This funny, inspiring TED Talk by Jennifer Senior is a fresh take on what it means to be a parent.
I first heard Jennifer Senior on an episode of Fresh Air, and that interview brought me tears of relief. She was talking about her new book: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. My son was maybe 10 months old at the time. Her approach to parenting felt like a refreshing break from the anxiety and judgement I’d experienced as a parent up to that point.
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Senior looks not at how we shape our children but at how our children impact our lives. She’s honest, kind, and gives us permission to screw up sometimes. Her book isn’t about child rearing. It’s a book about being a parent, and I think a lot of new parents might find a little bit of comfort in her words.
What is it about this talk that’s so poignant? I think. She’s saying out loud the things that we think as parents but are rarely secure enough to say.
When you become a parent, you give up your entire life to raise another person with basically zero training. Don’t get my wrong: I love my son dearly. I love watching him grow and explore. I love our snuggles in the morning and watching him bond with our dog Jenna. But sometimes I do miss the freedoms of childless life, and I bet that I’m not the only one. And most of the time I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and I bet I’m not alone there either.
Senior’s talk makes you feel like maybe you’re not alone in these emotions. She makes you feel like it’s OK.
And maybe it is.
What did you guys think about this TED Talk? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!