Recently there has been a spate of articles in the newspapers and in magazines from mums saying, “I was happier before I had a child.” I don’t know about you but they annoy me intensely for so many reasons.
The latest one in Grazia has a mum basically saying that motherhood is tough, hard and dull and now that she can’t spontaneously go out with her partner or have a lie in, she realises she was happier before she had a baby. Okay I’m being slightly glib about her piece but that’s the gist. And to top it all off her argument seems to be that we’re all being sucked into a lie that having kids will make us happy and it’s not fair because it doesn’t!
I’m sorry but where does it say having babies equals happiness or that we’re entitled to be happy and satisfied all the time whatever we choose to do? Either this mum (or the other mums writing about this subject) thought motherhood was going to be easy, or they didn’t talk to any other mums about the realities of parenting before getting pregnant.
Yes it’s hard, tedious and at times infuriating but that’s what it’s like to have a person who is 100% dependent on you for everything. What’s more foresight can tell you that this will in turn change your lifestyle from that of a carefree person, to a someone who has a never ending list of chores to do.
To think parenting isn’t going to be like this or expect it to make your life continuously happy is madness. Parenthood has the power to make you feel lots of things, including insanely happy and totally insane. It isn’t supposed to be about finding personal fulfilment. So for me reading about these women griping, and whining about being happier pre-baby is just exasperating.
But what do you think? Am I being too hard on them? Is there a conspiracy trapping us into an idea that motherhood is the road to happiness? Let me know your thoughts.