Heard this interesting piece on NPR about new research that suggests people with kids are less happy than those without. The question the piece poses is this: why do people have kids if it makes them less happy?
I can't answer the question because I don't think the finding is accurate: having kids doesn't make us less happy, it just makes us happy in a different way.
Yes, I miss my free time. I miss being able to get up and go whenever I want, to do things without having to worry about how Olive's feeding or nap time fits in. I miss my old body (funny how I used to be dissatisfied with it; now I'd love to have it back!). And it's become a serious challenge to spend quality alone time with my husband when only a few months ago we could do this whenever we wanted.
But the trade-off? This precious little life, wholly dependent on you. Watching your child grow, learn and imitate you. Feeling rewarded when they make good choices, achieve success and create their own family.
I don't believe children make us less happy. In fact, I think they give us more than happiness; they give us true joy. And while it can be stressful, time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming to be a parent, it makes the payoff that much sweeter.