Are Childless Couples REALLY Happier?Allana Harkin
We parents like to talk about parenting. In fact, when I’m in almost any conversation the subject of children seems to inevitably come up within about 5 minutes, sometimes less. And if there is a non-parent in the room then chances are at some point someone (usually someone with a newborn) will comment on how the child-free person’s life must be full of constant parties. It’s like we’ve all forgotten that before children most of us weren’t up all night partying in liquid leggings and ironic eyewear (clearly, it’s been a while for me). You never did cocaine but somehow we’re assuming all non-parents must be constantly high and raging all weekend without a care in the world. This may be true, but chances are they just went to a movie without worrying about the extra hourly fee for babysitting.
But I still I keep hearing reports and studies that suggest having no children is the secret to a great marriage. But is it? Sure, every once and a while my husband and I cling to each other bugged eye, shocked and feeling like we’ve been trapped in a pre-school panic room. But every parent feels like that at some point right? Right? Please tell me it’s not just me. Oh God maybe you childless parents are happier! Ahhhh!
Mmm…I don’t know.
Sam and I recently attended the Emmy’s and the evening before the awards we went to an amazing party (aptly called “The Evening Before”) with celebrities in every square inch of the place. Initially we sat in the corner like giddy school girls mostly marveling at how actors who play vampires on TV actually look vampires in real life.
But once we started actually talking to people instead of staring at them almost every conversation involved the “said-famous person” launching into a story around mundane rountines of child-rearing. At one point I had to ask myself if perhaps Sam and I just look like birthers and therefore personally instigated such conversations but considering we were both wearing 8 layers of spanx and in dresses that only allowed for the consumption of sticks I would suggest otherwise. People just love talking about their kids – you know, Emmy Awards and million dollar TV contracts aside. And most of them looked like they were happily married….judging from the outside anyway. (Side note: Jon Hamm is a nice person with a pleasant demeanor. He also has no children. Does that mean something? Hmmm…Or am I making this point because I’m simply name dropping and it was a little exciting to meet him? Hmmm again…)
So here’s my scientific study* as to why having children may be greater than many are giving it credit. More so, why having children may make you a better partner leading to perhaps a more successful and fulfilling marriage. Sure you will get up close and personal with more bodily excrement that you ever imagined but maybe, just maybe, it’s worth it. Here’s why:
*Allana’s scientific study was conducted like most scientific studies which means she’s just making up most of this stuff which she entirely believes to be mostly true.
Every Date Feels Like The First 1 of 8I'm convinced this phenomenon happens until the children go to college. You book a date to sit in front of your partner at a restaurant and chances are you'll both have first date jitters because you actually have to focus on the fact that you both like (love - whoohoo) one another. You remember loving each other right? You'll say to one another "Okay for 10 minutes we are not allowed to talk about the children!" and you may end up just staring at each other and realizing that you need to date more often because you can't think of anything to say. This is a good thing. It means you'll get a second date and maybe even make it to 1st base. Seriously, when was the last time you made out with your spouse for the first time over and over again?
Regrets, I’ve Had A Few… 2 of 8I once had a conversation with a woman who told me she didn't want to have children because she didn't want to regret it. Well, I can say without a shadow of a doubt...this will NEVER happen. Sure, you're human, there will be moments where you will say out loud and perhaps in front of everyone, "This is HELL, why did I do this?" but those moments will be book ended by staring for hours at your baby with your husband. People will ask you what you did on a certain day and you'll have to answer "I stared at my baby" because it will be true and although you are an extremely intelligent and educated woman you will also have to admit you enjoyed it.
True Love 3 of 8I've been in love several times but it's not until I had a child that I truly understood unconditional pure love. So pure that it's actually painful. To share that with another person that you also love is extremely powerful. That in itself is worth it. I've also seen my husband puked on so many times it's irrational. And I still find him very attractive
Parenting Clears The Way For Gas 4 of 875% of parenting is about poo and barf. No one cares anymore that you need to fart. Just do it. Let it rip. Your husband will be relieved because you'll finally be happy. Happy couples fart together.
You Will Learn Just How Weak You Actually Are And It Will Suck 5 of 8But the climb back will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever experience. Because at your shittiest you'll be able to recognize how selfless you really are and how you'd do anything for your family. Who wouldn't be attracted to that? I'd date you.
Your Boobs Will Be Mind Blowingly Awesome 6 of 8What more do you want?
That One Moment 7 of 8After you have a baby or adopt a baby and you look at your partner and think, "Wow. Just wow. So this, huh. Wow."
And Just Because… 8 of 8
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