Why Have Kids? The Truth About Parenting & Happiness
Babies are really great. They are cute. They smell fantastic, don’t they? If children stayed so small forever, I would have had a dozen. The truth is however, they don’t. And as they grow, they demand our time, attention and emotions. The reality of having children is way different than the fairy tale, perfect lives shown on Leave It To Beaver & The Cosby Show & The Brady bunch. Very different, indeed. So, why have kids?
I think it’s a terrific question that is rarely even asked let alone answered. When every decision we make post-baby causes us to second guess our intelligence, self confidence and all around insanity – Why Have Kids? Do we breastfeed? Should we go back to work at some point? What about cloth diapers VS disposable ones? And, what the heck do I do to get this baby to just stop crying and go to sleep already? If I move this tiny leg this way to make it fit in that cute little outfit, will I break it? How’s that for a guilt trip. And these are things you wrestle with all before those dreaded ’teenage angst’ years even start!
As someone in the position to look back on my now adult children and wonder ‘what would I do different’, I’ll simply say that I have a laundry list of changes that could or should have been made. Sure, there’s some guilt going on with a few less than stellar parenting moments. What’s that saying? “If I only knew then what I know now….” We had some really awesome times, just like you see on those picture perfect Christmas cards. But we also had some bubble bursting lows. The kind of lows no one warns you about when those demon spawn of yours are still sweet, smelling wee ones. So, why have kids?
Why Have Kids? A New Mom Explores The Truth About Parenting & Happiness
By Jessica Valenti
In her latest book, Jessica Valenti sets the stage for an honest and controversial conversation about modern day parenthood. Employing on-the-ground reporting, scientific studies, and her own take on motherhood, Valenti gives us an in-depth look at the ‘other side’ of parenthood. Going way beyond the over done ‘mommy war’ topics and straight into the nitty, gritty - joy, guilt, and exhaustion.
“The truth about parenting is that the reality of our lives needs to be enough. Seeking out an ideal that most of us can never reach is making us, and our kids, miserable.” The pursuit of perfection in pregnancy and parenting is giving American mothers a guilt complex and taking the joy out of parenthood. Valenti reveals the disconnect between parents’ hopes and the day-to-day reality of raising children and argues that while debating whether or not to breastfeed means we care about parenting, we really should really focus on raising our childrenas a community exercise. Forming communities of action rather than communities of judgment will help mothers and parents support each other”
Why Have Kids? takes on all the tough and often over looked questions that all parents (and parents to be) should be adding to their ‘must discuss’ list of topics. The book is described as “brutally honest and refreshingly insightful” Valenti also offers real life solutions to social and political issues that can once again bring joy back to parenting.
I’m thinking if you’re looking for a reality based alternative to those ‘Chicken Soup for The Soul’ feel good reads, this is probably exactly what you should be reading.
Jessica Valenti is the author of three previous books, including The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. She resides in Boston, but her heart belongs to New York.
This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a copy of Why Have Kids? and compensation for my time investment and work on this campaign.