Did you Want to Have Kids?
Apparently, the way you answer this question has a lot to say about how happy you are as a parent. According to Stephanie Coontz in a recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, just a couple of decades ago it was assumed that married couples with kids were the most satisfied adults but in recent years the presence of kids has signaled marital angst. However, Dr. Coontz tells us of two researchers at Berkeley who challenged this premise by asking parents if they wanted to have kids. Their upcoming report for the Council on Contemporary Families sheds some light on the problem. It appears that most marital unrest for parents stems from both their willingness to become parents and the timing of the blessed event.
Even as a non-planner by nature this makes sense to me. There a number of reasons to put off having kids: financial stability, enjoying the freedom to come and go as you please, establishing careers. If any of these desires, or others, gets short-circuited without a clear re-dedication to being parents, additional anxiety can result.
Well, it turns out that there may be a third factor at play. The article goes on to reveal that "Marital quality also tends to decline when parents backslide into more traditional gender roles."
So, a reasonable conclusion can be made that if we want children to enhance our relationships, we should agree on the timing of bringing kids into the world and dedicate ourselves to the balance and equality offered by ESP!