Parents exaggerate joys of parenting to justify cost:Study.

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Cynthia - posted on 03/05/2011

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Hey Sharon, Its okay not to enjoy it and its okay to leave them with your hubby, parent, neighbour and take off for the day and do something to remind yourself you are person too!
When life is overwhelming and it can be, make sure you know were to turn for help in your community. does your community have a parenting help line or a crisis help line, do you belong to a church community where you could call on members to come by and chat or give you a hand when you are feeling overwhelmed, I was fortunate that a nother mum opened her door to me at 9 in the evening even though her own children where in bed, when I tolder her I was in danger of hurting my two children at that time, they were always better behaved at someone elses when they were young. When our community opened a brandnew indoor swimming pool with a family swim at seven or eight in the evening we were there several nights a week because playing in the heate baby pool help them to burn off any remaining energy, On my own or with my husband if he wsn't on shift would take their pj's to put them in when we came out then stuff them in their snow suits into their car seat and they would be asleep by the time we reached home.

Part of the trouble with being young mums is we don't always have the resources to know how to deal with different situations especially if we have never had much to do with babies and children before we had our own, and if our families are not near by we can find ourselves going stir crazy and wondering why we had kids in the first place.
Finding sitters, researching recreational activities, and childcare drop in's baby and toddler play groups, etc are vital efforts in the quest to be good parents and still be people!
Keep coming here learn from your fellow parents and those of us who have survived the trials without actually murdering our little darlings" even though as I was 30 years ago just about ready to drop her over the canal bridge without regret! I didn't I went downtown and then stopped off at my mother in laws and left her there while I went home for a much needed nap! By the time my third daughter came along we had emigrated and I dropped them off at the daycare for an hour and a half so I could again get a nap withoug worrying the eldest were feeding the youngest, soil because "she was hungry"!

[deleted account]

i kind of get what they are saying because most moms i know don't have a bad word to say about their kids and their decision to become a parent. i love my son more than anything and wouldn't trade things back to how they were, but some days I just want to throw in the towel and ship him off somewhere else.

Sharon - posted on 03/04/2011

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I think there is no reason for a parent to go without, provided the bills are paid, there is a roof over your heads & food on the table.
Hubby & I are always saying how rich we are because of the abundance of love there is in the house, not by the bank balance.
Our son, 16mths, is cutting his eye teeth right now, and this morning nothing in the world could soothe him, not even hubby or his fav snuggly toy. When I got out the shower, hubby handed him to me and my son instantly stopped crying, hugged me so tight and just rested his head on my shoulder for about 20mins without moving. These are the moments that are worth a million dollars, not how much we earn each week or how fancy our lifestyle is.

Jenni - posted on 03/04/2011

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I guess if you actually cared about money more than your children this would be true. Not everyone is money-motivated.

Happiness is important to me and i would never trade my kids back for a big fat bank account.... so I can do what? Invest it in a 30 000 car that's going to be worthless in 10 years.... pfffft.... Most of the useless stuff we buy is to impress other people... I think I get more self-satisfaction from the joys of watching my children learn a new skill, laugh at each others jokes, cuddle with me, the happiest I've ever been in my life is the moment I saw my children for the first time after birth. If I look back at the happiest moments I've had in my life thus far, they involve my children. Not when I bought my a new car at 19, I barely remember that day... but yet I remember my labour and birth of my children so vividly.



Our society puts way too much emphasis on material possesions.... that is the only thing this study proves.



Shouldn't the fact that historically it was more about business and now that it's more about emotional investment mean it's more rewarding?

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Sherri - posted on 03/11/2011

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This article is the biggest crock that has EVER been written. What a joke!!

[deleted account]

I've only had one successful pregnancy out of 3... yeah I want kids. I don't care about the cost. Honestly we haven't givin up much, mainly eatting out a lot. We are happier. Even when my daughter is acting out and being a brat, I'm still extremely thankful to have her. I worked my butt off to keep her alive before she was born. I'd never wish for her not to be there.

