Did having kids make you happier?

ninakang
ninakang Member Posts: 2,056
edited 31. Jul 2010, 03:07 in Community Chit-chat archive
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1298478/Do-children-really-make-happier-Mother-PENNY-MARSHALL-investigates-.html

There's some interesting points in this article about how having kids isn't necessarily an automatic key to eternal happiness but I do wonder about the world we live in sometimes. We're getting very reliant on looking outwards to make ourselves happy when really it should come from within - if you're relying on other people to make you happy, then you're dependent on something that's not necessarily constant and what about when it goes away?

Also, I totally respect other people's right not to have children, god knows there are enough neglected children in this world and we don't need to add to the number. But having kids for me has been a (surprisingly) enjoyable and fulfilling experience. I like being a mum and I like to think I've got rather good at it, we've all learned together to make a happy family.

What does everyone else think? The article's a bit long but totally worth the read.

Nina X

Comments

  • angel1
    angel1 Bots Posts: 1,651
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    What an interesting article. A lot of truth, and I like the way it deals with what has often been viewed as taboo thinking regarding parenthood.

    I had my first son when I was twenty, and my second at twenty four. This was in the early to mid sixties, and the way things were done back then, although the times they were a` changing. For me, this turned out to be the perfect way. I found I was a natural mother, and "grew up" with my sons, learning along the way, but totally suffused with, and surrounded by love.

    I had been lucky enough to have a really good education, as did many of my peers after the war. Marrying so young, I had never really put this to good use, prior to my marriage. Once my elder son left home for University at eighteen, followed by his brother four years later, I was able to then concentrate on developing a career for myself. I believe that this was instrumental in maintaining the strong, supportive and loving relationship I have always had with both of my sons, without "clinging" on to them.

    I have tremendous respect for women who, for whatever reasons, decide that having children is not for them. It really isn`t a recipe for instant happiness, and should never be a woman`s raison d`etre. My two never lived at home again from the age of eighteen, and this could have been a source of sadness. Instead, Frank and I used the time for us, seeing them often, whilst supporting them from a distance. They have productive, well travelled lives, as a result. Given that we only had Frank until he was fifty eight, this turned out for the best.

    During the course of my work, I see the sadness caused when children are born without any thought to their future. In this day and age, it doesn`t have to be like this.

    If you have, or decide to have children, give them your love, and your time, and then their freedom......Ange.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I never wanted children but fell in love with my daughter when she was born in 84. Her dad didnt want to know but started visiting her and fell in love with her too.We married the following year.

    Now I have 5 children and they bring me much joy, although they can be such hard work at times. I am certainly glad I had them.


    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • page35
    page35 Member Posts: 1,081
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi
    I didnt read all of it but i think that it depends on what you want and what you are happy doing.
    i have 2 aunts both have no children both married from a young age, one never wanted children wanted to see the world and just doesn't have much interest in kids. so it was a good thing she didnt have any.
    the other tried for years to have children tried to adopt without success (this was years ago and they were told they were too old in there late 30s) she loves me and my brother and now our kids, she has had a good and happy life but this is something that will, till the day she dies saded her.
    i have 2 kids and they drive me nuts sometimes but they also bring me alot of joy and i am thankful that i have them.
    i dont think you should have kids to "make" you happy that wont work.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Lynn

    There was a very interesting programme on Woman's Hour yesterday about women choosing not to have children, often from a very early age. Today it was a phone in on the subject and it really was a most an enlightening, thought provoking, listen.

