I read an interesting article that suggests parents are less likely to report being happy than the childless.
In Daniel Gilbert’s 2006 book “Stumbling on Happiness,” the Harvard professor of psychology looks at several studies and concludes that marital satisfaction decreases dramatically after the birth of the first child?and increases only when the last child has left home.
No group of parents?married, single, step or even empty nest?reported significantly greater emotional well-being than people who never had children. It’s such a counterintuitive finding because we have these cultural beliefs that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not
I’m not sure how to take these results. I suppose it’s up to the individual. Certainly, anyone who wants to have kids but can’t for whatever reason, won’t be very happy.
I can also see how people with kids are subjected to stresses – money, time, sleep – that the childless are not. If stress level is the measure of happiness, then kids aren’t going to help that measure.
To borrow from William Jefferson Clinton, it depends on what the meaning of the word happy is.