What’s your parental satisfaction level?

Like most things in life, your level of parental satisfaction ebbs and flows — at least mine does.

When I had one baby, I felt like I was nailing it a lot of the time. Yes, he was a snuggly android who barely slept, but there were perfect outfits and staged photo shoots to get me through it. I had a year of maternity leave and was only dabbling in freelance, so there was always time for everything. I delighted in pushing his stroller and having strangers admire him. Plus, breastfeeding had slimmed me down and given me the best rack of my life. Parental satisfaction: four/five.

But it’s physically impossible to stay drunk on new parent glee forever. Suddenly he was a reckless 10-month-old running around the mall on a leash, lunging for escalators. He was scaling furniture and his forehead was perpetually bruised. I was pregnant with baby number two and could barely drag myself off the couch to get more crackers. I was trying to build a freelance career, find us a house and work up the energy to take our ball of energy to the playground. Parental satisfaction: two/five.

Things only got harder when Collicky Baby Sis was born six weeks before Destructo Big Brother’s second birthday. My husband had two jobs and was never home, so neither was our only vehicle. I was flailing around in a pit of post-partum depression but refused to acknowledge it. I got so much enjoyment out of my two little snugglebugs but the days were JUST. SO. HARD. (Also lonely.) Parental satisfaction: one/five …

Continue reading in my weekly parenting column, The Mom Scene …

So what do you think?

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