Feeling Exhausted, Mom? Study Says Even Tired, You’re Still Happier Than Non-Parents

posted: 03/23/18
by: Amanda Mushro
Tired worker mother wearing suit sleeping beside her sleepy daughter on a bed at home

The first few years of being a mom, I felt like I was saying "I'm so tired," on repeat. Those early and exhausting years of parenthood were hard, but they sure were sweet. And it seems I'm not alone feeling sleepy but happy when my kids were toddlers.

According to a new study, even though parenting babies and toddlers can be overwhelming and exhausting, parents reported having higher-than-average happiness scores. In fact, they reported being happier than parents of school-aged children and non-parents. Based on the happiness scale used for the study the average non-parent scoring 62.2 out of 100 and a parent of a child under five scored 65.5.

The studied examined over 8,000 people and found that a good night's sleep had the most overall impact on general wellbeing and happiness. However, researchers found that having young children make people happier. This is the part that every parent is saying "Um what?" Because usually young children and a good night's sleep aren't a package deal. Turns out, even though parents are tired and a full night's rest seems to escape them, the joy of having toddlers outweighs being sleep deprived.

"Perhaps surprisingly, we found the Young Families group [parents of kids 0-5] is living best, with an average score narrowly above that of the Working Baby Boomers [over 55s with no kids]," the study reports. "At the other end of the spectrum, the group feeling worst-off is Child-free Generation X - with a score almost four points below the national average."

So the good news is even though your eyes are blood shot and you need approximately five cups of coffee to make it to bedtime, your toddler's adorable face makes it all worth it. But a nap would be nice.