A new study reveals that the first child does not necessarily increase new parents’ happiness. On the contrary, more than 70 percent of them feel less happy after the baby is brought into their lives.
This is mainly due to the fact that people who have babies feel more isolated from the social point of view:
“You get some presents from various friends, and then they just leave you alone because they figure you’re too tired and too busy,” said biological anthropologist Helen Fisher.
Surprising as it may seem, people are more willing to help their friends when they are going through a divorce, they are out of a job or they have lost someone close to them. Nevertheless, when a child comes along, they just assume that the new parents are happy enough and they don’t necessarily pile up to help out.
While most parents love their new-born very much, happiness is not exactly the feeling most of the participants to the study described they felt. In fact, about 73 percent of them reported that they feltless happy than they were before having their first child. The rest of them reported either no change or increased happiness.
The two researchers involved in the study, Mikko Myskyla and Racherl Margolis, looked at the data of about 2,300 parents that took part in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study from 1984 to 2010.
Those who had a second child and felt it was easier to make the transition to parenthood were more likely to have become parents at a young age and to be immigrants.
Even if this might not seem to be a very important aspect, anthropologist Helen Fisher believes that this points out that the main problem is having a child in a modern culture, which modifies our instinctual needs.
“We used to live in large communities, and our allegiance was to God and to community and larger family. Now it’s to one person, and when one that system begins to break down with the exhaustion, etc., then you’re losing almost everything,” she explained.
People who emigrate from other countries feel more attached to their community and do not have the same feeling of isolation and depression .
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