Research says that THIS will impact how many kids you will have and it makes sense
There is no denying that having a baby completely turns your world upside down.
Gone are the carefree, in-control-of-our-own-time days of the past, and in its place are sleepless nights, burping, nappy changing and feed after feed after feed. Much as becoming a family is totally amazing, it is also correct to call it a massive adjustment and life-change.
But did you know that how well you adjust to this change and your happiness levels during this first year will also help determine if you go on to have any more children, and if so, how many?
According to new research via Parents by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Germany, a new parent's experience during the transition to parenthood is an "important determinant of further fertility."
The research, which looked at self-reports from 2000 men and women in an annual German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), found that the parents who reported a decrease in well-being and happiness were the least likely to have a second child.
Interestingly enough, younger parents seemed to cope better with the change having children brings on, whilst older and more well-educated couples were more likely than their younger peers to report a decrease in well-being and happiness during baby's first year.
During their first year of parenthood, first-time parents reported an average decrease of 1.4 units on the happiness scale compared to the two years prior to their child's birth. The authors noted that this is a substantial decrease—divorce (minus 0.6 units), unemployment (minus 1 unit), and the death of a partner (minus 1 unit) were all shown to have less of an impact.
Only 58 out of 100 couples who reported being less happy by three or more units had a second child within 10 years. On the other hand, 66 out of 100 parents who did not feel a decrease in well-being had another baby. It sort of makes sense, no?
But after the initial whirlwind of being a first-time parent dissipates, things start to look up. "On the whole, and in the long run, despite the unhappiness after the first birth of a baby, having up to two children rather increases overall happiness in life," said Mikko Myrskylä, director of MPIDR, in a press release.
Let us know, what was YOUR first year of parenting like? Did your happiness affect your decision to have more? Send me an e-mail and let us know at Trine.Jensen@HerFamily.ie