Monday, January 19, 2009

Mommy Notes

I have long held that part of what makes motherhood so difficult is the unreasonable expectations women are encouraged to live up to. (Brian could write a whole book on the pitifully low expectations of fathers, but that's another post). The idea that having a womb means that I will unequivocally, at every moment, enjoy my children and love the day-to-day task of taking care of them, for me at least, has been something I struggled with. Because, honestly, sometimes parenting is nothing more than a pain in the butt, no matter how cute my girls might be in their self-fashioned superhero costumes or playing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star on the guitar and moroccas.

A Chronicle of Higher Education article offers us some good news and bad news about parenting, particularly the nature/nurture debate. It's a great article about what the latest in sociology and psychology tell us about parenting, but this was my favorite bit:

According to a study by a team of scholars led by the Nobel Prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman, mothers enjoy child care just a little more than housework, and a lot less than watching television. As an economist, I have to suspect that a major reason for parents' lack of enthusiasm for their role is simply diminishing marginal utility: Average enjoyment of parenting is low because parents are overdoing it.

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