Naturally, this is making a lot of parents upset. Or defensive?
But maybe it’s just the headline that people are reading, and not the rest of the article. Sady Doyle of the awesome feminist blog Tiger Beatdown brings up a great point about how much of the problem is the expectation that having children will fulfill the lives of moms entirely.
“But I’m also wondering if being told that children are the KEY TO HAPPINESS (if you are a woman) has to do with the disappointment (among women) that children don’t auto-fulfill you? I mean, Simone de Beauvoir talked about this. Her whole deal was that women are told having children will fulfill them, and then it doesn’t, and then they hate their children. Her solution: Make something else in your life more important than getting pregnant?”
MomLogic’s Kate Tuttle took issue not so much with the evidence that Senior provided, but the way in which it was presented.
“That’s all well and good. But what makes this article such insufferable reading at times (aside from the picture-perfect family in the illustrations, who all look like sad little J. Crew models, that is) is the tone,” she writes. “You know the one — it’s all too common among mom-type essays in our current generation. It’s the one that whines that we are the very first people on earth to be facing this conundrum.”
At Babble, Madeline Holler sees any unhappiness or stress related to parenting as a short-term thing.
“Kids are just so needy and in the moment (such as, for me, this very moment during a rather contentious bath time) it’s a real drag. And yet, will I remember this particular contentious moment for the rest of my life? Nah. Will I look back at these times of my life with my kids, so young and weird and fun, and long for all of this? Oh, most certainly. I already do.”