In the recent New York Magazine cover story “I Love My Children. I Hate My Life,” writer Jennifer Senior tackles the tough topic of parental happiness.
She writes that while many parents say raising a child is a privilege that adds meaning to their lives, research shows parents are often more depressed and less happy than nonparents.
Her article set off a firestorm in online message boards in and blogs, with many critical of those who felt dissatisfaction with raising a child.
“Parenting is a selfless and lifelong vocation, and you must recognize that fact before you commit to becoming a parent,” “judithod” commented on the article on nymag.com.
Others tried to figure out the root of the unhappiness.
The Motherlode’s Lisa Belkin argues it may be connected it to the “helicopter parenting” phenomenon.
“Now that parenting has become a verb — an active, measurable, competitive thing — it brings with it an infinitely expanding job description. We create one for ourselves, different from our neighbors’, or even our partners’, but always broader than the ones our parents used decades ago. We recognize it as helicoptering when we see others do it, but from the inside it feels like what a good parent does.” she writes. “And it is, in part, what is making us overwhelmed and unhappy.
Stephanie Wilder-Taylor suggested unhappiness could stem from unreasonable expectations. “I think the problem is how you go into parenting with these high expectations. It’s supposed to be fun every minute of the day and it’s such a rude awakening,” she said. “Getting those kids dressed in the morning can sometimes be an extremely tedious experience. Unlike other jobs, you don’t ever really punch out.”
So the question is NMO mommies & daddies, do you agree?
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