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Interesting article on why parents are supposedly unhappier then non-parents. Theorizes that in modern society we artificially prolong childhood, which goes against evolution.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/200808/why-parenthood-makes-us-unhappy

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
desfontaines
Jul. 12th, 2009 03:22 am (UTC)
The way we're allowed to raise children today is neurotic, which is probably why those who _choose_ to not have children are happier. Hell, the whole human society is neurotic at this point, similar to the way rats in an overcrowded situation are f'ed up mentally.
mdf356
Jul. 12th, 2009 04:27 am (UTC)
I'm almost certain I'd be happier with my kids if:

- I was still living near the people I grew up around. As much as they weren't my friends in school they still were a part of my life for 6-12 years.

- my kids had lots of other kids their age to play with

- some of the work of raising and watching the kids was done by other kids ages 10-14 who were extended family.

Almost every aspect of not living in a small village has made me really quite unhappy. Too many strangers, too many people, none of us really need each other...
ripresa
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
I agree, we're not meant to raise our own children in little isolated families.

have you thought about moving to intentional communities housing?
emaymcnicks
Jul. 12th, 2009 12:52 pm (UTC)
i thought alot about this sort of thing before we had georgia, and it was a big reason that i said i didn't want kids (before i decided i did).

having been through this for the past 9 months, i can tell you that raising a baby in modern society is stressballs. ultimately though, the article is right - i have a deep sense of fulfillment that i didn't experience before after having a child. however, talk to me again in 15 years...
ripresa
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
oh, i definitely want kids, marriage the whole shebang. i just don't necessarily want to do it the traditional way.

i was toying with the idea of moving to intentional housing/communities when it's time for us to have children, so we're not raising our kids in isolation.
ripresa
Jul. 12th, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
oh and hey. if you're ever thirsty of adult conversation, i'll be happy to come over to your place, or to bring a movie (chick flicks, comedy, documentaries).

i don't think people should have just these 2 people units and raise their children in isolation. it takes a village and all that!
ms_goose_says
Jul. 12th, 2009 02:07 pm (UTC)
I just want to know what they are using to measure "happiness". Because I have had waves of satisfaction, pride and happiness regarding my kids and life that are way way different than the happiness I had in my 20s.
I think the lack of time/money freedom (that allows one to be an eternal "adolescent") may be something people are classifying as unhappiness. And yeah, that sux at times. But other things are also very pleasurable.
dnivie
Jul. 13th, 2009 08:00 am (UTC)
parents
I -do- think that being *alone* about parenting adds significantly to the stress. The thing is, it's nice to be a parent, most of the time. But it's also nice to once in a while *not* be primarily a parent, and the chances of that tend to correlate with the density of grandmothers/friends/other-adults around the family.

The least stressy and most relaxing vacations I've had with children -- have been those which are together with other couples with children. Being 4 adults who are taking care of 5 kids is a lot less stressy than being 2 adults taking care of 3 kids.

I think the main reason is, when you're just 2 is, either you spend the ENTIRE vacation taking care of kids, or else you do stuff alone -- and frankly, if you're going somewhere with your loved ones, do you really want to do a lot of activities ALONE ? (some might, but I sure don't)

I'm not sure about the prolonged-childhood theory, I guess it depends on how it's handled and just *how* long you're at home anyway. I lived at home until I was 18, and it was fairly stress-free, but maybe that was because despite living there, I wasn't really treated as a kid. In Norway, most kids become financially independent at 18-19. (sure, some get occasional money-gifts significantly later, but they're no longer dependant on any help from the parents for their everyday lives)

Besides, is there *such* a large distance between 14 and 18 ? (and if that theory was correct, you'd expect parents with children above 12-14 living at home would be significantly more unhappy than parents with younger children, and I doubt that's the case)
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