Parenting is hard. Everything about it is hard. The messes. The emotions. The relationship struggles. The nothing-going-the-way-they-said-it-would-ness of it all. The screaming. So you’d think that all parents would be nothing but miserable, day-in and day-out. Turns out that’s not the case, at least according to a little thing we like to call science.
You may have heard of science. Maybe you took a few courses in school, or maybe you’ve just been reading this very website. Regardless, at some point, you’ve likely heard of science and know that, for the most part, it is to be trusted.
So when science says that parents aren’t miserable, we have no choice but to listen to science. Sure, we’re tempted to argue, because of the aforementioned messes and screaming and ruined relationships, but according to a recent Heidelburg University study, parents are generally happier later in life than people who did not have children.
There is a catch: this only applies to parents whose grown children actually, you know, move out of the house.
The main takeaway of the study is that people with children are generally happier later in life. (This study does not speak to the misery-level of parents who are still learning feeding schedules, which is perhaps why its findings initially sounded so surprising.)
In short: If you want to be happier later in life, you’ll need to play the long game. That means temper tantrums and diaper changes now so that, later, you’ll feel this apparently more significant happiness after the kids have flown the coop.
And if that doesn’t work, don’t blame us! Take it up with science! Watch the video above for more of a breakdown of the study’s findings.
Matt is a writer, editor, and content strategist currently based in Washington state. He has worked as a managing editor for the iconic I Can Has Cheezburger, Celebuzz (a SpinMedia site), and now Mamas Uncut. He also acted as the Social Media Director for CafeMom.
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