For some of us, only the prospect of having a child sometime in the near or distant future, makes our hearts grow and skip a beat of drama, depression and sadness. Wise men say that there is no greater fulfillment in one’s life than having a child, to let it grow in one’s womb, have, hold and observe while the infant grows up to ultimately become an adult.
However, a new study reveals that having a child can hinder parental love and happiness more than divorce, unemployment and even the death of a partner. We have a paradox slowly rising here, or it’s just the difference between expectation and reality. The sudden appearance of a child in one’s life is a dramatic change, a life-changing experience and most of the times change is associated with feelings of sadness and depression as we are forced to walk out of our comfort zone. A child somehow “forces” us to be responsible not only for our life decisions but for his or her life as well, and this can be seen and perceived as a highly dramatic burden. No wonder there is an affection called postpartum depression, which makes young mothers deeply immerse in the chaotic territories of anguish, anxiety, hopelessness and sadness. But it does seem to be a wonder that parenthood feels worse than divorce.
According to Helen Fisher, a highly acclaimed biological anthropologist, having a child in nowadays society is often associated with social isolation, the main landmark that leads to lack of love, sadness, anger and depression. Parenthood could feel that a newborn experience is worse than divorce because it throws them into a void of social interaction and at the same time, into a new playground that offers an unknown stake.
The loveless reaction is a violent contrast to the unconditional support from friends and family usually perceived to be even more distressing. According to a new study, happiness is oftentimes not the emotion fresh parents may feel.
A group of researchers embarked on a mission to examine how the experience of becoming a first child parent affects the perspective of having additional children. It seems that 73% of participants have expressed decreased levels of satisfaction and happiness after their first child, compared to 27% who reported no change or increase in levels of fulfillment.
Researchers have analyzed data coming from 2.301 German parents, registered in the German Socioeconomic Panel Study, between 1984 and 2010.
It was found that those who had a second child and higher fulfillment levels during their transition to parenthood were highly likely to have had their first infant at a younger age or to have been partnered when their first child was conceived and to have been immigrants.
Lack of satisfaction and high levels of sadness are strongly linked with today’s society that is experiencing a shift away from instinctual needs.
A relevant hypothesis could be that the immigrants who continued to have children adhere to more community oriented customs and don’t experience depression, domestic isolation or breakdown in relationships, as other parents have reported.
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