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09:02 PM on 07/06/2013
In the good ol' days, one income could support a family with a couple of kids, a station wagon and an annual vacation to the Grand Canyon or Florida or cabin on a lake for a week. We struggle to make that happen with two incomes and having made the difficult choice to have one child, depriving our son of a sibling but maybe being able to help him with college some day.

The very worst part, however, is all the holier-than-thou people who criticize or wag their fingers at those of us parenting in the Second Great Depression. They say "Don't have kids" which sounds like a bad post-apocalyptic movie treatment or "Here's how I did it perfectly" which is the first red flag for do not believe one word that person says because the first people ready to blast somebody else's kids or parenting methods have absolutely no business giving parenting advice.
Love, Tolerance, Enlightenment
08:25 PM on 07/06/2013
Maybe it's the CO2.

By dumping 200 times the CO2 as all the worlds volcanoes combined, we have the created highest CO2 in 15 million years, from before humans existed.

CO2 is poison to us humans.  

Highest CO2 in 15 million years.

CO2 over 300ppm is more than humans begin have ever had,.  We are not plants. CO2 it toxic to us. 

lose brain capacity with increasing CO2

CO2 is making the world dumber and tired. It's a vicious circle.
co2 symptoms.
800ppm versus 1000ppm big sick building syndrome cause. 

Reaction times of modern human are slower than the Victorian period.  
05:20 AM on 07/08/2013
By God, you've solved it. Brilliant. Now I'm gonna drive off in my Hummer.
Love, Tolerance, Enlightenment
03:08 PM on 07/08/2013
See, it's already got you!
05:31 PM on 07/06/2013
I became a stay at home parent for this reason, and my husband negotiated with his boss to largely work from home. At the time it seemed like a huge decision - we were living on one $60K income and paying $35K in therapy costs for a child with special needs - but we made do. I have six more months before my youngest is in kindergarten and it is hard to believe this phase of our lives has finished so quickly. We drained our savings. I don't even want to think about my retirement prospects at any point in the future. But it has been a worthwhile investment in our children and our own sanity.
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Just My Thoughts 2011
Life's but a walking shadow
03:39 PM on 07/06/2013
While raising children, life really can be a blur - a big fat rush-around, full of stress, short on time, shorter on money blur!

However, from our children's perspective, they will look back on their childhood and see things way differently. Even though my husband and I were stressed to the gills, our kids tell us that they had a wonderful childhood. So don't worry! It's all good. Hang in there :)
03:23 PM on 07/06/2013
Any parent who actually lives the way Cotto describes has not yet realized that it is not all about you. YOU are the parent, not the child, and you chose to bring these helpless infants into the world. It is now your responsibility to care for them. Do it now or do it later, when they are feckless, flailing young adults. Your choice.
08:47 PM on 07/06/2013
The whole point of the article is its not about them. It's just in modernity, one must give everything to ensure just one child has an equall shot at success. The "traditional" family is dead, and only exists in poverty. Otherwise both parents must work to make ends meet in this cruelly expensive world.
11:49 PM on 07/06/2013
ah, just follow the crowd. You do not need to do this. Traditional family is dead and only exists in poverty? You will have to explain this. Rent, have one car, no vacations and be happy. Success???? money??? how old are you?
12:23 AM on 07/07/2013
Sure, but the self-centered parents who mock their kids and themselves annoy me quite a bit.
09:08 AM on 07/07/2013
Why does everyone assume that parents don't care about their children when they verbalize how tired they can be? I'm 28 and my parents raised me in the 80's and 90's. I know my stay at home mother had less stress than I do. That doesn't mean she didn't do a great job. She did. It's just a world of difference from my husband and I both working full time while I go to grad school part time. We have a daughter with a speech delay, so she has to be taken to speech therapy. We had them with a home daycare provider for a year, but eventually switched back to a center when we determined that it might help our daughter's speech. I love every minute that I get to spend with my kids. The problem is, those minutes are too far apart and tend to come at the end of the day when everyone is dead tired.

