“All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”

“All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”


I decided to try this book. On the face, it seems like just another parenting book but I feel like I am in a very volatile part of my, Lily, and my husband’s life that- heck- I would try it.

I just started, only read the introduction and at first- hated the way it was going. It began by talking about how hard, and awful, and tiring, and emotionally exhausting it can be to be a parent. I thought it was going to be a book practically bashing parenthood, but then it gave this paragraph:

“Drawing from 1.7 million Gallup surveys collected between 2008 and 2012, researchers Angus Deaton and Arthur Stone found that parents with children at home age fifteen or younger experienced more highs, as well as more lows, than those without children. (They’ve just submitted their results for publication.) And when researchers bother to ask questions of a more existential nature, they find that parents report greater feelings of meaning and reward-which to many parents  is what the entire shebang is about…….”Some people have flippantly concluded that these studies can be boiled down to one grim little sentence: Children make you miserable. But I think it’s more accurate to call parenting, as the social scientist William Doherty Does, “a high-cost/high reward activity.” And if the costs are high, one of the reasons may be that parenthood today is very different from what parenthood once was. “

And I decided to give it a shot. The jury is still out, so I will keep you updated on whether it has all the secrets that no one else seems to have on just what exactly, it is to be a good parent. The book promises nothing- all it promises is to give a different perspective- what childhood does to parents instead of what parenthood does to children.

Just one more tidbit because I really love this quote; I, like most parents I believe, have a serious chip when non-parents talk about life without kids. When they make plans and then say “I wish you could go but you know; you have a kid”. This quote perfectly sums up my current life and I believe most parents with a toddler would agree!

“Prospective parents have no clue what their children will be like; no clue what it means to have their hearts permanently annexed; no clue what it will feel like to second-guess so many seemingly simple decisions, or to be multitasking even while they’re brushing their teeth, or to have a ticker tape of concerns forever whipping through their heads. Becoming a parent is one of the most sudden and dramatic changes in adult life.”

Stay tuned for more, and if you have read the book, are interested, or have some input please feel free to comment!!!

Let me know what you think!!!!

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