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All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

Scritto da Jennifer Senior

Narrato da Jennifer Senior


All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood

Scritto da Jennifer Senior

Narrato da Jennifer Senior

valutazioni:
4/5 (30 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
8 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 28, 2014
ISBN:
9780062308634
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. But almost none have thought to ask: What are the effects of children on their parents?

In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources—in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its fi nest rewards.

Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today—and tomorrow.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 28, 2014
ISBN:
9780062308634
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Jennifer Senior is a contributing editor at New York magazine. She lives in New York with her family.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    So far, this book really rings true, and is refreshingly even-handed and non-judgemental.

    ---------
    Now that I've finished - I loved this book. It really resonated with me.
  • (5/5)
    I’ve disavowed most “parenting” books but this one is a true breath of air, and not about how to parent but why it’s even a verb “to parent.” At turns validating and elucidating, Senior mixes scientific research on the relationships between parents and kids with anecdotes from people who sound like my friends and me. One of the more influential books I’ve read recently.
  • (5/5)
    I’m working on a book right now about how those of us without children can relate to our friends with kids. I don’t have kids and I won’t be having kids, so most of what I know about kids comes from watching my friends raising their own.

    But I live in the world, and I see so much out there about the best ways to parent. It seems overwhelming, but it also seems to almost always be focused on what the parents do and how that impacts the children. Other than the occasional “are parents happier than non-parents?” studies, nothing (until now) has focused on what parenting does to the parents.

    This book is a fascinating treasure trove for those of us without kids. Ms. Senior (a parent herself) spent time with parents, read loads of studies, and consulted with the experts before putting together this long but extremely quick read. She covers autonomy, marriage, the joys and challenges of raising small children, the (new?) trend of scheduling and planning all of a child’s free time, and the special hell that is adolescence.

    One thing I appreciated from this book is that (with one tiny, and likely unintentional exception) Ms. Senior doesn’t spend time comparing parents to non-parents in any way that suggests one life choice is better than the other. I also liked that Ms. Senior was also very straightforward about the limitations of this book – it does not address very poor or very rich families; it is focused on studying middle class families.

    Another great component of this book is Ms. Senior’s way of weaving the history of parenthood into the narrative. So many things that seem ‘common sense’ or ‘parental intuition’ are pretty new to parenthood! But the best parts are the families she interviews and how she includes their stories. She does this seamlessly without interrupting the flow of the book.

