To ask if anyone has regretting having / not having children?

(205 Posts)
Cherryontop99 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:37:12

That's it really.
Has anyone regretted their decision, either way.
I'm just in the decision making process myself which is why I ask.

CailinDana Mon 19-Nov-12 13:37:03

Cherry it might reassure you to know that most people feel a bit uncertain about the actual decision to start trying. I always wanted children, I was absolutely sure about it, but even so deciding to try seemed huge and I had quite a few wobbles. In fact, following a miscarriage I was about to suggest to DH that we put it all off for another year or so as I was finding it all too worrying and daunting. Next thing I knew, I was pregnant again and I was really scared, partly in case I miscarried again and partly in case I didn't and I would have to face actually being a mother! Anyway it was all fine in the end and DS is fantastic. It's ok to be a bit ambivalent about it all, I think it's normal.

Tailtwister Mon 19-Nov-12 13:37:31

I don't regret having children. We spent 8 years trying to conceive our first and the second came along unassisted. I don't think I was prepared for how hard it would be though. I was so focussed on getting pregnant and the subsequent baby stage (which I found easier than I thought I would), but do find the whole preschool and toddler stage (mine are 4.5 and 2.5) very hard. I really didn't think I would still be so exhausted, but in reality I'm more tired now than I was in the baby days. The sheer logistics of parenting (nursery, school, clubs etc) is stressful sometimes.

It's possible to mourn your previous life without regretting your children though. I do wonder if that's what people are feeling sometimes, but of course there are people who truly feel regret too.

OneMoreChap Mon 19-Nov-12 13:39:56

Had a horrible first marriage; had to fight to maintain access to my - now adult - children.

The only thing I have never regretted from that period was my children.

LaQueen Mon 19-Nov-12 13:40:22

I struggled terribly with PND with DD1, but emerged from the other side deeply in love with her (and DD2), and now I genuinely cannot bear to think there might come a time when I don't tuck them up in bed at night.

I can get stressed and irritable with them, and sometimes want to jump in the car and head to the nearest hotel on my own.

But, overall I am humbled by how much I love them and at how privileged I am to share their lives.

derekthehamster Mon 19-Nov-12 13:41:31

Mine are now 12 and 9. I don't regret having them at all. They have enriched my life, and now they're growing up, I want to cling to them all the more!!

However when they were little.....

MuddlingMackem Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:12

I was always pretty ambivalent about having kids, but don't regret it for a moment now and am pretty 'wow' about what I would have missed out on if I hadn't. smile

The only thing I would change is that I would have saved much more before we had them so that if things went wrong we had some money behind us. That's because we planned our kids around our, what were then very secure, jobs. However, just at the point we had been looking forward to where we had both in school and should have been able to be financially comfortable, I got made redundant. And, right now, trying to find a job to work around kids, unless you have the option of free, on-tap childcare, is basically a nightmare, and when it comes to employment at least one of you has to take the kids into account. (There have been plenty of threads on this topic recently!)

So, if you even partially want them, go for it! But in the meantime bulk up your savings just in case. grin

blanksquit Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:15

I only have the one and I don't regret having her at all. I was very undecided before I had her, particularly after miscarrying.

But no regrets and I wouldn't be without her.

I won't say it's been easy. But I think we made the right decision.

cuteboots Mon 19-Nov-12 13:42:59

I have never regretted having my son. Even though Im a single mum and its bloody tough at times . Hes just the most amazing little person and it makes me realise what a selfish old bird I was before I had him.

legoboat Mon 19-Nov-12 13:45:59

my ds was an accident, i was 32 when i had him. i don't regret deciding to keep him for one second. i'd never been a maternal sort and was ambivalent towards children really and if it hadn't been for the accident baby may never have had chidren. babies are loud, annoying and vomit and poo all day. 4 year olds (which he now is) are moany and just keep going on and on and on and on at you. sometimes you can't wait til they're in bed. but there is honestly not one moment i have wished i didn't have him. i admit that i work FT and that I wouldn't be able to do children FT. i'd go stir crazy.
i have often thought that if he'd been an accident in my 20s, things maybe very different. i don't resent not going out so much now, because, to be quite frank, i don't want to. I don't want to be partying/going out every weekend. I also haven't had to give anything up because of him, i'd been in my job long enough to request some flexibility and i still do all my hobbies and play all the sport i want to.
if some part of you wants children, then go for it. i can't see that you'd regret it if it's already something you're thinking about.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 19-Nov-12 13:46:02

I have one DD and I am very happy being her parent. Like Cailin, if anything it has been better than I expected (and I had high expectations).

I think there are a few reasons why it has worked out well: for one, I was very aware of the upsides and downsides to childrearing. I am the oldest of a large family and I had worked in early years education. I had a fairly realistic idea of the work involved. I am also the sort of person who really enjoys the specific upsides and doesn't much mind the downsides (eg - I really like playing in the park, it doesn't bore me. I love reading stories and doing voices and seeing DD enjoy the same things I did. I really enjoy pretty baby and toddler things, just seeing little socks and so forth makes me smile. Conversely, I don't mind poo and sick and unless in a very bad mood I can usually laugh off having new clean clothes smeared with peanut butter or whatever. I don't mind very early mornings, I used to be awful for sleeping half the weekend away but now I am forced to get up and make the most of the whole day and I feel smug and virtuous grin.)

Other reasons. My hobbies are such that I can still enjoy them. Less than I used to but I don't much mind that because the time has been filled with time with DD that I now enjoy just as much IYSWIM? Also I do it less sometimes because I am just more tired - but again, in that case I really enjoy an early night and just chilling out!