Cynthia - posted on 03/11/2011

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Sharon , I was fortunate to have with my first caring non judgemental in laws and a husband who was baby mad and innately calm. When we had our next 4 children we had immigrated and had no family close by, I was thankful for the friends we made through childbirth classes and church, they were my life line as I learned to parent, they opened their doors in late evening, they recommended books when one day my eldest cringed from my touch when she thought I was going to further punish her, and I realised I was becoming my mother taking out my frustrations on my child, when her normal developmental behaviour lit the flame on my frustration and isolation.
Parenting is learned skill, it doesn't come instinctively, some are fortunate to have excellent training in the example of their own parents, and some of us grow up in families with children so close together we never get to observe skills are parents may or may not acquire or have learned from their own.
Today we are fortunate to have loads of books which reflect the broad variety of parenting styles. and shows such as Super Nanny and the like to demonstrate solutions. Super Nanny reflect most of my parenting style though not my breastfeeding philosophy.
I'd recommend seeing if you can get her book or watch her show. AND by ALL means get your husband involved in parenting, you sons attitude can be a reflection of the lack of interaction between his dad and himself. Its dads who help set up the framework for how men treat women, and your husband HAS to sit your son down and explain wants exceptable and what isn't.
AND YOU need to set boundaries rules, and consequences to your sons behaviour.
We gave birth to our children and yes we love them, NOW inspite of any regrets we may have(never show these to your kids, we want decent, self assured kids who grow into decent selof assured adults and that is only possible by making sure they know no matter how difficult they are we CARE enough to give them what they need, LOVE, TEACHING-how to behave to others and themselves, consequences, boundaries near enough to give them a sense of security, but wide enough for them to grow into and feel challenged by. T
Once you have your framework/philosphy in place, and are united with your husband in place to support you and to take up his place, you will find parenting becomes more enjoyable,
Don't be passive in your parenting, its perfectly all right to tell your son when he says he hates you that you don't particularily like him right now either, but you love him anyway and he will not get away with being mean and disobedient where matters of safety, health, and his proper place in the family are concerned.
Always affirm and paraphrase your childs emotions back to him, so he understands you know what and why he is feeling the way he is, always be clear and consistent in your discipline methods are concerned and alway expect things to get worse before they get better when you institute new rules and consequences for behaviour, He will be testing you to see if you are going to stand firm, to see if he can rely on you to be his rock, his protection, his caring parent who knows whats right for him in health safety, education and discipline.
Other books How to Talk so Kids will listen by Mazlish and Faber, excelllent book which teaches you how to talk to your kids while you are instigating a displine regime. There are lots of newer books but I can highly recommend this one. also looks for the BOY book, and the Fathers Manual(not the name but something like it for your hubby) Posiitive parenting is another good book, check out secondhand book stores, the books that have the most wear are probably the books which worked the best for previous parents.
Oh yes book parenting time off, leave your son with your husband once a week for the day go sightseeing, visit your best friend, don't forget a datenight with the hubby once a week even if its just a hours long walk around town or your local park. take time to remind yourselves you are people first parents second, support your marriage, because a good marriage supports strong loving parents, who have each others back.
Good luck getting started!

Johnny - posted on 03/11/2011

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Sharon, perhaps you are the only one to say it in this thread, but I know quite a few parents who wish they had not had children. One of my closest friends absolutely hates motherhood. She thought she'd like it but it has turned out that it just doesn't work for her. She does love her kids very much, but does not enjoy being a mom. You never really know until you try, and then it's too late to change your mind. It sounds like you are doing your best to give them the care & nurturing they need.

Emily - posted on 03/11/2011

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My thought is that correlation does not equal causation. Yes, the cost of raising a child has increased. I also think that there has definitely been a change over time in our society about the value of children, that they are more of a joy rather than simply an extra helping hand. But just because those two trends have happened doesn't mean that they're related.

