Is Parenthood Worse Than Death?

A recent article published by the Washington Post induced an inner jaw drop/“you’ve got to be kidding me” reaction. The article is titled, “It turns out parenthood is worse than divorce, unemployment — even the death of a partner.”

Did your jaw drop?

Parenthood: worse than divorce. Worse than unemployment. Worse than the death of a partner.

The results of a new study of 2,000 people in Germany show that the effect of a new baby, on average, is “devastatingly bad,” and consequently, these parents stopped having children after their first. For further details on the study, please refer to the article.

As a new parent I will be the first to admit the last ten months of my life have not been easy, and I don’t even do half the work with my son as my wife does. She’s the one that’s home with him all day, and she’s the one who is up with him during the night most of the time. She sacrifices every day. I asked her today if she was happier before or after he was born. She was quick to reply that she’s happier as a parent, but that there are hard times.

“The family is ordained of God. Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children. “Children are an heritage of the Lord” (Pslam 127:3). Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live. Husbands and wives—mothers and fathers—will be held accountable before God for the discharge of these obligations.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World)

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Raising a child is not easy, especially in this world we live in. But no matter how hard it is, or how much sleep and personal time I lose, it’s more than worth it. No, I’m not perfect. I often get frustrated when I have to sacrifice some personal time for the needs of my child. In fact, even as I write this I had to replace a ripe diaper. But those many instances do not diminish my love for my son, or my personal happiness.

True joy comes from loving and serving others, and that joy is magnified in the raising of children. I wouldn’t trade parenthood for anything. Not divorce or unemployment, and certainly not the idea of the death of my wife. If it’s time for anything to die because of parenthood, it’s selfishness.

“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticing of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.” (Mosiah 3:19, Book of Mormon)

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2 thoughts on “Is Parenthood Worse Than Death?

  1. I think people assume children will add to their happiness when that’s not necessarily true. When people don’t get that instant gratification that they think they’ll have from a child, they get depressed. Depression can make you think a lot of irrational thoughts, I know this from experience!

    1. A valid point. None of us are perfect. I’ve had some irrational thoughts too. I just found the title and results of that article to be crazy enough that I had to write out my thoughts. The importance of family and raising children seems to be diminishing in our world. No matter how frustrated I get, I can’t help but love my son more than words. To trade my frustrations for the alternatives the article references just doesn’t seem logical to me.

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