Thursday, July 8, 2010

Do you hate parenting?

My favorite magazine, New York Magazine had this as it's front page this week:

I Love My Children.
I Hate My Life.

Online, it is a little less harsh:

All Joy and No Fun
Why Parents Hate Parenting

Umm...eye catcher much?! I got the magazine Tuesday afternoon and read the entire article before bed. (for those with kids at home, that's kind of a big deal)

If you have a chance, check out the article - and not just parents will be interested in what it says, I think, if anything, non-parents, or people comtemplating kids should absolutely read this article. 
Not that I agree with or feel the same way that the people in the article feel...but as with most things, there is some truth to it (at least for me).

Do I love my daughter?? Oh my god, words cannot express how much.  Seriously my heart fills up when I'm near her or even thinking about her.  It is the most overwhelming feeling, the love for your child.  Even when she's isn't being ahem perfect and I'm at my wits end, my love for her is immeasurable.

Do I hate my life? In a simple answer: No. 
Do I hate parenting? Ummm...being 100% honest here...sometimes.

But here's the thing, I was/am a 30-something new parent.  This may be controversial, but I think there's a big difference between a 20-something and a 30-something year old parent.  I had lots and lots of fun in my 20's.  I went out a lot. I drank a lot. I dated a lot. I lived on my own. I started my career. My motto was work hard play harder.  And 10 years, that's what I did.  And you know something, after 10 years, I was kinda over it.  And it just so happened that around that time I met my husband (and initially we partied hard together) and we started a life together.  One that was a bit slower...not as much partying not as much going out.  More nights in with sushi and wine. More one night "out" and the rest "in" and we were okay with all of that.

For us, it was a gradual change of lifestyle.  A change that we initiated. And one that continued when we had a baby.  Everyone says that everything changes when you have a baby and it does.  But I can honestly say that we were ready for the majority of those changes.  We welcomed most of them. 

Now are there days when I miss my 'former life'? Of course there are. I don't think I would be human if I didn't wish once in a while for a day when I all I had to worry about was myself and had little (if any) real responsibilities.  But that's not real life and that's not how I want to live.  So I welcome the nights when we drop Jenna off at grandparents for the night and go out and "party" and I think I've come to appreciate them more now than I ever did before I had a baby. 

But here's the thing, this whole parenting thing is not for everyone.  The sacrifices you make are astounding and for many (like me) are totally worth it.  But if you don't think it's for you, then please, don't have a kid just because it's the socially accepted thing to do because noone benefits from that. 

Check out the article and let me know what you think!


  1. i started reading this article yesterday, but didnt have time to finish. i tried to finish it today but cranky pants was screaming for his 700th drink of milk since hes been up at 545... ironic?

    the title is harsh. But alot of what the article said rings true. And I think alot about the 20s vs 30s new parent thing. On one hand, you are right, but waiitng to have children you can sew your oats a little bit. BUT having waited, I KNOW the good life. I KNOW what it feels like to make $, advance in my career, have responsibility, be the boss... to travel, sleep in on Sundays, HAVE my adult life in tact. And now... well dont have any of that. So maybe it is harder. You KNOW what you are missing. Im glad this article touched on that.

    I also like the it mentioned how as urban parents, maybe we work too hard on this parenting gig. Organized activities and the article didnt even mention breastfeeding and how that literally sucks the joy out of your life. And as middle to upper class urban moms, we are guilted into doing it.

    Maybe our parents, with their cigarettes in one hand, bottle of Similac in the other, before music classes and tiny tumblers, before sleep training and attachment parenting, were onto something....

  2. The whole thing about parents thinking they have to spend MORE time with their kids totally resonated with me. I am a perfectionist and I sometimes attack parenting with that kind of attitude--that there is a right way to do everything, and I should come last because it's all about the kids. And that brings with it a lot of pressure. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed about my kids, I think that 99% of the time it's because of this notion that I CAN and SHOULD be doing more for them. I think previous generations felt less pressure about raising their kids "the right way" and were probably happier because of it.
    I also think that nowadays, there's so much build-up for women about having a family, because through our twenties we look at motherhood as sort of a reward for attaining and solidifying a career ("ok, I became a partner in my firm, now I can finally start a family"). So the contrast between the difficult, selfless mommy life and the hedonistic single life can be a bit hard to accept. Again, our parents became parents younger in life and maybe didn't know any better about the crazy life they could have had in their twenties!