Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Parenting taboos

Do you watch TED talks? I love them, and I love how easily accessible they are now. This is another talk that I've watched a couple of times now as I think more and more seriously about when B and I will add to our family.

Total tangent - does anyone else get annoyed when people ask you when you're going to start a family? I mean, B and I are a family! If we choose not to have kids or couldn't have kids, that wouldn't make us any less than a family. Anyway, I realize it might be semantics to some people, but that phrase has always bothered me.

But back to what I was saying. This was a talk by the founders of Babble, and while I might have some issues with that website and some of their editorial guidelines, I really enjoy this talk and what they have to say about parenting taboos. I wonder if some of the taboos haven't gone away a bit since this talk (particularly given a lot of the articles on their website), but I still think what they have to say rings true with a lot of parents. Particularly the part about marital happiness and how after having kids it declines, and doesn't fully recover to the "before kids" level until the kids are out of the house. 

When put in stark terms like that, it kind of makes me wonder why on earth anyone still has kids (you know, beyond that whole instinctive preservation of the species bit). But, then they looked more deeply at that marital happiness chart - specifically pointing out how the average decline doesn't tell the whole story, but that with kids come much higher highs and much lower lows. My mom has often said that that was true for her, and I very much expect that to be the case for B and myself.

Clearly we won't know how it all goes until we're in the position of being parents ourselves, but I'd love to hear what you guys think about marital happiness and kids. Has this been true for you (if you're a parent)? Or do you think it will be once you have kids?


  1. When kids come into the picture, your relationship changes from being just partners to being parents and partners. Your financial responsibilities are not limited to just you and your partner, but now your kids too. Every time you make a decision, you must weigh the options in consideration of all family members.
    If the stress of "providing" is there before kids, it'll be exacerbated with them. If you're uncomfy with the direction of your life, you'll freak out when it's not as easy to flip on a dime with kids. And if your life THRIVES on doing all kinds of things you can't do with kids (weekly late night house parties, clubbing, vacations and flights every weekend, other things I can't think of here...), then life will be different too.
    I expect life won't be more extreme, but just that you're living a different and more varied life than you did before... cause you have more human beings living in your house and you're suddenly in charge of their lives and rearing.

  2. I think kids are an added stressor in life. How could they not be? It's someone you have to be totally responsible 100% in every single way. There are lots of happy stuff thrown in there too I'm sure. We've decided not to have kids.


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