Award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior analyzes the paradox of modern parenthood — how children shape their parents' lives, not the other way around.
The Bottom Line
Children change their parents’ lives for the better — and sometimes for the worse.
Jennifer Senior discovered an interesting detail while researching an article for New York magazine: Parents aren't happier than people without kids. In fact, sometimes they're less happy. For one, they argue more than childless couples — and most of their arguments are about their children. This intrigued Senior, who had a 2-year-old at the time, as it seems to contradict everything society leads us to believe about the untold joys of having and raising children.
With "All Joy and No Fun," she set out to investigate this conundrum, with the aim of writing "a book about how children affect their parents, not the other way around.” She's done that and then some, offering a take that's unfailingly honest and often funny — and full of research, history and first-hand accounts. The impact of children on their parents’ marriage, sex life, work, friendships and sense of self is real, and Senior grounds her research in the lives of real families.
II. Early Shock Waves
III. In Sickness and in … Help!
IV. The Joy Quotient
V. From Household Helper to Hothouse Flower
VI. Adolescence: When the Going Gets Tough(er)
VII. The Hardest Job You’ll Ever Love
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