"Parents "definitely experienced more depression," says Robin Simon, a sociologist at Florida State University who has studied data on parenting.
"Part of our cultural beliefs is that we derive all this joy from kids," says Simon. "It's really hard for people who don't feel this to admit it." Social pressures to view only the positive aspects of child rearing only make the problem worse, she says. "They're afraid to admit it because it runs so counter to our cultural beliefs that children make you happy."
Simon points out what any parent knows very well: Children, especially young children, can create lots of work and stress. "There are very many positive things that come out of having kids, but it's a mixed bag," she says. "They are demanding. They are a responsibility, and it's a responsibility that doesn't end."
And I thought about you and us and how you keep saying that Jooj is so good and you shouldn't be mad/sad/upset/frustrated. And I think that you're selling yourself a bill of goods. Kids are hard. They are depressing, and are TONS of work. I know this just from the (sadly) limited interaction I get with her, and have been feeling pretty bad about wanting to curse at her in the two hours a day I spent with her by myself when I was home.
Don't get me wrong- I want kids. I love Jooj and I know that we're unbelievably blessed to have her in our family, and she is rewarding and awesome. Here's another excerpt:
Changing a diaper isn't enjoyable, and teenagers can be such a pain in the ass, but having kids can also be a profound source of meaning for people. (I like the amateur marathoner metaphor: survey a marathoner in the midst of the race and they'll complain about their legs and that rash and how the race seems like it's taking forever. But when the running is over they are always incredibly proud of their accomplishment. Having kids, then, is like a marathon that lasts 18 years.)
Bottom line is, I am proud of you. I don't begrudge you feeling bad, and modern science doesn't either. Parents, and especially Mormon mothers, get a lot of pressure from a lot of angles to treat kids as shiny delicate glass balls full of pixie dust and platinum that should be set on a shrine in the living room like some sort of Asian family altar, and I completely disagree. For my money, it's ok to think of them as poopy, whiny, snotty, loud little blessings. It's ok to be frustrated and mad, and it's ok to secretly wish that your life is the way it used to be. Because at the end of the day, you're a great mom and you're doing a great job with Jooj.
That's all. I love you.