All Joy and Pain
Book: All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, by Jennifer Senior (2014).
This book is all joy and pain. There is no happiness in it. I personally find this refreshing as I am tired of the "happiness debate" and have been ready to move on from happiness for the last couple of years now.
I highly recommend this book for all parents-young parents and old parents and all parents in between. I think if a person contemplating parenthood reads this book, it could also help solidify a decision. This book was a challenge to read, and did not necessarily make me happy, at any point, but was deeply satisfying in how I identified with the themes and messages and narratives. It is also fabulously written.
There is a lot of tripe out there in the parenting book work (this from someone who has contributed to that tripe, by the way). Senior, in the tradition of all of my favorite non-fiction writers, is a journalist first and a book-writer second. I think there must be something about being a good journalist that makes for an astounding book writer. I wish more journalists wrote book-length works. This book is superbly organized, methodically and broadly researched, and founded on the human narrative which makes it infinitely accessible.
So there you go. This punch in the gut book is going to stick with me for a while.