HELL is other people, a wise philosopher once said. I can’t remember which one, but they knew their stuff, writes Rachel Fenner.
You want proof? Childless and unmarried women are the happiest group in society and they also live longer, according to happiness expert Paul Dolan, who announced his findings at the Hay Festival in the UK last weekend.
As a married woman with a houseful of children, I have ten reasons why unmarried childless women are probably happier.
1/ You don’t have to share your bed with a kid or a man. From snoring to hogging the covers to midnight farting, sharing a bed is not a pleasant experience. There is scientific proof that a good night’s sleep can make you live longer, so of course, single women live longer.
2/ No greedy infants sucking the goodness from your body. Pregnancy and breastfeeding literally leach the calcium from your bones. Enough said.
3/ Marriage makes you fat. We’ve all see someone gain a few dress sizes post marriage. Is it comfort eating from all that lost sleep? Or because portion sizes tend to go up once you start living with a man? Who knows! We do know that weight gain can lead to health problems, which means a shorter lifespan for some.
4/ Mummy guilt. Imagine living a life free of mummy guilt? No worrying about how much time you spent helping at school this week, no worrying about whether you read enough books to your kid or have we eaten too much Macca’s this week? Mummy guilt can go in the bin. It’s making us unhappy!
5/ Single holidays are all about you! When you’re a mother, holidays are spent worrying about passports and herding kids from the car to the plane to the car to the hotel. Or we spend time worrying about the kids drowning in the pool and acting as a referee during the inevitable arguments. No wonder mothers drink.
6/ I have no time to exercise. I used to go to the gym four times a week. Used to. Now the only exercise I get is a quick walk from the train to work and a quick walk with the dog a few times a week. There’s just not enough time in the day to spend quality time sweating in the gym. Exercise increases endorphins which makes us happier in the long run.
7/ The only mess you clean is your own mess. Picking up after other people can get you down. I mean how many times can you pick up your husband’s dirty socks before you feel like screaming? Right now I spend way too much time scrubbing Play-Doh from tables, out of the carpet and I’ve even had to detangle it from the poor cat’s hair. Play-Doh does not make me happy.
8/ Motherhood can feel really lonely. When you are young and working it can be really easy to make friends. As a new mum 14 years ago I found myself spending a lot of time alone at home with a newborn. Meanwhile, all the single, childless chicks I knew were out having fun.
9/ Your routine is your own. When you have children and a husband suddenly your routine is dictated to you by everyone else. One kid needs to be at footy training, another needs to be picked up from daycare, and the husband is working early so you need to do the school run before work and the other kid needs to visit the shops for new shoes and so on and so forth…
10/ Which brings us to money. How many times have you lied to your partner about your spending habits? I have to say I do it a lot. He doesn’t need to know how many afterpays I have or how much those new shoes cost and lying is stressful! Single life = no lies.
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