Why mums are happier than ever
MUMS are now just as happy as women without kids.
According to new research, previous generations of women were often envious of their childless female friends who were free to follow their careers while they often looked after the children and fathers worked full time.
But, in more recent decades, it is no longer expected that mothers will give up employment and fathers are more engaged in the raising of the kids.
The shift in society has brought more happiness to mothers, the intensive international study looking into the lives of tens of thousands of men and women between 1984 and 2015 has revealed.
"With the increasing freedom to choose whether or not to have a child and to shape parenthood more individually, the 'maternal happiness gap' has closed. Today we no longer find a difference in the life satisfaction of mothers and of women without children," study author Klaus Preisner from the University of Zurich said.
The researchers found that surveys taken back in the 1980s showed that most mothers were less satisfied with their lives than women without children. Back then it was taboo to speak negatively of motherhood.
In the past the dads were not expected to take an active role in childcare or change working hours after having children. Although that situation is different today, the life satisfaction of men has barely changed as a result. There is no real difference in life satisfaction between fathers and men without children.
"Fathers who step up to meet the new expectations placed on them are increasingly rewarded with public praise for their commitment," Dr Preisner said.
Despite the idea that today's parents are buckling under the pressures of raising children the sociologists have found they have never been happier.