Parenthood has made me less happy, and I’m cool with that
I’ve come to embrace the research which suggests that being a parent is bad for our individual happiness. Parents I now, myself included, have a lot of things that get in the way of being as happy as we were before.
Parents get crummy sleep. We stress about money. We have less free time, because we are tending to a kid. We don’t exercise as much, generally speaking. We don’t get to hang out with friends or go on dates as much as we used to. We also feel terrible pain and anxiety when our kids are going through struggles. We are split between work and home more intensely than our childless peers.
With all that added stress, no wonder parents are less happy, or at least not happier than non-parents.
But, that’s okay. I’m willing to have my happiness decline, because I’ve gained so much - patience, intimacy, love, silliness, peace, and confidence. And probably more. As a parent, I’ve traded happiness for so many other things.
I’ll take it. Happiness is such a temporary state of being anyway.