Moms Columns & Blogs

Parenting: no fun, but lots of joy

Written by Anika Myers Palm

Orlando Sentinel


Not long ago, my daughter got sick in the middle of the night.

She called my name and I went running, only to find that she'd begun to vomit while still under the covers in her bed. I absolutely hated the disgusting cleanup process. But after I'd cleaned her and her bed, and administered the proper medicine - and just before she drifted off to la-la-land - she said in the sweetest, sleepiest voice, "I love you so much, Mommy."

My irritation about the messy cleanup receded immediately.

Author Jennifer Senior explains moments like that in her new book, "All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood," according to NPR ( see story here).

The book is about how children can be stresses on parents' finances, marriages, work and sense of self while still bringing parents immeasurable joy and satisfaction.

And some of the things we parents do - like consciously trying to make sure our children are happy - are effectively gambles in ways that we really can't explain, Senior said in an interview with NPR."If you think about it, that's a really weird goal. It's very hard to teach your child to be happy and to be self-confident. It's not like teaching them how to do math or how to plow a field. Teaching your children happiness is a very vague and elusive idea," she said.

Do you find that parenting is filled with moments that aren't fun but result in true joy? Or is parenting all fun for you?

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