And I quote:
It’s easy when they’re small, she says, and don’t require much emotional
support. But as they get older, “they’re going to need a lot more talking in the
middle of the night, like I did with my mom for hours. We want to make sure we
don’t build a family so big that we don’t have absolutely enough time to raise
them each really well.”
What PLANET is the woman living on?
Okay I certainly shouldn't be surprised by this. It is Angelina Jolie for crying out loud. It's just so sad to me because this is the predominant mindset in our culture: that children "don't [or shouldn't] take much when they're little." Or that if you're a good parent your kids don't take much from you, at any stage.
And I think this mindset sets a lot of new parents up for convenience parenting. which bottom line, is neglect.
Now I'm not saying a parent has to do a, b, and c to be a "good" parent. But I do think our cultural mindset that "when they are little it is easy" should make us pause.
Easy why? Easy how?
We do children a big mis-servce (and even some extensive damage) when we view them as these little automatons until they hit their teens. Instead of individual unique people. People with very real needs and feelings.
I won't go into the neglect and abuses the babies and children in our culture endure.
But I do want to ask why this mindset that the teen years are "so hard", and take up so much time? Yes the teen years are full of change. It is intense. But why harder work? Different work, but parenting is always work.
I think the change could be compared quite closely to that of toddlerhood. The toddler is no longer a baby. But lacks the emotional and physical skills of a child. The toddler is developing fine and gross motor skills, as well as discovering the boundaries of life.
While Teens are no longer children. They still lacks the emotional and physical freedom of an adult. The Teen is transitioning into more responsibility and making decisions about the direction their life will take. Finding the balance as the boundaries slowly change as the young adult matures and is ready to leave the nest.
Both these transitions take a LOT of energy and work!
I'm not come to any other conclusions in this post. I haven't parented long enough to. But I will say that I wonder if you parent your children consistently all along. Especially in the early years giving lots of time building a strong connection and bond...Maybe the teen years won't be as much drama and conflict as you envision?
Bottom line, if parenting six small children is "easy", I need a few good nannies.