Reports USA Today, “Parents today may indeed be happier than non-parents.”
This is very confusing to me, because I remember an article in Newsweek four years ago that said otherwise. In it, a sociology professor who had conducted studies on parental happiness said, “No group of parents — married, single, step or even empty nest — reported significantly greater emotional well-being than people who have never had children.”
I remember the article well, because I was quoted in it, having been interviewed while sitting by a hotel pool in Philadelphia as my kids played Marco Polo. (For the record: I recall feeling pretty happy that day.) Among the witty bon mots I supplied while lathering up in sunscreen, I said:
“We’ve made parenthood out to be one blissful moment after another, and it’s disappointing when you find out it’s not.”
And now it appears the studies and perhaps therefore my assertions may be incorrect. One professor says there were “serious problems with previous work that ought to make people skeptical about the earlier conclusions.”
But before you run off to procreate in search of happiness, consider what the leader of one of the new studies told USA Today: “Happiness among non-parents has declined, thus making parents happier in comparison.”
So parents aren’t any happier than before, but we’re happier than non-parents simply because they’re unhappier than we are. Got that?
Tell us: Are you happy now?