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Mom & Dad Kid Themselves Over the Joy of Parenting

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posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:34 AM
This article made me stop and think for a bit. Being a realistically honest person there are days when being mom isn't as fun as others, but I never had regret or felt like I needed to "kid myself" into feeling joy instead of resentment. This story contained different findings for a larger group of people than I would have imagined.

Are the long nights and financial burdens of parenting really worth the emotional benefits? New research is saying no: When confronted with the real economic costs of having children, most parents will exaggerate their happiness to validate their choice to have children.

"Many people believe that to be truly fulfilled in life, it is necessary to experience the joys of parenthood. Children are considered an essential source of happiness, satisfaction, and pride," Richard Eibach and Steven Mock of the University of Waterloo, wrote of their study in the March 2 issue of the journal Psychological Science. "However, the idea that parenthood involves substantial emotional rewards appears to be something of a myth."

A myth? I certainly hope that the majority of parents don't feel that way. It is joy I felt when I made trips into my child's room to find her smiling in her sleep. Joy I felt at first words, first steps, first school play, etc. Most parents I know feel the same way.

As children's economic value has plummeted, their perceived emotional value has skyrocketed, becoming, "the economically worthless but emotionally priceless child," as Princeton sociologist Viviana Zelizer wrote in her book, "Pricing the Priceless Child" (Princeton University Press, 1994).

A child=economic value?
I realize children used to work farms and other odd jobs to help families in the past, but this whole paragraph made me sad. It is worded like children are hired help IMO. Calling any child worthless turns my stomach.

Maybe the youth are getting clued in that some in society feel this way and that is why a lot of kids are going down the wrong road. Why bother trying if you feel that no matter what you do, you are still worhless?

So is the article right in your opinion? Do you feel this way? Has society really come so far as to think the only reason to have a child is what monetary benefit you can derive from him/her?

You can read more here...

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:55 AM
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe

I do know some people who consider their kids nothing more than an inconvenient, expensive pain in the butt.
Me, though? I believe my childen have enriched my life like no amount of money can. And my grandchildren continue on with this growth and learning and it's truly a joy to watch. Yes, they can be frustrating, as they make the same mistakes I did in my youth, and still make as I age. I love them and cherish them and wouldn't have things be any other way than they are.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:57 AM
Excellent post! You have truly captured what being a Mom means to me.

Lets face it, parenthood ain't for the faint of heart, but I have never thought "Gee what can these little suckers do for me?".

Parenthood is constant, tiresome, sometimes troublesome, and if all goes well, you will never seen the end result. But it is also filled with great laughter, wonderful moments and love and life lessons.

I haven't read the entire article, but what you highlighted, really bothers me.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe

We were never designed to have kids in this type of society. It takes a village to raise a child. There's already enough stress on people with work and normal every-day incidences to have to deal with children too. I don't want to bring a child into this world, not until I know I will be able to handle being everything that my kid needs, and that includes being the best dad in the world.
edit on 7-3-2011 by freedish because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:09 AM
reply to post by freedish

That's a noble idea, my friend. To know you will be the best dad you can be. But you'll never know until you actually have a crumb snatcher or two. lol Parenting is at best, a flying by the seat of your pants venture. But if you doubt your ability to be the best dad possible, then by all means, don't procreate. You're not ready, like anybody is really ready for what having children brings.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:11 AM
I'm training to be a primary teacher, making a mid-life career change. Why? Because having had my own kids, I know that the real joy, worth and meaning (if there is any) in life is wrapped up in our connections with others. Children can teach us more than we can ever teach them, anybody who doubts that for an instant needs to spend time with kids with an open mind. And I'm on this planet to learn, so I want the best teachers.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:20 AM
What absolute tosh. Being a parent isn't about any form of reward. It is what it is. It is love.

I have three now adult children and they are tremendous joy to me, as they were too when they were small. I don't exaggerate this by any means though. I had six months morning sickness with each of them. There were some usual and unusual bumps in the road to their adulthood, but I would do it all again without hesitation. They are wonderful people, probably the best I've ever known. It is my honor to be their mother.

They aren't engineers, doctors, or astronauts. They are just normal people with reasonably good values. But the love we have for one another, all of us all around, is what we call "family". That is why we become parents. That is the intangible that those people who "kid" themselves about some fantastic pot of gold at the end of some mythical rainbow cannot conceive. It's the beauty of the perfect community, powered by unconditional love.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:35 AM
In most cases parenting is a perk rather than a burden.

