I noticed that Jennifer Senor — a very gifted and lively writer, many of whose pieces I have enjoyed — is going to be writing a book based on her New York magazine article about how having kids makes people less happy.
I think I read that article when it came out, or tried to, but boy am I the wrong audience. I think parenting is the best thing ever. If I had a trust fund I would work less and parent even more.
Now, I am very fortunate to have as much time as I do to parent, and to have a great partner, and to have had healthy children and a supportive community. I am gainfully employed, have a low mortgage, have no college debt, and do not have to worry about money. I am well aware that many parents have stressors I do not, and I also believe that, especially the way the poor and middle class are squeezed in this economy, many parents feel they are coming apart, with the burden of having dependents making things worse.
That said, I have a visceral reaction against people who complain about parenting. I think it is rather tacky, actually: I would not complain about my wife for public consumption, nor would I complain about my daughters to people I do not know.
And in fact it is one of the great virtues of Jennifer Senor’s piece (which I just took a quick break to read) that in fact it is very short on anecdotal whining and long on synopses of research. I hope the same will be true of her book.
But I still probably will not be able to read it. I hope it brings enlightenment, comfort, and joy to many others.