A recent study has found that couples without kids are much happier in their marriage than those with kids. Should I be worried?
Thankfully, the same study showed that mums were happiest of all, but dads were amongst the unhappiest — perhaps because of the strain parenting has put on their marriage.
Nothing can really prepare you for how much life changes after your baby arrives: sleepless nights, the relentless advice of strangers, living in your own mess, helpless to do anything about it.
The time you once spent chatting casually over a beautifully cooked meal, or lingering at a fancy, non-child-friendly restaurant, is taken up with feeding and watering kids, organising their busy social calendars and counting your own grey hairs, which I’m sure wouldn’t be there if we didn’t have kids.
The house would be quiet and immaculate, but knowing what I’d be missing, it would feel empty.
It’s a relief to know that hope is in sight — the study also showed that the secret to a happy marriage is ‘gratitude’. Being thankful for what you have now, rather than what you had BC (Before Children). Grateful for your partner, albeit a little more harried and unkempt than BC. And thankful for the indescribably amazing way that your kids enrich your life (minus the tantrums).
In short, happiness is a choice. So, I choose to ignore the WeetBix permanently caked into the lounge and instead, enjoy every sloppy kiss, exuberant greeting and special time spent reading Mr Men with my little men. I choose to see all the great things hubby does for me and our family and forgive his shortcomings, as I’m sure he forgives mine.