I'm not a parent myself but i have helped my friend look after her kids (she is a single parent of two), and i have seen the ups and downs she goes through. But it's facinating to see them grow everyday, always learning and always looking up to you.

What sort of MSM BS is this? I bet the 'researchers' don't even have a clue about the experiences of a parent.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:43 AM
Well, it's good to get the following out of the way in any discussion of children/no children:

-It is possible to be happy with children.
-It is possible to be miserable with children.
-It is possible to be happy without children.
-It is possible to be miserable without children.

There, now that that's out of the way, we should save ourselves a long and ultimately meaningless argument. Or maybe not.

I'd agree with the posters who say if you don't want or aren't ready for kids then don't have them. The human race seems to be doing just fine procreating itself so don't feel any guilt on that account. On the other hand, if you want them and are ready and full of love then yeah, its a natural part of life and what most humans end up doing, so nothing to feel too unusaual about...just remember you can't take them back for a refund later.

edit on 3/7/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 01:55 AM
In wonder if the two people responsible for the report are parents themselves, or is this just another case of ill informed academia being out of touch with reality?
I have little faith in such reports anyway, more so if they are written by people who approach things from a purely academic / scientific angle rather than from personal experience.

I do not have children of my own, but I'm honourary uncle and godfather to my friends two little ones (now aged 3 and 5). I have had the extreme pleasure of spending a lot of time with them, babysitting if need be for both of them from a very early age. I can honestly say that they have changed me and have brought so much pleasure into my life. Sure, like all kids they can bug you at times and are not little angels all of the time, but the love they give me, the interaction I get from playing with them and teaching them things is just not measurable by any scientific means.
To start equating parenthood with economics is missing the whole point. How shallow and pointless their own lives must be if that is really how they view things!

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 02:16 AM
Parenthood may be rewarding, but this is what it is not.

(1) An achievement ( have sex often enough and it will probably happen ).

(2) Uncommon ( I think the population issue and the fact all animals do it would prove this ).

(3) Super hard to do. ( I know some real idiot who are parents )

(4) A miracle.

(5) A financial investment

(6) An emotional investment born out of fear of being old and lonely ( hate it when people use this as a reason why people should have kids )

Parenthood is a personal achievement, not a worldly one. I think the people who expect respect from others, and think somehow it will validate their own existence. Are the only ones that would feel resentment later on when they don't get a medal.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 02:55 AM
I do remember this quote actually:

"Becoming a parent is a way of achieving something without actually having to do anything."

I'm not sure of the validity of this quote but in my area a lot of females (not being sexist) seem to grow up believing that. The friend i spoke about in my recent post has a sister who tricked her boyfriend into getting her pregnant. She left school at 12 and refused to go back. The only thing i can really judge about her is that she is following the trend of Government funding schemes so in effect you never have to work at all.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 03:54 AM
Thats sad.. Shows the decline in family there...
Raised 4 war orphans that adopted (sterile due to agent orange exposure) nothing can top the feeling of watching them learn and grow .. The sound of them laughing (though do to what they went through before adopted them it took a long time before they laughed) now they're grown and married even have a grandson.. Would adopt more if could even at my age .. By far the positives outweigh the negatives in having children.. Find it very repugnant people put economic value on children..

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 07:53 AM
reply to post by freedish

I admire your ability to see that you may not be ready to be a father. That puts you ahead of the game already IMO. It is a difficult decision to make to bring a baby into the world in it's current condition. I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision when I see how society is changing. I do not wonder if it was right for me, my wonder is if it was right for her... if that makes sense.

Your post shows a maturity and a level headedness that is admirable.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 07:58 AM
reply to post by thedeadtruth

I agree with you. I was always taught that a baby should never be born with a job. Meaning he/she should not be conceived to supply unconditional love, to fill some kind of emotional void, to save a marriage, etc. If people expect any of those outcomes then resentment will soon follow.

posted on Mar, 7 2011 @ 08:05 AM
reply to post by 21st century man

I once heard a quote that said "There is no handprint so small, that it doesn't leave an imprint on the world." I can't recall who to give credit to, but your post reminded me of that and the simple truth of that statement.

Children are born and see no race, no gender, no religious or political differences, no prejudices at all. We definitely can learn a lot from that.

I wish you all the best on your new journey. We need more teachers that feel the way you do.

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