If you’ve ever been awoke by a crying child saying, “I can’t stop puking in my bed.” Or if you’ve ever had puke in your hair, poop on your white shirt or have daydreamed about going on a vacation where all you do is sleep, then you are probably a parent. So, you may be surprised to find that with all the lack of sleep and stress that comes with parenting - that parents actually live longer than people without children, according to a study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

What is it about kids that make them so special? They are totally exhausting, extremely expensive and definitely worth it.

There are days when all my kids can do is fight, all that I hear is crying, tattling and (with boys) punching. Those days I wonder what in the world I was thinking. I could be on a beach somewhere sipping margaritas, instead of breaking up fist fights and banishing kids to their rooms for all eternity.

But, then there are days when my boys are all playing together and getting along that I think I’m in heaven. Nothing makes me happier or gives me greater joy as a parent than listening to my kids laugh together.

The sound is so sweet that I don’t dare interrupt them. Those are the days that I would save in a jar and open when I’m old and lonely.

I’m not surprised that parents live longer. As a parent you know that nothing brings you greater joy than your kids – and according to a different study, happier people live longer, so it only makes sense that parents would live longer.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.