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Do Kids = Unhappiness?

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New studies indicate this might be the case. Do you agree?

portrait of mother and daughter

In the April edition of the online Journal of the British Psychological Association, they say that numerous scholars have found some evidence that parents often report statistically significantly lower levels of happiness, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and mental well-being compared with non-parents. Bummer!

In our own momlogic happiness survey, we asked stay-at-home moms and working moms what makes them truly happy -- and both say it's being ALONE!

Be honest: Were you happier BEFORE kids?


next: Shut UP at the Gym!
23 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amber April 5, 2009, 12:23 PM

Yep I was. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. There are moments that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but there are moments after all day bickering that I wouldn’t mind sleeping past 6 am and having cocktails and going to lunch with friends when ever I feel like it. There are times I envy my single friends.

Ginny April 5, 2009, 3:01 PM

So NOT happier before kids. I love my family more than anything. Was I unhappy before? Nope. Completely satisfied being single with no kids. But life feels absolutely complete now with a husband who loves me and two beautiful girls. But some days are very hard. And alone time? Oh, ya. I long for the times I can at least go to the bathroom by myself. But I would never sacrifice having the opportunity to know and understand true love, for the opportunity to sleep in and go out with friends.

sara April 5, 2009, 3:28 PM

I guess its just u have more freedom before and with the kids you have good days and bad days but when i watch the kids playing or the littleun say a new word then it makes it worthwhile its a different kind of happy b4 i would get happy if i brought a new lipgloss !now i get happy takin the kids out but yep sometimes i do just wish for more me time

gemma April 5, 2009, 3:39 PM

i think part of me was happier being single but I would gladly give up my partner but I would never give up my beautiful kids no matter how crazy they make me

Anonymous April 5, 2009, 3:49 PM

I think this is an interesting question because even though this can be an anonymous posting, people who haven’t admitted the truth even to themselves, won’t answer it truthfully.

I miss not having to worry about anyone but myself. I can’t remember what that’s even like. I’d be less happy as a whole without my 2 kiddos. But I’d love to have a break from them.

Anna April 5, 2009, 4:13 PM

I’m happier now. But it’s all about finding balance in your life. Don’t feel guilty about making time for yourself! If you do that, you will be a better mom, and enjoy your family even more.

paradisejenn April 5, 2009, 4:16 PM

Not even maybe. Sounds cliched, but I was meant to be a mom. Even though my marriage ended, I never regretted being married, because I ended up with the two best parts of me - my children. We hang out together, share interests, laugh and support each other. But I am still the parent, I discipline when necessary. Being a mom is something that I was supposed to do with my life. I am happier as a divorced mom, but having children did not end my marriage, an abusive husband did.

Kira April 5, 2009, 4:50 PM

I was always happy, but now that i am married and we have 2 little girls together i am complete! My life would not be the same with out them, nothing in this world beats the smile of a child to me. and when it comes to “me” time, well i get that when they go to bed.

Jenn aka Future Mama April 5, 2009, 6:24 PM

I’m not a mother yet but I’m on my way to becoming one so I think I have a different point of view here.

Obviously I’ve never been a mom but I think the grass is always greener. I love going out with my friends and sleeping in, but there’s nothing I love more than vegging out with my husband. Seeing couples with little babies makes me SOOOO JEALOUS! They seem so much happier than us!

I have a career and my degree, and just when I get a promotion I begin to think “I’ll feel complete now” but that’s never the case. I don’t doubt being a mother will be a VERY hard job, but I also believe that’s what’s missing… That’s what will complete me as the woman I am and the woman I’m meant to be.

You make yourself happy, and I’m going to try to enjoy every stage of my life… pre-mother hood, young motherhood, teenagers (if that’s possible) and so on… You only live once so why not try to enjoy the experience you’re living while you’re living it?! When it’s gone you’ll miss it… Just like some miss pre-kids now… That’s my guess at least!

Can’t wait to join the mom club! (Although after reading this I’ll enjoy my sleep and random outings while they last!)

