Ready for baby and the related highs and lows

As many of you probably know, there’s a new member to the Lewhouse family joining us in September.  For the past 7 months, we’ve been getting ready in all the typical ways: buying a crib, reading about the development, deciding on birthing and breast feeding strategies.  I’ve also been getting mentally prepared for a dramatic change in my lifestyle.  

One recent TED video recently caught my eye.  The video, which is great, is about all the myths around children.  One chart in particular stood out.  It charts marital satisfaction over the course of your life.  One thing I immediately noticed is that the height of satisfaction – where you are most happy throughout your entire life – is right before you have your first child. Then things plummet: 

Looking at Diane’s belly and then back at this chart as I watched this video on my iPad made immediately made me feel as if i was sprinting towards a cliff.  Thankfully, the folks in the video dig into that chart a little more.  There’s more to it than just that one line.  The reality of the situation is that in our lives, we have control over our actions and what will make us happy.  After adolescence, where we’re not really in control of our ourselves and surroundings, we grown in happiness because we are able to control what we do  – and we do less of what we know we dislike and more of what we know we like.  This is especially true for me these days I generally avoid anything where I know i’ll be uncomfortable or possibly have a good time, such as heavy metal concerts. 

We become masters of doing what we like in our 30’s – especially if you don’t have kids.  What the next chart shows are the emotional highs and lows one feels at various stages in their life.  You can see that we have big highs and lows as teenagers and then they gradually shrink as we get a handle on the world.  Then you have a kid.  And the highs and lows become monstrous.

From what i’ve heard this is true. I hear stories of how amazing it is, and i also hear stories of how tiring and bad it gets.  I’m expecting both are true  I’m expecting to be shaken out of my lovely comfort tree into some madness. I’m expect to hate it at times, but i’m also expecting for some of the biggest highs i’ve ever felt.  I’m ready for it.  Just two more months to go. 


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2 thoughts on “Ready for baby and the related highs and lows
  1. I would make the post-kids chart pretty different. I think that those first few years are so draining, it’s true, but right now I feel like we’re in a total sweet spot where we can focus on our marriage but still enjoy our not-yet-teen-angsty kids. I think you might see some fluctuation when they’re young and everyone’s wiped out tired, but then there’d be a big swing up as you are having time to enjoy each other but also enjoy the family you’ve created.

  2. Yeah, I’ll endorse the sudden high fluctuations in that second chart, but I wouldn’t label it “Satisfaction,” I would call it “Mood”.  SInce having kids I have experienced greater anger (at my spouse, I’ll admit) and elation than I have experienced at any other time in my adult life.  But, these are moods. They pass.  I would say the trend line since having children has not been down, but generally up toward greater rootedness, sense of purpose and yes, satisfaction.  It’s gonna be great, Mike.  You and Diane are going to rock it.

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