7.07.2009

Parenting--A Less Desireable Job?

Last night I stayed up reading Jill Lepore’s latest New Yorker article “Parent Trap”.
Lepore made me think about some recent conversations regarding population decline in Japan and the United States. It’s true, less and less people are choosing to live life solo without kids and even marriage.

I love being a mom most of the time but I understand why many of my friends choose not to venture into this territory. Think about it, if you’re young and have money, you can pretty much do anything. Travel or not, sit at home for hours reading or watching your favorite films, eat without disruption, and sleep in. Having an income with no kids is pretty much a leisurely lifestyle. When a baby is thrown in the mix, life is full of interruption. Plus parenting is freakin’ hard.

Ask any of us successful women who may have started our businesses, written books, or earned multiple post-grad degrees….being a parent is the hardest job any of us has had.

Honestly, I’ve always known that I wanted to have kids. Though there are days I feel like stopping with one child. I used to wonder how anyone would NOT want to feel the joys of being a parent. As I go further and further into this journey, I see the complexities and sacrifice on my own desires. I miss the days of doing absolutely nothing on weekends and I can forget moving to an island to write another book. I understand why people want to steer away from parenting. It’s hard to convince Gen X folks and beyond to become parents because we’re not exactly equipped with all the parenting skills like generations before. As for me, I’ll wait a little while until I bring another little one into my life.

3 comments:

Ly said...

Thanks for the honest and insightful post. I've definitely been thinking about this topic. My mother-in-law's advice is to not think too much and just do. The doing here means to have a baby, otherwise, she confesses, if you think too much you might not want to have one...its all so confusing, but I appreciate that others are thinking and writing about what it means to be a parent, it helps me understand all the different sides

mama lounge said...

Thanks for your thoughts. It can be a tough decision. But I admire people who can be honest and say "you know what I'm too selfish to have a kid" You really have to want it and feel the maternal instinct before bringing a new life in the world.

dzung said...

Ly, thank you for your post.

I think you may have misunderstoon Ly Hoang, though. I do not think she meant to imply that not having children is a selfish decision. I think that sometimes, that choice (to not have children) may be the most selfless decision for some. On the other hand, some people seem to have children for selfish reasons, or to have children without much forethought at all. I see the suffering that results from these kinds of unmindful decisions all the time.

I think that there is no right answer for everybody. Making the best decision for any individual or family requires a lot of wisdom, compassion, and insight. We try to practice that as we consider this decision. It is a continual process.

Thank you for encouraging more thought and discussion on this most important question.