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Does Having Kids Ruin Your Life?

Living 2010/07/09 13:41:55
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Would people be happier if they decided not to have children?

A new story in New York magazine collects the various studies that have shown that having children does not make people happier, and often makes them miserable.

Having kids is especially bad for your relationship with your spouse, and having more than one child is especially misery-provoking, research shows.

The article argues that perhaps the problem is that today's helicopter parents spend so much time "perfecting" their kids that they have no time for themselves or their marriages. Seems like a good point.

However, the author also writes that parenthood is "something most of us would say we’d be miserable without."

Do You Think Having Children Makes People Happier Or Unhappier?

Read More: http://nymag.com/news/features/67024/

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Top Opinion

  • safari 2010/07/11 01:47:44
    Happier
    safari
    +7
    I would probably not be alive if it weren't for my kids! They are the most fantastic element of my life and I would NOT trade them or my experiences with them for anything! If only I could go back and relive some of our wonderful times together! But there are always more in the future just waiting for me to enjoy and treasure.

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Opinions

  • Bo Hunter 2013/02/12 15:55:30
  • Casey Beaudoin 2012/08/19 21:12:59
    Unhappier
    Casey Beaudoin
    You have to know your limitations. If you can barely take care of yourself, having children is probably not a good idea. It doesn't mean you're selfish, just self actualized. You set your own reality. Nobody can perceive the joys and limitations of parenthood for you. Life can be awesome with or without kids. Here is the simple rule of thumb to follow... If you are questioning your ability to be a parent, then don't do it. If the idea of parenthood makes you hopeful and happy, then do it. DO NOT contemplate parenthood if you are
    half- hearted, or wanting to please a partner. DO NOT do it if you want someone to love and be your friend, or someone that will be there for you in old-age. Huge mistake. That is setting yourself up to be miserable.
  • Jennifer 2012/07/29 04:35:09
    Unhappier
    Jennifer
    My husband and I would make absolutely wonderful parents, at least that is what everyone tells us. We like other people's kids and not only spoil them rotten but give a huge amount of money/clothes/toys to charity all year long. Neither of us wish to ever purposely have children. We are well educated and quite happy with our lives. Neither of us want to give up our free time (to do absolutely nothing if we so choose) or our money (to spend on frivolous things if we so choose because we do work hard for it). I actually find that a lot of people who claim that having children is so wonderful are actually trying to convince themselves more than anything and the majority of them are extremely jealous of people who don't have children. That is not to say they don't love their children; just as if I accidentally got pregnant, my husband and I would love our child. I'm saying though that they yearn for the days when they could be carefree like children instead of having to parent them. I mean really people have kids to relive their youth, but who is to say you have to bring a child into this world to do that?
  • Joe 2010/09/21 20:35:12
    Happier
    Joe
    To VES and MUSTANG debate:

    this is more towards YOU VES:

    Passive aggressiveness is a form of hate.....see people like you are sneaky.....you have developed a way to be passive aggressive and seem tolerant but in reality you are just as set in your ways as mustang.....see this is how liberals work....they think that its only the words that come out oif their mouth that will represent how they really feel....just another example of why street smarts always conquers "intelligence" and book smarts.....ves....as you are now you sound like that of an angry bitter intolerant liberal....wronged by someone in your life.....for you to be so adamant about not wanting kids and feeling the need to get this involved means something (not my business to judge or assume what that is)-----something happened and instead of dealing with it and breaking the cycle ---you just walk around angry inside hiding behind an innocent front.......you think people like me with street smarts dont catch key words?? you made about 10 posts adamantly stating you wont have kids....then slipped up and said in one of your latter ones "the fact that you or i MAY never have kids...." you are just arrgoant hun and its time to get off the high horse
  • Casey B... Joe 2012/08/19 20:47:21
    Casey Beaudoin
    +1
    Joe, passive aggressive behavior is often a reaction to stressful and unwanted situations. When conservatives work to undermine the values and beliefs shared by a majority of Americans, they will find themselves unable to win a general presidential election. So, when Obama wins in November, please remember this post with love and devotion, then go buy a big juicy chic-fil-a sandwich and chew on your hate and intolerance for a long time sweety.
  • Casey B... Joe 2012/08/19 20:56:20
    Casey Beaudoin
    +3
    The problem with having kids is it's a craps shoot. You don't know what your going to get, or even if you are going to like being a parent. If you can avoid the Darwinian call to reproduce, than don't. Looking around the country, chances are you're going to end up with a loser anyway. Get a dog, you will be way happier.
  • sally 2010/08/16 06:05:39
    Unhappier
    sally
    kids do not make your life happier. I totally regret having them.
  • shon sally 2011/11/01 04:20:40
    shon
    i agree with sally, my life has been ruined
  • ~Roxy~Navy~Brat~ 2010/07/20 10:29:41
    Happier
    ~Roxy~Navy~Brat~
    depends it can make you happier but it can also make you unhappy
  • Thin Lizzy 2010/07/13 19:28:49
    Happier
    Thin Lizzy
    +1
    I am thankful for my kids every minute of the day! I don't know how I lived before I had them!
  • Alejandra 2010/07/13 19:16:59
    Happier
    Alejandra
    +2
    They have definetly made my Life way Happier..they mean Everything to me..!
  • Frank 2010/07/13 10:36:10
    Happier
    Frank
    As a father of 5, being a parent has been very stressful. I'm worn out, and there has been a lot of drudgery. But, I can't imagine my life without my 5 beautiful, wonderful children. I have grown, and have so much love in my heart for them and my wife. I have sacrificed many things. Things that I could have done and accomplished if I did not have children. But nothing could be as fulfilling and important as raising my children, and providing a good life for them. I truly enjoy seeing them as responsible young adults with bright futures. It was almost like a labor of love. Raising kids today is a real challenge, and can be frustrating. But also rewarding. That is not why one puts their effort into their children- that is just a side benefit. I have really come to appreciate my parents.

