Being childless and free to spend your time doing what you want might not be all it's cracked up to be since parents rank as happier than non-parents in a recent study.
We typically think of parents as tired and stressed out, but parents, particularly fathers, report finding more meaning and happiness in life than the childless among us.
"We're not saying parents are walking around in this amazing state of bliss either," researcher Elizabeth Dunn is quick to add.
Conducting her research from the University of British Columbia, Canada, Dunn found that parents were happiest when they were tending to their child than in other activities during a day.
Older married individuals who had children were found to be more content than those in their age group who did not have children. However, the same did not apply to single parents or very young parents (under the age of 26).
Yet, researchers found that single parents were still able to find reward and enjoyment from their role, even with the stress and responsibility associated with it.
Fathers ranked highest in the level of happiness and satisfaction - above that of even married mothers. Dunn and her team believe this might have something to do with the surge in responsibility that comes with motherhood.
A previous survey done in the UK showed that happy parents make good parents. "One implication of our research is that to the extent that parenthood is associated with happiness, children may benefit as well," wrote the researchers.