PDF Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness

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By Jessica Valenti. If parenting is making Americans unhappy, if it's impossible to "have it all," if people don't have the economic, social, or political structures needed to support child rearing, then why do it?


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And why are anxious new parents flocking to every Tiger Mother and Bebe-raiser for advice on how to raise kids? Why Have Kids?

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It was twenty-four hours before I was well enough to see my daughter, Layla, and almost a week before I could touch or hold her. She spent eight weeks in the hospital, over which time she endured more medical invasiveness than most adults could bear. I desperately wanted the entrance into parenthood that I expected, the one I had planned so carefully for. Just two days before I was hospitalized I had been leisurely touring St.

Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores the Truth about Parenting and Happiness.

One friend told me that the welling of love she had for her son felt almost like an emotional orgasm. When a colleague asked me over lunch what new-mom emotion I found most surprising, I had to admit that it was ambivalence.

This feeling was something else. Something that no baby book or words of wisdom prepared me for. This was not what I expected. No Expectations Parenting needs a paradigm shift, plain and simple. Parents are paying exorbitant amounts of money for child care, and feeling guilty to boot about dropping their kids off.

Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti

Social expectations about what constitutes a good or a bad mother haunt every decision, and the rise of the parental advice industry ensures that moms and dads feel inadequate at every turn. Our children bring us joy most of the time but the parenting hurdles — whether systemic or personal — are still there, unchanging. Today that problem has a name and quite often, poopy diapers. The seductive lie that parenting will fulfill our lives blinds Americans to the reality of having kids.

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