It's not all about me. Not even close. But the flagging economy sure as heck makes it a lot harder to have the middle class American dream.
04:16 PM on 07/07/2013
I think you allude to a really good point. What percentage of parents were dealing with children with special needs 40 years ago compared to what percentage now? That raises costs and also encourages people to feel that they require jobs with benefits which often are the ones that take 50+ hours per week.
04:21 PM on 07/07/2013
Don't fret, it is those moments in the evening they will remember. If you have a steady routine right before bed that they can expect and love, they will remember it and it will be one of those things they hold and cherish forever, and even use with their own children. It's tough, I know, and as parents we feel guilty no matter what we do, but our children don't know and won't remember the guilt you hold unless you transfer it to them. I guarantee you, those evening moments will be discussed at Thanksgiving dinner when they come over with their own children.
02:22 PM on 07/06/2013
Moving might be good. hard to take the long view when you are sleep deprived. going to go ahead now and sound like the grandma that i am - it's perspective and expectations. keep the first broad and the second low - it helps. vacations didn't exist in my demographic as a young elementary aged kid; it just meant no school and we were fine with that. forget my parents' generation - they were working as kids to help support the family. i think one of the things that makes it hard for your generation is that my boomer generation went nuts and media exploded, and the definition of a "good life" and "doing better than your parents" went out of control. i'd like to think that "doing better than your parents" could be adapted to mean parenting more attentively (without helicoptering), enjoying the here and now more, being experience rather than "stuff" oriented??? hang in there - it WILL get better - and the journey to better is improved with changes in perspective and expectations.
01:18 PM on 07/06/2013
It's not just your generation . . .my children are in their 30's now and I am raising my grandchildren because my single daughter can't afford to live on her own. Thankfully I make a better income now than when my children were small, than I worked 6 and 7 days a week, 2 different jobs, and my husband worked 5 days a week with a long commute. There was always laundry, always dust, always rushing, everything was a blur, never a vacation, dinner out just meant neither one of us had the energy to cook or go grocery shopping or both. I guess at least in my parents generation when you had to raise what you ate, at least your kids worked by your side all day. . . .but even then, if you watch The Little Rascals it seems kids spent their days out, away from mom and dad. Maybe we were never meant to have more than those few moments to cherish . . . . .all I know is that I've learned to be less concerned about the dust and the laundry and take the time to play basketball with my grandson. . . .
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fideistic deist with socratic tedencies
05:59 PM on 07/06/2013
The wisdom that you have shines through those young hearts and minds.

I think that western culture has a diminished return because of the long distance relationships children have with their grandparents.

The calm wisdom of a seasoned caregiver can result in the benefit of all three generations; sometimes, there are boundary issues that should be talked about with adult children.

Expectations of our needs based culture are under review; at this moment it seems we are learning that the 'Grass' was the same color on both sides of the fence. Perhaps less lawn care and more child care would be an upgrade.
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free the fnords
08:08 PM on 07/06/2013
Not all grandparents are good for kids.
It just depends on the situation.
I never left my kids with my inlaws,
who lived next door.
Fierce on Medium. Writer, editor, collaborator.
12:45 PM on 07/06/2013
I live in one of those "sane" communities with "low cost of living" and "a laid back lifestyle." It's beautiful, mostly clean, friendly in its way, good schools, etc. But -- there are no good jobs here. Today's new listings: kitchen, banquet and housekeeping at one of our semi-luxury resorts (we live in a nice lake resort area and yes it is nice when tourists come, drop their money and go home). Brand manager for a frozen foods company -- $35k. Days Inn housekeeping. Servers and bartenders at the sports bar. 25 hrs per week maintenance/delivery. CMA for medical office (probably start at $12/hr = 3 different places seeking these). Production manager (probably in the 30s - low 40s). Drywall carpenter, building manager, several part time retail positions, choir director, part time custodians, bus drivers, and activity coaches for the rural school districts, and seven OTR trucking jobs. If you're already an entrepreneur and can bring your job with you, come on down. But it will take you five years to get any local contracts in our business environs. Otherwise, it's proportionally just as hard to make a living wage here. Cost of housing: rent on a decent 3 bedroom is $700-800 and up -- typical for even larger Midwestern cities. Pennies compared to the east and west coast, yes. You can buy a nice family home for under $200k, sometimes under $150k -- so there's that.
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08:30 PM on 07/06/2013
The trick is to get a nice job on one of the Coasts, do a good job, then announce to your boss that your husband or wife is "relocating" to the sane community. . . .9 times out of 10 the company will let you keep your job and work from home. This is a strategy that has worked well for several people I know. . . .
12:40 PM on 07/06/2013
A lot of cynical comments, but I absolutely understand. Throw in taking care of a special needs kid, and it sounds just like my family. We're tired, but doing the best we can. We hope to move one day to get away from the hectic life we have now, but it's not currently practical.
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Kenneth Bushway
I am not who I voted for in the last election.
11:34 AM on 07/06/2013
Dude to be honest from what I read its sounds like you are just bitchin. I am reading 3/4 of this article thinking where is the comments about hard parenting, generation yawn etc. Next time admit you want to complain in the beginning.
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free the fnords
08:12 PM on 07/06/2013
I got absolutely no sense of empathy with the waitress.
Highly doubt she was working, at her age and in her condition,
just because she was bored and wanted 'something to do'.

