Are Moms Happiest at the Six-Month Mark?

When is baby bliss at its best? Illustration by Lillian Chan.

A recent study of more than 60,000 Norwegian moms found that life satisfaction increases immediately following birth, peaks six months later and dips to its lowest when the child is 3 years old.

Granted Norwegian moms are able to reap the benefits of a more family friendly culture with the accordant benefits, but this totally makes sense from what I remember. Namely: walks as long as I wanted, sunny parks and picnics. Dimply babies that crawled too slowly to chase. Mushy mouths that you could still nurse instead of having to pack a meal.

The worry of childcare/return to work hasn’t factored in. Baby weight is still acceptable. Women aren’t packing themselves into Spanx before rushing themselves or their kids out the door.

I remember it being about the time when the pendulum swings from being “a” mom to “that” mom. That mom who still co-sleeps. That mom who puts her baby in front of Baby Einstein. That mom who still nurses in public often.

It’s the tipping point where kvetching will bring you more friends. And moms learn to lie about their parenting habits. (Or maybe that’s just when my rose-coloured vision faded.)

When do you remember being most happy? Was there a tipping point for you?

—Melissa, CF‘s lifestyle editor

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