Parenting makes you miserable, but you think it makes you happy

Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter. Even when — as last night — she refuses to go to bed for two hours and then gets up at 3AM and refuses to go back to bed for two hours.

But it's somehow reassuring to know that it's supposed to be miserable at times:

The economist Andrew Oswald, who's compared tens of thousands of Britons with children to those without, is at least inclined to view his data in a more positive light: "The broad message is not that children make you less happy; it's just that children don't make you more happy." That is, he tells me, unless you have more than one. "Then the studies show a more negative impact." As a rule, most studies show that mothers are less happy than fathers, that single parents are less happy still, that babies and toddlers are the hardest, and that each successive child produces diminishing returns. But some of the studies are grimmer than others. Robin Simon, a sociologist at Wake Forest University, says parents are more depressed than nonparents no matter what their circumstances–whether they're single or married, whether they have one child or four.

All Joy and No Fun:
Why parents hate parenting.

(via Kottke)