But researchers have found that adults without children are happier than those with.
They cite two main reasons turning parenting from a labor of love into a big drag.
First is the high cost of child care. Second is the limited paid leave available to parents, which makes every doctor’s visit or school recital into an ordeal.
The study, conducted by the American Journal of Sociology, found that child care is a family’s second highest cost after housing.
In fact, in 33 of our 50 states, the cost of infant care is higher than the cost of college tuition ($9,589 a year for daycare compared to $9,410 for college, according to a report from The Care Index.)
About 37% of all parents use the services of a child care center. Another 32% call on grandparents to help out.
Does that mean it’s better for one parent to opt out of the workforce and stay home? That’s always a very personal decision, but the numbers suggest that leaving the workforce has a huge financial cost.
The average American woman can lose out on $467,000 in lifetime income, wage growth, retirement assets and benefits from only a short five-year break from her career, starting in her twenties, according to Fortune. That’s enough to cover 40 years of childcare.