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Do you think parents who are kid-centric really are happier?

Posted by on Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM
  • 98 Replies
1 mom liked this

The Truth About Those Moms Who Are Totally Obsessed With Their Babies

by Adriana Velez

baby fingersYou know those baby-obsessed moms who can't talk about anything except their children and who appear incapable of having a single thought independent from the subject of parenting? Yeah, I hate to tell you this, but apparently they're happier than the rest of us who are trying to live "balanced" lives. A new study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science found that parents who put their kids' happiness above their own actually feel happier and enjoy a deeper sense of purpose in life from their parenting. So much from that whole "put the oxygen mask over your own face, first" philosophy!

Honestly, I don't know if I even want to read the rest of the article. I don't think I'm ready to handle this information. It runs counter to everything I previously believed. 

I get it -- to a certain degree you really do have to surrender to parenting and a child-centric world in order to make it work. Parenting is the kind of major life-changing enterprise that demands whole-hearted focus and commitment. If you're not in it with both feet you might as well not even bother. 

And yes, the more you put into any endeavor the more you get out of it.

But what if we turned this around? Maybe the people who choose to live a child-centered life are happier because they were inclined to live a child-centered life in the first place? Know what I mean? If you go into parenting having already decided to surrender, and if you have a positive attitude about that surrender, then of course you'll have fewer moments of resentment. That was definitely me during the first couple years of my son's life, and I was incredibly happy -- then. The conflicts between what I wanted and what my child wanted were minimal because what I wanted all along was to be fully immersed in parenthood. That was my idea of a great time. I felt more satisfied with life because I was getting out of it what I expected to.

I also stopped with one child. And then, as my son grew older, less of my life revolved around his.

These days I prefer the struggle of striving for balance between my child's happiness and my own. No, they're not mutually exclusive. But all I know is my own experience, and that tells me that a few well-chosen, regular moments of selfishness make me happier and more satisfied with my life.

Does this study's findings match up with your own experience? Do you think parents who are kid-centric really are happier?

by on Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:52 AM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Nov. 5, 2013 at 11:59 AM

I guess you'd say I'm one of those moms. I don't have any hobby, interest, or life outside of my children. All I talk about is my kids and even with DH I have nothing to talk about other than the children. I didn't chose to be this way it just happened when I became a SAHM. Some have also called me a martyr. I feel it's my duty as a mother for my life to revolve around them. I wouldn't say I'm "Happy" but I'm not miserable either.

ivegotrhythm
by Gold Member on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:00 PM
My son is my life. He was. AWFUL at basketball skills assessments last night but he had a blast and left with a huge grin on his face.

Nothing else could make me that happy.
Not_A_Native
by Ruby Member on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM
1 mom liked this

I think some (like the author) are happier to begin with.  When the kids are young.  Then one of a couple things happen.

One, they start getting resentful.  They aren't getting the "admiration" they feel is their due.

Two, their marriages start failing.  Because while mom is busy being the end all to her kids, dad wants his wife back.

Or three - the kids start growing up, develop a personality (and interests and friends) that have nothing to do with mom.  Mom feels like she lost something -and it was the only thing she had.  You hear it all the time "where did my sweet child go?"  Parents need to realize that in actual fact, the POINT of parenting is to raise an adult who does NOT need you.

supercarp
by on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:19 PM
5 moms liked this

I think people are happiest when they have a focal point, whether it's their kids or their religion or whatever.

The bad thing is, if you do everything for your kids you will really have severe empty nest syndrome when they leave, or they won't leave.

GrumpyGritchy
by on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:20 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't think happiness should be approached in a one-size fits all sort of way. What works for one mother won't necessarily work for another. It's like mass producing one size of dress and saying 'you must wear this dress to be happy and if it doesn't fit oh well you're shit out of luck'. I think parenting should be something that develops between mother and child not something that's developed in a controlled setting.

VeggieRunnerMom
by Bronze Member on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:35 PM

I am wondering this.....so they are happier when they have children in their homes will they then be sadder when they are empty nesters?!?!

Quoting supercarp:

I think people are happiest when they have a focal point, whether it's their kids or their religion or whatever.

The bad thing is, if you do everything for your kids you will really have severe empty nest syndrome when they leave, or they won't leave


Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:36 PM
I can't really add my opinion since my husband & I chose to be child free but I do question the entire premise.
supercarp
by on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:39 PM
2 moms liked this

 I think that there is a danger in not having other interests besides raising children. Same as a guy who retires and has no hobbies or interests besides work. He can feel as if he has no identity anymore.

Quoting VeggieRunnerMom:

I am wondering this.....so they are happier when they have children in their homes will they then be sadder when they are empty nesters?!?!

Quoting supercarp:

I think people are happiest when they have a focal point, whether it's their kids or their religion or whatever.

The bad thing is, if you do everything for your kids you will really have severe empty nest syndrome when they leave, or they won't leave



 

cateringtomel
by Anna_Elijah on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:40 PM
Right now I'm baby crazy lol.
Ask me in a few years!
Ali5683
by Ruby Member on Nov. 5, 2013 at 12:42 PM
1 mom liked this

It matches up with mine! :)

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