We know that our children bring us joy and can help center us, even in the craziest, most hectic moments.

Now there's scientific research that confirms it.

Dr. S. Katherine Nelson-Coffey studies happiness , particularly how it relates to parenthood and to relationships.

When it comes to parenthood, Nelson-Coffey's research shows that parents report feeling happier and more satisfied with their lives than their non-parent counterparts.

Across several studies, parents also reported thinking about and finding meaning in their lives, thanks to their children.

"Parenthood is associated with greater well-being to the extent that it provides opportunities to pursue meaningful goals and enhanced life purpose, greater fulfillment of human needs, more positive emotions, and enhanced social roles," says Nelson-Coffey.

To be fair, her research has found that parents' well-being suffers most when they experience financial stress, sleep disturbance, and strained partner relationships.

But on the whole, parents report feeling happier.

Consider this: Nelson-Coffey's research also suggests that happy parents lead to happy kids.

Positive parent experiences that include factors like warmth, involvement, and emotional expression "have been associated with positive outcomes for kids."

As 2020 comes to a close, snuggle your little ones tight, mama. Give them a kiss on the head and thank them for helping you find meaning in life.

It's been a crazy year and we need to find happiness where we can get it. Sometimes, that starts right at home.

Proud mama? Celebrate it with one of these Motherly Shop faves.

Script Mama Necklace

Tiny Tags Script Mama necklace

This sweet, yet sophisticated Mama nameplate necklace is certain to become an everyday essential.

Sontakey I Was Made For This bracelet

Sontakey I was made for this bracelet

Motherhood is tough. We are tougher. We love this delicate but powerful reminder.

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