Aren’t you HAPPY that another study has come out exploring what it takes for parents to be HAPPY? This kind of study always hooks me because it makes me wonder, Do I have what it takes to be happy as a parent? Am I already happy as a parent? Will I EVER be happy as a parent?
Sure, we all joke about being miserable and grumpy as parents after scrubbing poop smears off the wall with an old toothbrush, but deep down, we all want to be happy—at least one day a week. I, personally, would rather for that happiness to occur while I am in the presence of my kids, instead of when I book the babysitter.
But not to worry. A study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin has the answer for you. Ready? Parents, here’s what it really takes to be happy:
The results, presented in Austin and published online Feb. 3 in the journal Psychological Bulletin, revealed that a happy marriage, secure bank account and good sleep make for happy moms and dads. Being young, single, having a child with behavioral or developmental problems or being the non-custodial parent are all linked to less parenting happiness though all parents, even young, single parents, reported more meaning and purpose in their lives compared with people without kids.
To this study I say, HAHAHAH. No disrespect, but it’s simply not going to happen. I appreciate you researchers taking your precious time to try to figure out how the rest of us can be happy parents, but you might as well have told us that we should spend our next Saturday afternoon trying to catch a golden unicorn with a net in the park. Come to think of it, my kids would probably think that was pretty fun…
I’m not saying that it is impossible to be happy as a parent. I consider myself happy the majority of the time, excluding the poop smear days. Waiting for all of your ducks to line up in a happy marriage, fat bank account, and eight hours of sleep means that you’ll probably be waiting a long, long time.
I am no scientist, but here’s my two cents: If you were happy before kids, you’ll probably be happy after kids. Being a parent isn’t going to make you deliriously happy.