Do you agree with this research that having kids doesn’t make parets unhappy but raising them does? So where do we expend more money as parents? Child care, clothing, education or health Care? Let’s chat mamas.
Having kids doesn’t always make parents happier. In fact, research has shown that in general, having kids actually makes parents less happy.
But a recent study may have finally found the cause of their unhappiness: money.
After accounting for the financial strain that parenthood brings, it turns out having children doesn’t reduce parental happiness, but increases it, authors David Blanchflower and Andrew Clark wrote in a working paper published last month by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
The researchers surveyed about a million European respondents over a 10-year period ending in 2018, asking them to rate their life satisfaction throughout the decade on a scale from one to four. They also asked, “During the last twelve months, would you say you had difficulties to pay your bills at the end of the month?”
The respondents’ happiness levels dipped around the times they had children.
But the cause of this drop in happiness was clear: financial struggles, not the act of having children itself. It costs about $250,000 to raise a child to the age of 18, according to a Merrill Lynch report last year, and some European countries reportedsimilarly high figures.
“When we started asking the question ‘Do you have difficulty paying your bills?’ I could see it all anew,” Blanchflower told Business Insider. “By simply looking at that one little variable, we could flip the data and see things differently.”
“Children are expensive, making it difficult for some parents to pay the bills,” Blanchflower wrote in the paper. “Our findings illustrate how you can flip the notion that children make parents unhappy. Once you control for a household’s financial circumstances, including any difficulties that parents may have, the negative impact of children on life satisfaction disappears and becomes positive.”
In other words, kids raise their parents’ happiness “as long as they do not lead to difficulties in paying the bills,” he wrote.
Do you agree?