Parents giving arguments to the anti-child couples

Parents giving arguments to the anti-child couples

An advice columnist, Emily Yoffe, at Slate started a firestorm of response when she advised a woman who was determined to remain childless in marriage that she might change her mind. Similarly childless couples wrote in with furious responses about how their lives are so much more fulfilling than if they’d had kids: “Many didn’t just write about the adult pleasures of their childless (or “childfree”) life—travel, restaurants, undamaged upholstery, sex in the living room—but expressed contempt for those deluded enough to want to reproduce.” One woman even sneered that “It is the most wonderful lifestyle, free of whining and sniveling and mini-vans.”

Now where would she get that impression? Sure, you see movies and TV shows—even ones that supposedly extol family life like the modern remakes of “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Yours, Mine, and Ours”—that depict life with kids as chaotic, messy, full of sleeplessness and worry and fights and whatnot. But they’re not solely the reason people have that impression. Unfortunately I believe that a lot of parents, while trying to impress on others what a tough but wonderful job parenting is, overemphasize the tough and underemphasize the wonderful. Yoffe agrees:

In our society parents do a wonderful job of portraying the difficulties of having children: the financial burdens, the time drain, the guilt, the exhaustion. But we do a lousy job of getting across something else about parenthood: It’s fun! When you are experiencing parenthood from the inside, there is an overwhelming pleasure in the funny, fascinating things your children do.

Because of the overemphasis on certain difficult aspects of parenthood, especially those days of dealing with newborns and infants and toddlers—the “diaper years”—that’s the impression of parenthood people are left with.

An unrealistic sense of the passage of time

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli