Happiness

The Next Family

By: Brandy Black

going out

I was listening to NPR the other day, and there was a piece on statistics of happiness among people with kids and those without.  I listened intently as a few single friends of mine that don’t necessarily want kids have been sure to point out this new American Sociological study.  This really bothers me every time it comes up, because I feel estranged from my friends without kids already.  I think that they think I’m too busy being a mom to make time for their friendship so they stop spontaneously asking me if I want to go out on a Friday night or inviting me to their parties.  Funny thing –I’m almost always available, any night of the week.  I’m available more now than I was when I was single.  So, finding a study to point out that your life is happier than mine frankly irritates me.

The irony of it is that the NPR interview states that one of the main reasons parents seem to be less happy than child-free people is that they tend to “give up” the happiness triggers in their life:  going out with friends, going to the movies, etc. Do you think it’s perhaps because we’re not being asked anymore?  I love going out and getting drinks -although I pay for it the next morning when my toddler is bouncing on the bed at 7AM -I still do it because it’s worth it.  It is easy as a parent to cocoon yourself around your family because they make you happy and they get you.  But after hearing that interview, it was a reminder that the other more selfish parts of me are just as important in order to maintain a sense of self beyond my warm cuddly counterparts waiting at home.

So to all you people without kids: I need you and want you in my life.  To all you parents: let’s go out more often, even if only to save the reputation of PEOPLE WITH KIDS.

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