Toronto: Don't call your investment banker to pick best stocks of the day or make a business call while getting your kids' homework done.
Merely thinking about money diminishes the meaning people derive from parenting, shows new research.
Moreover, money seems to compromise meaning for mothers but not for fathers when they are spending time with their children.
"This finding suggests that money tends to activate achievement and self-promotion motivations more strongly in women than men,” said Kostadin Kushlev of the University of British Columbia.
The less you mix various goals and motivations, the more meaning in life you may be able to experience from various daily activities.
“The relationship between parenthood and well-being is not one and the same for all parents,” added Kushlev.
Kushlev and his adviser Elizabeth Dunn sought to determine which aspects of life might influence how much pleasure and pain people got out of being parents.
They found that a having a higher socio-economic status lowers people's sense of meaning while taking care of their children but not during other daily activities.
Keep work and family life as separate as possible, “so that work- or money-related goals are not active when parents are spending time with their children”, they advised.
The study also suggests that parents are unhappy when they encounter greater negative emotions, magnified financial problems, more sleep disturbance and troubled marriages.
On the other hand, parents find joy when they experience positive emotions, satisfaction of their basic human needs, fulfillment of their social roles and purpose and meaning in life, added the study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.