Regrets And Happiness

Jennifer Senior's NyMag article has revived the never-ending debate about children and happiness. KJ Dell'Antonia, mother of four, adds her two cents:

Tom Gilovich, a psychologist at Cornell famous for a study showing that people regret things they haven't done more than things they have, asks "Should you value moment-to-moment happiness more than retrospective evaluations of your life?” He says he doesn't know the answer, but maybe the question is the answer. If you can keep a sense of the way you'll feel about the comically difficult moments as you go about the truly crazy daysthe nights when multiple children are sick in their beds or the moment when you look over your Fourth of July and realize that one of your children has literally eaten nothing but candy from morning until nightthen those times of epic lunacy hold the seeds of their own pleasure. If parenting is hard in part because we make it hard, then we can make it easier. We can let some things go, and we can look at other things differently, and we can hold on to one bittersweet thought: someday we'll look back on all of this and laugh.