No news to parents: the New York Times reports that having kids is detrimental to your health, sex life, sleep, earning power, and mental health if it depends upon adult conversations. Of course, it’s also exhilarating, hilarious, captivating, and filled with wonder. The trick isn’t what you get out of it, but what you put into it.
Lisa Belkin’s Motherlode Blog, which you can read here, breaks down a working parent’s average day and frankly, I think the study – based on responses from 3000 parents in Britain, is slightly flawed. Somehow it calculates that parents have 90 minutes a day to themselves. It assumes a parent only spends forty-six minutes preparing and eating meals, only half an hour picking up children, and only an hour to put them to bed. In my home, we started getting our boys ready for bed at 6 pm, and if we were lucky, they’d actually be under the covers at 9.
And that was only if there no vomiting, fighting, the fire department having to rescue a son from turning his bunk bed into a torture rack, or midnight runs to the doctor. The study also doesn’t allot time for shopping, trips to the library, carpooling, soccer practice, piano lessons, tutoring, reading, watching Shrek for the 313th time, or sleeping on the floor until they fell asleep. Really, the only time parents of kids are alone is when their kids are in high school and instead of enjoying the quiet, you lay on the couch petrified the police are going to call. The bottom line is that there are many wonderful reasons to have children. Having 90 minutes a day to yourself isn’t one of them.
Harry H. Harrison Jr. is one of the best selling parenting authors in the world, with books published in over 30 countries. His books are constantly featured on numerous television shows and radio programs, as well as newspapers, magazines and parenting blogs.