Becoming a Grandma Just Became a Harder Sell

GrandmotherIt is hard to keep quiet at the wedding.  We parents want to say something like, ‘so when can we expect to become a grandma,” but we say nothing.  Too soon.  Our sons and daughters would just roll their eyes at us.  Now we have more to worry about.  Even Jimmy Fallon is making jokes about it in one of my favorite newspaper columns, “Late Night Humor.”  January 19, 2014, the Sun Sentinel quoted Jimmy:

This is kind of interesting.  A new study found that couples who don’t have kids end up having happier marriages.  So to anyone whose parents got divorced, guess it WAS your fault.

This Grandma went right to the study and the abstract of “Evaluative and Hedonic Wellbeing Among Those With and Without Children at Home,” by Angus Deaton and Arthur A. Stone, from Princeton and Stony Brook Universities.

Yes, Jimmy Fallon is accurate.  Children cause stress in the marital relationship.  Grandpa reminded me of the difficult parenting decisions and immense cost of raising children that caused us marital strife.

Here is a blurb from CNN on line:

The Princeton-Stony Brook study — which involved an examination of a survey of 1.8 million Americans, including parents between the ages of 34 and 46, conducted by Gallup from 2008 through 2012 — did find one difference between parents and the childless: Parents tend to experience more highs and lows.

 “They have higher highs. They have more joy in their lives, but also they have more stress and negative emotions as well,” said Stone.

CNN mentioned another study:

That strain can lead parents to feel less satisfied with their relationship, according to another study, this one by the Open University in England.

 In that study, which involved surveys of more than 5,000 people in England and in the United States, the authors found childless couples were happier with their relationships and their partners than parents were, and were doing more work on their relationships than parenting couples.

When asked who was the most important person in their lives, mothers said their children and fathers said their partners, the study found.

“(It) may be during those mid-years when people are parenting that there is a shift away from the relationship for women as they focus more on children,” said Dr. Jacqui Gabb, one of the study’s co-authors.

 On other websites, this second study was cited as showing childless couples are happier too.

Okay, childless couples have more disposable income to spend on themselves.  So. Grandma- want -to –be, encourage the newlyweds to travel and enjoy their  travel time together.  Maybe they will be less resentful when we harp on them for grandchildren later.

Okay, childless couples spend more time together and on their relationship.  So. Grandma- want -to –be, encourage the newlyweds to work on their relationship and enjoy their alone time together.  Maybe they will be less resentful when we harp on them for grandchildren later.

Yes, they will be stressed and tired and have less wellbeing in their parenting years.  But then we can remind them of the best marriage time of all. . . .

When the children are grown and leave the nest!





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