Dogs, especially lapdogs, possess limited usefulness. They poop on the floor. They get infections that requires expensive treatment not covered by insurance. They stink. They run away. They jump on grandma. In short, dogs are expensive indulgences that some people dress up and cart around in strollers.
And yet, nearly everyone loves dogs. 39% of Americans own at least one dog. The average dog owner owns 1.7 dogs.
In America, approximately 47% of families have children. Of those, most families have 1.86 children.
Children poop their pants. They cry. They eat a lot. They're expensive. If they're reared wrong, they'll run away, quit school and maybe go to prison. If they turn out decent, they might take care of a parent in old age. Some parents dress them up. In short, children are expensive indulgences that some people dress up and cart around in strollers.
Does that last line bother you about children? Why? Children, according to liberal writers and researchers don't have the economic usefulness they once did. Kids are great and all, says Wray Hebert, but....:
But let's face the facts: Study after study has shown that parents, compared to adults without kids, experience lower emotional well-being -- fewer positive feelings and more negative ones -- and have unhappier marriages and suffer more from depression. Yet many of these same parents continue to insist that their children are an essential source of happiness -- indeed that a life without children is a life unfulfilled.
So Herbert goes on to report about a study conducted by Richard Eibach and Steven Mock. Basically, the conclusion was that when parents thought about the cost of their kids, they didn't like them as much:
If they measured the parents' feelings of emotional discomfort immediately after priming their thoughts about cost, they felt much worse than did the parents with a more mixed view of parenting. They were conflicted. But if the scientists first gave them the opportunity to idealize parenting and family life, and then measured their conflicted feelings, those negative feelings were gone. In short, thinking about the high costs of children created significant emotional discomfort, which motivated the parents to focus on the joys of parenting, which in turn dissipated the uneasiness over choosing such a difficult path.
Parents, Herbert concluded, are delusional. Yeah, so are pet owners. And so are married people. And people who like spicy hot food that causes physical pain. And people who run marathons while injured.
But there's copious research demonstrating that all of these behaviors have high rewards.
Children, though, receive special scorn from lefties. It's as if only parents make decisions that are painful and sublime, sometimes simultaneously.
If people weren't parenting, they'd be spending money on things. The presumption, here, is that people who buy that second house and take fabulous vacations don't ever have moments of doubt when they wonder if they made a bad life choice. Or justify their choice after being presented with the way their life could have been.
People angry because they feel "drained emotionally and intellectually" by parenting must have never tackled any other challenge. People who attempt to climb Mount Everest spend time, money, resources and their energy on a consuming goal. But reaching the top? Triumph.
The challenge of parenting is that it's a never-ending mountain. But it's better than that mountain too, because there are joys on the climb.
Still, I'm not going to justify the "delusion" of parenting. I'm going to question why we keep seeing research money going toward proving that parents are deluded suckers. It feels like a search to justify why not having children is a superior choice. Or, why liberal parents, who hate their kids aren't delusional--they're clear eyed.
These are the same people who call their dogs their babies, but they'll never do research on why people throw money on a non-human thing that can be so expensive and a royal pain in the ass.
Between treating kids like an accessory to treating kids like a worthless appendage that one must be delusional to like, libs just don't seem comfortable with being the adults. As perpetual children, they despise the usurpers. Many choose to just not have kids. The others have them and then try to find justification for why their hippie selves don't feel so loving toward their progeny.
Parenting. It's not about you. And like all monumental challenges, the rewards outweigh the risks.
Cross-posted at LibertyPundits.com