    Obviously as someone without kids I can’t speak to whether parents themselves will enjoy this book. They might find it hits way too close to home, they might angrily disagree, or they might find relief in knowing their experiences are not unique. But I’d love to hear a parent’s perspective on this one!
  • (3/5)
    I gave this a 3 star rating rather than the 2.5 it probably deserved because - well - I really enjoy reading Brady related stuff. So, for me it gets a .5 handicap.I am not a Brady-o-phile but I like so many other people my age grew up with them in syndication and they were a large part of my childhood memories. I have a fondness for all of them and a curiosity about how they all turned out. I read the book by Greg that came out years ago and thought this would be a fun read. Marcia was never my favorite - but in my head she seemed like on and off-screen she was always the most together. This book but that misapprehension to rest. Turns out Maureen had some truly horrendous years following the end of the series and turned to hard drugs. It was surprising and saddening to hear how much she went through.The book reads like a therapeutic project. She spills out all this bad stuff she has been hiding for reason of pride, career and family. There is not a lot of finesse to how her story is told .I feel pretty certain she didn't use a ghost writer because the writing for the most part is really amateurish. Almost every chapter ends with a silly cliff hanger-y line like..."He had to see it all - and boy, did he ever...""Neither of us knew it, but I was going to need more than I'd ever imagined."It is a book only someone who has an curiosity about Maureen McCormick should seek out. It doesn't stand on its own in any other way. But with that caveat given - it is totally fine - take it to the beach or pool with you.
  • (3/5)
    Maureen McCormick isn't Marcia Brady.
  • (4/5)
    Interesting book--I really didn't know much about any of the actual characters of the show so it was interesting to read in-depth details about a challenging life that has seemed to end on a positive role.
  • (2/5)
    Maureen McCormick has gone through a lot in her life, and seems to now be in a good place, with a loving husband and daughter. Her road to this point, however, was a long and complicated one, full of insecurity, bulimia, drug addiction, and neuroses. While I empathize with the struggles that she faced, it is somewhat difficult to be completely supportive of her success with the opportunities she was given. I found by the end of the book that I was no longer rooting for McCormick, because she turned into a self-righteous god-fearing woman who was somehow less interesting and less empathetic. I am sure she is very nice in person, but I don't need to read about her.
  • (3/5)
    I grew up watching Brady Bunch re-runs, so I was excited to read this book. I had no idea that Maureen went through so many hardships. I guess I was naive, but I thought she was more Marcia-ish. This story shows that she had a completely different life outside of what was seen on the screen.
  • (4/5)
    I found this book to be quite engrossing. Who knew Marcia Brady was a cocaine addict. Yes, the book was also very sad. I think Maureen McCormick is probably still pretty messed up, even though she tried to tie the book up in a happy ending. I am not so sure I buy it. I did however like that she really barred all this memoir. I really found it fascinating. The only complaint I had was that chronologically she jumped around a lot. I had a hard time keeping track of what year it was. She would tell a story about something that happened in the 1984 and then a few paragraphs later would talk about something that happened either earlier or later and then come back to 1984. Other than that, I was actually impressed with her writing. Every easy to read, yet again, very engrossing. For anyone who likes the Brady Bunch or is even interested in the 1970’s or who just likes a good memoir, I would recommend this.
  • (3/5)
    This was loaned to me by an enthusiastic friend who told me that Maureen's story was very similar to the one I wrote in Sleep Before Evening. I found the book, which I read in a few days, pretty cheesy, cliche ridden, and superficial (she should have gotten a better ghostwriter), but despite all that, it was engrossing enough to distract me away from Salman Rushdie for a while, and there's a kind of open sincerity in Maureen's prose that is engaging enough.
  • (4/5)
    In the prologue, Maureen McCormick starts with when she came out of the woodwork to appear in the reality show Celebrity Fit Club. Then she begins a chronological story of her life as a child appearing in many commercials, especially for Mattel, on to the Brady Bunch years, her unsuccessful attempts to achieve acting status beyond Marcia Brady, her eventual success on Broadway and her life now. She gets into the nitty-gritty describing her early introduction to drugs and sex, her eventual addiction to cocaine throughout the seventies and eighties and then her life current life as a born-again Christian. She talks of her struggles with her dysfunctional family and her love for her mentally challenged brother. Maureen names names but keeps a respectful tone by concentrating on her own troubles and not dwelling on others. In once instance she uses a pseudonym for a famous person she was involved with in the drug/sex scene.I found Maureen's tone and narrative extremely readable. Her story of her childhood is written with a child-like wonderment as she entered the life of show business and became a cultural icon. Her voice becomes more mature as she herself matures and she presents herself as someone who can take the blame for her own actions. Not often do I find biographies page-turners. I love entertainment memoirs but non-fiction doesn't often grip me to that extent. But this book was one I couldn't put down, I kept picking it up in favour over the fiction book I was co-currently reading. While the book only partially concerns the Brady years, (which I wish there was more of) any fan of the show is bound to enjoy this look at the behind the scenes aspects, to find out what the real Marcia Brady was like, and whatever happened to her.
  • (5/5)
    "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia." Oh how this line has plagued Maureen McCormick for years. Inside this book Maureen shares her life in shocking detail. To outsiders she was perfect. Cute, smart and stylish with the talent to match. To outsiders she was Marcia Brady. But few people were privy to the real person with real fears who spent a lot of time literally hiding in closets to escape her demons. From her humble beginnings as the voice of the Chatty Cathy Doll to her impressive win on Celebrity Fit Club, Maureen's life is chronicled with nothing held back. "Haunted by the perfection of her television alter ego, Maureen landed on the dark side, caught up in a fast-paced, drug-fueled, star-studded Hollywood existence that ultimately led to the biggest battle of her life."I'm amazed at how open Maureen was in this book. As she learned later in life, being open and sharing was the solution to bringing her the peace she never had growing up and even into adulthood. Her story of triumph over the demons that tore her live apart for so many years is encouraging in so many different ways. I highly recommend reading this book especially if you were a Marcia Brady fan or even just casually knowing the character as I did.
  • (5/5)
