Is Being A Parent Bringing You Down? : Tell Me More Host Michel Martin revisits two conversations with moms and dads in response to research that says some adults become unhappy after bringing kids into the mix.
NPR logo Is Being A Parent Bringing You Down?

Is Being A Parent Bringing You Down?

Okay, so it was part two of our series on whether being a parent actually makes people happier, or a lot LESS happy. We started the conversation last week with the Moms. We were jumping off that article in New York Magazine where writer Jennifer Senior dug into research describing the satisfaction level of parenting and blowing up what many people call the dirty little secret of parenting, which is that Parenting is ALL JOY and NO FUN (the title of the article).

So anyway, last week, we gathered three of our Moms roundtable regulars to weigh in. But Dads, we did not forget you ... no we did not! We just thought you  should have your own conversation. If you want to know why, it’s because we can only accommodate so many voices in the studio at once. It’s hard to keep track of more than three or four people in the conversation, and we feel this is the best way to capture the range of experiences.

So we called up our Dad bloggers for their own roundtable. Why bloggers? Well because, they have made a decision to write about their experiences as dads and in fact have talked about many of these issues. And they –like our moms—agreed that parenthood had increased their joy, not diminished it.

In last week’s conversation, one of the Moms, Leslie Morgan Steiner, asked me how I answer the question, “if you knew then, what you know now, would you become a parent?” I agreed that I would certainly do it all again.

But this morning was one of those mornings when — I will admit this — it took, as my mother would say, ALL MY STRENGTH.

Yes, it can be somewhat charming when people throw their arms around you and say, "don’t go! ... don’t go!” Charming, yes. But then when CERTAIN PEOPLE jump into your vehicle to play hide-and-seek as you are attempting to get to work in it, and won’t get out... and those same certain people are already late for camp …

Yes, it does tend to diminish one’s HAPPINESS.

I admit it.

To be continued. (I’ll report on the situation when I return this evening ... maybe.)