Monday, March 09, 2009

Kids Make You Happy (Not): More Discussion

"The key to happiness in life is low expectations" (author unknown).
Research that shows Kids don't make you happy does not trouble me in the least. I am happy that my wife and I decided to have kids and we have 4 wonderful children, 2 of whom now have terrific spouses. Click here to listen to Robin Simon, Sociologist at FSU, discussing last summer's Newsweek article on this very topic.

But, have I been a "happy" Dad all day-every day, since becoming a father 29 years ago? Of Course Not.
Do people have children as an antidote to depression? (I hope not)
Do people have children because they look around at the world and think, "Everyone with children....they look so happy"? (I don't think so)

The decision to have children needs to be made knowing that there are rewards for parenting which are deep and fulfilling to be sure. But, one of the rewards, if you asked me, is certainly not automatic happiness. There is abundant happiness in parenting; it's just not 24/7.

So if you're thinking of having kids to bring you happiness, please think again.


Noah Wolfe said...

Very true post.
No one likes to wake up to a crying baby at 3 o'clock in the morning. Of course, when he giggles later in the day it all seems worth it. :)