[deleted account]

I love my kids, I give them everything I possibly can but it's so physically and mentally draining that I do have days I question my decision to have kids. I wish I was as contented as the rest of you all the time but some days I'm just not. A lady in the shops last week saw me having a few issues with my little boy and she said to me that it only gets worse as they get older and she wishes she'd never had kids at all. Her partner also said the same thing, I guess they would both agree with the results of the study.

Johnny - posted on 03/10/2011

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I was told I would be unlikely to conceive. I was fine with that, we had all sorts of wonderful things like travel and gourmet dining that we wanted to do with our lives. But deep down, we both knew that they would never replace the joy we would get from sharing our love with a child. When we were fortunate enough to get pregnant, I did not stop for one second to be disappointed that I wouldn't be backpacking through Southeast Asia.

Now that my daughter is in her terrible two's, even when she is in the middle of screaming NO NO NO NO NO NO I don't think, "geez, if I'd just stuck with my travel plans..."

Money buys stuff. If you love stuff, then perhaps kids aren't the right choice. If you love the challenge of building a happy family, then kids are worth the financial loss. I doubt those benefits can be successfully quantified for analysis in their study.

As for sometimes wishing you had not had kids, I fail to see any particularly greater level of selfishness in that than there is in someone who says that they couldn't be happy without their kids. We want to experience happiness. Our choice to have kids because they might make us happy is just as selfish as having a bad day and wishing we hadn't. We all experience these things differently, try not to pass those kind of judgments before you've walked in another persons footsteps.

[deleted account]

@Sharon Bettany sorry if I am out of line but your statement in your post makes you sound like a selfish person. Heck maybe it's me. I know no matter how horrible a day i have had or how demanding life gets nothing beats the love, hugs, smiles and kisses my twins give and receive at the end of the work day. I would never wish that away. Not in a million years...

But what if the horrible day was caused by your kids? If your son tells you he hates you because you won't let him have a chocolate frog or because you had to discipline him for being mean to the dog and he starts to kick you. Not all children bring you joy every moment of the day and I get so stressed about whether or not I am making the right decisions and are my kids going to grow up hating me because I wasn't a "Leave it to Beaver" type of Mum.... Is my sons rotten behaviour because I did something wrong and am I ruining him? Y'know, just because I sometimes wish I had not had kids, doesn't mean the reasons are because I am selfish.
@ Cynthia, thanks for you kind words.

Cynthia - posted on 03/05/2011

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you've obviously never had to be up with two or three children cutting teeth at the same time, one of which has puked all over her pillow, and sheets and have'nt had a single moment to your self in over a week.
We are better parents when we haven't had our sleep broken up every night for months at a time. and our children will know they can allways depend on us when they are in desperate need. Believe me when I tell you my children respect my boundaries because we had none between us in their first three years of life, and established them as recognition of their becoming self sufficent one step at a time.
Being overwhelmed isn't selfish, it a result of being UNSELFISH. don't add to the burdens of someone at their wits end.

Cynthia - posted on 03/05/2011

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Sounds like the author is trying to excuse himself!, Hey if you don't want kids you don't want kids.
I personally found myself pissed off at other parents who felt I must not be a good parent because I wasnt shellling out for bowling and curling, and hockey, and dance, a piano lessons etc. I sent my kids to swiming lessons because with six months of winter the pool was a lott handier than the cross country ski lessons or the drive to the ski slopes, Once they could swim dropping them off to the pool and library was a one stop afternoon when I could get caught up on house work.
I loved raising my kids, yes there were hard times sleepless nights, weeks when kids got sick on after the other and not all at once, Did the Joy out weigh the work YES for all five, even the one who bit everyone and chewed his shirt for years, because he had trouble articualting his needs and pains. My frustrations were doctors, teachers, principals, neighbours who hindered rather than helped! Nutrality would have been more useful than what was on offer by some people. I have 5 responsible working, educated, decent human beings contributing to their communities which is more than I can say for a few of my critics

Christel - posted on 03/05/2011

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Yes I understand what they are saying! But in the end all the children do leave to have there own life! So what they are saying why would anyone want children because when you are raising them and spend all the money on them all the way past 18 years old just for them to leave and not appreciate the things you have given them and the hours you spent with them just for them to throw back at you and say you were never there for me!
But even knowing that my children are going to say that I would never change my mind not having my wonderful children. They are my life I give them all my Love and everything I cound afford! I want my children to learn everything that I never was tought and even the things I know I want my children to be successful in life and knowing that they can do anything they want! Life without children is pointless because the children are our future and we have to guide them in the right dirrection to become successful in life!

