"909 women in Texas recently told researchers they find taking care of their kids about as much fun as cleaning their house, slightly less pleasurable than cooking, and a whole lot less enjoyable than watching TV."
I still can't believe I read that. It's in the February 21st edition of Newsweek.
I'd love to hear from other moms. I find this statement incredibly sad. It's not that I think parenting is about having fun, but hanging with people you love generally is pretty enjoyable.
The woman who wrote this article is selling a book. I very much hope that she is presenting things in such a way as to sell her book and that it is not representative of the general public.
My blog is intended to be about people who have changed my life. My daughter has enhanced it greatly. As just one example, she has brought music back into my life. Music is my biggest passion (other than God and family.) Just being around her makes me happy. She is off of school on Friday and I can hardly wait. The only thing I don't like about summer vacation is that it means she's advancing one more grade and is that much closer to going off to college.
I realize that juggling kids and jobs is stressful. It's also more stressful to have more than one child. My sister raised three kids while working. It seemed she never got everything done. But she never lost sight of what was important...giving her kids all her love. They are all grown and two are in college, and she misses them every day.
The writer of the Newsweek article, Judith Warner, talked about all the things she did for a child and how they stressed her out. She talked about being proud that she could "get in three hours of high-intensity parenting before I left for work" (and another three after work.) No wonder she was unhappy. People forget that the best way to help your kids is show that you love them. Parenting time shouldn't all be "high-intensity." It's so much more important to share hugs and cuddles, always letting your kids know how much you love them and that you will always be there for them.
No, my sister wasn't really into high-intensity. She was into being with them and talking with them. She helped them with schoolwork, but it wasn't important to her that they be #1 in their classes. She just cared that they did their best.
All of her kids went to college and one has graduated. They've done well academically. None of them was ever in trouble. They never did drugs and still drink very little. Even better, they all seem to have lives they enjoy... and isn't that our goal for our kids?
For each one of them, growing up is full of special memories. They all know their Mom and Dad will always be there for them, and each of them has learned plenty about giving love. My niece and nephews are a delight to be with.
A houseful of kids, a stressful job, and not enough time to do anything...would my sister do it again? You bet.
When raising your kids, don't lose sight of what's important...being there.