by Staff writer
Are people without kids happier?
Parenting is no joke. But now a new study shows that in the U.S., people who have children are actually less happy than those who chose to forego having kids.
Researchers from the Council on Contemporary Families analyzed data on reports of happiness and parenting from 22 European and English-speaking countries and found that while parents reported being happier than non-parents in some countries (e.g., Norway and Hungary), that just wasn’t the case in others.
When the question of parenting and happiness was thrown online, many people responded.
Here are 5 best answers we selected:
1. Kammy Chinnock, 60-year survivor of bipolar disorder says:
It depends on why they have no children.
If they have no children because they don’t want them, then yes they are happier.
However, there are people that don’t have children because they can’t for physical or mental reasons, no they are not happier.
Or like my husband and I, our children died. I will never help my daughter with her wedding, my husband will not walk her down the aisle. My son will never be able to write that book that he kept talking about.
2. Roy Martin, Divorce Attorney, says:
I’ve noticed that people often think that whatever they don’t have would make them happy. Those without kids wonder if having a child would make them happy. Those with kids often think not having kids would be so much easier. Single people think they’ll be happy when the find “the one.”
Satisfaction (I won’t call it happiness because that’s a momentary feeling) seems to come from someplace deeper. Some seem more prone to it than others. To a large extent it seems to be tied to the way we were raised by our early caregivers.
3. Joy Oliver, Asset Acquisition Manager, says:
I think it all depends on the person. I’ve known people with and without kids who are miserable.
4. Josette Taylor says:
In my own opinion, people who have what they want are happier than those who don’t.
If you want a child and can’t conceive and don’t have the resources to adopt, you’re just as miserable as someone who’s saddled with four children they never wanted.
5. Lauren Robinson, BA Psychology and Sociology, says:
There’s no straight answer to a question like this because everyone is different.
People don’t all have the same goals in life, and not everyone finds fulfillment from the same things. I have met plenty of unhappy childless people and plenty of delighted parents whose lives are made better by their children.
However, I’ve also seen people with children who are miserable and people without children who are happy to live their lives unrestricted by needy little humans.
In the end, it all boils down to what each individual wants for themselves.