So I'm at a friend's house last night and she brings up out of the blue a bit she heard on the radio that studies say people with kids are less happy than people without. To which I'm thinking, "Well yeah. Our lives and schedules aren't chained to those of our wards. I'm not up at night wondering what trouble my teen is getting into and how much it will cost me. I only have to cook for my own self, clean for my own self, financially support my own self, wipe only my own ass and if I want to run away and join the circus I can."

But I don't say this out loud. Because the next thing my friend brings up is how ridiculous a notion it is because her kids are {insert cliche here regarding bundles of joy, god's gift, greatest accomplishment, etc}. 

I Google the subject today and along the Newsweek article on the issue that most seem to be citing, there are mostly a whole lot of "Yes, but" uber-defensive articles, including one predictable but amusing one from a religious rag that reminds us the kind of happiness that makes you unhappy because you're sacrificing your happiness is the bestest darn kind of Jesus-happy there is. 

I'm sure that for many, having a child gives one a sense of pride, of passing on your genes, of having a mini-me, of having that many more loved ones to be, well, loved ones. Perhaps one finds babies just so cute that they must have one of their own. Then there are the social pressures we all feel that one must have children to be complete. 

The study isn't saying that people don't love their children or that it isn't great joy to play with them or hug them or watch them win the talent show. 

What it does underscore is that our lives are pressurized enough as it is. Job, money, home, car trouble, crime, global warming, OMG-is-that-mole-getting-bigger. Being a parent naturally multiplies those worries by however many offspring you have for whom you now worry about their involvement with these issues as well. Offspring for which you are no longer free to do many of the things you could before you had kids.

No great mystery then to me that we who only have our own asses to wipe reach for the Prozac less often than those who have several little asses to wipe. 

Tags: childless, children, depression, parenting, parents

Views: 97

Replies to This Discussion

"Everything is kids, kids, kids everywhere you look and it's a very unfriendly society to childless people. " - It sure seems that way round here, that's why i keep to myself. Some of these neighbors, i'm sure, have come to the conclusion that i'm a wacko. That's fine, just stay out of my way. I think they are scared of my lawn truck too:) When i'm piddlin around in the yard, I've seen them go get their children and bring them inside while staring at me. Hehe heh. I've seen them in the store and their eyes get big and huddle their family together. I didn't realize that i am that scary. It's funny. Two of these families have moved. Don't know if it was all because of me, but apparently i make them very uncomfortable. All of this without speaking to me.

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