Harder even than divorce. Death of a spouse. Or unemployment.
In the study published in the journal Demography, researchers Rachel Margolis and Mikko Myrskylä followed 2016 Germans, who were childless when the study began, through the first two years of their first child's life. The new parents were asked to rate their happiness on a scale of 0 to 10 and provide feedback on how satisfied they were with their new lives.
You can probably guess what happened next. Most couples said they were happier in the year leading up to baby, probably because of the fun of pregnancy and buying baby stuff. Of the participants, 30 percent maintained their happiness levels after baby, while 60 percent said happiness decreased during the first and second years after giving birth. On average, new parents had a "severe" 1.4-unit drop in happiness — experiencing more emotional stress compared to unemployment, divorce and even the death of a partner.
And new parents everywhere said: Tell us something we don't know.
You can just call every parent who has ever had a baby an "unofficial researcher." From the day they send you home from the hospital with a new little person you're supposed to somehow keep alive for the next 18 years, you know this job isn't going to be easy. Here are just a few examples of how shit hits the fan in those first two years:
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