If You’re Happy and You Know It…
Some neighbors recently told me that childless adults are happier than parents. When I mentioned this to a different friend (who is currently trying to become a parent), his response was, “Yeah, but the graph shows that parents don’t become really unhappy until the third child.”
A quick search did not yield the graph he mentioned, but it did provide a lot of contradictory information:
- A blog post by Philip Cohen claims that “children beget happiness, eventually.”
- A report from the Pew Research Center claims, “married people with children are about as happy as married people without children. And unmarried people with children are about as happy as unmarried people without children.” (This chart shows that marriage is a better predictor of happiness than children.)
- A Global Perspective on Happiness and Fertility by Margolis and Myrskyla indicates that people over 50 are happier than younger folks, regardless of the number of children; but among parents, those with 4+ kids are less happy than others.
So, I don’t know what to believe. All I know is that when my four-year-old son Eli created the following math joke last night, I was pretty happy.
What did the table say to the counter?
“Give me some numbers!”
Get it? Counters? They count!
Then today, while riding in the car, Eli’s twin brother Alex asked what language people speak in Europe. “I think they speak European,” he posited, “but Eli thinks they speak Urine.”
Who couldn’t be happy with wonderful moments like that?
For tolerating (another) story about my kids, here are a few funny quotes about happiness.
I didn’t know true happiness until I got married; but then it was too late.
Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness didn’t know where to shop. – Gertrude Stein
Happiness is good health and a bad memory. – Ingrid Bergmann