Having kids may make you sleep-deprived, poorer, and a little crazy, but it doesn’t make you unhappy, according to two new studies. Earlier studies had shown that happiness levels dropped after having kids, but the new ones suggest “serious problems with previous work that ought to make people skeptical about the earlier conclusions,” according to study co-author Chris Herbst of Arizona State University. The new studies find that parents are happier, less depressed, and have more satisfying marriages than non-parents.
Oddly, the study authors didn’t provide any theories as to why that might be the case. I’ve got my own ideas as to why parents may be happier than non-parents. Sure, there’s all the snuggly baby love, the footie pajamas, and the adorably awkward class photos. Those are the obvious reasons.
Here’s are ten more reasons parenting makes you happier!
10. Kids think my stick figures are gallery-worthy.
9. So. Many. Legos.
8. Instead of being seen as a geeky waste of a weekend, marathon screenings of Star Wars and Harry Potter movies are now considered “quality family time.”
7. You really learn to appreciate sleeping for more than six hours at a shot.
6. Swinging on playground swings with kids = fun-loving, playful parent. Swinging on playground swings without kids = creepster.
5. Cookies now considered a grocery list “staple.”
4. Abstaining from alcohol for nine months of pregnancy makes you a really cheap date when you do start drinking again.
3. Turns out video game systems have improved significantly since the Atari 2600.
2. Now have valid excuse for my house to be this messy.
1. Smug feeling of superiority when watching Toddlers & Tiaras.