Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Modern Parents = Depressed?


Okay, non-parents, bear with me and I'll get back to the usual fashiony stuff asap but I just read the Jennifer Senior article on parenting in NY Mag that's garnering so much attention and I'm kind of brimming over with emotions...really my brain is too tired today to summarize but seriously go read it and let's chat, shall we?
......(waiting for you to read)....
Okay, good, we're up to speed...so my thoughts and what I tell my childless friends: Having a kid is the absolute best thing I've ever done but it doesn't make you happier...I don't think I personally would have ever experienced such joy, meaning, and depth of emotion in my life without Miss L - so I think that's a ringing endorsement for procreating but not sugarcoating how hard it can be sometimes, right??
and, when the going gets rough I try to remind myself how unbelievably fast the past 3 years have gone and before I know it she'll be off on her own and I'll get misty eyed about these years...(or at least that's what I tell myself as we enter the "time for baby #2 phase...")  Mostly, though I love parenting but I hate babysitting if that makes any sense! Okay, sayonara, I must. log. off. before my brain is fried...
ps - L told me today that "Mommy, you are the most famous, beautiful ballerina in the whole world"
Seriously, peeps, who else is going to sweet talk you like that?
pps - just snuggled with L and must revise (do you ever get the feeling I don't really think these "serious" posts out very well?) Having a kid does make me so much happier but I think it's all the mundane chores that surround it that get me down sometimes...


  1. There is no sweet talk like our children's sweet talk. Wonderful article, thank you for sharing.

  2. Yes, I read this on another site last week. I thought it was incredibly well written. It could easily be read as cynical, but you can tell that the writers were just trying to be realistic. What I thought was particularly interesting was the comparison between American parents and parenting in other countries. I will admit that professionally and personally I have always had soap box issues with the lack of paid maternity leave and subsidized child care in comparison to other countries. While this article does point out that this tips the scale, it also demonstrates that parenting in the modern world in general is just tougher all around. I love my tot...more than anything. I treasure every day. But I know my limit for our lives and our lifestyle. Many of the reasons for choosing to have "just one" are pointed out in this article.
    And just to be sure I don't sound like a big bah humbug...the best part of my day today was playing in a sprinkler for an hour with my kiddo.

  3. I love this entry. Thanks for the link - so many points that hit true and deep.

  4. This article is really getting around. I have to say that I read it, and I feel differently. But I really think the reason is that I sewed all of my wild oats before even thinking of becoming a parent. And I mean ALL of them. I had many social-butterfly years, went through a failed first (childless) marriage, spent several years on my own on the road, living in ski towns, camping alone in the desert and traveling at will. So that when I did first consider parenthood, I was already 40 and in the first relationship of my life that really felt like home. I had done it all, and was in the happiest place, emotionally, I'd ever been in my life. Having waited as long as I had waited, and decided on parenthood from a solid, strong, content, mature perspective, I think I can say (hopefully without ruffling any feathers) that it HAS made me happier. I am so utterly filled with joy every single day as a result of being the mother to our child. I'm not ashamed to say that because I was really, really happy before, when it was just my husband and I. And yet, somehow, we are even happier now with the Q in our lives. HOWEVER...I would tell childless people exactly what you tell them. Because I don't think that parenthood is any kind of a bandaid. It isn't anyone's anodyne. It is not going to fix anything. Find youself in a happy, stable, solid place first, and with a little luck, parenthood can be the greatest joy on earth.

  5. you don't have to explain...any mother will understand you perfectly. motherhood is a mixture of bliss and sacrifice. the secret lies in finding a balance between being a mum and being an individual. if anyone has cracked the code to this secret, please drop me a line. five years on, i'm still struggling to find this elusive balance!

  6. So true.
    And in the end you love them to bits.
    Your blog is such an inspiration!

  7. Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments ladies!!

  8. thanks for the article link, michelle. hadn't heard about it. was out of town when it was getting the big press. had an impromptu "article/book club" about it with some friends today and had some really awesome and honest conversations. husband is planning to read it soon too and then we can have our own chat. looking forward to it.

    i really like the way your friend island fairy put it: "motherhood is a mixture of bliss and sacrifice."

  9. i think the wanderer's daughter is so, so wise.
    if you are wanting to have a child (or get married, or become the president of the company you are working at, etc.) as a band-aid for something, then no, none of that will make you happy.
    yes, having a child is a ton of work, sacrifice, and requires much, much patience, and dying to one's self. i realized just how selfish i was with my time after having my little one. i also realized how deeply i am capable of loving someone other than myself or my husband when A came along.
    i remind myself every day that this time is our lives goes by soooo quickly, and that fuels my fire to be more present with him, and not long for his bed time.
    a bottomless glass of malbec helps too.

  10. yes, a little wine is always helpful! and maybe we (as in the collective parenting community) are just overthinking it all...while it's great to strive to be happy I think we are much more complex than that, no? and a little angst never hurt anyone...


I'm hanging on your every word...let me know what you think!