It’s not your children’s job to make you happy, writes Betsy Hart.
Look, I’m crazy about my kids. I’m happy to see them get up in the morning and happy to see them go to bed at night. Often there are times of happiness and laughter with them — along with sheer exasperation in-between. But what makes me really, really happy in the moment is a weekend night when they are asleep and I can sit up late with my jazz music, a cup of hot tea and my favorite newspaper. I mean, that’s transcendent happiness!
Children call us away from our obsession with self, Hart writes.
And, I would argue, only when we connect to something bigger than “it’s all about me” are we stretched to experience real joy and satisfaction — in a way no animal can and even when our children are behaving like animals!
Hart thinks the rising number of couples deciding to remain “childfree” is a sign of our cultural narcissism. I worry about parents who treat their children like the ultimate status symbol.