Lara Freidenfelds

In All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting, Jennifer Senior asks why American middle-class parents so often find parenting intense beyond expectation, exhausting, anxiety-provoking, and not much fun, at the same time that they evaluate it to be the most rewarding and joy-producing aspect of their lives.

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Like many readers, I appreciated seeing myself and my struggles represented with compassion.  I have spent a number of years as a stay-at-home parent writing books during naptimes.  I would have felt guilty admitting that I found playing with toddlers incredibly tedious if my own wonderful stay-at-home mother hadn’t admitted that she felt the same way, and assured me that it was ok.  I always felt that the mismatch between the attention span of an academic writer (same project for a decade? no problem!) and a 2-year old was painful.  Senior points to this as a more generally-experienced…

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