Having kids: is the juice worth the squeeze?

For the longest time, I thought the expression “the joys of parenting” was said strictly in sarcasm. My father often uttered other common expressions such as “Sisterly Love” when my sister and I would pick on each other. And besides, up until recently, I thought parenting was more a hardship than a joyride, or maybe something in between but leaning closer to hardship.

In the 1980s and much of the 90s, kids had bikes to ride to keep them occupied. None of this “Go play with your tablet!” hullabaloo. By the time our parents came outside to round us in, they’d congregate with each other for a bit. It seems like back before Facebook came along, parents would publicly complain about their kids, spouses, and. jobs. At least in my neighborhood. The women would congregate and the men would do the same.

The following was apparent:

-Wives were mad at their husbands for not doing something they said they would.

-Wives were tired and had too much to do

-Husbands were tired of their wives complaining

-Husbands were tired too and just wanted to crack open a beer and kick back

Last week I helped a co-worker write an essay for her college class on the subject of “The Challenges of being a Parent.” Even though I’m not a parent myself, it was easy to contribute towards the content. Afterwards, I wondered if I would be able to write a piece on the rewards of being a parent. It would be much more challenging.

Not because kids suck, but because non-parents don’t get to see this part. Except in the social media world, which is a bit misleading. A touch too polished to be taken seriously. I I usually catch parents when they are tired, spread thin, or just in a bad mood. I can’t identify with the joys of having a child — so I took to the google machine.

Personal Sidenote: While I have not felt the. innate readiness to reproduce, I am considering motherhood, so I took the results quite to heart. If you go down this google hole, do so with a firm understanding that 75% of what you read will not help in deciding to become a parent. It’s a scary, opinionated world out there, and the topic of pregnancy stuff (no thank you) and children in general is intense. This is one of those areas of interest that are better to be researched in an old fashioned way- a reputable BOOK! How about the classic “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”- it’s a pretty big book. Probably covers a lotttt of info… hmm.

Some of these image results are scary

Off the bat, Lifehacker’s article written by a mom covered the 10 things she wish she would’ve known before having a kid. I don’t get it. Doesn’t everyone research this stuff beforehand?

A few more clicks into my google journey, this article sounded interesting: Did new parenthood bring you unhappiness instead of joy?

The first entry was totally depressing, but the other 2 parenthood “reviews” were more uplifting.

So I can’t say I am surprised that some people are less happy after they have children. Or that parents-to-be complain that everyone is quick to tell them about the bad points of having children, but no one mentions the true wonder of it.
But that’s because if we started we might never stop.

If parenting is not rewarding, my next question is: What’s the point, then?

I wonder about the sense of fulfillment some/all parents possess that those without kids can’t even imagine. Is that what parents generally feel?

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