Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Do Kids Make Women Happier?

This was the title of a segment featured on the TODAY show, which acknowledged that more women are admitting to being unhappy and frustrated because they feel overburdened and overstressed. With or without children, 40 percent of women in the United States are now finding themselves in the breadwinner role. In this economic climate, job security is uncertain. The pressures to fill the coffers and fill multiple roles and juggle multiple tasks are taking their toll on women’s happiness.

What some women thought would bring them happiness—money, the fancy home, and children—fail to deliver. The Today show reported what many studies have shown—that parents report lower levels of happiness than nonparents. The experts featured in this segment confirmed that women’s happiness is not tied directly to having children. It is tied to finding happiness in all aspects of their being. Often that means looking for happiness outside of the confines of the mother role, or asking for help when you need it.


Salma said...

As I am on a TTC journey right now after losing my infant son almost 5 months ago, I really cannot help but ask myself this question.

I have 2 children and I love them and want more children, but thinking about my happiness is funny, I have NEVER asked myself this question.

In this moment, I am thinking..."geez, just lost a baby, do I want another one because I want one or do I want another one to replace the one I lost.

I'm sorry if I've left your head spinning...that's how I'm feeling right now. A different perspective for sure.

Laura Scott said...

Salma--So sorry to hear about the loss of your child. Having never had a child, I can't begin to imagine what you are going through right now.
However, I have friends who have miscarried or had arranged to adopt a child whose birth mother opted to keep the child and in both cases they took some time to ask themsleves these same questions. I think that is a normal process as you grieve the loss. You are in a very vunerable place and you are right to do some self care and consider your happiness as you move forward.
Thanks for posting your thoughts here.

5webs said...

I just wanted you to know that not all parents are unsupportive of the childfree. I never wanted children, and was happy with my life and my decision. Then, at the age of 34, I met and married my husband. He wanted children desperately, so I decided to put my wishes aside. I am now 40, and we have a four-year-old, a three-year-old, and a two-year-old. Parenthood is much harder than I imagined, and I wish that I had made a different choice, but I do not blame my children, and I will try to be the best mom to them that I can be. Interestingly enough, my husband who has wanted to be a father since he was 12, has also expressed regret, and wishes that he had made different choices also. I support what your organization does, and I hope that all people will allow themselves the opportunity to fully evaluate their decisions BEFORE they make them.

Laura Scott said...

"I hope that all people will allow themselves the opportunity to fully evaluate their decisions BEFORE they make them"
That is my wish for everyone too! Many thanks for a parent's perpective.