I have book reviews – a slew of them! – but first, I need to share some online articles I’ve seen lately. Too depressing and too important for a 7QTF post, they are here. Read to know what we’re up against, and especially if you need inducement to shower, or even raise your blood pressure a few points.
- The “Raising children (specifically babies up to 24 months) is hard, but also apparently the most horrible thing to happen to a person” article.
The gist of this report on a limited German study on happiness is that by some particular measures, new parenthood is terrible, even more terrible on people than
other tragedies. [Strike that: parenting is not a tragedy!] A former classmate level of friend shared this on Facebook. She’s very much into the “anti-Instagram-worthy parenting” trend, chronicling both the adorable adventures with her children, as well as the reality that the challenges suck. I’ve read enough mommy blogs to “get that.” But my problem is that when it comes to defining happiness, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” And even if it does, why is that the most important measure? And if it’s even not, why is the Washington Post making sure to tell everyone that of some 2,000 German people, a certain percentage that made a numerical majority reported that they were unhappy with the challenges that come with raising kids. Can’t journalism be GOOD anymore? You know, like maybe the reporter could have cited other studies that showed an uptick in happiness (I know they exist) after an overall child-rearing experience, not just in the throes of new parenthood? Hopefully your everyday educated reader will question it enough to know it’s not a whole picture, but in this culture that can so despise children for being “inconvenient” at times, you just know that the WP knew exactly what it was doing with this clickbait, shareable of an article with its headline. I just held my newest baby nephew (PJ’s sister’s son), and knowing what I know from reading far too many birth story blogs and hearing quite-enough-thank-you stories of new parenthood changes and challenges, all I felt was just a peaceful joy and love, a feeling generated by the even more peaceful and even more joyous-in-love parents. Happiness is related to joy, and it shouldn’t be treated as a good that you exchanged having a baby for. I ask you, what good does it serve the world to remind people “parenting is hard, and you won’t be all smiles all the time, and you’ll feel worse than at [which it should be noted – but was glaringly not in the article – are due to likely-torture-level exhaustion and hormone imablance] other hard times in your life”? It only feeds the rabid “children are the most terrible terrible*, and let’s not have them, nor should you, person I don’t know” crowd. Instead, how about we support new parents, better connect happiness to joy.
- Make sure you have the New York Times “free articles allowed” enabled. Clear your cache, or download a new browser than your usual (they allow a small number each month or something, so be careful!). This is so you can read the “Amazon is really, honestly, sincerely, the most terrible terrible kind of company to work for” article.
Talk about not supporting new parents and not understanding happiness and joy AT ALL. My word. I happen to believe profit at the sake of all others is the absolute worst mentality. So it’s pretty stupid I work in retail. But more on why and how I’m changing that in a later post. Anyway. I just can’t with this company. There are so many issues with the website and how it can and has treated some authors and even publishers quite horribly. And now to see its inner workings. I know some bloggers and authors and families have had success with it and rely on it and love the little “use my link while doing your normal shopping and my children get fed” opportunity, but quite honestly. They way they treated the woman who miscarried. The one with the stillbirth! The dude whose dad was dying of cancer? I don’t care that it’s a corporation and it’s just business and workers should support the business. But DAY-UM. There are successful companies that do not encourage you to throw your co-worker under the bus or treat you like a robot or worker bee who can just answer 3:30 am texts from your spouse’s hospital bed and go to work the next morning, create a project, rat on Suzy for eating a 7-minute lunch when Joe only takes a 30-second protein shake shot because your career and your company [read that in a seething voice and imagine me spitting] are more important. A Chik fil-A owner in Texas pays $11 an hour to start (I make less and am in a junior managerial role and live in a higher-cost-of-living state) AND paid the salaries of his people when the restaurant was closed for renovations. And guess what? They’re still open, and not broke. I am not asking you to quit Amazon cold turkey, but please read this article and then read last Sunday’s readings [Eph 4:32] and you tell me if this business and its principles are worth supporting.
- The “Get the shower running, you’ll need it after, this is so disgusting” article on modern dating in New York City.
I read this Vanity Fair piece while my husband was getting ready for bed. When he came to the room, I made sure to thank him for being him and that we were married, and privately thanked God that He led us together and I did not have to deal with this sh*t. That’s how disgusting it is, that I only have crass words to describe it. Plain old acceptable language is too good for this hit-it-and-quit-it mentality, this use of the human person, this objectification of an entire gender, this desecration of love. Not only my Catholic friends, but an a-religious, secular, liberal former flatmate of mine posted it. He was horrified, too. I got the sense from his post he didn’t want to be of this world any more than we do. Journalism ethics compels me to tell you that Chris Hayes of MSNBC did a segment on the article, pointing out the likelihood that the reporter probably was selective in who he interviewed, and NYC dating is likely a more a microcosm unto itself than in other regions. But still. There are people in this world, people we have to love with a Christ-like love, even though they sound like the most terrible terrible scum. And they way they treat others. They way they treat themselves! Do they not realize what this does to their very person? Their soul? I am at once thankful I don’t have to deal with it, fearful for those who do, sad for those who participate in it, and a little bit energized to try to do something about it, if not for this generation, but the next.
Now, I realize all of these pieces are quite negative. And my bile was quite raised. And other qualified writers/reporters have responses/rebuttals. And yes I realize the irony of falling victim to the very clickbait I’m railing against. But these articles give us a glimpse of the world we’re in. My intention in critiquing is to sort of brainstorm how we can possibly minister to these people/problems.