain personality. Some folks are thrown off balance by very small changes. Parenting isn’t for those kinds of people. No two days are ever the same around here. There is often no time to talk about how to address issues. We just roll with whatever is coming.
I’ve learned — and am still learning — how to have a sense of humor. I have to laugh when a child decides to disrobe in the middle of the grocery store, throws up at the restaurant, or says something so embarrassing or inappropriate I can’t even write it on a parenting blog. I don’t laugh in the moment, but I do chuckle at the end of the day.
It helps to know where you come from. I figure if my parents and grandparents raised kids with little more than love and a whole lot of values I can certainly do it. I also like to think parenting is different when you decide to have kids because you really want to have children — not because it’s the next step, or all your friends or doing it, or your parents won’t give you any peace about their empty arms.
Our lives are certainly different. Ken and I haven’t taken a trip overseas since Simone and Nadia came into our lives. I know we will again and that we will take the girls with us. I want us to show them as much as we can. We may even leave them with their grandparents when they are older while we explore another part of the world.
But are we less happy? No. Sometimes I reflect on the days when Ken and I didn’t have Simone and Nadia and I ask myself what we did with all of that free time? The answer: Not a whole bunch.
So, what do you say? What do you think about articles and studies that report parents are unhappy?
It has come to my attention that I didn’t recognize Ken, also known as Dad, in the Honeysmoke anniversary post. As if I do all of this stuff by myself. Ha!
This blog would not be successful without Da Hubs. He is responsible for most of the funny sayings in the Quote, Unquote feature, participates in endless conversations about the site and puts up with me on a daily basis. (He should receive an award, prize money and a relaxing vacation for that last point alone.) I am grateful for all of his help and much more.
I said I would give this blogging thing a year and then decide what to do. I am happy to report I will be blogging for at least another year. Thanks for making the first year a success.
19,568 Unique Visitors (June 2010)
2 Beautiful Little Girls
It’s going to be pink. It’s going to be a Mustang.
Simone, dreaming about her own car after she saw a red truck drive by.
For some reason, the preschool decided to celebrate flip-flops. Kids were supposed to show up in their favorite pair. All children have flip flops, right? Umm, no.
The night before Flip-Flop Day, we descended on the local discount store. Simone and Nadia tried on the flip-flops in the store and had trouble walking in them. Simone looked like she was wading in water, and Nadia developed an odd limp. That’s when I remembered why they didn’t have any. Flip-flops are hard to keep on your feet.
It was around that time I started looking for the price of said flip-flops. How much could flip-flops cost? Five maybe six dollars? The tags didn’t have an amount, and I couldn’t figure out the price by looking at the shelf. When the cashier rung up those bad boys, I learned the true cost of Flip-Flop Day. Thirteen dollars apiece, plus tax. For some flip-flops? My goodness. Of course, my girly girls didn’t pick plain old flip-flops. They chose bejeweled flip-flops, with nonslip soles and fake patent leather straps. I paid for them and called the hubby with the bad news.
The next morning they eagerly showed off their flip-flops. When I picked them up that afternoon, they were both barefoot. Simone slung off her flip-flops while playing on the swing set. Nadia had left hers in the sandbox. “They’ve had trouble with their shoes,” a teacher reported. Nadia had the hardest time. She had tried to climb steps. She lifted her foot, left the flip-flop on the stair, placed her bare foot on the next stair, realized what she had done and started the process all over again. That gave teachers a nice chuckle and a story to tell. So much for Flip-Flop Day.
It’s not all a loss. Simone and Nadia have plenty of summer to practice, including this long Fourth of July weekend. Enjoy the holiday and be safe. Oh, and don’t forget your flip-flops.
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