Thursday, December 13, 2012

Why Have Kids?: A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness

For my first read in December I read, Why Have Kids?:  A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti.  It is a non-fiction book that asks the question "Why have kids?" and gives us some insight to how looking at the truths about parenting could make one happier than going into it ill prepared and being disappointed.

I don't have any kids.  I would like some one day but currently I don't have any.  I have always wondered why people have kids though.  To make their family "complete"?  To bring joy to their lives?  To have more hands to help out around the house?  The media and people we interact with often talk about the happiness only parenting can bring but I don't have any illusions about the fact that being a parent will be hard.

Many people however, don't want to tell you this.  They say that being a parent will make you happy or that your family isn't complete without children.  What I enjoyed about this book is that Valenti addresses this issue (along with many others) and drops a truth bomb on you, parenting does not automatically equal happiness.  For some, parenting might be the the thing that makes them feel complete and purposeful, but that's not how it is for everyone and that is OK.

I recommend reading this book whether you are a parent or not, it's just an interesting read.  It covers all the "mommy war" topics (breastfeeding, stay-at-home vs working moms, maternal instinct, etc) and gives you a real look at what to expect from parenting.  Parenting is unpredictable and different for everyone, but it seems if you go into it knowing that it will be challenging and won't automatically make you feel whole, you'll be able to find a lot more happiness in your new role.

1 comment:

  1. Whoa, I need to check this out.
    I've been talking with Tyler about this stuff a lot lately.
    My little sis and her honey are talking about starting a family.
    And Tyler's brother and wife are trying too.
    Parenting does not equal happiness.
    Don't get me wrong, it's wonderful and I'm very happy I have my kids, but wow, it can be stressful.
    I believe, with or without children, happiness comes from within. Nothing will ever "complete" a person, you have to be "complete" alone. Just my opinion though.
    Hey, it's been awhile since I've been here- need to check out your other books too :)