21 July 2007

Husband Hypothesis

Cameraphone shot of my daughter at 5 days...wicked cry, stylish hair.

I've heard a few people say that the first year of the first baby is the hardest in a marriage. I would probably agree. I recently did a review on an article called Contribution of Infants' Sleep and Crying to Marital Relationship of First-Time Parent Couples in the 1st Year After Childbirth. They found two key things in the study. One, the worse the mother's insomnia, or insomnia-like sleep, the worse the marital satisfaction rating (which supports the theory: happy wife, happy life). They also found that the one thing that has a dramatic impact on marital satisfaction is the husband hypothesis, which states that the higher the self-efficacy and willingness to help in the child-care, the higher the marital satisfaction score...UH OH.

After reading the article a few times and writing my review, I felt both good and bad. Overall, I would say that I've done pretty well with fatherhood. I'm attentive, I have fun with my kids, and I think I carry my own weight, but there are mornings that sometimes arrive brutally early when I pretend to stay asleep a moment longer than I really am. I do it because I know what a great mom Denise is. She is so devoted to our kids.

So...I felt pretty challenged after reading the article and reflecting on the past few years. I need to step it up and let my wife get some sleep.

Meijer, A. M., & Wittenboer, L. H. (2007). Contribution of Infants' Sleep and Crying to Marital Relationship of First-Time Parent Couples in the 1st Year After Childbirth. Journal of Family Psychology, 21(1), 49-57.

11 July 2007

Bottled Water is not a Sin, but it is a Choice

This month's issue of fast company has a fascinating article on bottled water. I've been thinking a lot about mindfulness and being aware of the impact I have on the world and this article really brought it home.

Here are a few highlights from the article:
  • Fiji water produces 1million bottles of water per day...half of the people in fiji do not have access to adequate drinking water
  • "24% of the bottled water we buy is tap water repackaged by Coke and Pepsi."
  • "If the water we use at home cost what even cheap bottled water costs, our monthly water bills would run $9,000."
I am prone to feel guilty about what I have the ability to consume. I live a very privileged life. I'm trying to figure out how to live mindfully without being wrapped up in guilt.

Once you understand the resources mustered to deliver the bottle of water, it's reasonable to ask as you reach for the next bottle, not just "Does the value to me equal the 99 cents I'm about to spend?" but "Does the value equal the impact I'm about to leave behind?"