Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Doom, Doom, DOOM!...Or maybe not. WE ARE THE 30%!

...A little less than a third, lacking the outrage of the 99, or the extensive funds of the 1%... {From yesterday}

For some reason, a study that appeared in Demography journal, which Washington Post summarized last Summer has been newly shared by Facebook friends today. The study was yet another that concluded having children negatively impacts a couple's happiness; and I was drawn to it like the cliched moth to its flame. This focused on 2,000+ German participants. The Post headlined it as follows: "It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment — even the death of a partner" Niiiiiice. To be fair, about 30% of participants remained roughly as happy as they had been, prior to their first child; but the remaining 70% decreased one to three units in the happiness scale. The surprising part? Gender not a factor.

The heartening thing was that this tracked the FIRST year of baby life, which everyone says is the hardest (in some ways) and HELLO OYO is...well, oyo. Fourteen months, as of tomorrow, so it seems we have come through the fire just fine, bumps included. Javier and my relationship is relatively young, though, so we were dealing with A.) a first pregnancy at the same time as B.) combining households, which I resisted in a skittish way for a little bit and then C.) dealing with everything within my previously owned house instead of having a new neutral space and D.) long work hours from Javier, which he has always been upfront about and does his best to counterbalance. See? You get a broad study, and then one reads it, and tries to make the results fit or not fit at a specific personal, anecdotal level. Ahhhh, solipsism!

...Anyway it cracked me up to see FB friends posting the link: single, no kids: "Enough said"; married, kids "It's the kid's fault!" Heh. Obviously, as a relatively new mother, my feelers are out for all of this kind of talk/coverage. Plus, as someone in a committed relationship of under three years, I still swing between blissful gratefulness, cartoony aggravation (head blows up! yet character still animated!) and grim, push-through-it "Oh we CLEARLY have a lot to work on in communication." Outside of couplehood, I feel like I have managed to maintain a separate life beyond parenting -- though I imagine it would be an entirely different story without money enough for regular babysitting and a partner who values my creativity and independence. No money, at all, at all? With a baby who slept poorly through the first year (not a fault of Oyo. She does fluky things like waking up for the past two nights at 1 AM, for roughly an hour, talking to herself amiably; but sleeps well generally) ? Intermittent homicidal feelings and despair would be the norm, and *natural* I'd assume...

As it is, here I sit in a nice corner of a dark basement level restaurant for happy hour (optimistically rebranded as "Charming Hour" on the menu). When I entered it was empty, aside from a handful of industry folk shoring themselves for their evening shift; but suddenly the room has grown boisterous. Lesson from the next table: Champagne is a teenage drink ("You know, it's close to soda," WHATTTT). An older man is trying to woo younger women at the bar's end by quoting Friends episodes: Stop now. 

****** ...And I also needed to stop then, as my playtime was up. Happy Wednesday, Everyone! For those for whom days of the week have less meaning, Happy...Day!

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