Family Matters: Do kids make your life happier?

Family Matters: Do kids make your life happier?

Posted: Updated:

Does having kids make you happier?  Researchers say  it depends.  
We talked about the highs and lows of parenthood with Oklahomans and got their take on the new study's findings.

"I am so much happier with kids," said mom of two, Betty Tubner.
Another mom of two, Kelli Colbert, said, "No, I'm definitely happier now."

Elias Driskill said of his one-year-old son,  "He's my best friend.  I can't imagine living without him."

More happiness and also more unhappiness come along with parenthood.  
New research out of Stony Brook and Princeton Universities looked at millions of Americans and found people with kids aren't much different than people without them when it comes to overall life satisfaction.  

Here's the difference- people with kids have more joys and happiness but also more negative emotions, like anger, worry and stress.   

Colbert said,  "Before you have kids you can just pick up and go and do what you want to do. When you have kids you can't do that.  You have to think about what you're going to do.  Is it kid friendly?  Is it appropriate?"

The negatives aren't just short lived.   Researchers say parents will experience increased sadness and unhappiness throughout their lifetimes.  

"You have to let them have their space," said Tubner.  "Let them grow and spread their wings.  And that can be very very hard."

Researchers say overall happiness might be tied to whether having kids was a deliberate choice.      
A separate study out of the UK found couples who choose not to have kids have happier marriages.  

"I think if you're a person and you absolutely think you never want to be a parent, then don't be a parent," said Colbert.

Parents we spoke with don't deny the hardships that come along with their bundles of joy, but say for them, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.

"I had my first child at 21," said Colbert. "And I was not ready at 21, but I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the entire world."

Driskill said,  "It gave me a reason and a purpose. So many people are lost in this world, wondering what they want it be.  It's right here."

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover in family matters send an email to  wendy@okcfox.com.

  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Cash register taken from NE OKC smoke shop

    Cash register taken from NE OKC smoke shop

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:15:08 GMT
    Police are searching for the suspect in a robbery of a NE Oklahoma City smoke shop Thursday morning.
    Police are searching for the suspect in a robbery of a NE Oklahoma City smoke shop Thursday morning.
  • Oil and gas execs give alternative explanations to surge in OK quakes

    Oil and gas execs give alternative explanations to surge in OK quakes

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:55 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:55:57 GMT
    Wednesday members of the oil and gas industry publicly spoke out. They gave their side of the debated connection between injection wells and the state's recent surge in earthquakes over the past five years.
    Wednesday members of the oil and gas industry publicly spoke out. They gave their side of the debated connection between injection wells and the state's recent surge in earthquakes over the past five years.
  • Controversy brews over drawn out execution in Arizona

    Controversy brews over drawn out execution in Arizona

    Thursday, July 24 2014 9:22 AM EDT2014-07-24 13:22:57 GMT
    FLORENCE, Ariz - Controversy is brewing once again over lethal injections in the country. This comes after a drawn out execution in Arizona on Wednesday.
    FLORENCE, Ariz - Controversy is brewing once again over lethal injections in the country. This comes after a drawn out execution in Arizona on Wednesday.
  • More HeadlinesMore>>

  • 116 passengers and crew missing in Air Algerie flight

    116 passengers and crew missing in Air Algerie flight

    Thursday, July 24 2014 8:04 AM EDT2014-07-24 12:04:38 GMT
    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Authorities say a flight operated by Air Algerie carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six has disappeared from the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.
    ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Authorities say a flight operated by Air Algerie carrying 110 passengers and a crew of six has disappeared from the radar on a flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers.
  • Arizona inmate gasps for air during two hour execution

    Arizona inmate gasps for air during two hour execution

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:31 AM EDT2014-07-24 09:31:35 GMT
    (CNN) -- Joseph Wood snorted and struggled to breathe during his nearly two-hour lethal injection Wednesday, his attorney said."It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes.
    (CNN) -- Joseph Wood snorted and struggled to breathe during his nearly two-hour lethal injection Wednesday, his attorney said."It took Joseph Wood two hours to die, and he gasped and struggled to breathe for about an hour and 40 minutes.
  • Arkansas clerk: "I just wasn't in the mood [to be robbed]"

    Arkansas clerk: "I just wasn't in the mood [to be robbed]"

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 7:34 PM EDT2014-07-23 23:34:09 GMT
    When Paul Fagin clocked in his for shift at an Arkansas gas station, he said it just wasn't the day for him to be robbed. When a suspect tried to do it, he fought back.
    When Paul Fagin clocked in his for shift at an Arkansas gas station, he said it just wasn't the day for him to be robbed. When a suspect tried to do it, he fought back.
  • FOX25 Slideshows

Most Popular

Stories
Videos
Compiling list...
  • FOX 25 FeaturesMore>>

  • Tell Me Something Good

    Tell Me Something Good

    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
    Tired of all the bad news? Looking for some good news? Tell Me Something Good, does just that! FOX 25's Mike Brooks finds the good in Oklahoma and tells you all about it.
  • Waste Watch

    Waste Watch

    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
    How are your tax dollars being spent? FOX 25 Waste Watch tracks whether local, state and federal governments, or any groups, are using your money wisely... or wasting it.
Powered by WorldNow
Powered by 

WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KOKH. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.