"You know, Thorstein Veblen and "The Theory of the Leisure Class," way back in 1899, when he started writing about leisure, he also wrote about something that I think is very true in other fields, as well.
He talked about how, you know, we look to the people, you know, one socioeconomic, you know, rung of the ladder ahead of us, and we try to emulate what they’re doing, because that’s where you get status in our society. And so this intensive parenting may have started in the, you know, middle and upper-middle class, but it has since filtered through different layers of society, where I talked to people who had just gotten off of welfare, who were also feeling if they couldn’t do that kind of hyper-parenting, they were feeling really guilty about it….
We’ve ratcheted up the standards for what you need to do as a parent. And what that does, then, is it completely pollutes your time so that you may be in a moment that could look like leisure from the outside, but on the inside, you are just crashing around, thinking of, like, oh, man, what have I got for dinner, and I forgot the carpool, you know, to drive tomorrow, and did I ever send this note, and I better get this memo to somebody at work.
And so you’re never really fully present in the moment, you know, and as new-agey as that sounds, there has been really great, you know, work by psychologists who say that’s really peak human experience, when you’re able to lose yourself in the moment.”