She is probably way more tired than the author.
04:56 PM on 07/07/2013
Good point. It also seemed from that part of the piece that the author's family doesn't get to see "how the other half lives" very much if a waitress who looks very elderly is such a shock.
10:54 AM on 07/06/2013
Time to move to a saner place, your choice.
03:40 PM on 07/06/2013
after raising several kids.. his mine and ours..we moved from the big city to a small rural deprived area where you cant even scream loud enough for the neighbors to come to your assistance. in fact they are the ones we need to scream for help from. the abundance of teen aged boys who have learned if they are going to get any of the expensive toys they want today they must work for it.. like kicking in doors and climbing in the holes and packing them away to their houses. id give all i have to be back where we were. and have my babys back... in a crib searching for the foofoos and potty training.. just one year of that and id give whatever i have coming to finish this life out...dumpster diving for a few things to use for crafts or peices of carpet to close out the cold air and make dogbeds with....oh the good old days....
Just your average comedic intellectual who is curr
10:30 AM on 07/06/2013
Ummmm, let's see how I would deal with this situation . . . I know! I wouldn't have children!"
Pretty simple.
10:22 PM on 07/06/2013
Saying "I wouldn't have children" don't make the ones you already have disappear.
10:21 AM on 07/06/2013
...these are all predictable complaints...having kids is a choice, not a right...don't feel sorry at all for parents who complain
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12:39 PM on 07/06/2013
Well then, don't expect my kids to pay for your Social Security when you're old. You didn't contribute any individuals to keep the society going, so you can live on all the money you saved by not having kids.
nothin' micro about my biology
03:09 PM on 07/06/2013
yes, we should all do our part to ensure that Earth gets to 9 or 10 billion people by mid-century, with limited resources (oil, rare earths, and especially clean drinking water), tons of pollution, etc.
04:10 PM on 07/06/2013
...i plan to be a foster parent, as if it's any of your business Erika...i don't expect anything from "your kids," LOL...
...i won't get my Social Security that i paid into until i was 30 and became a K-12 teacher...california has a "windfall provision" that bars educators from getting whatever % Social Security that they paid into at any point in their working lives if they take their STRS retirement (which I was required to pay $400/month into) we are penalized for becoming teachers later in life...
...i've done plenty to keep society going...all points you make are FAILS
A poor old country mouse.
09:58 AM on 07/06/2013
There was a time, not all that many years ago, when the man was the breadwinner and the woman ran the household. Kids were nurtured. Life was lived. There was more time for all.

We now work, as a household, many more hours a week.

We're told that this is because of our improved 'standard of living' and the income needed to maintain it.

But 'standard of living' is defined in dollars, the coin of economics.

Is there no better coin with which to define it, based perhaps on the pleasure of a life well-lived?
01:18 PM on 07/06/2013
If a man like this feels he has no time with his children now, imagine how little time he'd have with them if he was the sole breadwinner?

I think the problem is a lack of acknowledgment that so many 2-earner/2-parent families exist; most of our federal systems are built around sole breadwinners, provide heavy subsidies in taxes and benefits (including in Social Security and Medicare) to them and their spouses, which this man and his wife have to pay. If the federal systems were restructured to get rid of the discrimination against 2-earner/2-parent families and to get rid of the deficit-building propping up of sole breadwinner families, we'd see more marketplace reform for jobs that work better for 2-earner/2-parent families.

Were the 1950s were a time of "nurtured children"? Didn't the Baby Boomers led a huge revolt in the 1970s?
Jim Se
USA: Founded on a constitution, not a religion
09:50 AM on 07/06/2013
That's a windy way to say "I'm tired." Got it.
Andrew Kamadulski
11:10 PM on 07/06/2013
I thought he was saying "oh poor me."