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Does Having Kids Make You Less Happy?

New York Magazine

Babies are often referred to as bundles of joy, but does having kids really bring happiness? According to New York Magazine’s latest cover story, no.

“Most people assume that having children will make them happier. Yet a wide variety of academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so,” Jennifer Senior writes in "All Joy and No Fun," from the July 12 issue of the magazine.

Senior cites a number of studies that support the link between parenting and feelings of discontent –- findings that show mothers are less happy than fathers (single parents are even less happy), the majority of married mothers say they crave more time for themselves, and that nearly half of the disputes between long-married couples were about their kids.

Any parent who has experienced a toddler supermarket meltdown or the eye-rolling of a sarcastic teen knows that raising kids is not always fun. But we have a hard time accepting how the article presents parenting: a grueling day-to-day struggle that produces rare moments of happiness, a process that you will only be able to enjoy in retrospect.

What do you think? Do feel more--or less--happy now that you have children? Do the joys of raising kids outweigh the challenges?