Some fascinating and thought-provoking quotes from the New York Times Review of the bestselling (#3 on Amazon) All Joy And No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenting.

“Parenthood today is predicated on the unconditional exaltation of our children.”

“Every debate we have had about the role of parents can be traced back to the paring down of mothers’ and fathers’ traditional roles.”

“We’re confused about what child rearing requires, we know only what it doesn’t: teaching kids mathematics and geography and literature (schools do that); providing them with medical treatment (pediatricians); sewing them dresses and trousers (factories abroad, whose wares are then distributed by Old Navy); growing them food (factory farms, whose goods are then distributed by supermarkets); giving them vocational training (two-year colleges, classes, videos).”

“Parents no longer raise children for the family’s sake or that of the broader world. It is all for the child’s sake and the child’s alone.”

“Raising children is terribly hard work, often thankless and mind-numbing, and yet the most rapturous experience available to adults.”

“Parents are both happier and more miserable than nonparents.”

“Children provoke a couple’s most frequent arguments — more than money, more than work, more than in-laws, more than annoying personal habits, communication styles, leisure activities, commitment issues, bothersome friends, sex.”

“Despite far more women working outside the home, today’s mothers spend four hours a week more providing child care than 1965 mothers.”

“Fathers spend three times as many hours with their children now as they did then, but do better at keeping some downtime reserved for themselves; they do not judge themselves the way mothers do, and experience few of the pressures that make women feel so guilty about being away from home during the workday.”

“Homework is the new family dinner. It is the locus around which affection is played out.”

“Mothering and fathering aren’t just things we do. Being a mother or being a father is who we are.”

“Kids may complicate our lives, but they also make them simpler. Children’s needs are so overwhelming, and their dependence on us so absolute, that it’s impossible to misread our moral obligation to them.”