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Parenthood is fulfilling but exhausting, study confirms

Parenthood really is exhausting: Study

New parents may cringe when they are told that raising children is "the toughest job you'll ever love," but a detailed analysis of government data finds that for many parents, that's actually true.

The Pew Research Center analysis of government data, released Tuesday, found that parents rated 62 percent of their child care activities as "very meaningful," compared with about 36 percent of the time they spend at paid work.

But those kids appear to be much more demanding than our bosses. Parents said 12 percent of their child care was "very tiring," compared with 5 percent of their paid work activities.

"We confirmed that it is true," said Wendy Wang, a research associate at Pew Research Center and the author of the report. "Parents do actually feel that their times with kids are more rewarding than their time at paid work, but ... they also feel like the child care is more exhausting than paid work."

(Read more: When empty nest fills up again, things get hectic)