Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I kissed them both again as I do every night and I thought to myself "this is what it is all about." The love for my children, for my husband, my family, makes everything worthwhile.

How can anyone say having children made me less happy?

I read an article earlier this week that talked about how much more unhappy people are when they have children. Apparently, some researcher looked at stress levels in women with children and compared those to stress levels in women without children and determined women with children are more stressed and less happy overall. I am totally going off of the top of my head here. It may have been some other factor they were comparing. I read it a couple of days ago and didn't think much of it really.

Or so I thought.

Yet, here it is, 11:30 on Wednesday night. I'm on my way to bed and I'm thinking how flawed that study must have been.  How could anyone suggest that being a parent isn't worth it? Perhaps that wasn't the point of the study or even the article that I read, but that is what stuck with me.

Being a parent is totally worth it. Is my life more stressed than before I had children? Most definitely! Am I more tired? Yes. Do I have less money? Decidedly so. Has my privacy gone out the window? Usually.

But I don't think any of that is bad. I am stressed, tired, broke, and constantly surrounded because I have someone to care for, to love, to nurture.  I have two small, helpless babies who need me. Taking care of them has made me a better person. It has made me care more, love more, see more, feel more, and be more.

Clearly, if I did not have children, I would have more money. I would likely have more time to do things like go out, get a massage, take vacations, and basically pamper myself. And I would likely be less stressed. But what is the point in that?

I've always been a person who loves to give. I can't even hold on to gifts until the proper day to give them because I enjoy the act of giving so much. Being a parent is giving the best gift ever--the gift of life. I am responsible for helping two extraordinary individuals find out who they will be and I get to teach them the wonder in this world, the magic in life. How awesome is that!

I don't think parenthood is for everyone. I'm sure some people are happier without having to change diapers and being able to sleep through the night rather than chasing after a toddler running through the house with finger paint still wet and dripping. I'm sure people have plenty of good reasons why not being a parent is correct for them. And I say bravo to you for making your own decision.  But for me, the hugs, the kisses, the stories, the smiles, the laughter, and the everything that make up my children outweigh any possible negatives. I can't believe someone would suggest I would be happier without my children.

After writing this post, I found the article: Does having children make you happy?


  1. I think it depends on the parent or the couple.

    For Hubby and I, our marriage got better with the birth of our first child. I think the exact opposite happens for a lot of people and they grow apart. We are happier with kids, but I know couples who can't deal with the added stress of a child and have since been on the verge of breaking up.

    I have many many moments where I feel loss, and maybe even a little regret, when I think about how much me time I used to have before kids. But, I cam't imagine my life without them.

    My own Mom though... I think she has always believed that having children was the biggest mistake of her life. I would say if the researchers examined woman like her, they'd be correct with the assumption that having kids means less happiness.

  2. I happen to agree with you...I am more complete with my kids. I never thought I would enjoy being a mom...I loved being single and traveling the world and just being able to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted with whoever I wanted. I loved being single! I also never knew what it would be like to be a mom and I can tell is the BEST! I am glad I was able to live the life I did before I had kids. I think if I had my kids when I was younger I might be looking back at all the stuff I never did...but I don't do that now...I have done and seen everything I wanted when I was in my 20s and 30s.

    I do think my husband would be happier and less stressed sometimes without kids. He loves them, but when he gets home from a hard day at work I know he just wants to take a nap and that just doesn't happen around here.

    Stress...absolutely. Less money...a lot less. Alone time...hardly ever. Would I trade it for anything...NO WAY!

  3. My love for my children is like none I've ever known and I wouldn't trade my time with them for anything. The love overpowered the stress, lack of self-attention, money, etc. I've never regretted our decision to have children. It only gets better--now they are my friends as well as my loves.

    Enjoy every precious moment!


  4. The person who did this study clearly has not measured the level of joy that bursts out of me every time I hear my son laugh.

    Honestly, while I definitely experience a lot of stress being a mother, I think I am better able to keep myself from "sweating the small stuff" than I was before I had the baby. And in that way, I think you could call me a happier person. Stress isn't such a bad thing. It motivates us. It makes us think. It keeps us from being complacent. And as long as it isn't debilitating, it sure does make life interesting.

    Great post! Thanks!

  5. I have Zero scientific knowledge to back this up, but I would be willing to bet that we are genetically programed to be happier when we produce offspring. Surely there is something in our brain chemistry that derives pleasure from having kids despite the many challenges that come along with it.

  6. Motherhood means making MANY sacrifices, but I cant even describe the joy I feel when I come home from a hard day of work, seeing that little person's face who loves me more than anything in this whole world - that is priceless!


Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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