At work, I hate stories based on a random study. I hate them, but I still report on them when I’m producing newscasts. Why? They’re headline grabbing, which is why I couldn’t help clicking on this headline grabber on the Time twitter feed: “Kid Crazy: Why We Exaggerate the Joys of Parenthood.” http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/04/why-having-kids-is-foolish/?iid=WBeditorspicks The study basically says parents exaggerate how much they love parenting to rationalize the mind-blowing money we spend raising kids.
Well duh. Kids are pricey, really pricey, and I’m not just talking about the basics of feeding them, clothing them, and diapering them. (Although fingers crossed, I’m hoping we have purchased our last Costco size box of Huggies.) I, and apparently a lot of other parents, take the view that it’s better not to know. I try not to keep track how much I spend on the girls. I admit, that’s probably delusional, but otherwise I’d be even unhappier than this study suggests I really am. Do I really want to itemize my Target receipts? Umm, not so much. I knew full well before becoming a parent I’d have to give up plenty of my luxuries when I started adding to the world population. As much as I’d love to have great new clothes every season, instead my girls get the new clothes. Instead of getting lots of new jewelry, my house becomes overrun with Silly Bandz. (Although I have been known to wear them) Instead of eating out at fancy restaurants on a semi-regular basis, we end up at places with crayons and paper placemats. Most of the time, we leave the Mickey ears at home, but this picture was taken at Disneyland.
I also probably exaggerate about how happy I am at times, but I’ve also been known to complain about parenthood. I do not like nor enjoy whiny kids, obnoxious kids, or poopy kids, and at any given moment I may have one or all of those. Anyone who’s a parent knows it’s not easy, or even fun, but why harp on that? I tend to be a glass half-full kind of person anyway, so I see myself as pretty darn happy as mom. I tend to be even happier if that glass is half-full (or even all the way full) of an alcoholic beverage. So I guess I’ll count myself as delusional, but I’ll take that over the alternative.