did someone muck with the backend here

Re: Guest Post: It's not the kids making you unhappy

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Re:final point - sometimes I think it would be useful to legally require everyone in the country to have "WHEN PEOPLE AROUND YOU ARE LIVING BETTER LIVES THAT MAKES YOUR LIFE BETTER IN ITSELF" tattooed in mirror writing on their foreheads. It's something that shows up again, and again, and again in every study and yet it's also something that almost everyone either fails to appreciate or actively denies (even in the face of blatant evidence to the contrary, like what happens when the people around you that you don't know suddenly have something bad happen to them).

But overall those findings make sense: as I remember it the reasons that parenting seemed to make people's lives worse off* had a lot to do with it being a constant source of hassles, not some additional essential feature. The more you reduce those the lower the negative effect. (And also the effect was already a lot lower or even nonexistent in people who had children because they really wanted them as opposed to the (more normal sadly) ones who had them because it was an assumed social expectation or "whoops".

*Measuring it tended to involve carrying around a device that would occasionally beep and you'd rate how good you felt at that moment, so long term projects-of-value and overall sense of meaningfulness in life don't tend to get captured.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 9:39 AM
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After one more month, my vacation leave goes up to four weeks a year. I guess that counts as family friendly. If I could just figure out how to sell out more successfully, we could "summer".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 9:52 AM
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I would support humane family-friendly policies, except they decrease the chance of human extinction.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:11 AM
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What we found was astonishing.....

The patent insincerity of this sentence caused me to doubt the whole study.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:32 AM
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1: A lot of the hassle just is the baby's needs. I mean, some stuff can be mitigated with better leave policies, a supportive partner, and so forth, but I can't see a way to legislate that babies shall not start crying as soon as a cup of coffee poured.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:36 AM
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You have to bring babies their coffee really quickly because they get impatient.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:40 AM
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I can't see a way to legislate that babies shall not start crying as soon as a cup of coffee poured.

If we could just get rid of the filibuster, it might be possible.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:40 AM
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hassle just is the baby's needs
Exactly. Extinction is the way forward. Don't solve, obviate.


Posted by: Mossy Character | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:47 AM
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I'm opposed to human extinction for sentimental reasons.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 11:02 AM
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5: Sure, but these studies aren't necessarily about babies but about children in general. High school students don't need that kind of attention, probably. But the "why won't it stop that" baby phase isn't that long overall.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 11:21 AM
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5: Maybe you should try pouring the coffee in a cup instead of on the baby.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 11:22 AM
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I will say that as of this year, parenting has become much more fun. Like, we can do genuinely fun things with the big kids and the little kids are old enough to come along without being a giant hassle.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 12:40 PM
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But overall those findings make sense: as I remember it the reasons that parenting seemed to make people's lives worse off* had a lot to do with it being a constant source of hassles, not some additional essential feature.

Also it's the American way to include plenty of hassles when there are social programs like the ones mentioned. My employer if very family-friendly to the point where I could take six (eight?) weeks at full pay for a new foster placement every year for as long as I was fostering, which wouldn't have gone over well with my boss but would have followed policy. I have a reasonable number of sick days and lots of personal/vacation time that we have to use or lose. I've used WIC, which was much more trouble than it was worth for me because I didn't financially need it. The girls have Medicaid coverage and get partially subsidized daycare (heaven!) but I spend at least two hours a month getting the receipts written in a way the state will accept and getting them to the state. The girls also get post-adoption subsidies from the state, which is as close as we get to a child allowance, and that make it easy to pay for extracurriculars and museum memberships and so on but also for me to miss work for therapy appointments and other things they need related to their specific histories that qualified them for this.

I do feel that because of all this support parenting is much easier for me than for standard parents and that most of the difficulty is due to my lack of sleep and the challenges that come with caring for kids with trauma histories and multiple parents who've failed to care for them appropriately and just my own limits. But I have so many more options in a way than most of the rest of you do, even though that comes with restrictions too. (Why why why can't Medicaid mental health coverage cross state lines to the children's hospital like physical medicine does? Their adoption clinic would be so helpful! But etc.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 7:41 PM
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I suspect that parenting my own children would have been hell for me for many, many reasons, but particularly because my anxiety and neuroticism would be permanently set to 11 (as opposed to the slightly dull roar I experience now). It takes a lot of concerted effort to make myself *not* very about other peoples' kids.

I guess it's a good thing that it's not a moot point.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-20-16 10:10 PM
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I don't know, J, R, Selah had pretty much managed to convince Lee I have an apartment with a certain Robot and the girls would rather be living there. She was furious I'd managed to do all this behind her back, except I had to explain this plan would also involve a time machine and significant travel.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-21-16 5:53 AM
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And travel is so wearying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-21-16 6:34 AM
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15: Heh. I had actually wondered if there would be some assumptions/mistranslation in that area.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 06-22-16 11:49 AM
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If it had been right after the visit it would have been no big deal, I think, but hearing months later about how she misses being in your apartment raised eyebrows. I was amused!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-22-16 12:10 PM
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