Most parents feel that their children are incredibly important sources of life satisfaction, says Jennifer Glass, professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin and a demographer who studies the relationship between parenthood and well-being.
Research shows that there is a “happiness bump” that parents experience right after a baby is born. But that tends to dissipate over the course of a year, Glass says.
After that point in time, the levels of happiness of parents and non-parents gradually diverge, with non-parents generally growing happier over time.
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