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> 49% incredible pain in the ass, 51% most sublime joy you've ever felt; that one percent makes all the difference.

Between 49 and 51 I count a difference of two percents?

> Turns out, we're having two babies, due in mid-February 2012.

Aha. Let's talk again in a year or two, see who you'd throw under a bus.

I have three of those myself. I don't really subscribe to this whole "kids are wonderful" cliché.

The first kid, it's wonderful, yes (but this has been said before, no?) The other kids? Let's say I would agree more with Louis CK:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcnXpOygKGI

Edit: downvoters should try to take care of my kids for a few days ;-)




Upvoting because, as a parent of one (well, two in a few weeks), I find it very hypocritical when people really don't want to admit that that 49% is a INCREDIBLY HUGE PAIN IN THE A$$.

Apart from being exceptional time-sinks, children can be infuriating "just because". It's not that you have to explain everything (that's expected), it's that you have to do it 15 times, and you know they got it after the very first one but still refuse to do what necessary "just because" -- because they want to see your reaction, or because they want to exercise their power on you, or because they don't really want to go see Grandpa Smelly, or because they feel kinda lazy, or because there's a lovely shiny thing somewhere, or because... by the end of the argument, they probably can't even remember.

And obviously they'll try to crush your laptop under the heaviest object, or crawl on you when you're typing The-Most-Important-Email-Ever, and by the time they're 10 they'r probably going to send porn links to your entire addressbook just because it's funny. Etc etc etc.

Obviously I love my daughter and I'll love her brother, but if it was for my brain alone, that 51-49 split would be more like a 10-90 no-contest one-party landslide.


It seems to be taboo to talk about one's children in any way other than describing how incomparably wonderful they are. Talking about the bad stuff is allowed, but only in relation to the incomparable wonderfulness.

I think it's really unfortunate. It gives people unrealistic expectations and makes it that much harder to deal with the bad bits.


I have four kids and you'd have no problem watching them for a few days ... they're obedient, yet questioning ... civil, yet fun-loving ... rambunctious yet non-destructive.

Each of our kids was different and their personalities were by no means easy to deal with, but molding them into who they should have been was our job as their parents. A few days with your kids might be hard but once they understood our boundaries I think you'd see a big difference in them. A few months with your kids and I'll bet that we'd love them too.


You assume, without evidence, that his kids are troublesome. You overlook that they could be perfect angels, but that he still feels they are a larger timesink than he would have liked. You validate the taboo: he dissents, so your immediate kneejerk reaction is that he must be a bad parent with unbehaving kids.

Here's a thought: one can be a model parent with model kids and still feel that life without kids would have been better. You can even enjoy your life and your kids while still feeling that way.


Wow, I can honestly say that as a father I cannot relate to you at all.

I've got two boys, 4 and 2. As you said the first one is pretty good, but the second one is a terror. If I lose it on him and yell with all my might at his misdeeds he will just sit there and laugh - he thinks it's funny. He can be - and is - exhausting to just be around, let alone parent.

But I love him to death. He's a reflection of certain sides of me. He is WONDERFUL. And yes, if I had to give my life for him I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Kids, at the end of the day, are just a reflection of their parents, both good and bad. Sure they can be unique in their own right, but how they handle stress, their gut reactions, their deepest feelings, their expression of opinion - all very similar to the parent.


> how they handle stress, their gut reactions, their deepest feelings, their expression of opinion - all very similar to the parent.

Do you really think that this is true often enough to present it as a blanket rule like that? It seems like a fantastic oversimplification to me.


I'm not a doctor and don't have evidence, but my direct observations seem to suggest that it is in fact true.

Let me clarify: I'm not saying that kids are similar to their parents in the outcomes (a parent may like going on bike rides while a child doesn't, for instance), rather I find that the way they process information can be very similar: if a parent tends to react emotionally, then logically to certain cues, the child will emulate, although not to the same particular cues.

This gets stronger as the parent molds the child, in that I've found this is more likely the case in "older" children than babies.

It's been my experience that once you've identified the key drivers pushing this response, the response between adult and child is almost identical. I'm somewhat ashamed to also confirm that this works even when the parent is yourself.


> Do you really think that this is true often enough to present it as a blanket rule like that? It seems like a fantastic oversimplification to me.

Of all the children and parents I know well enough, yes. They all match this mold. Even my own children. They match expectedly and precisely.

This, of course, is merely my own observations, and limited in it's scope.


My sister in-law declared, "one is a hobby, you're not parenting until you have two!"

