When New York Magazine contributing editor Jennifer Senior’s cover article “All Joy and No Fun” was published in 2010, it set off a firestorm of responses in the media and blogosphere, including appearances on NBC/Today and NPR. Sharing scientific experiments and studies that prove parents are more unhappy than their childless peers, Senior argued that although parenting can come at a high price (the “no fun”), the high rewards (the “all joy”) are not always measurable by surveys and questionnaires. Now, Senior brings together an extensive amount of research in history, sociology, economics, psychology and anthropology, as well as interviews from the parenting trenches themselves, in her fresh and highly anticipated debut book, ALL JOY AND NO FUN: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood to examine how children have truly reshaped parents’ lives.
Drawing on studies on everything from happiness and who feels the most work-life conflict (dads) to surveys about sex and charts measuring sleep, Senior sets out to look at the entire experience of parenthood in order to articulate what today’s parents find so challenging about their lives. She pinpoints the main reasons why parenting is, in fact, measurably different today than in generations past. Arranging the book chronologically (from newborns to teenagers), she illustrates how these paradigm shifts affect every stage of parenthood, including everything from the challenges to marriages when a newborn comes home through to the battle ground of adolescence. She explores how these transformations have impacted every single aspect of parents’ lives from their marriages, jobs, habits, and hobbies to their internal senses of self.
JENNIFER SENIOR is a contributing editor at New York Magazine, where she writes profiles and cover stories about politics and social science. She has been a frequent guest on NPR and numerous television programs, including Charlie Rose, The Chris Matthews Show, Hardball, Morning Joe, Washington Journal with Brian Lamb, CNN/American Morning, and NBC/Today. She is a regular contributor to the New York Times Book Review.
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