    Love
    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    if you are not happy with out children you will prob not be with them. you have to be happy with who you are first .
    val
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    lynn i wanted children and oh went along with it but if you did not want them then you should not have them it has to be something you want or the children will not feel loved never mind how hard you try you would end up resenting them . better to say i do not want them i want something different from life as long as it what you both want then ignor the others val
    val
  • moogiemouse1
    moogiemouse1 Member Posts: 28
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I knew from a young age that I didn't want children, I was just never interested, this doesn't mean I don't like them or understand why people do want them, I do, it was just never for me - luckily when I met my husband he was of a similar mind. I remember being called selfish by one lady I worked with, which I never quite understood, surely it would have been selfish to have a child and then resent it? She also asked me who was going to look after me when I got old, well there is never any guarantee that your kids will want to do that anyway. Kids are great and loads of fun but just not for me, I'm afraid I prefer my cats!!
  • cthornley
    cthornley Member Posts: 627
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My son hasn't made me happier as such but he has made me an awful lot tireder :roll:

    He does however most of the time bring a bit of joy into the day so it makes the tough times easier or at least worthwhile.

    Chrissie
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 8,043
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Dear Lynn

    If you have BBC iplayer you will be able to listen to yesterday's programme now. I do not know how long it will be there ie more than one day. I want to again, because it was so interesting but also because both mornings I have not been able to listen to the bitter end, due to other commitments. I expect today's phone in will be able to be listened to, tomorrow on BBC iplayer.

    Some women on the programme and phone in were made to feel "guilty" by others, ie in the workplace, family and "friends".

    Woman's Hour programmes are repeated on the radio but not sure when.

    Love
    Elna x
    The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

    If you can lay down at night knowing in your heart that you made someone's day just a little bit better, you know you had a good day.
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Lynn there is also an article on the bbc news website front page.

    Love Elizabeth x
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,740
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Wow Nina

    what an intersting thread this has been.

    I fell in love with both of my kids the second i saw them - maybe even before :)

    I am not sure I am a natural mum at all - I think I worry far too much about everything.

    They (and my step-daughter) have not 'made' me happier but I think they have made me a better person.

    I hope I haven't done too much harm :?

    Love

    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,740
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Well, you all sound like lovely mums to me :)

    Toni, I don't think it's in you to harm anyone or anything!!!


    Love, Lynn xx

    AHA!!

    The acting lessons have paid off :wink:

    Thanks Lynn :D

    Love

    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • oneday
    oneday Member Posts: 1,650
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    this doesnt sound v nice but other mums who i have asked same question to wish they hadnt had them!!!!!!!!!!!
  • snowball
    snowball Member Posts: 3,523
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have two wonderful sons that have brought me so much joy, I lived with my ex in his house and we decided we wanted a child. When my first son was born I fel in love with him straight away. A couple of years later my partner told me he wasn't ready to be a farther and had met someone else, I was pregnant with our second. I had to move in with my parents while I found some where to live. After a couple of years we were in our own home and I was working and I managed to fit it round my children, I have allways been there for them and will allways, I don't think it will be long before my eldest leaves home he is very indipendent. I have friends who have decided not to have children and I don't think its selfish.

    Julie x
    ((((hugs)))) n xxxxx to ya all
  • suncatcher
    suncatcher Member Posts: 2,174
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I dont think im happier if ive got kids you are either happy or your not.
    I think personality and circumstances and the family back ground depend on how happy you are.
    I am glad i had children they bring me so much joy and i love looking after and naturing them. They make me laugh make me proud sometimes hair tearing metaphorically speaking maybe involved. But i love em and they bring a different type of joy. Im sure people who dont have kids out of choice are happy but the ones that can not i feel sorry for that would hurt so much.
    Ra wise been told before how i have something to get up for and live for having kids than not having kids. I do have to get up get em to school ect who know i might have stayed in bed be in worse condition i dont know. I am so glad i have em though. I think happiness is a state of mind and people should take there eyes off possessions and be less selfish and more tolerant of others and take care of each other. x joanne
    Joanne
  • tkachev
    tkachev Member Posts: 8,332
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Just read article properly. Made me laugh as they mention the childless couple, the Harrisons, who neighbours pitied as they didnt have children. My Aunty ,Mrs Harrison , never had children and I can tell you she never wanted any and we nieces and nephews were her children so she tells us. Wonder if its the same Ms H?