    The Brady Bunch was a show that I discovered only in reruns as I was a little young when it first aired. By the time I did watch it, I was in my teens and thought the whole show was a bit of a joke and could not understand its cult following - however, over the years, it somehow kept resurfacing and despite myself, I got to know a little bit about each of the Brady kids. When I saw that Maureen McCormick was publishing her memoirs, I thought it would be interesting to read as I always thought she was the most interesting character on the show - and always felt that there was alot lurking behind the "good girl, hair of gold Brady".As soon as I started reading, I absolutely fell in love with the pace, the tone and the overall story being told. The first thing I noticed (and was eternally grateful for) was that although Maureen does touch on her childhood, she does not go on and on about it for half the book. She basically gives us the highlights (which includes some surprising facts about her siblings and her parents) and then moves on to her early career. Yes, she does spend some time on her "Brady days" but tends to gloss over some of the key elements that I believe would have been fun to read. She does go into quite alot of detail about the "crushes/kissing/fondling" that happened among the Brady kids, but I would have liked to hear more about the dynamics behind the scene - that did not necessarily relate to the teenage lust that seemed to be rampant. I would have like to find out more about the chemistry of the actors, some funny onset stories would have been nice. There is a minimal amount of this type of thing - it seems as though the Brady kids were all about "teenage lust" which is okay - but I felt there could have been a little bit more substance here. Besides which, somebody is going to have to explain to me why every girl (including Maureen) had a thing for Greg? I mean, the guy is really average looking in my opinion!!!However, what comes after the Brady years is really where you find the heart and soul of Maureen McCormick. Its going to be hard for me to write this review without giving away any of the spoilers, but I had NO IDEA just how far down she fell before she found the strength to pick herself up. To her credit, she exposes every raw nerve in this memoir and makes a point of saying that SHE alone is responsible for the situation(s) she got herself into. I have to say that she must have had a fairy godmother looking over her - because she really got herself into some horrible situations.The writing here is exceptional and we get a very clear picture of just how screwed up Maureen was. When she talks about her meeting with her future husband, you can actually feel the tone of the writing change - there is hope and love in the writing.Maureen McCormick needs to be commended for writing an honest, raw memoir. She could easily have gone the other way and written some bubblegum account of her life. Writing memoirs are always tricky because you can't or won't divulge other people's involvement in your life and Maureen has done an excellent job of keeping the focus on her and not on the "other" celebrities that she talks about in her book.I read alot of these types of books and I can't encourage you enough to run to the bookstore for this one.
  • (5/5)
    2. All Joy and No Fun : The Paradox of Modern Parenthood (Audio) by Jennifer Senior, read by the author (2014, 8:20, 320 pages in paperback, read Dec 18 - Jan 4)Senior writes about what parenting does to parents. She starts off by bringing up the research showing that adults without children are happier than parents. Then she looks into why, at every age of the childhood. The introduction was fascinating and I loved every chapter in this book.Had I not waited so long to review this, I would have gone on in more detail about things, like how there is no set cultural pattern in the US for how Dad's should act as parents today, so their are no expectations, while Mom's are tortured by the guilt of unrealistic expectations. But, I did wait too long and all that stuff has faded from the enthusiastic context I had it in. Too bad, this as a great book.Anyway, I was entertained that she chose to come to Houston, my home town, specifically to study families with young, preadolescent children... because we Houstonians are so obsessed with after-school activities.Senior runs (or is part of?) and early childhood group in Minneapolis. She is is a public speaker and a terrific reader. Highly recommended to parents, and on audio.
  • (4/5)
    Read from November 12 to 15, 2014I'm hours away from giving birth to my first child. I'm (naturally) terrified of the "forever-ness" of the decision we made to have a baby. This book did little to help me get over the fear of forever being responsible for another life, but it was reassuring to read about the other parents. I found the glimpses into the lives of the parents fascinating and would've liked to read about more parents being parents. The data and statistics on what happens to marriages after a child is scary...so I'm trying to just ignore it. Jesse is most likely tired of me asking him for reassurance that we'll still be solid after having a baby. I've also asked more than once how we'll divide household chores (I'll be honest...he does most of them now). But these are good conversations to have!An interesting read for anyone with kids of any age -- or anyone even considering having them!
  • (2/5)
    Nothing surprising here. Just a lot of stories and interviews. Conclusion: Being a parent is a lot of hard work, A LOT OF HARD WORK, but the reward is being a parent.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book that every parent should read. Senior provides a lot of information that may be hard to swallow - especially for dads, but it's good information to have. Rather than put the focus on how parenting affects the child, the focus of this book is on how having children affects parents. There's a lot of science that Senior uses to support some of what she says, and that helps. Overall, I think just understanding how having children changes you as a person is helpful. You can help recognize some of what she says in the book and it's helpful to understand how or why you might feel a particular way rather than just "dealing" or getting frustrated with yourself.
  • (3/5)
    This book explores the issues of modern parenting (at least for white, middle class Americans) where the expectations of what a parent can and should do seem to be out of line with the past and with reality.  One illustration of the shift in recent generations is the change of term from "housewife" (someone who manages the house) to "stay at home mom" (someone who manages the children).  And over that same time mothers are spending more hours working and more hours with their children.  The challenge of balancing so many responsibilities contributes to grave stresses, yet paradoxically there is much joy in experiencing the children's development.  The book is illustrated with interviews and observations with a variety of parentsFavorite Passages:“Our experiencing selves tell researchers that we prefer doing the dishes — or napping, or shopping, or answering emails — to spending time with our kids. . . . But our remembering selves tell researchers that no one — and nothing — provides us with so much joy as our children. It may not be the happiness we live day to day, but it’s the happiness we think about, the happiness we summon and remember, the stuff that makes up our life-tales.”
  • (5/5)
    All Joy and No Fun isn’t a traditional parenting book. It’s not going to give you a new system to disciple your child. Part of it is a fascinating look at how parenting has changed through the years. Up until child labor laws were enacted, children were expected to work or to be seen and not heard. Senior takes the reader up through present day. She explains the evolution of parenting that has led to the present day where children can be overscheduled and more and more parents are “helicopter parents”. She’s not critical, just informative. Interspersed throughout are personal examples of parents that she interviewed. She spoke to a wide variety, including a grandmother who parented her own children in the 1970s and is now parenting her grandchildren, a mother living in an affluent suburb, and a single working mother.I found this book to be incredibly interesting and insightful as well as meticulously researched. I listened to the audio book which is narrated by the author. I’m usually wary when an authors narrates their own book since they are not usually experienced narrators. Senior did a great job and the book was pleasant to listen to.I highly recommend this book to parents of kids of all ages.
  • (4/5)
    Modern American upper-class (you could say upper-middle class, but I think that’s misleading except as to self-concept) parenting, with its multiple stresses as well as its sources of fulfillment. Basically, Senior argues, we’ve turned inward so much that we’re spending all our time investing in our kids specifically; this is exhausting for everyone, but it’s hard to figure out how to opt out on an individual basis, especially when it’s so easy to judge and be judged on one’s parenting and specifically on one’s mothering. Yet another iteration of the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Gender roles (enforced more heavily on women) are a part of this, as is the general speedup of work without allowance for caretaking obligations. Senior writes perceptively about these issues and about how the inward turn might not be good for anyone, but if you think it’s privileged navel-gazing then you might want to skip it.
  • (3/5)
    It's hard to believe that Maureen McCormick only played "Marcia Brady" on The Brady Bunch for five years. The Brady Bunch has become such a part of pop culture that it seems as if the series ran for much longer (syndication will do that, I guess).

