See how cool I am?
There are times when studies are helpful -- you learn something, realize you shouldn't eat so much garlic because it will give you heartburn or something and you move on ... maybe even better for knowing it. Other studies, however, can irritate you worse than having poison ivy between your fingers and toes, worse than having a kid-less person gloat about the fact they don't have kids in front of people who do and feel blessed to be called Mom or Dad. This study revealed that sex and alcohol make people happier than having kids. It gave me that kind of annoying itch and got me all twitchy when I read some of the reactions some people had to that study.
I understand that people can be cruel. And I also understand that some people aren't cut out to be parents. But a study saying that people find more soul-satisfying happiness in sex and a six-pack than being a parent makes me terribly sad.
Studies like this -- and the commentary that can come from them -- just makes parents feel bad. And think about how it makes any parent who lost a child feel. It negates the beauty of having children -- all children, whether they lived in our womb for a few months or walked the Earth for many years. How could any parent or non-parent boast that they believe sex and alcohol is better than being blessed with parenthood when there are parents grieving?
If we believe this study, this clearly must mean that if you are trying to conceive and having difficulty, no worries there. Just pour yourself a glass of whiskey and get naked and everything will be just fine. That's sarcasm in case you missed it. Make no mistake, this study pisses me off.
Now of course I think sex is great -- it's amazing actually and I am really into having it. When you think about it, children are the product of the beauty of sex (okay, let's not tell my toddlers that just yet). So it's kind of chicken and the egg. But alcohol? Drinking can erase your mind and it's a depressant. People who are tricked into thinking that is better than parenthood perhaps shouldn't be parents.
This study caught me on a bad day, a day when maybe I'm feeling a little more sensitive to these types of things. Maybe those who were polled for this study were college kids really into partying and no where near ready to have kids. Maybe I should just believe that. But for me, becoming a mother was thing I ever did. There is no downside. It's the most amazing, fulfilling experience and with every year I just feel more blessed.
Because you're probably curious, here were the activities that provided the most satisfaction, in order of favorite, according to the people polled.
- Drinking alcohol
- Caring for children
- Listening to music
So volunteering is better than caring for children. No wonder kids are treated with disrespect. I sure am glad that gaming didn't beat parenthood. I do respect that others find pleasure in different things, and I definitely do find pleasure in some sweet lovemaking and a glass of wine (sometimes even together), but it's the way some child-less people are reacting to the study that is bothersome. The way some say "HELL YEAH THIS IS WHY I DON'T HAVE KIDS! PARENTHOOD MEANS DEATH."
We all know this is simply not true. Right? Look, if you don't want kids and don't like them, don't have them. Period. Don't go crapping all over those of us who procreate. We're busy, having sex, with a product.
I need some papaya pills. My heartburn is acting up.
What do you think of this study? Does it bother you when kid-less people make parenthood seem like it's the end of the world?
Image via AndyLawson/Flickr