    Elizabeth
    Never be bullied into silence.
    Never allow yourself to be made a victim.
    Accept no ones definition of your life

    Define yourself........

    Harvey Fierstein
  • annebr
    annebr Member Posts: 730
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I am 40 (nearly) been married for 5 years and have no children. They were never high up in my agenda and my time clock has never started ticking. It was something I discussed with my OH before getting married & he was of the same mind. We have said maybe if we had met when we were younger but, I don't think that would have made a difference .

    I dont hate children, I enjoy them and I am a great aunt to family & friends children and always happy to spend time with them but not for me.

    I have been asked the usual questions, why no children, who will look after you when you are old, people seem to think they have a right to do this, why I don't know?

    But, I was told about a year ago that I would be 'high risk' if I fell pregnant and was really upset about this. A contradiction, yes, but before it was my choice but being told this that felt as if part of my womanhood had been taken away.

    Anne
  • snowball
    snowball Member Posts: 3,523
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Anne I know what you mean, I new I didn't want any more children after my second but 7 years ago had surgery and was told if I was to get pregnant It would kill me and the baby. I was upset that the choice had been taken away from me aged 36.

    Julie
    ((((hugs)))) n xxxxx to ya all
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,740
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    tkachev wrote:
    Just read article properly. Made me laugh as they mention the childless couple, the Harrisons, who neighbours pitied as they didnt have children. My Aunty ,Mrs Harrison , never had children and I can tell you she never wanted any and we nieces and nephews were her children so she tells us. Wonder if its the same Ms H?

    Elizabeth

    :shock:

    what if it was?!!!
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • ninakang
    ninakang Member Posts: 2,056
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Blimey, ladies - I'd forgotten all about posting this yesterday morning and now the thread's taken up a mind of it's own :)

    Thanks for all your lovely replies. It seems that, with or without kids, we are on the whole a happy bunch of people and respect others' decisions to have or not have kids.

    I like the comments about whether we're good mums or not. I think the fact that we wonder about it makes us good mums. Happy contented children aren't necessarily the best behaved or the cleanest kids in the world, they're the ones whose faces light up when they see their parents :) Bit like mine!

    Nx
  • valval
    valval Member Posts: 15,897
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    we do the best we can that all you can do then cross your fingers you did it right must admit quite like how mine has turned out bless them they make me proud
    val
  • joanlawson
    joanlawson Member Posts: 10,319
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Nina

    What an interesting thread :!: I'm just catching up with it as I've been away this week.

    I always had a very strong maternal instinct, so it was a terrible blow to me when I discovered that I was unable to have children. I had always just assumed that I would have a family. This was pre-IVF days, but I was absolutely determined that I would become a mother one way or another.

    The day when I adopted my twins ( a girl and a boy, aged 8 weeks ) was one of the happiest days of my life, although tinged with sadness too because I knew how much their mother loved them. While I was feeling so happy, I knew how sad she must have been to part with her beautiful babies. I always hoped that she would have more children in the future, and be in a stable relationship so that she could keep them.

    I was thrilled when my twins contacted their birth-mother a few years ago, and we discovered that she had married and had more children. We are very good friends now, and she knows how eternally grateful I will always be to her for giving me the gift of motherhood. I share my twins with her very happily, and we all have a lovely relationship with her now.

    I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like without the twins, but I think I would have fostered children if I couldn't adopt. A childless life was not for me, but I understand that having children is not for everyone.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 26,740
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    It has developed a mind of it's own Nina :wink:

    At the end of the day we all have an opinion dont we??

    Joan - some people like you NEED to have children and I am amazed at how generous you are in sharing those twins with tehir birth Motehr. Good on you girl :) My very good friend who lost her hubby to teh big C needs them too - tried IVF and no joy - when she is reday - wait and see eh :wink:

    Going to take mine off to see Cris tis morning and she will help me out - I have probably said this before but Cris makes MY children better people :)

    Love all

    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx