Interesting article. Some points resonate, some seem ridiculous. I know I personally didn’t have children because I thought it would make me happy - this completely leaves out the spiritual aspect of parenting and of marriages, which honestly makes me understand why people without that might be less happy. That spiritual aspect - the knowlegde of what the purpose of all this is - is what makes my marriage and my mothering happy. So I’m not as “happy” as a single, free-wheelin’ 30-something who gets to focus on nothing but themself? They can take it. I know personally my happiness has never been greater since the day I married the Husband, and when both of my children were born (despite the difficulties I had to wade through), I can honestly say I am shocked at how much more happiness can fit into my body.
My happiness is not for just this moment, this weekend, or this year. I’ve got my eye on a much bigger prize.
The part that I did find intriguing was this:
“Before urbanization, children were viewed as economic assets to their parents. If you had a farm, they toiled alongside you to maintain its upkeep; if you had a family business, the kids helped mind the store. But all of this dramatically changed with the moral and technological revolutions of modernity. As we gained in prosperity, childhood came increasingly to be viewed as a protected, privileged time, and once college degrees became essential to getting ahead, children became not only a great expense but subjects to be sculpted, stimulated, instructed, groomed. (The Princeton sociologist Viviana Zelizer describes this transformation of a child’s value in five ruthless words: “Economically worthless but emotionally priceless.”) Kids, in short, went from being our staffs to being our bosses.”
I often wish I had a time machine to go back and see what was so different about my ancestor’s families and mine. Maybe they’d think I’m doing this all wrong?
“…all parents spend more time today with their children than they did in 1975…”
I don’t know, with the invention of my washing machine, my dishwasher, my vacuum, my microwave, I feel like I should put all that extra time towards something important. I owe it to the inventors, I think. And I can’t think of anything more important than my family.