All joy and no fun by Jennifer Senior


An introductory book on parenting. Born as a male, I wasn’t forced to think about this the same way that my female counterparts usually do. This is my attempt to do the research before deciding more clearly whether, when, and why I want to have a kid (or not). This book helped somewhat by shining lights onto the practical aspects of parenting – what people may feel through the 18 years that they are responsible for their kids. I’m glad that I read this book and now my judgements are no longer based solely on assumptions and emotions from my own childhood.


Children have transitioned from an economic investment to a life-purpose fulfilling mechanism. The modern child rearing practices start from WW2 – before which children used to work to pay for themselves.

Some practical points that people with kids will instantly realize:

  • You inevitably need to frustrate your kid at some point.
  • Mistaken belief that children will be persuaded by reason.
  • Arguing over giving and receiving gratitude.
  • Life long commitment and a completely different life before and after having a kid.
  • The strangeness of letting the kids go eventually because early on they depend so much on the parents.
  • All kids will be unhappy at some point. 
  • Kids are not in the control of their parents, despite their wishes.

Some joys:

  • They remind us about how we once had to learn our implicit knowledge and how vast that is.
  • Being a parent becomes an identity.

Some questions to think about:

  • For whose sake do you raise a child?