Kristin Clotfelter

Here’s an interesting read on policy and family. This article suggests that the “happiness gap” or common unhappiness experienced by many American parents is more a result of lack of family support than having children.

“They discovered the gap could be explained by differences in family-friendly social policies such as subsidized child care and paid vacation and sick leave. In countries that gave parents what researchers called “the tools to combine work and family,” the negative impact of parenting on happiness disappeared.”

“Notably, the researchers found that economic differences, whether a parent was married or partnered and whether the pregnancy was planned or unintended had no impact on the happiness gap.”

I keep wondering how this might relate to the “greediness” of marriage.Are the policy-makers vying to protect marriage partially responsible for the lack of policy protecting the happiness of individual parents and children? How greedy is it to have a child? How greedy is it for your parents and grandparents to want or expect you to have a child?

There is a push from the Left to make paid paternity leave a requirement in this country. I do support this, but in my own experience, recovering from childbirth is the simple part of childrearing. My real struggle is finding a balance between my career and motherhood.

“Policies that made it less stressful and less costly to combine child rearing with paid work “seem to be the ones that really matter.” Agreed!

The “it takes a village to raise a child” seems to ring true. Not only for the child’s sake, but for parents too.

Kristin and her phone

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