Parenting, it turns out, is world of never ending happiness. U can always see the sun, day or night.

prince.jpg(Strollerderby put out a call for new writers last week and this was one of the pieces I submitted for review. It’s a little different from my usual style that involves references to venereal disease, oral sex, my incompetency as a father and a self-deprecating self-defecating humor, but I thought it was a worthy effort.)

Parents are you feeling stressed out, anxious, or just good old fashioned psychologically imbalanced? Are you filling the candy dishes with Prozac and the sugar jar with Zoloft? Have you fashioned a makeshift padded room in the linen closet from stuffed animals, water wings and Pampers Cruisers? Well as it turns out that you may not be able to blame your depression, malaise or facial twitches on your kids anymore.

A recent survey published in the American Journal of Public Health identified lower levels of anxiety, depression, and other measures of psychological distress among parents than among non-parenting adults of the same age. (Obviously! Remember how stressful life was when we slept in on the weekends, went to the late showing of movies, and came and went as we pleased?) Isn’t this fantastic news fellow creators of life? We’re not crazy, and if we are it’s certainly not the fault of our precious offspring.

Those hallmark signs and symptoms of depression may just be indicators that there are little people living in your home with you. For instance:

• You may not have actually lost interest in the activities that you used to enjoy, you may just not have the time to enjoy them between play dates, soccer practice, naps, tantrums, and reading Blue Hat, Green Hat, Red Hat…. Oops 117 times in a row.
• Are you waking in the middle of the night or early in the morning and not able to get back to sleep? Think about it. Could it just be the 2am feedings, the cries of “I have to go Potty”, or the pre-dawn wake-up slaps in the face from unsympathetic toddlers?
• You say you feel weariness and lack of energy nearly every day? Well, I’d like to meet the person who can chase around a fearless self-destructive howler monkey on speed for 12 straight hours and not feel a lack of energy.
• Do you find yourself speaking in fragments or in a slow, monotonous tone? You mean like “Mama….Mama …Mama… Yes! Mama! …Dada…Dada…no, Dada….Baba…..Baba…. shoot me …I mean Baba….
• Have you lost interest in sex? Well, for that one you may just be married.

“Serious psychological distress is fairly common among all adults and people and [is] highly treatable,” says researcher Dr. Mindy Herman-Stahl. Treatable Dr. Herman-Stahl? With a broad spectrum of trust-worthy babysitters, vodka martinis, and Adult-Only Cruises and Vacation Resorts, perhaps.

The survey did also say that despite its findings there were still an estimated 5.7 million parents who experienced serious levels anxiety, depression, and psychological distress so I guess I don’t feel so bad then about throwing the hydrotherapy pedestal from the tub room through the front window the other day.

Ooops.

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13 thoughts on “Parenting, it turns out, is world of never ending happiness. U can always see the sun, day or night.

  1. You so hit the nail on the head! And I almost thought for a minute (as child clangs my wine glass with this McDonalds toy to get my attention) I was the only one who felt this way….yes, having children is almost like being pecked to death by a chicken (as they say).

  2. Very informative….Hmm (taking notes)

    – Fill candy dishes with Prozac
    – Replace sugar with Zoloft

    – Tell husband my object throwing is standard behavior.

    Glad to hear my psychosis is the norm.

  3. I’m sorry, I forgot what I was going to say.

    What day is it? When did I last eat before I made food for someone else? Huh? Huh?

    I can’t even remember the last time I peed without saying, “That’s right, honey… Mommy’s making a PeePee on the Potty! Hear that? Mommy’s making a PeePee! You can make a PeePee on the Potty, too, Braden!”

    Lock me up, now, PLEASE.

  4. Melinda: I switched to a Rocks glass a few months ago. The wine glasses couldn’t take the constant clanging from the Mickey D’s toy of the week. Pecked to death by a chicken…or by chicken nuggets (as it were.)

    Lisa: Cheers! “Blasting the battle droids”…euphemism for pooping his pants?

    Momisodes: The sugar jar with Zoloft helps when Kathleen’s mother is visiting. More sugar in that Tea mom?

    Sarcastic Mom: Do you do the “That’s right, honey… Mommy’s making a PeePee on the Potty!…” in public when you’re alone in the bathroom? Oh, what am I thinking, I can’t remember the last time I went to bathroom in public with out bringing Jack. Public restroom I should clarify. Public urination is evidently a crime in some states….

    Bee: It’s very comfortable in there isn’t it? Just nod if you can hear me…is there anyone home?

  5. Very well balanced, scientific review. Bill.
    The only place that my daughter pees consistently well, is in any family washroom with a big toilet and little toilet. But only if I pee with her. Those who pee together, stay together? Reverse toilet training here – I can now pee on demand.
    Copious amounts of caffeine to wash down that Zoloft really helps.

  6. I for one agree with the Journal’s findings. I find that since I’m a parent, I sleep better, eat better, get more bedroom boogie, am a more reliable friend than my non-parent buddies, am better organised, feel more focussed and am generally more pleasant to be around …

    … NOT!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. OMG, I’m Having a flash back or maybe that’s the prozac ! Even though my kids are older (13,14,16) I still can’t resist telling my friends & family when I have to go pee no matter where we are. I not only find my kids still follow me into the bathroom but I have Lucy & Max (dog & cat) nudge there way in the bathroom as well so I still can’t take a piss by my self ! So folks if your looking for the light at the end of the tunnel you won’t find it until they move out !

  8. Karen: first time I have ever been called scientific. I like the mantra. Pee together, stay together. You’re almost like marines.

    Imaginary sarah: it only gets better, and by better I mean louder.

    Pete: Your ironic ending is not lost on me Pete. Not for a second.

    Deb T (my cousin): Hey! You commented! Awesome! Someday we parents will have the luxury of a bathroom free from children and pets. Someday!

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