So I'm at a friend's house last night and she brings up out of the blue a bit she heard on the radio that studies say people with kids are less happy than people without. To which I'm thinking, "Well yeah. Our lives and schedules aren't chained to those of our wards. I'm not up at night wondering what trouble my teen is getting into and how much it will cost me. I only have to cook for my own self, clean for my own self, financially support my own self, wipe only my own ass and if I want to run away and join the circus I can."

But I don't say this out loud. Because the next thing my friend brings up is how ridiculous a notion it is because her kids are {insert cliche here regarding bundles of joy, god's gift, greatest accomplishment, etc}. 

I Google the subject today and along the Newsweek article on the issue that most seem to be citing, there are mostly a whole lot of "Yes, but" uber-defensive articles, including one predictable but amusing one from a religious rag that reminds us the kind of happiness that makes you unhappy because you're sacrificing your happiness is the bestest darn kind of Jesus-happy there is. 

I'm sure that for many, having a child gives one a sense of pride, of passing on your genes, of having a mini-me, of having that many more loved ones to be, well, loved ones. Perhaps one finds babies just so cute that they must have one of their own. Then there are the social pressures we all feel that one must have children to be complete. 

The study isn't saying that people don't love their children or that it isn't great joy to play with them or hug them or watch them win the talent show. 

What it does underscore is that our lives are pressurized enough as it is. Job, money, home, car trouble, crime, global warming, OMG-is-that-mole-getting-bigger. Being a parent naturally multiplies those worries by however many offspring you have for whom you now worry about their involvement with these issues as well. Offspring for which you are no longer free to do many of the things you could before you had kids.

No great mystery then to me that we who only have our own asses to wipe reach for the Prozac less often than those who have several little asses to wipe. 

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Replies to This Discussion

I'm all for teaching your kids to help out and giving them a solid work ethic. But that much work? Dad should have been paying you something to also teach about "Fair wage for a fair day's work."
I'll be 40 this year and every year I am happier about my choice to be child-free! I owe a huge amount in student loans and can't imagine being able to afford to send anyone else to college! I get to spend my time doing whatever I want, spend my money on me and my husband and have a quiet, peaceful life. No regrets here.

Also turning 40 this year and no regrets. Also have student loans too :(
Trippo (I guess? Ditto squared?). 42, student loans are killing me. When money sucks (which it does often), at least I have only myself to worry about; I'm the only one who suffers. When money is good I get to spend it on myself.

Then there are days like today when I get out of bed and away from my mindless Netflix marathon only to fix lunch. No other mouths to feed other than the cats, no one else to clothe or care for.
No one ever asks the kids if they are happy being the children of the parents.

Not all families are bundles of joy.

Actually, I think most of the ones that say they are are lying.

It always seems to be the imperative for Big Business, media outlets, etc, to make us keep wanting to have kids, so of course they are going to try and downplay the findings (just like the government's downplay of all the studies showing the lack of harm from pot). They need all those little consumers without critical thinking yet.
I don't think that kids are entirely frontal-lobe formed enough to make that judgement all on their own. I know a few who would say they live a life of cruelty because they have to clean their rooms regularly and share with their siblings.

But on the other side of it, our society goes to the extreme of completely ignoring the child's needs. I'm a big believer in treating them like little adults. Listen to what they have to say. "Why don't you think you should have to clean your room?" Let them be at least a little bit part of the decision making process. Teach them responsibility, critical thinking and decision making at a young age.

As for the Evil Corporate Empire, don't even get me started. Of course they want us to have a quiverfull; we're breeding consumers.
You give me the clue to understand people I wondered about - the Let´s-have-a-baby-to-save-our-bad-marriage-people. But this must be their solution - once they have the children they have no more time to think about their marriage, they just plod on mindlessly. It´s the happiness of a rut.
I know a couple who did just that.
I'm 28 and I still don't want kids but I feel the pressure. I mean I took my niece and nephew to a local fair since my sis was busy and I can't tell you how many of those vendors called out, "hey mom! Come over here!" It was weird but it made me want to shout out "Unlike you, my niece and nephew are enough for me and I don't need my own kids! I actually use birth control!! I was not a teenage mom- I actually had a childhood unlike these teenage sluts having kids now!"

I am soo happy I don't have kids because I have gone through some hard times with jobs and health in the past few years and I could only imagine what difficulty it would be to have a kid "along for the ride."

So many people have had to move back with their parents due to economic reasons and some of them have kids and what a burden that would be for the grandparents!

Everything is kids, kids, kids everywhere you look and it's a very unfriendly society to childless people. I found it ironic on TV how some lady claimed society is very unchild friendly. What planet is she on? You can have a litter of kids and the gov't will take care of them and not pressure you to control your own reproduction. I work with kids who are not privileged and their parents just keep having kids. If you can't afford one child why have another? You should wait until you are more financially stable and able to afford one before having more!!!

OK sorry I am ranting. I can go on and on lol
I believe we ALL can go on and on, lol. It's a messed up world that way.
I can't tell you how many of those vendors called out, "hey mom! Come over here!"

It's a natural and normally safe assumption for people to make, but it does feel weird.

Last year my niece and nephew picked me up from the hospital post-motorcycle wreck. While we were at the clinic getting prescriptions and follow-up paperwork, I can't tell you how many people assumed they were my kids.

Same thing, I wanted to shout: "I don't have kids! And I'm barely old enough to be these guys' mom!" But I'm guessing that 3 days in the hospital, all bandaged up and in a wheelchair, I was looking a tad older than I normally do. ;-)
I went with my nephew to a cub scouts meeting. One person called me "Sammy's mom" I smiled and told her that he is my nephew. Her response? "Whatever". Didn't feel weird at all.


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