Sunday, 20 April 2014

All Joy and No Fun - A Review

"Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents?

In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear." (from amazon)

Just got this book from the library.  Thankfully, it was one of those books on parenting that made me take a step back and think to myself, "Whew!  I'm not entirely #$##*&ing up this parenthood thing!" 

My kids are out of babyhood thankfully... but I still remember those moments of mothering tiny children when I wanted to rip my hair out from the exhaustion, isolation, and sheer boredom... and the guilt that accompanies those feelings, "Why am I not loving every minute of this?"

So many books glorify and canonize the role of parents.  All Joy and No Fun examines and quantifies the reasons why parenting can be so difficult and at times completely without rewards.  Parenting through different historical periods, ages and stages, and parenting across different cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds are addressed... all the while examining why parenting can intrinsically be much less than satisfying... and why we continue to subject ourselves to the backbreaking and often thankless work of guiding a child from birth through to adulthood. 

It's always refreshing to know that I am not alone in my sentiments... and that even those parents in their 'Pinterest' homes driving their kids to 6 different activities per week, are struggling with their own "why did I sign up for this?" moments.

Like any other crazy-busy mom I am plagued by the ever present 'Cloak of Guilt.' 
"Am I doing enough?  Should I be doing more?"
I highly recommend this book... It's nice to normalize your 'parenting fails' from time to time... and let go of the 'mama guilt' even if only for a few hours. 

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