10 reasons why parents hate parenting

Loss of freedom, sleep, privacy and a social life are several points parents cite for making their jobs so tough.

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No parent will confess openly that they hate being a mum or dad. Indeed, this is akin to admitting that you have failed as a parent.

Imagine posting such thoughts on social media ― you merely have to wait for the backlash that will inevitably happen.

Anyone who’s ever birthed or raised a child will confirm that parenting is a tough job. To prepare yourself, you read book after book and suss out expert advice, even as you get on-the-job training.

Yet, nothing ever quite prepares you for the harsh realities of what day-to-day parenting is really all about. Truth is ― no matter how hard you try, sometimes, you just want to throw in the towel. Except, unlike a regular job, you can’t ever quit this one. 

Writer Jennifer Senior explores this issue in a 2010 New York Magazine article. Citing research and expert studies done over the years, she comes to this conclusion in All Joy and No Fun ― Why parents hate parenting: If you think parenthood makes you happy, think again. 

You read book after book and suss out expert advice, even as you get on-the-job training. Yet, nothing ever quite prepares you for the harsh realities of what day-to-day parenting is really all about.

One study Senior cites is by Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman, a behavioural economist who surveyed 909 women in Texas in 2004 and rated their daily activities based on the pleasure they derived from each. Childcare came in at number 16, out of 19 activities ― it only topped the morning and evening commutes and working. Even doing housework was placed higher!

Notes one frazzled mum of two Anne Tan, 40, “My sense of responsibility makes me carry on… They can't look after themselves, so we have to help them, even though the ROI [return on investment] isn't guaranteed!”

Some parents vent freely online because it’s anonymous. A Facebook page I Regret Having Children, was even set up in 2012 that enabled parents to air their parenting frustrations without guilt. Posting steady growth, it now has more than 10,000 followers.