Children can be loud, chaotic and expensive and many of us would assume that the larger a family, the more fraught the parents will be.But the opposite is true.
A study has found that parents with four or more children are more satisfied than those with fewer offspring because they enjoy the chaos of a large family.
The research also found gay, lesbian and transgender parents are just as happy with their lot, while single dads are the least satisfied with their family set-up.
She interviewed and surveyed hundreds of parents from a range of set-ups including families with same-sex parents, single mothers and fathers, families with multiple children, and those with a single child.
Each family was asked to rate how much social support they received, how satisfied they were with their lives, how resilient they thought they were and for details about their self-esteem and confidence. Ms Harman then ranked the different groups of parents based on their scores.
Parents with four or more children were found to be the most satisfied of all the groups because the family provided a large support network and they were 'rarely bored.'
Children in larger families additionally learnt responsibility from a young age and older siblings were able to support the parents by caring for the younger ones.
Same-sex parents were the most resilient group and had the fewest concerns about public perceptions.
'They have to go to a lot of effort to get these children, so these children are very, very much desired,' Ms Harman said.
'Often when same-sex parents do have a child they feel like they've hit the jackpot because they didn't think it was going to be possible because of their sexuality.'
At the opposite end of the scale, single fathers felt they were perceived as the 'lesser parent' and felt the least satisfied with their lives.
The survey answers also showed that the fathers are often blamed for the break-up of the family - even if they weren't responsible - which affects their public perception, and they can struggle to get time off work to look after their children.
However single fathers whose children were now adults said it had been worth going through the difficulties to maintain a strong relationship with their children.
Ms Harman added that government services for families typically did account for the various family set-ups and services should be tailored towards the individual styles.