The debate has been brewing between me and my husband about the decision to have more children. We have two kids already and I think that is plenty for us. He wants more kids to run around and drive me batty…I mean to love!
Of course I love my children and they mean the world to me, but I honestly don’t know if I could mentally handle having more. Having children is hard work. Yes, it is a fulfilling and rewarding experience to see your child smile for the first time, to take their first steps, and eventually head off to college; but make no mistake….it is hard work. Sleepless nights, arguments over parenting techniques, feelings of guilt over whether or not you are spending enough time with your kids, and battling with yourself (or other’s opinions really) over the decision to breastfeed or not. These are all things that can weigh on any mother.
The idea of going back to diapers and a general feeling of exhaustion (which really hasn’t completely gone away by the way) just does not seem appealing to me. I know there are those out there who feel it is their calling to have kids and fill up their house with as many as possible, but not everyone feels that way. In fact, according to a new book on the market, Why Have Kids? by Jessica Valenti, “statistics confirm that parenting is making Americans unhappy.” If this is the case, why is there so much pressure for us to have more kids, or have any for that matter?
If parenting is making Americans unhappy, if it’s impossible to “have it all,” if people don’t have the economic, social, or political structures needed to support parenting, then why do it? And why are anxious new parents flocking to every Tiger Mother and Bébé-raiser for advice on how to raise kids?
In Why Have Kids?, Valenti explores these controversial questions through on-the-ground reporting, startling new research, and her own unique experiences as a mom. She moves beyond the black and white “mommy wars” over natural parenting, discipline, and work-life balance to explore a more nuanced reality: one filled with ambivalence, joy, guilt, and exhaustion. A must read for parents as well as those considering starting a family, Why Have Kids? is an explosive addition to the conversation about modern parenthood.
Although I have not yet read this book, I intend to soon. This seems like the perfect kind of book to give to anyone who is thinking about becoming a mother (new or existing). Jessica mentions that an overwhelming number of Americans are unhappy as parents, I can admit there are times when I am just not happy; like when I am fighting with my daughter to go to bed for 2 1/2 hours straight. This doesn’t really make for happy parenting. There are also times when I am extremely happy, like when my daughter always wants to run up and hug me the minute she sees me; or when my son tells me in his extremely intelligent beyond his years way how the world works.
If you are interested in picking up a copy of this book for yourself, or just want to find out more about the author, you can do so on her website here: http://jessicavalenti.com/. You can also connect with her on twitter here: https://twitter.com/
Written by Jesica.
Disclosure: This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a copy of Why Have Kids? and compensation for my time investment and work on this campaign.