4 Parenting Taboos from Rufus Griscom & Alisa Volkman

Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman are married and the parents of 3 boys. Alisa co-founded Babble, a parenting site, with Rufus in December 2006, and has spent the past 7 years growing the site to attract more than 4 million viewers a month. Rufus serves as Babble’s CEO. He also co-founded Nerve Media in 1997.

In the following video they discuss several parenting taboos they experienced in the early years as young parents:

– You can’t say you didn’t love your baby in the first minute (for them, love was not constant from the get-go, rather it grew over time).

– You can’t talk about how lonely having a baby can be (58% of mothers report feelings of loneliness, 67% of those are most lonely when their kids are 0 to 5 years old, less than 50% of new parents live near family members).

– You can’t talk about your miscarriage (despite 15 to 20% of pregnancies resulting in miscarriage, shame often accompanies the experience – 74% of women felt the miscarriage was partly their fault. There is also no ceremony or community support for the loss – like a funeral).

– You can’t say your “average happiness” has declined since having a child:

griscom volkman chart of happiness

The studies vs. their own personal moment-to-moment experiences:

griscom volkman marital happiness

Watch their talk below:

To me, a lot of what they discussed touched on the idea of happiness vs. meaning. Emily Esfahani Smith wrote an insightful piece about this a little while ago in The Atlantic. I highly recommend reading her article after watching Rufus and Alisa’s talk.

– Nikita