According to this study, our family is doomed to unhappiness because our family is made up of four daughters. Really! When I first read this study I laughed. Then I asked “What about the March girls from Little Women and what about the Ingalls girls from Little House on the Prairie? What about the family I grew up in and that my mom grew up in and that my mother-in-law grew up in? What about all of friends that have four girls in their families? Are none of these families really happy?
Then I read a report of this study from Jenna Hatfield at BlogHer and discussed it at great length with my husband Saturday morning. Then we both became a bit defensive. So, as a result of this article and to prove to ourselves and our daughters that we are blissfully happy, we took a spontaneous 4 day road trip. Our trip started with two unhappy daughters, one happy daughter, two dogs, and not much stuff…by the time we arrived at our destination, we had three very happy daughters. And we had a very happy trip. Really! I will prove it:
1. Halle putting her arms around Lainey to help her cross the gravel road in her rollerblades.
2. Belly laughing and singing in the car.
3. Walking the dogs through a pouring rainstorm.
4. Swimming and playing in the pool.
5. A visit to the Easter bunny (Wal-Mart) for Easter basket supplies.
6. Watching movies together.
7. A very pleasant restaurant dinner with no electronic devices allowed.
8. Sincere “thank you’s” to grandparents.
9. Willingly cleaning up dog poop.
10. Sharing clothes, headphones, the Ipad, pillows, blankets, bedrooms, bathrooms, hair accessories, food, attention, and 9 hours in the car!
You might be thinking that we were happy because only three of our four daughters were with us. Maybe. But we have been a family with four girls for a long time, and I think we are pretty happy. When I asked my daughters about this, they said they think we are a pretty happy family, too.
When I really think about it, my daughters, my husband, and the time we spend together is when I am the happiest. Of course, there are lots of things that go along with having four daughters that can make life difficult…like drama, and hair accessories, and makeup, and drama, and Barbie shoes, and girl shoes, and sharing clothes, and borrowing clothes without asking, and shopping, and drama, and…well…lots of drama. But things that are difficult don’t necessarily equate unhappiness.
There are also lots of things that are not difficult…like hugs and kisses, and pretty smells, and pretty dresses, and hair ribbons, and the color pink, and spontaneous singing and dancing sessions, and fingernail painting, and skipping. And things that are easy don’t necessarily equate happiness, either.
Happiness is what it is and I have lived long enough and raised four daughters long enough to learn that you can make any moment of your life happy or unhappy. We have plenty of unhappy moments in our family, but I don’t think any of them happen because we have four daughters. I think more of them happen because someone is hungry or tired or sick or sad or stressed. Would any of this be different if our family consisted of a different combination of boys and girls or less girls? Maybe. But, it isn’t something I will ever know, so I’m choosing to think that our family is happier because we have four girls!
So, this is me sticking my tongue out at this study…in our case, it is perfectly WRONG!
Pictures of our terrifically happy family of FOUR GIRLS!