(I have one.)


> I don't really subscribe to this whole "kids are wonderful" cliché.

Failed parent. Since kids can only be as wonderful as you (parent) mold and let them to be. (at least in the early years)


and why the downvotes?


You can't make such a strong and almost offensive statement without at least elaborating a little.

As it stands you're adding nothing to this conversation.


I didn't down vote, but it could be because you stated a belief as if it was a fact.


If they misbehave, that's another story to discuss.

But the manner in which you publicly talk about your own family is just disgusting.

I have only higher words even about my dog even with the headaches she causes sometimes.


Thanks for commenting, because I can't understand the downvotes. I still don't see where I "publicly talk about my own family" in a "disgusting" way, but if that's how my comment comes across, it sure looks bad.

For all it's worth, I love my kids. Of course. And I would throw myself under a bus for any of them. Of course. And I almost have, twice (under my motorbike, which is not a bus, but weights over 400 pounds).

My point is: who doesn't love his kids??!? (And who cares?)

- - -

Edit: this may bring more downvotes, but it's worth it if it helps me understand myself.

I profoundly disliked Jeff's post. I should have said so instead of trying to be funny about it, but then I would have had to explain. Well, I have to explain anyway. So there.

If parenting should teach you anything, it's that your kids are not you. They are not part of you, either. They're them; they're persons. Jeff says so near the end, but I'm afraid he doesn't understand what it means.

Contrary to what most people apparently believe, praising your own kids in public, or your love for them, isn't helping them. It's helping you. It's using them to project a better image of you. It objectifies them: in fact, it's a kind of abuse.


You probably got downvoted because while everyone was having a kumbaya moment, you "went there". I appreciate your level perspective FWIW.


> It objectifies them: in fact, it's a kind of abuse.

Really? It's abuse to praise your kids in public? Do you really feel that praising your child in public is the same as abusing them?

Regardless of whether that praise is warranted or not, you're calling it abuse?

I honestly think you are disconnected. I understand you are trying to make a point, and while I didn't necessarily agree, I could respect that opinion. But when you started to define praise in public as abuse (that whole line of thinking), I really think you lost it.

The worst part is, I could see what you were thinking. I just think it's so disconnected from reality. This explains why you think and feel the way you do. This could be a cultural thing (you are from France). Might also just be who you are. But I honestly think you are disconnected, and that can only hurt your opinion.


I didn't make myself clear, I think.

Praising your kid in front of your kid, in public, when he deserves it, for example at the end of a game where he played well: that's good, that's just... normal.

Talking about your kid, when he's not here, and presenting him, or your relation to him, in such a way that you benefit from the exposition: I don't think that's ok. Abuse is certainly too strong a word, but it's related.


You didn't. I could have assumed you didn't mean what you said, but you were so adamant about it, I didn't want to impress my beliefs on you. Thanks for explaining.

That being said:

"Talking about your kid, when he's not here, and presenting him, or your relation to him, in such a way that you benefit from the exposition"

Is this abuse?

"For all it's worth, I love my kids. Of course. And I would throw myself under a bus for any of them. Of course. And I almost have, twice (under my motorbike, which is not a bus, but weights over 400 pounds)."

Because, in this context, you are using your child and your relation to them, as well as your love, as a way to bolster your own argument. It's a way to lend credibility and weight to what you have to say. It could be said that you felt your arguments couldn't stand on their own without making it clear that you're a parent.

=)

No, I dont' think it's abuse. I understand what I think you are trying to say: using those that would treat their children as mere accessories rather than children. But honestly, I don't think that's something you can see from one single post. Jeff made a post on a blog. It had some commentary, some interesting thoughts. It was something he had on his mind, and wanted to share it. He also used it as a segue into announcing the future birth of twins.

To equate his post on his personal site announcing the pregnancy to abuse is, if I may be so bold, absurd.

> downvoters should try to take care of my kids for a few days

And it could be equally said upvoters should take care of my kids for a few days.

Kids are different, and some can be an absolute joy, and others a nightmare. And you see both sides. People complaining, and people happy.

Throughout my life, I've heard people say "Just wait until..." and at that moment, I'll understand what they've said.

Sometimes this is the case. Sometimes it isn't.

Just wait until you're me. You'll understand.


I'm not a psychologist and I really, really hate what I'm about to do, but I'm going to do it anyway because I believe it may possibly help you. Feel free to take it or leave it, it's just a voice on the internet after all.

