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Old 01-13-2014, 09:39 PM
 
826 posts, read 851,613 times
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Does Having Children Make People Happier?
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Old 01-14-2014, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Tampa Bay, FL
237 posts, read 334,341 times
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I think of life without each one of my children and a deep sadness swells in me. Since sadness is the opposite of happiness then I would say YES!

As the same time...

My teenagers drive me utterly bonkers nearly all the time! Since "utterly bonkers" is the opposite of happiness then I would say NO!
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Old 01-14-2014, 03:58 AM
 
4,750 posts, read 3,495,880 times
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Not necessarily... I believe that children can indirectly be the cause of divorce and many people are in denial about it.




As you can see, marital satisfaction declines right around school-age. Divorce is more likely to happen if you have a child with special needs, a chronic illness, or if you have multiples. Marital satisfaction plummets after becoming a parent and you either tough it out or get out.

-80% of parents with an Autistic child are divorced
-Parents of kids with ADHD are twice as likely to divorce by the time the child is 8

Quote:
Since this is too close for comfort, very quickly they will catch themselves and say something like: “Now don’t get me wrong, we love our children, but we did get along better before we had kids.”

Children per se don’t cause divorce. What they do cause is a vulnerability in “not ready for prime time…and parenting” couples to push through and turn the cracks in a marriage into gap that you could drive two divorce attorneys through.
Article






I'd also like to quote the following comment from this article.

Quote:
I think we are in danger of hurting our marriage if we have an extreme attitude towards kids (i.e. either kids will make our lives/marriages completely happy or kids will make our lives/marriages totally suck). The truth is that neither of these extremes are true because kids do not CAUSE a marriage to be good or bad rather they REVEAL if a marriage is good or bad. Parents can CHOOSE to ruin their marriage after having kids by CHOOSING to allow themselves to be so consumed with their children that they neglect their spouse. The kids did not CAUSE these marriages to go bad though, the parents CHOOSING wrong priorities made these marriages fail.
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Old 01-14-2014, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
3,415 posts, read 3,181,516 times
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I know plenty of folks with kids, plently without. I don't any correlation between children and happiness. Some people think they need to have children, that it's their life purpose. If you share that belief, you probably won't be happy until you have them. Then again, I've known far too many folks you have said something along the lines of "don't get me wrong, I love my children but, if I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would choose to have kids". Those statements are always a little shocking to me but, kids do change your life.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:10 AM
 
Location: East of the Mississippi and South of Bluegrass
4,453 posts, read 3,753,926 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nurider2002 View Post
I know plenty of folks with kids, plently without. I don't any correlation between children and happiness. Some people think they need to have children, that it's their life purpose. If you share that belief, you probably won't be happy until you have them. Then again, I've known far too many folks you have said something along the lines of "don't get me wrong, I love my children but, if I had it to do over again, I don't know if I would choose to have kids". Those statements are always a little shocking to me but, kids do change your life.
Truer words were never thought, written or spoken...kudos nurider2002; +3.

To sum it up...sometimes happy and sometimes downright sorrowful sad. Like most everything else in life it is never one or the other but rather a great deal of everything at the highest end possible and sometimes, just sometimes...the very bottom of sadness and sorrow.

Personally I find it satisfying to concentrate on the in between times and take pure pleasure and joy in "who and what" my children have grown into and take the rest in stride, sometimes a bitter pill to swallow.

The parental maxim, "you are only as happy as your unhappiest child" can certainly be true...on occasion throughout a parent's lifetime. When they hurt or are sad, unhappy, or unfulfilled we take it to heart.

Why you’re only as happy as your least happy child | Toronto Star

Best regards,

HomeIsWhere...
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:11 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 37,636,044 times
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Happiness is a choice.
And you can choose happiness with or without children.
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Old 01-14-2014, 06:47 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
11,160 posts, read 20,457,871 times
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I was happy with my husband before we had kids, and I'm just as happy with him now. I think he might be happier now than he was before we had kids, because he likes me being a SAHM...our life runs more smoothly with one person dedicated to earning an income and one person handling domestic chores and meals.

It helps that our kids don't have any special needs or major issues. I know problems like that put a big strain on a marriage.

I would never make a blanket statement that having kids makes people happier though...it depends on the person and it depends on their kids.
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Old 01-14-2014, 07:24 AM
 
741 posts, read 1,067,272 times
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Before and after kids my spouse and I seem just as happy, but that's because we've made it a point to find new ways to relax and "be happy". No more epic hiking trips or spur of the moment car trips which helped us feel free and alive, but we've tried hard to find other stuff that we can do with infants / toddlers that also makes us happy and lets us enjoy this "season" in our life. For my husband its tinkering around the house more working on his DIY skills (installing backsplash, painting etc), he's also found creative outlets he's never explored before like creating a mural in the kids room and putting outfits together for his daughter. For me it's learning how to "play" again and taking out my imagination muscle and flexing it after so many years of it gathering dust.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Toronto, ON
564 posts, read 877,952 times
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Happiness is simply the result of being in tune with who you are. Not everyone wants or feels the need to be a parent. There is no wrong or right choice, only the one that is best suited to your personal goals and objectives in life. Some people thrive in family life, others wilt. To each their own.
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Old 01-14-2014, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Round Rock, Texas
10,777 posts, read 10,183,828 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkmani View Post
Not necessarily... I believe that children can indirectly be the cause of divorce and many people are in denial about it.




As you can see, marital satisfaction declines right around school-age. Divorce is more likely to happen if you have a child with special needs, a chronic illness, or if you have multiples. Marital satisfaction plummets after becoming a parent and you either tough it out or get out.

-80% of parents with an Autistic child are divorced
-Parents of kids with ADHD are twice as likely to divorce by the time the child is 8


Article






I'd also like to quote the following comment from this article.
Children can be a possible cause of divorce due to only these reasons in my book:

Your relationship wasn't solid to begin with and you foolishly thought adding a child to the mix would make it better.

One partner wasn't ready to have kids and capitulated, thereby causing resentment.

You got married mainly because of children (aka "shotgun marriage").

You follow an idyllistic illusion that children are sunshine and roses 24/7.

You and your spouse are not on the same page when it comes to parenting methods (see Reason #1)

Couple wasn't really prepared for what parenthood entails and has children because "they're cute" and want "mini-mes" (See Reason #5)



Children are no more of a cause for divorce and unhappiness than any other life changing event. That's no secret. Raising children is serious business and requires a lot of self sacrifice and time expenditure. If people aren't ready to move to that level, now or ever, DON'T HAVE KIDS. If your marriage/relationship is weak, the rigors of parenthood and all that goes with it can exacerbate it. Again, DON'T HAVE KIDS. Don't get married "for the kids". Don't procreate if you and your SO don't really know that much about each other.

My husband and I waited three years into our marriage to have kids. We have been married over ten years now. The kids have blessed our lives, but they are not our glue. They will leave us someday, but we will have each other. Sure, things changed once we had kids. But our marriage was rock solid to begin with, we spent a number of years without children to self indulge, and we are on the same wavelength with just about everything. Our marital satisfaction never "plummeted" because it's called being realistic. We've adapted to our situation instead of trying to do the square in the circle thing and that has helped immensely. If people aren't will to adapt and still want to carry on as they did pre-parenthood, then again DON'T have children. It's a job..albeit a job of love..but again, it's still a responsibility that not everyone wants or is cut out for. No harm in that.

Special needs children are another case entirely. Divorce rates are high because it can be overwhelming. God bless those parents because they are doing a herculean task. But it would be no different than taking care of any other family member when you think about it. Again, that's why your relationship needs to be rock solid.
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