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Slate: 'Parents are Junkies'

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Dick Whitman, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Citing the usual studies that show that parenthood makes people less happy, Slate author says parenthood is like drug abuse or gambling in that you get addicted to the very occasional, but very, very high highs, in exchange for misery and frustration most of the time:


    As can be expected, the comments after the story degenerate into a battle royale between parents and non-parents, with all the usual judgments flying from both sides.

    My take:

    My own son is my best little buddy and I couldn't imagine life without him.

    But, holy shit, can it be hard sometimes.

    And I know it pisses some people off for a parent to say that. I never, ever complain about it, though, or use it as an excuse for anything, because I completely understand why that pisses people off.
  2. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    I love my kid. He drives me nuts, he makes me rearrange my life, he costs us a lot of money.

    I don't sense "highs" when it comes to raising a child. I sense duty.
  3. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Just reading this reminds me why I need to tell my wife to get back on the pill. No more shooting commando down the hole for me. Thanks! LOL
  4. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    A man with a family is a prisoner to his fate.
  5. farmerjerome

    farmerjerome Active Member

    Dr. J and I are just starting to seriously discuss this. If it doesn't happen, it's because we won't be able to afford it.

    I would never think I'm morally superior if I didn't have kids though. It certainly doesn't put me on a pedestal. Personally, if we do have kids, they'll probally be foreign to me until they turn into teenagers. That doesn't make me feel great about being a mom, but I see unsupervised little brats running around my store all the time and it drives me nuts.
  6. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    It's not a drug. It's called propagating the species. Hell, it ain't easy all the time, but if it wasn't something that was a basically good thing, far fewer people would do it and we'd be far more likely to die out. If one doesn't choose to be a parent, that's fine, but to see parenthood as a disease is absurd.
  7. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    That's about as stupid as it gets. Having children, while terrifying, especially in the early years, is continuously rewarding, at least it has been for me.
  8. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    Sounds like one parent's odd way to process the highs and lows that go with it. I don't agree with it, but if it gets the author through the day, I won't judge another parent.

    Little OOP is pain in the ass sometimes. And she is wonderful sometimes. The percentages change from day to day, but I love her whichever way she goes.

    My friends must think she is a nightmare. Why? Because most of the stories I tell are about the pain in the ass? Why? Because they are funnier. The good stuff is just harder to explain.

    This idea of love as a need or addiction always seemed to me as a way of trying to explain something to others and ourselves and failing to find the right words.
  9. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Joining Facebook has given me an interesting window into the lives of parents. My friends have kids of all ages, and only a select few ever post positive things about their kids that I read as genuine. A few more are fakers, only trying to give off the impression of the "perfect family." Most complain regularly about how they are tired, stressed, what-will-I-do-for-dinner, etc. It's interesting to observe.
  10. Guy_Incognito

    Guy_Incognito Well-Known Member

    First, you could say the same thing about golf. Anything of any value is usually going to be hard, like mastering a skill or body of knowledge, or a good marriage or friendship, or building anything of substance.

    There's a difference between fun / leisure and joy / meaning. Children (& I have a bunch) cut into the first in a very big way - you can put sleep and comfort into that category too, I could have written this 2 & a half hours ago. But they are the chief - or at least top 2 or 3 - sources of the latter. Our culture is obsessed with the former, but as I often ask my wife when the going gets tough, which one do you want to give back?
  11. AD

    AD Active Member

    alright, here goes: children open you up to a world of wisdom that you can't know otherwise.

    one: if you're at all sentient, they force you to mature because their aging, changing, experiencing, year by year, reminds you more than anything that you're going to die. if you don't have kids, you can get away -- for decades -- with the idea that you're still 25 and will be forever. you can go to movies, dinner, sleep late and meanwhile, there's not that daily startling reminder that eventually you will leave this earth and part of you will be left behind.

    two: you will NEVER know another human being -- not your parents, not your spouse, no one -- like you know your kids. you've seen them virtually ever second, naked, scared, happy, accessible like no other person from the beginning. that, i think, is actually the secret pain of empty nest: not only are you losing this person, physically, but you are also mourning that access to about the human condition. part of the pain of parenting an adolescent is feeling that door beginning to close: he/she used to tell me everything!

    three: once they get to the age of your own first memory, you get to relive your childhood through your kid, remember what it was like to be their age, first crush, first rejection, first failure, success, etc. but with the experience of an adult. that, i think, is a lot of what people mean when they speak of acquiring wisdom. and i don't think that kind of wisdom is possible without having kids.

    does that mean all parents are wise? or have a corner on virtue? absolutely not. does that mean singles can't be wise or know about life? of course not. anyone who has kids knows some parents are monsters. but i think it's true that the having of children, if you're receptive to it, opens up a world of knowledge -- about others, and about the parent themselves -- that one can not get any other way.
  12. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    To each their own. One of the things I am most thankful for is the fact I never had kids Everytime I walk through Wal-mart or the mall and see some 2-year-old throwing a tantrum just reinforces my opinion.
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