First, I find it annoying that you're being downvoted here. You're being honest and sincere and that should be commended even if I don't agree with you.

To the point however: From reading your comments, it seems to me that there is something about your children (well, two of them at least) that you really, really don't like. My guess would be that this isn't because they are so different from you, but rather that they are exhibiting qualities that are very similar to qualities about yourself that you detest. I could be way off, but you might do well to explore this aspect on your own, if only to discount it.

You seem to think that what you're feeling is positive to them. I can assure you that it isn't. I can also assure you that they feel it too.


At first I read too fast and saw "I'm a psychologist and..." Now I'm happy to see that you are not! ;-)

Again, I love all my children the same way. Really. I just meant to say something really trivial: having three (very young) kids is a lot different than having just one.

With the first kid, everything is amazing, and eventually kind of funny / charming. With three kids, you're just tired.

Tired makes you upset, and it doesn't have anything to do with any of them. The cure? Sending them to their grandparents. After only one day I miss them so much I have to go back to check on them; and then it starts all over again.


Yes, I completely agree. If you have anything other than complete unconditional love for a child under about 10, then it seems possible there's something very very wrong.

Its almost like he's talking about someone else's kids that he's baby sitting.

Small children are a blank canvas. Good and bad. Mine is sitting down quietly paging through a book whilst I tap this in on the iPad. Moments ago, she was blundering about with a blanket over her head. A day ago, she was tired, and apparently determined to crack her head open by falling onto a metal bed frame.

It's life, the most precious thing in the world. Love it while you can.


This really bugs me. Why can't we have a normal range of emotions here? Yes, we are predisposed to enormously love our children. But it's just a massive bias, not an absolute requirement.

Acting like anything short of complete and unconditional love with absolutely no complaints or downside somehow means that there's something wrong with a person just suppresses completely legitimate feelings and makes it difficult for people to figure out how to deal with the inevitable problems and bad parts that will occur.


Often this comes up in the context of a conversation with people you don't know very well. (Like, on an internet forum.) When you're discussing some subject X with people you don't know that well, and you complain about X, people might get the impression that you don't much care for X. For all values of X, not just kids.

People that mostly like their kids and kids in the abstract, but nonetheless want to complain about some aspect of kids (understandably!), may not wish to create the impression that they're not into their kids. So they make sure to include a disclaimer in their complaint that their kids are wonderful, etc.

It's different among close friends -- there you find people complaining that their kids kept them up all night or whatever without feeling the need to include a "my kids are wonderful" every third sentence. Because their close friends know this implicitly.


> Yes, we are predisposed to enormously love our children. But it's just a massive bias, not an absolute requirement.

You're not getting the entire point of Jeff's post if you are saying something like this. If you aren't a parent, fair enough, you simply don't understand. No disrespect intended but this is the truth.

If you are a parent, we should clarify that "unconditional love" doesn't mean no complaints or downsides. Nobody here is suggesting that.


What does "unconditional love" mean in this context, then? Are we still allowed to hate the little fucker temporarily because they got shit everywhere? If so, how's that mesh with the unconditional love?

My point is just that it's apparently unacceptable to complain unless it's also tempered with something like, "but it's awesome and great and they're wonderful and it totally outweighs the downsides!" The moment you talk about your children as troublesome without explicitly bringing up all the wonderment and joy and love, you get accused of having mental problems. Bambax presented a view of parenting where the children aren't absolutely wonderful all of the time. He fails to add on the socially mandated "but they're the best thing ever", and as a consequence people start wondering about his mental health, just because he presents a realistic picture of parenting. This, to me, is sick.


I didn't down-vote you because I think I get what you're saying (even if I don't agree), but your first comment initially reads like: a) you're suggesting you'd throw your kids under a bus, and b) you only love your first.


I didn't downvote you even if I could have, because it was clear to me where you were coming from (I disliked the article too, though for different reasons.)

However, you (generally, not specifically you) would never say in front of your kids "well I love the first, but the others?" unless you're out of your mind. Imagine they'll dig down in the HN archives.

It can have such a long-term harmful effect on their self-images. The difference might be that this kind of abuse is a bit more explicit compared to the public praise.


I think he meant the feeling you get is different: the first time, it's all wonderful and unexpected and This Baby Will Be President. By the time Jr-Jr comes along, expectations will be more... subdued.


Exactly, thank you. I was not talking about the children themselves but about the experience.


Read again. He never said he loved the first one but not the others. I'm paraphrasing: "the first one is wonderful, the others not so much".




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