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Does being a parent make you happier?

Eleonore Dresch | 10:22 UK time, Tuesday, 13 July 2010

kidspix.jpgAccording to an article published last week in the New York magazine, All Joy and no Fun the answer is NO!
And the more children you have, the unhappier you are likely to be.
The author, Jennifer Senior, has plenty of research to support her argument. Parents surveyed say they experience a distinct drop in happiness after they have kids.

The article points out that children have a detrimental effect on marriage as parents are spending more time with their children and less with one another. "Children, Jennifer Senior concludes, may provide unrivalled moments of joy. But they also provide unrivalled moments of frustration, tedium, anxiety, heartbreak. Loving one's children and loving the act of parenting are not the same thing."

The article has provoked a torrent of comments.

The US based Christian KSS blog complains that these days, "parents see children as projects to be developed. These children - especially those in the middle and upper middle class families - are constantly en route to one practice or another and pushed into the level of academic and social success that their parents think absolutely necessary for success in life."

Sarah Wildman, from Politics Daily reckons the reason for unhappy parents is the lack of subsidised childcare, and she reminds us that in Sweden, men are almost forced to take paternity leave.

Meanwhile, blogger, Maedline Holler, thinks that Jennifer Senior has got it all wrong.

And in the UK, Kate Kellaway writes in the Observer that childless people "often turn out to be the most creative, generous and en rapport with other people's chidren." She concludes that parenting is not about happiness - it is about love - not the same thing at all.

We will discuss the issue on World Update next Thursday. So - what do you think? Is having kids bad for your happiness?

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