In Why Have Kids?, Valenti explores these controversial questions through on-the-ground reporting, startling new research, and her own unique experiences as a mom. She moves beyond the black and white “mommy wars” over natural parenting, discipline, and work-life balance to explore a more nuanced reality: one filled with ambivalence, joy, guilt, and exhaustion.
Would-be parents must navigate the decision to have children amidst a daunting combination of cultural expectations and hard facts. And new parents find themselves struggling to reconcile their elation with the often exhausting, confusing, and expensive business of child care. When researchers for a 2010 Pew study asked parents why they decided to have their first child, nearly 90 percent answered, for “the joy of having children”. Yet nearly every study in the last 10 years shows a marked decline in the life satisfaction of those with kids. Valenti explores this disconnect between parents’ hopes and the day-to-day reality of raising children - revealing all the ways mothers and fathers are quietly struggling. A must-listen for parents as well as those considering starting a family, Why Have Kids? is an explosive addition to the conversation about modern parenthood.
©2012 Jessica Valenti (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Long commutes make for great listening time!
As a woman who will one day have kids, I'm very appreciative of this book. I truly enjoy my job and spent years trying to find something substantial that I'd actually want to get an education in. So, I'd hate to think that I have to put my doctorate aside because my future toddler is having a hard time with potty training.
Undoubtedly, my future child will mean the world to me simply because they will be my child, but I now feel and will feel great joy from the career I also have dedicated myself to. Though it's an entirely different types of joy, there's no reason why we can't experience both.
The narrator did just fine, but she sounded more like she was giving a lecture, and I couldn't help but think that there were parts where Ms. Valenti was attempting to sound sarcastic or even playful which didn't translate with Ms. Beresford's more straightforward tone. Even still, her performance was pleasant and relaxing for a long commute home.
I had been thinking about getting a vasectomy, but put it off because I wasn't dating. I recently began dating a 42 year old woman I really like but in order for us to continue seeing other, I must let her know whether I share her dream of being a parent to biological child(ren). This book confirmed my concerns that I will be less happy as a parent.
I like that she occasionally used profanity because I could relate to the author's frustrations.
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