There was a time mothers bemoaned the fact that people weren't more honest about how hard it is to raise a kid. Not anymore: Nowadays, "bad mommy" bloggers abound, and your Facebook feed is likely "a stream of reposted studies claiming that having a child is more stressful than divorce, unemployment or even the death of a loved one, and links to satiric essays in which frazzled mothers fantasize about doing cocaine to make it through a day at the playground," writes Jennie Yabroff in the Washington Post. That makes it difficult for parents to be honest about something else: how much they love their kids.
"When I got pregnant, I expected the worst," Yabroff writes. "Sleep deprivation, crying jags, the conviction that my body had been replaced by an inflatable pool half-filled with warm Jell-O: I was ready. But no one had prepared me to fall in love with my baby, and when I did, it scared the hell out of me." And, though she knows others in her life feel the same way about their own kids, it's more common to hear things like, "Don’t you just want to throw her out the window sometimes?" But talking about how much you do not, in fact, want to throw your child out the window is often seen as "boastful or false," so we don't do it. As she watches other parents, "I wonder what other, secret joys these parents are hiding, what furtive raptures they harbor." Click for her full column. (Read more parenting stories.)