    Although each of the child actors and actresses who portrayed the Brady kids became closely identified with his or her character, America (and a good deal of Hollywood) seems to find it most difficult to separate Maureen McCormick from Marcia Brady. Hence the rationale for writing this book. Life in the Brady household was picture-perfect ... and whatever problems or crises erupted were easily solved within the episode. And nobody was more perfect and more idolized than Marcia.

    Here's the Story gives a backstage look at McCormick's life before, during, and especially after starring on The Brady Bunch. Much of the publicity surrounding the book's release centered on the juicy tidbits she reveals within: the confirmation of her romance with Barry Williams, who played big brother Greg; the wild parties at the Playboy Mansion; the dates with Steve Martin and Michael Jackson. While I initially picked up this book because of these nuggets, that's not what the book is about.

    Judging people on what we perceive them to be is a recurrent theme throughout the book. As a young girl, McCormick's father lectures his offspring around the kitchen table about judging others - a bitter irony in so many respects, particularly in regards to McCormick's parents' relationship, her own relationship with her mother, her view of herself, and of course, America's view of how life must be for Marcia/Maureen. She writes poignantly about her brother Denny, who is intellectually handicapped, and the harsh judgement that is inflicted on him by her friends who weren't allowed to stay overnight (for fears that Denny could be get violent) or when he hears people calling him a "retard" and asks his sister what that means. On a personal level, I would have liked to have read more of her experience and thoughts on having a sibling with special needs, but that's not what the book is about.

    Ultimately, this is a book about the process of accepting yourself for who you truly are - not who or what society dictates that you are, even if you are Marcia Brady. Here's the Story is a fast read, made such because a good deal of the writing tends to stray into cliches and banality with frequent uses of "cool" and "hot." At times it seems as if Marcia herself is writing this memoir, especially when reading such passages as this, when discussing her romance with co-star Barry Williams.

    "There was so much electricity between us that I felt the hair on my arms stand up every time we got close to each other on the set. I thought about Barry even when I had scenes with other guys. I used to ask myself how I could ever look in eyes other than his liquid blues and feel such love.

    Gag me with a spoon, for sure.

    The most gripping parts of this book comes in the last several chapters. The reader feels McCormick's pain as she discusses her mother's death and the family dynamics playing out in the aftermath. Unlike on a sit-com, there's no easy resolution to these messy and emotionally painful issues.

    I liked this book more than I thought I would, and give it 3.5 stars (out of 5). Would recommend reading if you're a Brady Bunch fan, but moreso as an interesting read about the struggle for self-acceptance on all levels.