Harvard prof says children bring unhappiness

From yesterday's UK Telegraph - a Harvard professor declares that children ruin our chances at happiness:

Marriage without children the key to bliss
By Kate Devlin, Medical Correspondent
May 9, 2008

Married life is the key to happiness, but having children can ruin it all, an international conference has been told.

Couples only recover their former blissful existence once their offspring have left the nest, according to an expert on what creates joy.

Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University, said studies across America and Europe had shown that while feelings of happiness spike during the early years of marriage, they fall heavily after having children.

He told a Happiness and its Causes conference in Sydney that parents' desire to get a return on the time and money they have invested in their children is part of the reason they persuade themselves that their offspring are enhancing their lives.

Read entire article here. I am happy the writer strove for balance by ending with this:

But some experts believe that it not having children itself which breed the discontent.

Richard Tunney, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Nottingham, said: "From an evolutionary point of view we are programmed to procreate.

"It would not make sense for having children to make us unhappy.

"However, in countries like Britain having children is hard - your finances are hit, childcare in this country is appalling and for women especially, their careers suffer.

"That is not the fault of having children per se, but of society."

He added that "of course" couples were less happy after having children than in the early years of their marriage, when they were "in the first flushes of romantic love and had more money".

But the two feelings could not be compared, he said, "they are two different types of emotion".

This hasn't hit the U.S. print media yet. But what ironic timing - two days before Mother's Day.

You can count on some encouragement here in what I plan to post today and tomorrow.


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