Category: The Latest


Sometimes Good Enough Mother has to shake her head at the irony.

This time it comes courtesy of Mel Gibson’s profane, racist rant at Oksana Grigorieva, the mother of his baby. But the truly head shaking part is that it comes at the same time that one of the great works of literature turns 50 years old.

We all remember the Pulitzer Prize winning To Kill A Mockingbird from English class. Written by Harper Lee, it addressed topics that this nation was struggling to come to grips with. It was nearly impossible to read the book and not be transformed by it as Lee’s classic shone a light so bright and piercing into our national psyche. It made us examine how we felt about race and class and made us think about how we treated people who were different from us.

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A whole lifetime ago, when Good Enough Mother was anchoring The Early Show, I remember sitting down to interview a psychologist. I don’t remember who he was or what book he was hawking but one thing he said stuck with me all these years because it literally sent a shiver down my spine. He said “If you are not careful, kids will rip a marriage apart at the seams.”

So it was with great interest that I read this week’s parenting piece in New York Magazine called All Joy and No Fun. To put it mildly, it was pretty sobering. Among the eye popping items in the piece:

*Perhaps the most oft-cited datum comes from a 2004 study by Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize–winning behavioral economist, who surveyed 909 working Texas women and found that child care ranked sixteenth in pleasurability out of nineteen activities. (Among the endeavors they preferred: preparing food, watching TV, exercising, talking on the phone, napping, shopping, housework.)

*Today’s married mothers also have less leisure time (5.4 fewer hours per week); 71 percent say they crave more time for themselves (as do 57 percent of married fathers). Yet 85 percent of all parents still—still!—think they don’t spend enough time with their children.

*And couples probably pay the dearest price of all. Healthy relationships definitely make people happier. But children adversely affect relationships.

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