Despite What You May Think, Your Husband Is Happier Because You Made Him a Dad

Awww! 3

father son shadowHaving kids is hard. And I don't mean birth, though that presents its own challenges. I mean actually having kids and living each day with them and your husband and trying to make everyone happy and surviving in harmonious chaos. There may be some days when there isn't a clean sock in the house and the floor is so dirty you could eat a meal off of it because there are bits of bread, pasta, and cheese among the Matchbox cars and missing dirty socks.

There may be days when you think your husband wants out. Maybe that's why he works late or has taken up a hobby like rock climbing that is far too dangerous for the kids to tag along so he could find some solace away from the constant 'surprise' of poop underwear when you thought you've successfully potty trained. Maybe he just doesn't care if he falls off that cliff because he already feels dead. If any of these thoughts have crossed your mind, you're wrong. Your husband would be more depressed if you hadn't made him a father.

A really small British survey has given us some hope that our husbands -- the father of our children -- aren't miserable beings. Which makes the survey's author Robin Hadley, of the United Kingdom's Keele University, a bit of a hero. She polled 27 men and 81 women between the ages of 20 and 66 who didn't have any kids and found that half of the men were lonely and sad because they never had children. Yep, most men who don't have kids are lonely and sad. (Awww.) Just over a quarter of the women felt the same. (Interesting.) Of those in the study, 59 percent of men and 63 percent of women said they wanted kids. So it seems, generally, that if a man wants kids, he really, really does want them and it makes him depressed if he doesn't end up having them. The perception by these childless men is that children bring happiness and love and comfort. Which is adorably sweet. And true.

These men also felt jealous of those who had kids. So that means some of your childless male friends whose life you may so admire because of the freedom to wait patiently for 20 minutes for a seat at the hottest brunch spot and then sit and leisurely enjoy two cups of coffee and actually eat like a human being and not a starving animal because they aren't on a child's time limit are actually jealous of you, the person who thinks 9 p.m. is late. They are jealous of the dads playing with their kids at the park and even the diaper changing part and the spit-up part and the tantrum parts. Parenthood is hard -- I mentioned that, right? But it's all worth it.

Men want to be fathers. Maybe not all of them show it all the time in the ways we think they should, but they do. I know when I see my husband or any dad playing with their kids and laughing and really enjoying the moment, it's one of the best things to see ever. And it helps me realize that he really doesn't want to fall off that cliff. It's the kids that make him feel more alive.

Do you ever worry that your husband doesn't want to be a dad? What do you think of this study?


Image via catorze14/Flickr

fathers, in the news


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Kelly

It is rediculous to even post study results based on a poll of 27 men - 50% is only 14 people. I seriously doubt that would hold up if the study was actually significant. I find it silly that an entire post would be dedicated to 14 people's response to a poll.

nonmember avatar Madeline

A poll of only 27 men in the UK (where attitudes twords having children is much different form the US). Why even write this? If this is so true than why did Linda Sharp feel the need to write "Surviving Parenthood Without Breaking Up Your Marriage"? I'm childfree and I could provide The Stir with better parenting articles that would be helpful, informative and better written.

camoa... camoalltheway

I agree with the first 2 comments. Anyone who has common sense can see that a survey of so few people would be highly skewed, much less someone that deals with statistics on a daily basis. Maybe next time you could do a bit more research before presenting something as fact. 

1-3 of 3 comments