Next time a couple announces divorce and their teary-eyed child looks up at them and whimpers, “Is it my fault?” the parents can look them plain in the face and say, “Why yes, yes it is.” And it’s all thanks to science (yay science?)
An eight year study funded by a grant to the University of Denver from the National Institutes of Health showed 90% of couples expressed marital dissatisfaction once the first child was born.
An unrelated study in 2006 showed parents are generally more depressed than non-parents. Researchers hypothesize this may have to do with parents receiving less support now than in early generations.
Now anyone with kids doesn’t need to be told child raising often gets in the way of you and your spouse’s relationship. Sleepless nights and the general running and screaming of little ones makes for cranky adults, which makes for hair-triggered, stupid fights about anything. Under the strain, one misplaced pair of dirty socks can lead to door slamming of epic proportions. Not to mention the arguments about child raising philosophy: to circumcise or not, public or private school. Parents may find they have fundamental differences in opinion once bringing up a little human puts their principles to the test.
Evolution provides humans with all the drive and desire to procreate, so why does human nature fail us once the kids arrive? Can’t our brains kick on a perma-high from the kid’s birth until they’re shipped off to technical college? You might argue child raising is its own “natural high” (ahem) and further biological incentive for breeding would only exacerbate our world’s overpopulation problem.
Perhaps the problem simply is society hasn’t caught up with the New Parenting. Raising kids is arguably a much more difficult job now. Our parents threw us out of the house at sunrise and didn’t let us back in until sunset. Now kids need itineraries, educational entertainment, social conditioning and so on and so forth. We need daily updates on what is and what isn’t giving our kids autism today. The New Parenting is no longer a laissez faire affair.
What do you think, what challenges come between bringing up baby and remaining a happy couple?