Do Fathers Derive More Happiness From Parenting?

Happy Father and daughter
Image used for representation only

According to a study published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin fathers experience more well-being from parenthood than mothers do.

The research included over 18,000 people. Past studies have considered whether people with children have greater well-being than those without kids. However, few have considered the relative happiness of fathers and mothers, said this report

The researchers from the University of California (UC) Riverside in the US and colleagues analysed three separate studies totalling more than 18,000 people to determine whether fathers or mothers experience greater happiness from their parenting roles.

Across the three studies, researchers looked at measures of well-being that included happiness, well-being, depressive symptoms, psychological satisfaction, and stress.

Katherine Nelson-Coffey, who worked in UC Riverside psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky’s lab as a graduate student said, “Fathers may fare better than mothers in part due to how they spend their time with their children.”

Gender significantly impacted the association between childcare and happiness. Men were happier while caring for their children, while women were less happy. In terms of daily interactions generally, both men and women were happier interacting with their children relative to other daily interactions. However, men reported greater happiness from the interactions than women, said Nelson-Coffey.

One possible explanation for this finding is that, relative to mothers, fathers were more likely to indicate that they were playing with their children, while they were caring for them or interacting with them.

Fathers are considered to be happy parents because they’re less worried about the responsibilities of the house, says Kshitija.

Mothers would have been equally happy if the emotional burden was removed, says Kshitija Mhatre, Parent and software professional.

I have two daughters and both prefer spending time with their dad and the sole reason for this is that their demands are easily fulfilled. Moreover, their dad also gets enough time to play with them after work.

Being a mother is not easy, what with having to do everything from the dishes at home to keeping track of the children’s dental check ups and PTA meetings, Kshitija added.

Umesh Karnik, Doctor and a proud parent says, “My kids and I are like buddies. Often I feel my kids are my shadows. I don’t mean to say my wife is in anyway unhappy caring for children, but it overburdens her at times.

Moreover, I like sharing responsibility with my wife, we often share our duties including the playtime with kids. It is a pleasant experience and feels lovely, Karnik added.

Savita Mandal, Teacher says, “Today when more and more moms are working woman and like the study says, mothers would be happier if they spend more time with their kids. Nothing makes me happier than seeing my son or daughter happy.

Moreover, historically women are burdened with more responsibilities than men; from raising children to keeping track of the financial aspects of the family. 

Women bear the most, as the duties are often unshared or unseen which then leads to anxiety and stress. As a result, most of us are exhausted by the end of the day, Savita added.

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Ankita Malekar

Ankita Malekar

A talkative tiny speck in the world of Media, with an itch for travel and paws.
Ankita Malekar

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