Does Being a Parent Really Make You Happier?

Parenthood is hard, but we love it and our kids even more. Even if we have difficulties juggling everything simultaneously, they still give us a sense of purpose and a source of satisfaction. The question now is, does being a parent really make you happier?

Child-rearing may be the most fulfilling job you’ll ever have, and it can set you up to take the world. And many people have their own unique and valid reasons for choosing to have and raise a child. It is simple; children make people happy.

When mothers give birth to a child, all the pain and exhaustion will be forgotten when they see a glimpse of their child. The sight of your child will fill your heart with so much love you never know you can give. And from that moment on, you will tell yourself that you’ll do anything for that child.

There will be sleepless nights, there will be a time when you feel like you want to cry from all the fatigue, and there will be a lot of challenges here and there. Still, when you look at your child at the night’s end, you will feel your heart filled with love and happiness.

Being a parent is hard work, but it is also fun, exciting, and super rewarding. Parenthood is watching your kid on his first-ever school program; he’s not singing, he’s not dancing, he just sways there on the stage smiling, but your heart swells with so much pride already. Parenthood gives you that feeling that is much more profound than happiness. It has something to do with satisfaction, purpose, and meaning. 

Of course, some challenges come along with being a parent. Studies show that having children is bad for the quality of life. Other studies show a “happiness bump” that parents experience right after a baby is born. It doesn’t go away for a long time. Parenthood involves financial struggle, sleep deprivation, and stress. There is also the physical strain of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding for mothers. Having a child may also turn a romantic partnership into a battle of who gets to sleep and work. 

The happiness hit may be worse for some people than for others. Needless to say, young parents and single parents may suffer the most tremendous loss. Some research suggests how parental leaves and other social policies that help parents face the challenges of balancing work with child-rearing responsibilities can contribute to parents’ happiness.

And yes, having kids does boost your life satisfaction, but it comes with a tremendous amount of responsibility. This results in a rollercoaster of very high highs and lows throughout parenthood. But more often than not, we forget the lows, and we tend to remember the peaks, and that is how children provide us with so much joy more than anything.

Ultimately, there are myriad reasons why people have children that are well beyond happiness. Many people remember about parenthood are the incredible highs of creating a new life, the outpouring of love and devotion that you feel for that new person, and the protection and affection you want to give to that person.