Judy Inman April 5, 2009, 6:27 PM

The load of responsibility can over shadow happiness at times, but now as a grandparent I can reassure my adult children that the delayed gratification demanded from parents is more than made up for with the sheer joy that grandchildren provide. No way would I have missed out on those blessings.

Emily Jones April 5, 2009, 6:34 PM

I guess it depends on your attitude and how you define happiness. If by “happiness” you mean “freedom from constraint or obligation,” then sure, I was “happier” before kids.

If, however, you define “happiness” as “fulfillment” or “purposeful” or “satisfied,” then I am 1,000,000 times happier after kids.

Happiness to me is creating a family, having a posterity, having a purpose in life, raising new people, having responsibility, and being surrounded by unconditional love.

Anonymous April 5, 2009, 6:53 PM

I have read similar studies. The core of the studies seem to say that moms have trouble compartmentalizing. While they are playing with their children, they are thinking about the piles of laundry to do or dinner to be made … so they are obviously not enjoying the time with their children. From my perspective, I have got to agree. I have to remind myself sometimes that just because women seem to be born to multi-task, doesn’t mean we need to do it all the time. I am definitely happier with kids. No question. I just have to remind myself to think about the now and enjoy my kids while they are kids.

Bec Thomas April 5, 2009, 9:44 PM

Happiness is what you make it out to be; aas I happy before I had kids? Sometimes I was sometimes I wasn’t, I find little has changed on that front.

Jamie April 5, 2009, 10:46 PM

My daughter “completes” me. I’m sure there will be days when I’ve had it up to here with attitude but, it goes with the territory. If you feel constrained by parental obligations, it’s time to get a baby sitter. You probably need some “me time” and there’s nothing wring with that.

Jill April 5, 2009, 11:59 PM

I think I was happier before children. I first pregnancy was really tough so I quit my job and became a stay at home mom. I now have two kids and don’t have time to myself or time with my husband. What makes me so unhappy is he spends more time with our girls than he does with me. No matter what I do, it’s like he doesn’t see me. I could spend hours trying to make myself look good for him and never notices. I swear I could have one brow and a bred and he still wouldn’t look at me. I’ve been feeling down since I had my last baby ( 10 months ago) he just thinks I’m being a b****. So yes I miss the days that I was single, or when I dated guys who gave a S***, and said you look nice today. But I wouldn’t trade places with anyone, because I love my lil’devils. More matter how stressful being a mom is, or how you feel like you lose yourself.

Nicci April 6, 2009, 12:06 AM

My daughter makes me appreciate life more than I did in my childless days. Some days even weeks can be rough but a few minutes of happiness with your child makes the rough ones easier to take. I’m much happier being a mom but I try not to lose myself and become resentful.

K&C's mom April 6, 2009, 1:32 AM

I was not happier before I had kids, yes they drive me nuts some days, but I love coming home from work, and hearing “Mommy’s home, yeah”, instead of coming home to a empty house!!!

savvy female April 6, 2009, 9:26 AM

I luv my children enormously..They are an economic burden..which adds financial pressure and stresses. However, all that is overshadowed by the love and affection that they give. I wouldn’t swap them 4 the word. Do they equate to unhappiness. CERTAINLY NOT..my life is complete with my family

jenny April 6, 2009, 12:32 PM

It was a different type of happiness before my son. Yes I had a lot of freedom to do as I pleased, but now I really cherish my “free” moments. I would not trade him for anything I had or did not have before he came. Every moment with or without him has a whole new meaning in my world of what happiness really is.

Lona April 6, 2009, 1:04 PM

Im thinking happiness and satisfaction before and/or after children has to do with the individual and their mental and emotional capabilities. Momhood is a job, and there are those that are satisfied with their job and those that are not. It doesn’t necessarily mean that ‘we’ all don’t delve into our work trying to achieve 100%. There are good days and bad days. I’m just as happy or unhappy with kids as without. I love my kids and consider myself blessed that they are here in my life. However, I really have not found my ‘niche’ yet. That makes me sad.


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