Having kids – not the key to happiness.

by Jamie Sanford on August 2, 2008

Reposted from 7/1/08

Newsweek has the full article.

“Parents experience lower levels of emotional well-being, less frequent positive emotions and more frequent negative emotions than their childless peers,” says Florida State University’s Robin Simon, a sociology professor who’s conducted several recent parenting studies, the most thorough of which came out in 2005 and looked at data gathered from 13,000 Americans by the National Survey of Families and Households. “In fact, no group of parents—married, single, step or even empty nest—reported significantly greater emotional well-being than people who never had children. It’s such a counterintuitive finding because we have these cultural beliefs that children are the key to happiness and a healthy life, and they’re not.”

While I know that I will eventually have at least 1 kid, I don’t want that child to be the end-all, be-all thing in my life. I do expect that creating and raising a human being will be a terribly challenging and hopefully fulfilling experience, I do not expect it to be the only thing that I do in my life, because no matter how great my kid(s) turn out to be, if I don’t do anything of value myself, I will just be perpetuating the species, and that’s all, and that is not enough.

I have watched some people around me become obsessed with their children in a way that completely suppresses anything they might want or even need, which is the scariest thing I can imagine.

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