All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

All Joy and No Fun The Paradox of Modern Parenthood Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children But almost none have thought to ask What are the effects of children on their parents In All Joy and No Fun award winning jou

  • Title: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood
  • Author: Jennifer Senior
  • ISBN: 9780062308634
  • Page: 179
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children But almost none have thought to ask What are the effects of children on their parents In All Joy and No Fun, award winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents lives, whether it s their marriages, thThousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children But almost none have thought to ask What are the effects of children on their parents In All Joy and No Fun, award winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents lives, whether it s their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today s mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once complex and far less clear Recruiting from a wide variety of sources in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood s deepest vexations and luxuriate in some of its fi nest rewards.Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture s most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today and tomorrow.

    One thought on “All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood”

    1. I read a snippet of this book in the Wall Street Journal and found myself floored by a simple observation that the reporter drew from psychological studies: mothers tend to feel more stressed out because they are constantly multi-tasking, even when they supposedly have free time. [DISCLAIMER: I realize I will be using many untenable generalizations in this review that don't fully take into account class, profession, region, cultural background, etc. Think of them as provisional descriptions that [...]

    2. I heard Jennifer Senior on Fresh Air last week on my way home from work, and even though I was exhausted and needed to cook dinner, I couldn't pull myself away from the conversation. As a married 34 year old who still waffles about whether or not there are children in my future, I'm probably the ideal audience for this book and its messages about modern parenting. I've never been the kind of person who just instinctively knew that she wanted to have kids one day. I mean sure, growing up in the s [...]

    3. This read very much like a review of literature with case studies to support the research. It almost felt like a thesis to me, but without proving any new point of view. It basically took 265 pages to say that parents are more unhappy with kids but the joy the kids provide them makes it worthwhile. I did find a few points interesting. This would have been better presented as a magazine article and not a book. It was "No Joy and No Fun" reading this book, and frankly a little depressing. But agai [...]

    4. A beautifully written, well-researched examination of modern parenthood. I can not recommend this book warmly enough to parents with kids still in the house. Would that all nonfiction were as fast-paced and meaningful as this! There are so many things here that I want to remember in my life as a mother. My child is a toddler, and it's so hard to keep in mind that this intense, hands-on-all-the-time phase of parenting will be over before I know it. Senior writes of the 'experiencing self' vs the [...]

    5. You have to wonder why, when you get married, everyone encourages you to have kids. While you might have an occasional enjoyable moment, you'll also be in for a world of hurt. Kids are hard. Raising them is a challenge where most of the rewards are delayed.Senior does a good job at presenting data and explaining how it relates to your family situation. For instance, sleep deprivation. Not the I-didn't-sleep-well-last-night thing we've all experienced. The this-baby-has-kept-me-up-for-three-days- [...]

    6. This book has only convinced me further that dogs are perfect. Dogs are all joy -- and fun.**And occasional vomiting.****But they try to eat the vomit so at least you know they want to clean up after themselves if you'd let them.

    7. I was all set to hate this book after hearing a couple of interviews with Jennifer Senior on Public radio. She sounded too sure that her way of looking at life was my way And why not? A contributing editor at the New York Magazine and frequent guest on Chris Matthews and Charlie Rose.well educated Well respected, why shouldn't she speak with authority. However, everything that she said seemed to put up some degree of separation between us I mean, I might not be well respected or well educated An [...]

    8. I LOVE THIS BOOK.First off, I literally couldn't put this book down. There were about forty-two other things I should've or could've been doing, but I chose to read this book instead much of this resonated with me. Thank you Jennifer Senior! She voiced so accurately and vividly all of the things that are still not socially acceptable to discuss, such as how kids actually add CONFLICT to a marriage, instead of adding strength, as is the commonly accepted belief. People are "allowed" to moan and g [...]

    9. You needn’t be a parent to find this book fascinating (the same goes for French Children Don’t Throw Food by Pamela Druckerman). This is an absorbing sociological study of how modernity has changed parenting. Senior (a contributing editor at New York Magazine) pinpoints three main shifts: • The element of choice means children are now not just expected but wanted, sometimes even desperately fought for (with IVF, etc.). • Work life is more complicated and intrusive than ever.• The role [...]

