Are children fun?
Yesterday a friend of mine sent me a link to this article at New York magazine. It’s a good article and certainly worth a read, but if you don’t have the time, here’s a one sentence summary: although parents love their kids, they don’t enjoy a lot of the work that comes with having them and thus, parents are less happy than childless people.
I’ve read about these studies before, so the article didn’t really surprise me. What has surprised me, though, has been my own experience with motherhood.
Before I had Ike, I expected that I would love my future children to distraction, and that, of course, happened. I also expected that I would have to give up most of the fun in my then-unencumbered life. And I didn’t. Ike is a lot of fun.
I enjoy the family meals and the little outings to places like the library. I enjoy hanging in the backyard, watching Ike play with Juno, our lab mix, while I tend the garden or read a book. And the three of us spend a lot of time in the basement. Steve builds furniture on his workbench, I sew (or watch the World Cup. I won’t lie), and Ike roams around looking for things to climb on plays with his toys.
Of course, my pleasant experience with motherhood involves a lot of luck. Ike is a mellow child. And he’s only fourteen months old, so he will probably become more intense as he grows into full-fledged toddlerhood. I have a flexible job and excellent childcare. Steve and I try to split household chores 50-50, and I think we succeed.
What are your thoughts? If you have kids, how does the experience compare to what you imagined?