- The research challenges the old myth that relationships (and individuals) are not complete unless they have children. My belief is that there are many, many ways to have fulfillment and a sense of purpose in life.
- If you do want children, these findings shouldn't put you off. But you can use what they discovered to ensure that you and your partner DO create time and space for yourselves as a couple.
- The gender difference is very interesting. In the research, they found that women who were mothers reported being happier than women who did not have children. However, in that study a number of the women who would have been interviewed would have been childless NOT by choice. There would have been a significant numbers of women who did want children but who couldn't have them due to infertility or because they wanted a child but their partner didn't. This points to the importance of something that I work with clients who initially did want children but finding that it isn't going to happen or isn't going to happen in the way they ideally wanted. - finding ways to make the choice a positive one EVEN if it isn't their ideal choice.
- I also think the fact that women who don't have children are less happy could be done to the fact that women who don't have children are more harshly judged than men who don't have children. Clients coming to me still report that they often face criticism or judgment when they mention that they might not want to have children. Men are not so defined by their status or not as a father.
So, those are my key points on this very interesting piece of research!