I’m not a toddler person. Which is unfortunate, because I have three kids under 5.
Of course, I love my children. I write down the adorable things they say. I upload pictures religiously onto Snapfish, pausing to reminisce about the cutest shots. My 1-year-old is in my favorite almost-talking stage. My 3-year-old is hilarious, and not just for a 3-year-old, but for a person. And my 4-year-old is the most devoted big sister around.
But to be honest, for all the time I spend with my children, I enjoy only about a quarter of it — and even that estimate may be high.
My issues aren’t just the ones Jennifer Senior focused on in her best-selling “All Joy and No Fun.” Sure, I miss the autonomy of my pre-kid life, struggle with self-doubt and worry about prioritizing my marriage. But I also really enjoyed spending time with each of my kids when they were babies. I loved the closeness of nursing, and planning out the day around feedings, naps, baby music classes and swinging in the park. I was okay with not always knowing what my crying baby wanted; I’ve read a lot of child-development research, am trained in behavioral interventions (which made me confident about sleep training), and have a knack for developing a routine and sticking to it. I had a lot of help from my husband, too, so I rarely got to the zombie stage of exhaustion that plagues so many new mothers.