Having a child is supposed to be one of the greatest experiences in life, right? Not according to a new study, which found this milestone isn’t so joyous.
Research published in the journal Demography found that becoming a parent negatively impacts an individual’s happiness. Surprisingly, having kids was worse than divorce, unemployment and even the death of a partner.
After following 2,016 Germans into parenthood, the study reported that couples had a higher rate of happiness two years prior to having kids, likely due to pregnancy or anticipation of a baby. One year after having a child, the happiness levels dropped severely.
To conduct the study, Rachel Margolis, a sociology researcher at University of Western Ontario, and Mikko Myrskylä, the director at Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, asked couples to rate their happiness from 0 to 10, with 10 being completely satisfied.
Only 30 per cent of couples reported the same level of happiness after having kids. On average, the remaining participants reported a 1.4 unit drop in happiness, which is considered severe. (By comparison, happiness levels dropped by one unit after the death of a partner.)
“Although this measure does not capture respondents’ overall experience of having a child, it is preferable to direct questions about childbearing because it is considered taboo for new parents to say negative things about a new child,” the study said.
The research found that the greater the drop in happiness parents experienced, the less likely they were to have more children, especially if they were 30 or older with a higher education.
It's interesting to note that Germany, where the study took place, has the lowest birth rate in the world. Hmmmmm....
How would you rate your happiness level post kids?
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