Gettin' My FixHi there, my name is April and I'm addicted to my kids. It's true. I never thought I'd be here, admitting this, but Slate's article on parenting addiction made me realize I have a problem. Two of them, in fact.
Shankar Vedantam tells us what should have been obvious to anyone paying attention to the signs, as he takes on the studies that say parents are less happy than people who choose not to have children. But more importantly, he explores the outcries from parents everywhere after these articles were published.
Vedantam, a parent himself, says that both sides are right. Parenting is a huge grind, and parenting is also -- as cliche as it sounds -- the highest high you'll ever get. Vedantam therefore calls us all out for what we really are: addicts.
After all, there are moments in parenting that make you wonder what the hell you were thinking. Moments when you feel the need to get in the station wagon and keep driving until you hit the state line. But those sublime moments in between give us the same feeling narcotics would give us. Like if we were shooting up kid-love. Which is why we go back for another fix.
It's true that having two children has destroyed my previous life. If you had told me just five years ago I'd rather spend an evening having a dance party with my kids rather than a real party on a rooftop with an amazing view, I would have thought you were high. But now, I'm the one who is high and I cannot imagine what I would do without those two little shots of unbridled joy. In fact, I would kill anyone who tried to take them away. Yep, I'd start my own drug war to defend my turf and no one would be left standing if they tried to get between me and my stash.
I have a problem, and they are both under four feet high. But at least I recognize the problem, even if I can't stop any time I want.
Are you addicted to your kids?