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Terrible Threes: Mom Happiness Highest at 6 Months, Lowest at 3 Years

Three year old versus 6 month old and mom's happiness

Move over, terrible two's

A new study of 60,000 Norwegian women shows that moms are much happier when their babies are six months than they are when the child reaches three years old.

Satisfaction and enjoyment of life increased in the months after birth and peaked when babies were six months old. After that, satisfaction with life decreased until it reached rock bottom at three years.

The researchers studied two types of happiness: satisfaction with life overall and satisfaction with partner relationship. And guess which one was found to be more important?

And why the terrible threes?During pregnancy and through babyhood, the most important factor was satisfaction with partner. In other words, happiness in the couple’s relationship strongly influenced happiness with life in general, not the other way around.

By toddlerhood, the two types of satisfaction influenced each other equally.

So, strong relationships are vital during late pregnancy, (which makes sense, because I see it as the nesting period) and through the first year of baby’s life.  After that, a mom’s overall enjoyment with life influences how much she enjoys her partner equally.

We’ve heard that three-year-olds are tough — in fact many say that the “terrible twos” should be renamed the “terrible threes.”  Here are the developmental reasons that make three-year-olds such a handful.

Were you most happy with a cuddly six-month-old? And how do you think your relationship affects your overall happiness in the early years?

Image: flickr

Heather’s site: www.heatherturgeon.com

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