Over the years, I have had many clients who are unhappy about having children. I am always asked the question “how happy are you with your family?” I usually respond with:” Somewhat happier than I was when we had one or two children. Less happy than I am now. Things are different.
There is a difference in parental happiness with older parents and younger parents. Older parents seem to be less happy with the number of minor children that they have and are more likely to divorce. Younger parents seem to be happier with fewer minor children and to have a higher relationship with their spouse. The reasons for this are complex but there may be some genetic factors in play as well.
One thing is certain. Having children decreases your social interaction and this seems to have a negative impact on the quality of life. This is a problem that is not helped by a lower social status as seen by older citizens with fewer children. In fact, child-free people are more socially active than those with one or two children.
There is also an interesting correlation between having fewer children and having higher levels of stress. This is statistically significant for working women. Women with a high level of stress tend to be single parents and are more likely to be unhappy with their marriage. Those who are childless are less stressed and have a more balanced emotional relationship with their spouse.
There is also a positive correlation between having more children and living in a wealthy neighborhood. The middle-class, wealthy, child-free people tend to live longer and have less health problems. This is not a surprise given the recent pandemic of the obesity epidemic and the fact that a childless lifestyle is associated with numerous health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and other heart problems.
Overall, it appears that having children is not worth it if you are a person with less money, especially compared to middle-class citizens. You get much more out of life from being an entrepreneur and being self-employed than you do from having a family. The balance may not be perfect, but it is fair. The richer you are, the more you should have to give back to your family. In the current economic climate, giving back is definitely easier than it used to be.