DH pulls his weight. Totally. He was as keen as I was to become a parent and does his share of the work. This is huge actually, things would be much hard if this wasn't the case.

Finally, I know lots of people never liked children but love their own. I can't really relate to that (I mean I am sure it's totally true, I just didn't feel that way at all). I really love children. All ages and stages. I think they are hilarious and great fun. I would work with small children if I couldn't be a parent. So I was very confident I would also love my own. If I didn't generally like children, I would have been MUCH more apprehensive about becoming a parent.

I don't now if any of that is helpful. I really love being a parent but it truly is it for everyone. I think it would be better for people if we were to approach it like its a vocation, like being a priest or a police officer or working in A&E or something - wonderful if it is the right thing for you but something that lots of people would struggle with.

Sorry if this all seems incredibly smug. I haven't expressed myself very well blush

FunnysInLaJardin Mon 19-Nov-12 13:46:03

no not at all. I have 2 DC and although it can be full on at times and the school week is a rush from start to finish, I wouldn't change it for the world.

I would most certainly have regretted not having children and can't imagine how some of my 40 plus year old childless friends feel. I seem to have quite a lot of them!

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 19-Nov-12 13:49:13

Not for one minute.

DD is an only - and I slightly regret not having more.

Children are wonderful and give meaning to life.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Mon 19-Nov-12 13:50:40

Sorry, I meant to type: it ISN'T for everyone!

TheBlackPanther Mon 19-Nov-12 13:51:05

all kids are cheeky, cuddly bundles of fun who are always good at taking your mind of stressful times. i would have lots if i had a bigger house, believe me if you have any you certainly wont regret it and i cant understand anyone who would smile

PeppermintPasty Mon 19-Nov-12 13:51:06

I never wanted children. Correction: I never thought I wanted them. Looking back, that was a lot to do with issues with my crazy mother, but that's another story.

I had my first at 37. Wow! What a revelation! I too weighed up the pros and cons, which door should I go through, which way should I jump etc etc, had counselling about whether or not to go through with it, blah.

In the end I just held my nose and jumped in. Best thing I have ever done in my life without question. Sliding doors moment for me. I cannot believe I might have gone through life without children. But of course, if I had, I don't think I would have regretted it, as I never felt maternal until circumstances required it! And I never (thought I) wanted them as I grew up. Weird set of circumstances.

Good luck with your decision.

poopnscoop Mon 19-Nov-12 13:51:17

Wish we'd had the choice of having children - we both long for children and have tried for nearly 11 years to have them. What keeps me going? A wonderful husband and my childcare business... those little kids fill the gap in my life a little. Battle handing them back sometimes! (although most times don't battle at all)

Ragwort Mon 19-Nov-12 13:57:48

Children are wonderful and give meaning to life. Exit - perhaps you should re-word that to read as children have given meaning to your life.

I find being a parent extremely tough - not for any practical reasons, I am comfortably off, have a supportive DH, don't have to go out to work but I find it incredibly challenging being a parent, trying to do the 'right' thing, yet not be a tiger-mom grin.

My life does feel quite stifled, although I accept I obviously have acres of time compared to many parents but trying to fit what I want to do (mostly voluntary work in the community) around the needs of my teenage son is not always easy. Working (voluntarily) with teenage children makes me realise just how damaged so many young people are so I am determined to at least try to do the right thing for my own child.

And, being totally honest here, I really don't enjoy a lot of the things that my DS does so we don't have much real 'quality' time together sad.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 19-Nov-12 13:59:48

I knew someone would pick me up on that grin

Agree, if there was an edit facility I would add the word my.

But when you strip us back to basics, like the rest of the animal kingdom, our purpose is to procreate.

Jusfloatingby Mon 19-Nov-12 14:01:15

Children are wonderful and give meaning to life. [Quote]

I know lots of childless people whose lives are full of meaning.

I also know people who cannot, but would love to, have children and they find comments like this one deeply hurtful.

ExitPursuedByABrrrrrrr Mon 19-Nov-12 14:01:22

And Ragwort that is whay I was so glad I had a girl. Only having the one, I felt we stood more chance of sharing interests.

NessunDorma Mon 19-Nov-12 14:03:53

I don't regret having my two DC, but I am definitely NOT a naturally maternal person and I often find it very, very hard.

NessunDorma Mon 19-Nov-12 14:05:45

I am lucky enough to have a lovely group of close friends that I can escape to at least once a week, I think I would go mad otherwise.

StillSquiffy Mon 19-Nov-12 14:16:36

It's one of those things that once you are through the other side, you can't give them back, so you just get on with it and, because there is no 'choice' element by that stage, you do simply adjust. No-one I know regrets their kids - they'd go seriously nuts if they did, IMHO. It's hard enough raising kids anyway, would become almost impossible raising them if you had regrets. And they give you so much joy in so many ways that you simply can't put the pros and cons on a scale and weigh them.

I had 7 MCs before my DC arrived and obsessed about having a child for a number of years: I can say, with hand on heart, that if I had known then what I know now, I would have dealt with not having kids much better, and would have got on with my life quite happily. As someone with kids I adore and can't imagine living without, I can still see that there is a lot to be said for leading those slightly self-absorbed lives that we all had before kids came along to grab all the attention for themselves

I remember Sundays, for example. I miss Sundays.

NessunDorma Mon 19-Nov-12 14:23:23

Aaah Sundays. I used to complain I was bored hmm

CailinDana Mon 19-Nov-12 14:24:48

I think it helps that my pre-DC life was no great shakes. I definitely don't miss Sundays - they were really really boring in comparison to now. I suppose I should worry that when my DC leave home I'll just crumble to nothing!

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