The topic of having children has been a long debated discussion for singles, and married couples. First, understanding that the people surveyed in most studies are people who have had children, are considering children, or do not have children at all. People involved are single parents with or without children, and married couples with or without children.
The debate on having children, or not, can result in 1 of 4 outcomes
- No Children and Happy
- No Children and Unhappy
- Children and Happy
- Children and Unhappy
There are many factors that can affect the experience each person has, which includes the financial situation of the parent, the general happiness level of the person excluding their parental status, and what type of cultural environment the person lives in. You could call it the good old, ‘nature vs. nurture’ comparison.
The two most common outcomes that we will focus on for today is people with or without children and their happiness levels.
It’s no secret that children are expensive. An article in the Washington Post reveals that families shell out an average of $13,000 a year, or appropriately $233,610 over the course of raising a child to age 17. Deciding not to have children can free up your finances, and can allow you more freedom to travel, invest, and get more educated.
Children are stressful and cause parents a lot of anxiety during the initial child rearing stages. Not having children allows you the time and space to be more relaxed, and focus on having a better and higher quality life.
Singles with no children have more freedom, and time. Two qualities that attribute to higher levels of happiness. And then there are some singles who simply do not have a desire to bear and rear children. This does not make them selfish. It is simply their personal choice. And it is a legitimate decision.
People who are married experience a lot of change after a baby arrives. What is shocking is that parents are more likely to be depressed than their child-free counterparts and that people without kids were happier than any other group, including empty nesters, according to a study conducted by the American Sociological Association.
Whether single or partnered up, your sex life also diminishes after having children. According to Psychology Today, parents don’t have enough energy for sex, they allow their children to sleep in the same bedroom, and planning for date night requires a lot of effort to schedule babysitters. In fact, having safe sex is really important for your overall health.
The overall single life or marriage quality declines as a result from time allocated into child rearing. Boo.
Depending on where you live, and the influences you have around you, you may be pressured to have children or stay career oriented and single. Generally, as noted in All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister, women who live in cities tend to work more and have more social freedoms than their rural counterparts. The cultural effect has a big play on your parental status and happiness status.
Either way you look into it, people tend to do what makes them happy. Whether it may be a single adult who is rocking their career and loving it, or parents who feel more fulfilled after having children, one should look into what the pros and cons are for each side. Find out what makes you happy, and do more of it! As for now, rock what you’ve got, and have fun doing it.