Friday, August 04, 2006

Yes, No, Maybe

There is a book I have from the library, now overdue, still barely opened, entitled Maybe Baby: 28 Writers Tell the Truth About Skepticism, Infertility, Baby Lust, Childlessness, Ambivalence, and How They Made the Biggest Decision of Their Lives. It's a collection of essays from writers (women, mostly) who've faced the "to procreate or not to procreate" question and come up with a triad of answers: yes, no, and maybe. Aside from being too busy to read much of anything lately, I think I haven't tackled this one because I'm a bit discouraged by the cover copy, which implies that I won't find women like me inside, who've waffled on this question for years, who've come to a nervous yes, but whose bodies are potentially saying no.

I listened to an old radio program archived online the other day: Quirks and Quarks, put out by the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation). The subject was happiness, and the gist of it was this: Mother Nature doesn't care if we're happy, Mother Nature only cares if we procreate. Humans are not programmed to find happiness - happiness would render us far too complacent. We strive for things, we get them, and before we know it, we're itching for something else.

In spite of all this, there are things that actually do contribute to a sense of happiness. The two that stick in my mind are: social relationships and regular exercise. Children? No. In fact, studies show that people are happier when they first marry, and they are happier again when the kids leave the nest, but inbetween, not so much.



Nico said...

Interesting... I would guess that the not-so-happy with children is that because unlike other social relationship, the parent-child relationship is quite one way as far as providing support goes. You support your children, but you don't share your troubles with them.

But I think there are many other things to recommend them (kids, that is). At least I hope so ;-)

Amy said...

yes, I agree with your assessment, and your hope!!!

speaking of which, I also like your birth plan notes (in most recent blog entry). Hope it all goes wonderfully, and staying tuned in to find out!


Anonymous said...

Actually, you'll find a lot of single women who are sorting through the issue of having a baby. They're called single mothers by choice (the thinkers) and you can google a lot about them.

- Rae