Category Archives: How to be a happy mom
“Everyone wants a piece of the Mama.”
—Vicki, married 5 years, 2 kids
Most of us find ourselves hopping on the extreme parenting locomotive, and that train is just not slowing down. Birthday parties with handmade goodie bags, play dates, volunteering, sports, school carnivals, doctors appointments, email, voicemail, text messages, activities, more activities, more more more…it just goes on and on. We get caught up in the pressurized societal vortex which makes parenting much harder than it should be.
Hillary Duff and her husband, Mike Comrie recently became new parents. Hillary has been a mother for less than a month but she has more insight and self-awareness than I had after six (OK, twelve) months of motherhood! Continue reading
Google “happiness and having children” and you’ll find a lot of depressing studies that seem to conclude that we have a national epidemic of miserable parents on our hands. The three of us have to admit that, in some respects, a good response to our own “what happened to my body/career/marriage since I had kids?” questions would have been a fairly swift kick in the ass. Continue reading
USA Today ran an article yesterday titled “Years of Research Point to Strain Kids Put on Relationship.” Not exactly breaking news for those of us raising young children. The article refers to the more than 25 separate studies in the past two decades that find that marital quality takes a dive with a baby’s birth: babies raise stress, reduce happiness and otherwise upset the household. There seems to be a never-ending series of academic reports that find that those of us who are married with kids are less happy than our childless married friends.
But are all of these studies focusing on the right emotion? Should we really be asking ourselves how happy having kids has made us? Continue reading
What Our Parents and Grandparents Can Teach Us About the Early Parenting Years: Reflections From the Other Side
It’s hard to have perspective about this stage of our lives. We can’t see too far beyond the next milestone: “Things will be so much easier when he’s potty trained/in preschool/making his own lunch/driving a car.” But we can get some perspective from couples who have been down this road already. Even though marriage and parenting have changed dramatically in a generation or two, the fundamental experience of adjusting to parenthood remains basically the same. The parenting veterans once found it as shocking as we do now. They felt their way along in the dark just like we’re all attempting to do. Continue reading
Parenting is an unbelievably exhausting business and a certain amount of complaining, even moaning, about the daily grind is understandable and probably healthy. (Maybe it’s just me … but isn’t there something unnatural and Stepford Wife-ish about the mother who never has a bad word to say about her husband and children? Or maybe I’m just jealous.) But many of us moms – including me – take things a little too far and play the Martyr. Continue reading
For many of us, it takes having kids to realize that men and women are completely different animals. It comes as a surprise when, post-baby, men and women respond to parenthood in drastically different ways and start to assume different and not always complementary roles. Hardwired instincts nudge women into the role of nurturers and men into the role of providers. Given that we stepped out of the caves about 8,000 years ago, just a nanosecond in terms of evolutionary psychology, it shouldn’t be surprising that when we become parents our most basic instincts rise to the surface. We find ourselves back in the prehistoric suburbs, where women wonder if baby might be allergic to mammoth and if there are enough wild berries in his diet, and where men stalk buffalo and question whether their hunting abilities will be good enough to get the family through the winter. Continue reading
Bethenny Frankel in her new show Bethenny Ever After opens up about the trials of being married. In the season premier, she talks of how she feels “tortured” in her marriage. At the NBC Universal TCA Press Tour, she stated that, “I just turned 41, and to be perfectly honest, I unintentionally crammed everything in. I got pregnant. I got married eight months pregnant and now I sold my business.”
Wow. Bethenny definitely has a lot going on. But we know one thing is clear. She and her husband of two years, Jason Hoppy, just had a baby. They are now learning that parenthood changes…everything. Here are a few gems we heard along the way:
“I expected to add diaper, pacifier, formula to my new motherhood vocabulary—I didn’t think f*!# and s#*# would feature so prominently!”
—Lisa, married 5 years, 1 kid.
“What I get from other women is what I need, and that is help. I don’t even have to ask other women for help, they just volunteer. What do I get from my husband? I get a sink full of dirty plates, a pile of dirty clothes on the stairs, and a child dressed for church in a football jersey.”
—Katherine, married 8 years, 2 kids.
“My wife doesn’t understand how important sex is to me. Everywhere I go, sex is screaming at me. There are hot women in advertisements on billboards, and before I know it I find myself imagining Gina down in Accounts Payable wearing a nurse’s outfit.”
—Thomas, married 11 years, 1 kid.