    10. Disclaimer: I am writing this review to the cries from the baby who moved into the apartment next door (I'm assuming it lives there with its parents, though I have yet to see or hear proof of their existence on the other side of my living room wall). So you'll excuse me if I'm a little biased in my review. I now automatically equate reading about parental happiness with the gut-wrenching sounds of a very sad baby (why must it always be so sad?!). I wanted to read this book to reaffirm to myself [...]

    11. There's been a lot of hype lately about studies that show how parents are unhappier than non-parents. I've been really surprised by those findings because my life as a parent is so fulfilling, and while there is tedium and drudgery in some of the day to day, there's a lot of joy and meaning that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. And I don't know any parents who want their old lives back. This book tackles modern parenthood and comes to the same conclusion. It explores why modern parent [...]

    12. I just finished reading this book, and I am honestly surprised that the book has made such a splash. It is difficult to find a profound thesis or argument. Was the author trying to say that parents are not always as satisfied as non-parents? That parents are over-scheduled? That generation gaps exist? These are not new ideas in the American public.The book is more of a survey of some parents' reactions to child development, peppered with statistics and secondary source references. The writing la [...]

    13. I'm expecting my first child in January, a daughter, and like any expectant first-time parent I've been becoming increasingly concerned with how I will manage this sea change in my life. My wife has been busy reading every parenting philosophy book under the sun, getting lots of starkly conflicting advice about how to produce the best possible human being. Meanwhile I have always had a pretty laisse faire attitude to parenting: I think the kid's future is mostly written in her DNA and her peer g [...]

    14. Since my husband and I heard of this book a few months ago the phrase "all joy and no fun" has pretty much become the motto of our parenthood experience. We've got four kids and we're grateful for them, but fun isn't the first word that comes to mind most of the time. This book is very interesting and quite a few things struck me while thinking about it.- I am a religious person and personally view raising children as a fundamental purpose and duty of my life on earth. Reading this book I felt g [...]

    15. I started this book with my defenses up. I was expecting to have to defend parenthood as being much more meaningful and important than my personal "happiness", that life is not some continuous existential experience whose only goal is to be "happy" every moment. I was pleasantly surprised with the direction the author took and found it to be supportive of my view of modern parenthood. The book certainly does focus quite a bit on how hard parenting can be and how it most definitely can affect our [...]

    16. hmmm. i am of two minds about this book. on the one hand, i zipped through it in about two days, it really captured my attention, i related to a lot of it (mostly about having little kids, obviously, since i have but one child right now & she's a toddler), & i really liked the book at the time. my partner read it too & on valentine's day, we convened a two-person book club after our daughter went to sleep so we could discuss it. which brings me to the other hand.we both liked the boo [...]

    17. (3.5) Parenting is tough on parents, insanely tough on mothers in particular, feels painful at the time but is most meaningful part of most parents’ lives (especially in hindsight)Sounds about right. Not a huge bunch to take from this, but a lot rang true and might be worth remembering some of the studies’ results. Would be cool if teenagers were required to read in school. :)Long section devoted to effects on marriages and how inequity in responsibility-sharing between mothers and fathers t [...]

    18. I decided to start this book while on deadline, thinking it was the kind of book where I would have no problem reading a chapter at a time in between work. Ha! I finished it in less than 24 hours and was completely engrossed.This is a study of modern parenting, and I'm guessing the main audience for the book is parents -- there's nothing there that is particularly proven or airtight, so what made the book so compelling for me was how well it corresponded to my own experiences and those of most o [...]

    19. Great title!Stated a lot of the obvious for those of us in the thick of the parenting experience, but sometimes it's good to hear someone else say it along with a quality synthesis of the research. It is comforting to know you're not alone. Even found myself getting choked up a few times; fatherhood has made me a bit of a basket case emotionally.But the book also left me frustrated. America seems like the last developed nation to catch on to the fact that basic social safety nets produce a highe [...]