Jenni - posted on 03/05/2011

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We may not have children now to take over the farm... but we have children and try to be the best parents we can be to them, in the hopes that when we're old and grey and can no longer care for ourselves. We don't end up in a rundown nursing home! That's the pay off. :)
(that was a joke btw)

[deleted account]

That article is a crock. What kind of maniac comes up with this stuff.

@Sharon Bettany sorry if I am out of line but your statement in your post makes you sound like a selfish person. Heck maybe it's me. I know no matter how horrible a day i have had or how demanding life gets nothing beats the love, hugs, smiles and kisses my twins give and receive at the end of the work day. I would never wish that away. Not in a million years...

[deleted account]

Quite frankly, right now, I'm not getting a heck of a lot of joy from parenting. It's doing my head in and some days I wish I'd never done it....

Stifler's - posted on 03/04/2011

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It's so true though. I've seen it on this very site. "I never get my hair done or nails or have nice clothes... because I have kids... I get paid in smiles and hugs... etc.". And apparently anyone who is annoyed by this fact in their own life is not a good parent. Anyone who spends money on themselves is apparently neglecting the needs of their child for a new DS and organic food.

Tania - posted on 03/04/2011

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Not sure why its not there....I pasted the article below.


Having children may be a source of joy and personal fulfilment, but a new study suggests parents are exaggerating the rewards of parenthood to justify how much money it's costing them.


The study by researchers at the University of Waterloo in Ontario say the tendency of parents to idealize the emotional payoff of parenthood is a modern phenomenon.


Historically, relationships between parents and children were less affectionate, the researchers say. That was before changing labour laws and a trend toward city living — and away from farming — in the late 19th century and early 20th century limited a minor's potential to earn income or perform labour at home.


"Paradoxically, as the costs of raising children have grown, so too has parents' belief that parenthood is emotionally rewarding," psychology Prof. Richard Eibach and recreational and leisure studies expert Steven Mock wrote in the study, published in the journal Psychological Science.


"Our findings help to resolve this paradox by demonstrating that the costs of raising children motivate parents to idealize parenthood. The perceived joys of parenthood may thus be a rationalization of the high costs of having children."


In one experiment detailed in this study, parents were recruited in the northeastern United States and divided into two groups.


One group was given reading material that focused on the fact it typically costs more than $190,000 U.S. to raise a child to the age of 18.


The other parents were given this information, along with material that also addressed potential benefits of parenting, such as financial and practical support in old age.


The parents who were primed to be thinking mostly about the costs of children were found to be more likely to idealize parenting when answering questions about how much happiness a child brings to a parent's life.


In another test with similar preparation techniques, the parents who were preoccupied with the costs of raising children were more likely to report higher levels of enjoyment in spending time with their children.


"We found that making the costs of raising children . . . enhanced parents' idealization of the emotional rewards of having children," the study said. "These results support our hypothesis . . . that parenthood idealization functions to rationalize parental investments."


In an email, Eibach said neither he nor Mock have children. However, he added that the tendency to overstate the emotional benefits of parenting "does not mean that the decision to become a parent is itself irrational."


He said there are real incentives for parenting, such as wanting to give your child a full and rewarding life, or raising someone who might benefit society.


Eibach added that the tendency to justify choices that are costly in financial or personal terms is seen in other situations, such as home ownership or being in a demanding career.


"Cognitive-dissonance theory suggests that people will tend to idealize any activity that they have invested heavily in so that they can rationalize their costly investments," he said.



Read more: http://www.canada.com/life/Parents+exagg...

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