Parents happier than childless peers

Darci Marchese,

WASHINGTON – Is it possible to be a happy parent with no sleep, dirty diapers and testy teenagers? Survey says: Yes.

Two new studies reveal parents are happier than their childless peers.

One study presented to the Population Association of America’s annual meeting used data from almost 130,000 adults from around the world.

The study found modern parents may be happier than non-parents and tend to stay that way.

“We find no evidence that parental well-being decreases after a child is born to levels preceding the children, but we find strong evidence that well-being is elevated when people are planning and waiting for the child, and in the year when the child is born,” co-author Milo Myrskyla of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany tells USA TODAY.

Another study of about 12,000 adults took place between 1972 and 2008.

While it found that non-parents were happier from 1985 to 1995, parents from 1995 to 2008 were happier.

The study didn’t surprise the parents with whom WTOP spoke in Charles County, Md.

“I’m much happier with children than I think I would have been without children,” says Tammy. She adds, being a parent “is a lot of fun, really. Kids keep you young.”

Patricia tells WTOP, “We get hugs and kisses from little ones.”

Patricia says she’d be lost without her two children, but admits there are ups and downs and life gets “crazy sometimes,” but wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I’m happy, I mean of course you have your stressful moments” says Kerrie, a mother of five. But she adds that she has no regrets.

Even adults without children told WTOP they’d have guessed the surveys found parents were happier.

Maime, who was with her 2-year-old niece, says, “I’m much happier when kids are around.”

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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