Do You Hate Parenting?

Jennifer Senior of New York Magazine wrote a fascinating article on parenting.   It's titled All Joy and No Fun.  The article touches on a lot of the research out there that basically says if you want to be happy don't bother being a parent.   So I wondered how many of you really do hate parenting.  This is not to say you don't love your kids. Loving your kids and hating being a parent are two very different things.

Let me give a perfect example of people who love their kids, are great parents,  but hated being parents.  My parents.  My Dad tells me at least once a week that he was never meant to have a family.  He was really meant to be,  "A crack whore living in an apartment with the view of the ocean."   Yes, those are his exact words. My Mom, bless her, just nods.  The reality, however, is that she didn't like parenting anymore than he did.  These parents, who I adore, think raising my sister and I was akin to torture.

When both my sister and I announced we were going to have children our parents weren't as much excited as they were baffled. Why would we trade travel, money, leisure time for raising kids.  Had they taught us nothing? Didn't we realize that this experience was going to cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars? That this process was only going to break our hearts, because if we did our jobs well these kids were only going to fire us and move on with their own lives?  They obviously had raised idiots.

OK, I agree with my parents that there are lots of times that parenting can extremely suck.  Yes, it's expensive, time consuming, exhausting, and very gross.  Regardless,  I love it.   After reading the article I started to wonder if maybe I love it, because my parents  gave me such low expectations of the process.  I always knew it was going to suck, but what I didn't realize was also how awesome the highs were going to be. Then again maybe it's really too early to tell if I am going to hate parenting too. You see,  my kids are still small and one of the studies mentioned did say that people are happier when their kids are small.   Perhaps how crappy parenting is just hasn't sunk in yet.


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