Interesting column by Maureen Dowd on unhappy women and surveys that say the number one reason women are unhappy are kids, but women won’t admit children make them unhappy. Another reason for unhappiness over stimulation or Red Bull feminism: women doing EVERYTHING-grad school, mom, wife, CEO, volunteer, diva, stylista etc. Dowd cites Marcus Buckingham a former Gallup research who says, “ Though women begin their lives more fulfilled than men, as they age, they gradually become less happy. Men, in contrast, get happier as they get older.” Though even men are unhappier these days it seems too. Writes Dowd, “Buckingham and other experts dispute the idea that the variance in happiness is caused by women carrying a bigger burden of work at home, the “second shift.” They say that while women still do more cooking, cleaning and child-caring, the trend lines are moving toward more parity, which should make them less stressed. When women stepped into male- dominated realms, they put more demands — and stress — on themselves. If they once judged themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens and dinner parties, now they judge themselves on looks, kids, hubbies, gardens, dinner parties — and grad school, work, office deadlines and meshing a two-career marriage. In essence, women are chosing the path to unhappiness by chosing to be everything they can be,” writes Dowd. And the biggest factor in their unhappines: Kids! “Across the happiness data, the one thing in life that will make you less happy is having children,” said Betsey Stevenson, an assistant professor at Wharton who co-wrote a paper called The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness. It’s true whether you’re wealthy or poor, if you have kids late or kids early. Yet I know very few people who would tell me they wish they hadn’t had kids or who would tell me they feel their kids were the destroyer of their happiness.” What do you think? Are you unhappier than your mom was at your age? Your grandma? I don’t feel unhappy. I feel pressured to be a super woman sometimes and judged for not wanting to just have a full time job and a home in the burbs. On the other hand, I also sometimes feel like a quitter if I just really want to stay at home for awhile and raise a couple of great kids. And two cats. And a beagle named Butter. “Happiness” is relative though. I think too many people think being happy is an overall good feeling all of the time. That their needs need to be filled all the time. They should always feel satisfied and any discomfort, any feeling of unsatisfaction is something they don’t want to live with.