    20. I loved this book and found some insight or at least language about modern parenting philosophy. This's by no means a parenting book-- more of a book about modern parenting. I usually dislike anecdotal stuff in my non fiction books but in this case, I really enjoyed some of the families written about.

    21. Fascinating must-read for every parent raising children in the 21st Century. Here is a lengthier review I wrote for my blog plungedownunderI realized early on in my life as a mother that parenting books were making me a bit crazy. That did not stop me from reading them compulsively, with predictable results. I tried one approach after another until in my growing frustration my mother came to my rescue. She suggested I follow the principles of what she called common sense parenting---the way kids [...]

    22. I got three main things out of this book. A friend put my thoughts about this book into her own review, so I'll start with that.1. Parenting has always sucked major donkey balls, but our generation is more miserable than previous generations because we have some goofy idea that parenting isn't supposed to suck.2. You know how, at the end of a family vacation, one parent says, "I'm never going anywhere with you people ever again!" and then three months later, they're planning the next family geta [...]

    23. I've said it elsewhere in reviews: I have a rule that if i am in tears at the end of a book, it gets five stars. I certainly didn't expect a book like this to make me cry. I'm a new mom so maybe I can blame it on hormones, but I think it's more a testament to how the author drew me in and got me invested in these families, especially the one composed of a grandmother and her grandson--I just kept thinking of my own mom raising some of her grandchildren. I also got choked up at the end of the ack [...]

    24. First off, what I liked most about this book is that the author has such a pleasing, balanced voice. She clearly has no ax to grind and she comes across as a curious observer. The book is a nice mix of social science study stats and interviews with real parents. Lots of great points that had me nodding my head and thinking, Yes, exactly! Esp. the tedium of spending days and nights with little children and how we look back on those days with warm memories but when you are living them, they are re [...]

    25. A very interesting book about parenthood- the first I have come across that is not an anecdotal or advice book but uses research from the social sciences to examine the experience of parenthood through three stages of the child's development (infants and toddlers, mid aged, and adolescents). I really enjoyed the parts focusing on the psychological side of parenting and the history of childhood and parenthood in the last century. Fascinating! I liked that Senior included anecdotes from a variety [...]

    26. I couldn't put this book down. As a working mom with two boys, I related to the sentiments expressed by all of the parents chronicled within the book and could feel the kids' greasy hands and the moms' well worn sweats, the writing was that good. And of course I fell in love with Sharon. But as a researcher, what I loved most about All Joy and No Fun was how steeped it was in truth and supporting, sometimes conflicting, research. I felt as if I was on an intellectual pursuit yet enjoying an utte [...]

    27. Dear Twentieth Century Parent,I bet that, once upon a time, you were a fun person. I bet you liked to relax and have a good time with your friends. I bet you never got straight As (if you were like most of us) -- and I bet you even spent time by yourself drooling over the TV or the Atari/Nintendo/Whatever. I bet your favorite memories of childhood are the little ones. bowls of ice cream out on the porch during the summer time while you watched the fireflies; walking down the concourse of the mal [...]

    28. Well-reported, well-researched, and intellectually curious about the philosophy parenthood, this book is basically catnip for me. Jen Senior applies adept reading of studies about childhood and parenthood (and its effects on marriage) and synthesizes it all with some anecdotal evidence from real couples, mostly in Minnesota. The reason for this, I suspect, is because Minnesota is a state with a firm commitment to early childhood education. She meets parents at ECFE, a program that I remember att [...]

    29. This book should be given to every new parent as required reading. I cried for enormity of love that comes from being a parent, I commiserated with the families, I felt validated by their stories (and less crazy for feeling those same feelings), I felt supported by the research. I feel more prepared to take on my child's adolescence. However, this is not a parenting book. This is a book about what happens to you when you become a parent. And so, so, so much does.

    30. My children are grown, so the scenarios described in these pages are long past for me, still, they brought back so many memories. By talking to parents at each stage of a child's life, she really nailed how it feels. You know, if you are a parent, you realize you can never in a million years describe to a non-parent just what it's like. You just can't. But Jennifer Senior has come as close as one possibly can. Chapters detail talks with parents of children in infancy and in their preschool years [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *