PhotoYou might assume that one or two would be a more sanity-preserving number of children. But if it’s happiness you’re after, you might want to consider adding a few more to your brood.

A new study by finds that, when it comes to kids, the more you have the happier you’ll be.

In a survey, 558 self-identified stay-at-home moms were asked to rate their level of happiness. Surprisingly, moms of four or more kids were most likely to consider themselves “very” or “extremely” happy.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the finding was true even in lower-than-average income households.

The four-or-more theory begins to make more sense when you consider the fact that, as the writer points out, “managing four or more children will mellow all but the most stubborn of perfectionists.”

The survey also examined other aspects of stay-at-home motherhood, including how many SAHMs work and why they stay at home. It may not surprise you to learn that moms are pretty close to being actual superheroes. 

Two-thirds contribute to income

Busy stay-at-home moms do so much more than take care of the kids. The survey found that almost two-thirds of SAHMs contribute to their household income; 25% said they ran a business from home.

And most moms, it seems, would appreciate a little more respect for what they do. Seventy-two percent of SAHMs said society doesn’t understand how much they do. Moms also said they deserved a salary of $50,000.

The survey found that women who choose to stay home do so for the following reasons:

  • 36% because they wanted to
  • 15% because childcare is too expensive
  • 7% because their careers weren't family-friendly
  • 6% her partner wanted her to

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