    There is extra external stress today. Children's activities have become over the top. It is especially felt when one has more than 1 or 2 kids. I believe that children's activities are important, and there are many benefits. But, I also feel that they are sometimes too ambitious. I want my child to have the experience of participating in a sports team, but not to try to launch an athletic career. It seems to be the same with all activities- while there is good intent; they seem to seek to become...
    As a father of 5, being a parent has been very stressful. I'm worn out, and there has been a lot of drudgery. But, I can't imagine my life without my 5 beautiful, wonderful children. I have grown, and have so much love in my heart for them and my wife. I have sacrificed many things. Things that I could have done and accomplished if I did not have children. But nothing could be as fulfilling and important as raising my children, and providing a good life for them. I truly enjoy seeing them as responsible young adults with bright futures. It was almost like a labor of love. Raising kids today is a real challenge, and can be frustrating. But also rewarding. That is not why one puts their effort into their children- that is just a side benefit. I have really come to appreciate my parents.

    There is extra external stress today. Children's activities have become over the top. It is especially felt when one has more than 1 or 2 kids. I believe that children's activities are important, and there are many benefits. But, I also feel that they are sometimes too ambitious. I want my child to have the experience of participating in a sports team, but not to try to launch an athletic career. It seems to be the same with all activities- while there is good intent; they seem to seek to become the center of family life. When activities begin to limit (or completely eliminate) the number of times a family can have a meal together, or even one weekend together, my wife and I feel that they start becoming counterproductive. This is the additional, unnecessary stress that many parents feel when they complain
    (more)
  • Brosia 2010/07/12 22:47:15
    Happier
    Brosia
    I have moments of wishing the title of Mommy where not mine, but on the whole, I would not trade my kids for anything. Like right now, I want to strangle my son, because he is being irritating. But I am about to make his dinner and afterward we will enjoy the next chapter in Harry Potter 4.

    But I seem to have figured out something that these helicopter parents have and will probably never learn. Kids need boundaries and restrictions, not the world on a silver platter. They need rules and they need to hear the word "No" from time to time. They do not need a best friend, or a hand holder, or someone to fight their battles for them. Let your kids fail once in a while, but be there to pick up any pieces that may fall. Failing is not a horrible thing, it is a learning experience. And a much needed one at that.
  • Vezman 2010/07/12 21:24:03
    Happier
    Vezman
    made mine better and to be fair a lot harder; but ruined?? no way.
  • lex_xxx 2010/07/12 21:04:40
    Happier
    lex_xxx
    One will never know the joy....
  • reyesd23 2010/07/12 19:07:39
    Happier
    reyesd23
    my brother stopped drinkin wen he had his kid & he looks healthier & happier
  • wombat 2010/07/12 14:17:46
    Happier
    wombat
    Its a gain.
  • d.dijena 2010/07/12 14:07:39
    Happier
    d.dijena
    they are the joy of the life..... happier joy life
  • Daniel 2010/07/12 12:07:01
    Happier
    Daniel
    Especially when you finally get to the grand kids. happier grand kids
  • sally Daniel 2010/08/16 06:08:19
    sally
    Is this pic gonna make me feel better? at least put up a pic of a CUTE kid! this one is UGLEYYYY
  • Ηɑppƴ Ɲiɧiℓisʈ 2010/07/12 11:44:06
    Unhappier
    Ηɑppƴ Ɲiɧiℓisʈ
    +1
    First off, depends on the person.

