A new study that shows “having kids may not make us miserable after all” is generating headlines in USA Today and elsewhere.
Produced by a German institute, the report states:
“We find no evidence that parental well-being decreases after a child is born to levels preceding the children, but we find strong evidence that well-being is elevated when people are planning and waiting for the child, and in the year when the child is born.”
As I understand it, slightly older parents are more prepared and deliberate about the decision to have a child and they’re happier as a result. One smart researcher warned that the results were not intended to encourage women to significantly wait to “deliver a first baby.”
It seems the belief was that childless people are just hap-hap-happy at levels no mere parent might imagine. Wrong Assumption #45,789. Nothing short of heaven is perfect every day: not adorable kids in the school play nor 40-somethings on vacation. Happiness comes to us all if we let it.
P.S. By the birth of the 3rd child, the study says there’s no uptick in happiness at all.