Saturday, May 8, 2010

on motherhood and happiness

I was driving to work this week and listening to KPBS when they announced that they will be hosting a scientist who will be talking about happiness and motherhood. Apparently, all else being equal, research shows that mothers are less happy than their childless counterparts. We are 7% less happy to be exact.

Since I will be at work when the show airs, I decided to look it up online and came across this recent article by Dr. Christine L. Carter. Please follow the link to read it, as it is very informative. Here's the breakdown:

It's not really motherhood that's making us less happy, but rather it's being so busy! Studies show that, when research participants follow instructions to go about their daily lives accomplishing all the tasks they have on their plate, but eliminating any and all opportunities to relax and feel a little joy, they develop symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder in as little as 48 hours!

Yes, very informative, but how is this helpful? Well, Dr. Carter would like to start a revolution and I really like her ideas. Following her advice can lead to a more fulfilling and happier state, but are you ready? It's easier to complain about how busy we are than to change the way we do things.

Here are her three tips:

1. Identify the moments that make you happy during the day and treat them as you would a doctor's appointment. Schedule them into your day and respect them.
2. Identify the things that make you too busy and work to change them.
3. Talk it over with your friends, coworkers and family. Let them know what you will NOT be doing and why.You will likely inspire them.

I guess this is tackled in baby steps. We are busy because of circumstance and because of preference so it's not easy task for us to change. Here's baby step one for the month of May for me:

1. I really enjoy a cup of tea before bed time but I never really have one. I'll work to make this happen a few times a week. It really relaxes me and I sleep better.
2. I have this obsession with putting things away. I pick up toys continuously throughout the day. I'm thinking that if I commit to letting go and letting be, then I can delegate this task to Alain. Of course, I cannot expect him to do this like I would (seriously, it's not normal). I'll work to accept that my house is allowed to look like a 1-yr-old and a 3-yr-old live in it and let Alain pick up the toys just once a day before bed time. Wish me luck on this!
3. I'll definitely talk this over with Alain. Maybe there is something else he'd rather take on, but I'm thinking he'll be on board with my experiment.

Once I get these three conquered and incorporated into my life, I'll find another three to add.  Join me in being a little less busy and a little more happy! What are your three commitments?

1 comment:

  1. One step at a time! Or should I say three? This is so true! I'm just so busy with my three girls that sometimes a whole day goes by and I haven't even slowed down enough to eat.