Although raising children has largely negative effects on parents’ emotional well-being, parenthood is often idealized as a uniquely emotionally rewarding role.
Wow! So, “idealized parenthood” ignores the reality that being a parent has largely negative effects on the parents’ emotional well-being.
Emotional well-being is not defined, merely qualified as having been negatively impacted. The sole factor involved? The cost of raising kids. The control – whether or not the benefit of kids in old age is expounded. Once you introduce the idea that having kids should only be evaluated by whether or not they make financial sense, parents have different responses depending on whether they know what the long-term benefits may be.
OK, this is an abstract and I have not read the study. But, I reject the premise. No parent I have ever met, including myself, rationalized how I felt about being a parent in order to legitimize the money the kid was going to cost me.
If I understand this abstract, a mind-set not usually present in people having kids is introduced, that of cost, and then determinations made about how parents respond to this cost information with a given baseline that being a parent “negatively impacts” the parents’ sense of “well-being.”
Neither I, nor anyone I know, sat down and figured a cost-benefit analysis when deciding to, or accidentally having, kids. And I have no idea what they mean by “emotional well-being” or how that is measured. It is simply offered as established. My guess is anything less than ‘peaceful bliss secure in the knowledge that you will never be inconvenienced by anything and are always on a personal path to self-actualization’ is what they mean. Well, I have my emotional well-being trampled on every time I try to order something a little out of the ordinary from McDonald’s. I get over it.
This fake set up basically says, “If you poke people with a stick, the likelihood they will say ‘Ow!’ is impacted by the potential reward.”
As you can tell by the links below, the implication is “Kids, they’re just not worth it. You’re better off without the headache.” I’m wondering if this study was commissioned by Planned Parenthood.
- Parents exaggerate joy of parenting to justify costs: study (canada.com)
- The Joy of Parenting: Are Parents Just Fooling Themselves? (neatorama.com)
- Mom & Dad Kid Themselves Over the Joy of Parenting (livescience.com)