All Joy No Fun

The other day a friend linked to this article:  All Joy No Fun  the other day in her Facebook account. It has take me a couple of days to actually read it, and it’s been very thought provoking. It’ comes on the heels of also reading Confessions of a Slacker Mom and it has me thinking about my parenting style, about how having kids have changed my life and who I am as a mother.

The thoughts that came to me, are really more questions that I would like to address in upcoming posts. You know, just to really think it all out.

1. Why did you have children?
2. What were your expectations of having children? What did you think it would be like?
3. How much leisure time do I actually have now?
4. Is the experience of having children different than that of my parents and my grandparents?
5. Why do so many parents feel overwhelmed? Is it: lack of childcare and help, loss of personal time, martial relationship, cost, expectations of what I should provide/how to be a parent, judgments from others?
6. How has the experience of parenthood fundamentally changed? For example, is it that we just have more time to think about it and wallow in our own experience? Example being arts didn’t evolve until mankind cultivated agriculture and freed up more time to pursue such interests.
7. “Economically worthless but emotionally priceless”
8. More education leads to more structured organized activities (5 hours versus the 2 hours for high school dropouts)
9. Do you believe in giving your children every advantage?
10. “It’s the drudgery that is so hard.”
11. Did you experience an acute loss of freedom and autonomy? :Huge source of joy but they turn every other source of joy into shit.”
12. Following the ideal that there is a right and wrong way to do things, and living up to that.
13. I often wonder how other parents in other countries view parenting. “American’s make everything complicated.”
14. Do you lose your “interesting” cred? Do feel like you have become less interesting as a person and project that out as your person? (For example, talking about the banality of housework, sleeping schedules, feeding schedules, kids..”
15. Married women were less depressed than childless peers.
16. No one with children regretted having children, whereas some who chose not to, regretted not having children.

Bonus question: What am I giving up right now in order to raise these kids?

Stay tuned!

One thought on “All Joy No Fun

  1. Sarah

    That’s an awesome article. It puts in colorful or pithy words so, so many things I’ve been feeling and suspecting about parenthood, at least modern middle class American parenthood.

    “Huge source of joy but they turn every other source of joy into shit.”

    Ha…so often true! I do have to say that there are a few joys that are enhanced with kids at my side, though, or at least they become pleasant in different ways. I do like to sip a glass of wine or a beer and just…laugh and play with my kids when I’m in that slightly mellowed, forget-about-the-chores state. When she falls asleep easily, I love a nap with Ruth at my side. Holidays like the 4th of July are so much more exciting when there’s an enthusiastic little kid taking it all in. And I look at gardens, zoos, the grocery store, the mall in interesting different ways when the kids are with me.

    That said, man, I long to relax with my glass of wine and an R-rated movie (or grownup conversation); I’d love a guaranteed nap on the weekends, no toddler belly flopping on my head; trying on clothes as long as I need to at the mall, and not sitting in the changing room nursing a fussy baby and doling out graham crackers to buy five more minutes…

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