Why children don’t make us happier

Parenthood is not always a happy place: it diminishes the freedom of individuals, interferes with parents’ sex lives and can impact the couples’ bank accounts.

Proof

I didn’t make this up. Research shows it. Numerous scholars have found some evidence that parents often report statistically significantly lower levels of happiness (Alesina et al., 2004), life satisfaction (Di Tella et al., 2003), marital satisfaction (Twenge et al., 2003), and mental well-being (Clark & Oswald, 2002) compared with non-parents.

Parenting is freaking exhausting!

Truth be told, how happy can you be from having to spend every day negotiating, changing shitty diapers, cleaning vomit, reading children’s’ stories when you could be watching your favourite TV series or balancing your bank account so that you can pay for school, clothes, toys and outings? Not to mention “close to zero personal time”.

But hang in there before you change your mind (if it’s not too late already)…

Research also shows that children can bring enormous meaning and purpose to one’s life. Besides being ROI negative, children are the ultimate form of unconditional giving.

Parenthood is a pain in the ass, but gives an incredible feeling of belonging and enrichment. Despite the sleepless nights, tight nerves and high pitched screams, parenthood is a chance to flourish and find meaning.

You know that feeling when you crave for chocolate and you’re eating it? That’s happiness. It’s accessible and short lived. If you eat too much of it, it will turn into a stomach ache.

Do you also know that feeling when you learn how to ride a bike or swim? That’s purpose. After numerous trial and errors, comes the reward.

Which one do you chose? Personally, I chose to deal with this parenting gig, in the hope I’ll pick up the rewards later.

 

 

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