I’m glad we’ve had two generations of writers – women and men – documenting in exhaustive and honest detail the modern “parenting”(a word I’ve now grudgingly accepted) experience. I thought my generation of harried working mothers had it hard, but this current cohort of young parents takes its responsibilities – perfect children, perfect planet – so seriously it’s easy to see why they aren’t having much fun.
But the pendulum is beginning to swing back, as it always does, not only to hopefully more laissez-faire attitudes (skip the across-town cello lesson) but also to a gimlet-eyed view of kids as tiny tyrants who need to be put in their place. (Parents, altogether now, say it loud to your kids: “You’re NOT the boss of me!”)
Despite its occasional whiff of baffled entitlement
(wondering why, say, that parenting isn’t as much fun as going out to dinner with friends), that New York piece eventually comes to the same conclusion that most of us have: raising kids is always hard work and yet at times it’s tremendously rewarding.