WHY HAVE KIDS?
A New Mom Explores the Truth About Parenting and Happiness by Jessica Valenti
Why have kids? Is this a question you’ve asked yourself time and time again? To many parents, this seems like a senseless, no-brainer question, but it’s a legitimate one at that. Parents as well as childless adults have been asking this question for thousands of years. Author and feminist Jessica Valenti discusses the truth about parenting and happiness in her provocitive new book.
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TOPIC – Why Have Kids? with Jessica Valenti
TIME – Thursday, September 13, 2012 at 8-9 PM Eastern (7-8 PM Central, 6-7 PM Mountain, 5-6 PM Pacific)
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One of the most high-profile young feminists in America, Jessica Valenti takes on the controversial—but necessary—question: Why Have Kids?
If the statistics confirm that parenting is making Americans unhappy, then Valenti’s question is poised to spark an essential and honest conversation about modern parenthood. Through on-the-ground reporting, new scientific studies, and her own burgeoning motherhood, Valenti offers an in-depth exposé of the world of having (and not having) children. She moves beyond the black and white “mommy wars” over natural parenting, discipline, and work-life balance to explore a more nuanced reality: one filled with ambivalence, joy, guilt, and exhaustion.
“This is a book about how the American ideal of parenting doesn’t match the reality of our lives, and how that incompatibility is hurting parents and children,” says Valenti. “The truth about parenting is that the reality of our lives needs to be enough. Seeking out an ideal that most of us can never reach is making us, and our kids, miserable.” The pursuit of perfection in pregnancy and parenting is giving American mothers a guilt complex and taking the joy out of parenthood. Valenti reveals the disconnect between parents’ hopes and the day-to-day reality of raising children and argues that while debating whether or not to breastfeed means we care about parenting, we really should really focus on raising our childrenas a community exercise. Forming communities of action rather than communities of judgment will help mothers and parents support each other.
Why Have Kids? tackles the tough questions that many parents and potential parents should be challenged to address. Brutally honest and refreshingly insightful, Valenti articulates the problem with modern parenting and offers solutions to social and political issues that can bring joy back to parenting.
A provocative and intimate exploration of modern parenthood by “a gutsy young third wave feminist” – The New York Times
“Timely… [Valenti] states early on that her book is meant to anger people and incite discussions… she wades deeply into the moral and logistical problems facing mothers, with interviews, research and her own anecdotal experiences.” – Kirkus Reviews
“In a culture that glamorizes motherhood, Jessica Valenti daringly articulates the hard work and the personal decisions that are an essential part of parenting. This book is a must read for new parents.”
– Gayle Lemmon, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmaker of Khair Khana
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jessica Valenti is the author of three previous books, including The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women. She is also the founder of Feministing.com, which the Columbia Journalism Review called “head and shoulders above almost any writing on women’s issues in mainstream media.” Jessica – called one of the top 100 inspiring women in the world by the Guardian – speaks at universities and organizations in the U.S. and abroad about feminism, activism, and media. She lives with her family in Boston, but remains a New Yorker at heart.
Visit JessicaValenti.com to learn more about the author and her book WHY HAVE KIDS.
Disclosure: This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media. Thoughts are my own. I received a copy of Why Have Kids? and compensation nfor my time investment and work on this campaign.