I need to be happier.

Full disclosure: I think that the “terrible twos” are off by a year.

The last few weeks have been rough here in the Bennetch household.  Maybe it’s due to all the transitions — Emma going to school half-days and suddenly becoming a morning person (!!), me back to work full-time and taking a class part-time, etc.  It could be Em is transitioning into a new cognitive level — one where she’s learning to assert her independence (leaving her mama exasperated in the process).

But the bottom line is over the last little while, I haven’t been happy about meeting each new day as a parent of a BUSY toddler (or is she considered a preschooler now? Crap.).  Tonight I got this email from the Greater Good Science Center that asked me: Do you want to be a happier parent?

Yes.

Part of the email included a link to this article that explains how women are more unhappier today than in past generations:

A recent group of studies has found that women’s happiness levels have been dropping steadily over the last few decades, to the point that women now report lower happiness levels than men, a role reversal from the 1970s.

The email also linked to this article that discusses the socially-contagious effect of your happiness is on others in your life:

We found that social networks have clusters of happy and unhappy people within them that reach out to three degrees of separation. A person’s happiness is related to the happiness of their friends, their friends’ friends, and their friends’ friends’ friends-that is, to people well beyond their social horizon…And we found that each additional happy friend increases a person’s probability of being happy by about 9 percent.

Maybe one of the reasons why things have been so challenging here on the homefront is because I haven’t been very happy lately. I need to do something about that.

So, I’m going to sign the 100,000 happier parents by July 1, 2011 pledge.   The pledge reads:

I understand that improving my own happiness is a way make the world a better place. Over the next 9 months, I will take steps to increase my happiness.

I’ll keep you posted on whether or not my glass starts looking half-full again.

5 comments on “I need to be happier.

  1. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve always found age 3 worse than age 2. Some things are easier (bathroom issues and things like running into the street…), but for the most part kids are way more stubborn and infuriating. And then for our kids age 4 brings out their one major issue that we need to deal with. Can’t wait find out what Olivia’s issue is! So, basically, that puts me at unhappy with motherhood from 18 months to 4 yeras with each of my kids. That’s a good chunk of motherhood, and my life the past several years. But it does get better, and when I look back on it now I remember the tough parts but think of it a lot more fondly than I did in those years. Keep your chin up! You’re a great mama.

  2. Funny– I’ve been wrestling with this exact issue myself for the past few weeks. My daughter will be 3 on November 5th, and we’re encountering a lot of the same issues with her. I’ve also compounded things by giving birth to our second baby three months ago– a wonderful thing, to be sure, but man…to say I’m coming last these days is the understatement of the century. I’m struggling to remind myself that quite a bit of my happiness is up to me, and rooted in my outlook. I’ve outlasted “baby jail” before, and I’m sure I will again…but it’s a tough row to hoe, in the meantime!

  3. Oh crap. It gets worse?!? Oz puts the terror in “terrible two” right now. And I’m only a month into this year of his.

  4. Awwww. It’ll get easier, it’s just super overwhelming right now. Good for you for trying to be positive and work towards keeping it that way. WAY harder said than done so I I’ve got loads of respect for someone who actually ‘does’ as you are. Good luck!

  5. I feel this way too. All of it. It’s so hard to break out of an unhappy rut. Or an angry rut. Or a flustered rut. So many ruts for me to slide into. Sigh. No advice or uplifting words here, just a totally sympathetic (((hug))).

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