Monday, November 15, 2010
Slate Magazine: Parents Are Junkies, by Shankar Vedantam:
If parenthood sucks, why do we love it? Because we're addicted.
At the end of a long day, after a rotten commute filled with road rage and little accomplished at work, with chores piled up at home and the weekend nowhere in sight, my 4-year-old daughter clambered onto the sofa next to me, cuddled into my arms, and planted a moist, unasked-for kiss on my cheek.
Poof. The exhaustion disappeared, the frustrations of the day melted away. I soaked in a bath of oxytocin. Everything was right with the world.
But wait. We're getting ahead of ourselves.
In the last few months, parents and researchers have been at war. Evidence has piled up to show that becoming a parent does not make people happier; it makes them unhappier. The data show that marriage increases happiness, but children reduce it. Marriages are vulnerable to divorce shortly after the arrival of children. . . .