    Personally, I can't see myself ever having kids, and it is true that most people become (in some cases maybe 'even more') miserable after they have kids, and that's what I'm affraid of.
  • drowzie 2010/07/12 11:22:49
    Unhappier
    drowzie
    my moms says so and so does dad...and they dont even live together
  • sait10 2010/07/12 10:00:17
    Happier
    sait10
    It made me happier... I couldn't imagine my life without my kids in it - they bring out the best and the worst but at the end of the day we are all learning together and its a journey where you don't always know what's around the corner - but one worth going on!
  • hakunamatatalanka 2010/07/12 09:53:20
    Happier
    hakunamatatalanka
    they dont ruin your life they change it in a strange wonderful unexplainable way i think more parents ruin thier kids lives than the kids ruin a parents life
  • Erik 2010/07/12 07:33:25
    Happier
    Erik
    but they would always feel empty inside
  • SeaSparkzz 2010/07/12 07:16:02
    Unhappier
    SeaSparkzz
    I can't say for everyone... but many people are unhappier once they have kids. I know that I personally would be miserable with children.
  • Autumn 2010/07/12 06:14:09
    Happier
    Autumn
    some people it does make happier.
  • Redneck 2010/07/12 06:09:10
    Happier
    Redneck
    You can worry about yourself after your kids are grown, but you'll still worry about your kids and grandkids.
  • Faith ~American Patriot~ 2010/07/12 05:18:31
    Happier
    Faith ~American Patriot~
    I can't speak for others but for my husband and myself, having our daughter has made our lives much happier. She is the light of our lives. In addition, dealing with the trials of raising a child have brought my husband and I closer together. I can't imagine how miserable my life would be without her.
  • freakoutnow... cuz mom's here 2010/07/12 05:17:20
    Happier
    freakoutnow... cuz mom's here
    Happiness is a fleeting emotion. It comes and goes. Kids can make their parents very miserable but they can also make them immensely happy. Alot of how much happiness and joy a child brings a parent is found in how you rear them (raise them). If you spoil them and never discipline them or never instill in them values and life skills than they will make you miserable more often than they will bring you joy and happiness. If you discipline them and instill values and life skills than they will bring you more joy and happiness than misery. Also the other problem with alot of parents to today is they are selfish and ill prepared to be married let alone have a child together. Having a child before you have any true readiness can really take alot of the joy and happiness out of having a baby. There is nothing like carrying a baby for 9 months, giving birth, having a little helpless human being dependant compleately on you, and then watching them grow up and learn things. Being miserable is easy if you are selfish.
  • Samanthug118 2010/07/12 04:14:19
    Unhappier
    Samanthug118
    +2
    for me they would make me very unhappy. i am a teenager and there is so much for me to still do.
  • wildernick 2010/07/12 04:13:44
    Happier
    wildernick
    haha..they try their best to sometimes??..jk..they're everything to me x
  • sally wildernick 2010/08/16 06:07:19
    sally
    I'm gonna barf. you need to get a life
  • Walks_on_Clouds 2010/07/12 04:06:58
    Happier
    Walks_on_Clouds
    +1
    It depends on how you raise them. I HATE going to WalMart and hearing all the kids owning their parents.

    Raise a child with good character and responsible and they are a blessing, mine are, all eight!
  • spike 2010/07/12 03:44:20
    Happier
    spike
    +1
    my life has been utterly changed, and for the better, because of my children-but i absolutely 'get it' that there are those who should NEVER be parents; sadly, too many of them already are...these are the people who whine about not having enough 'me time'
  • @LunnaLadiess 2010/07/12 03:35:50
    Unhappier
    @LunnaLadiess
    +1
    im not a kids kinda person because i have anger problems and having a kid wont make it good..
  • Mel Winchester 2010/07/12 02:34:32
    Unhappier
    Mel Winchester
    Well my mom said she hates me, more than once, so I'm assuming she's unhappier.
  • itoldyouso 2010/07/12 02:13:07 (edited)
    Happier
    itoldyouso
    +1
    Got to play your hand though. My dad was the meanist SOB on the face of the earth. He had no problem with us kids. Would'nt tolerate it. Said about a hundrfed words to me when I was growing up. Did'nt have to his expressions spoke for him. Demanded respect for women expecially mothers. You did'nt speak unless you were spoken too. Not a bad idea for someone to practice their whole life. Just look how wonderful I turned out. Loved him dearly but never knew him.
  • straightfoward 2010/07/12 01:44:10
    Happier
    straightfoward
    +1
    I am blessed because of my two children. Is is easy, not all the time, but I could not imagine my life without them. They are my life!
  • Alex Catgirl 2010/07/12 01:38:04
    Unhappier
    Alex Catgirl
    +1
    It really depends on where you are in your life, my mother states that I am a planned afterthought - both she and father had professional/material success, and a grand mother who was eager to raise a grandchild so mother capitulated as having a child didn't cost her that much.

    For me, at this point in my life, a child would ruin it. I have nothing but contempt for stupid girl mummies, or pathetic traditional women who pride themselves in all they have sacrificed for their worthless broods of ill-begotten offspring.
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