Not great news if you come third, fourth or fifth in the family litter.
Researchers from the London School of Economics have found that while the arrival of the first two children makes parents incredibly happy, that effect wears off by the time the third kid pops out.
According to the brains in the know at LSE, parents’ happiness levels increase the year before and after having their first child, with older parents being the ‘happiest’.
When they have their second child, parents are biologically only half as happy and by the third baby the change in their happiness levels is miniscule.
Depressing as this may sound for third-in-line kids, these findings do not mean that mums and dads love their younger kids any less.
According to Mikko Myrskylä, professor of demography at LSE, the findings point to parents being used to the whole child-rearing experience the their time around.
“The arrival of a third child is not associated with am increase in the parents’ happiness, but this is not to suggest they are any less loved than their older siblings,” he claims.
“Instead, this may reflect that the experience of parenthood is less novel and exciting by the time the third child is born or that a larger family puts extra pressure on the parents’ resources.”
The research also claims that the happiest parents tend to be older and more educated.
Parents between the ages of 35-49 are happier than those who welcome a child between the ages of 23-34.
Interestingly the research also found that women are happier about the arrival of a child than men.
But with that spike comes a steeper drop in happiness in the year after the birth, which could provide some much needed information about post-natal depression.
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