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The Paradox of Parenting

New York magazine reports on one of the great puzzles of parenting: “Most people assume that having children will make them happier. Yet a wide variety of academic research shows that parents are not happier than their childless peers, and in many cases are less so.” While parenting doesn’t do much for “moment-to-moment” happiness, parents do find the job rewarding. Despite this, psychologist Daniel Gilbert (author of Stumbling on Happiness), thinks potential parents still need to consider their options carefully. “So you have to think about which kind of happiness you’ll be consuming most often,” says Gilbert. “Do you want to maximize the one you experience almost all the time or the one you experience rarely?” [%comments]