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.

LaQueen Tue 20-Nov-12 14:48:20

Agree begonia. The highs, that come with having children, are worth all the lows a thousand times over, and more.

But, parenting is not for everyone. In just the same way that some couples prefer to be married to someone more akin to a cosy, house-mate - rather than wanting a passionately engaged marriage with a DH they are very much in love with (and who can annoy the shit out of them, too).

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 20-Nov-12 16:53:01

LaQueen, Tiger Mummy is not the idiom you are looking for - it came out of that New Yorker piece that was syndicated all over the place a year or two ago and refers to pushy, ambitious, discipline-heavy parenting (learning 4 languages and 3 instruments at 5 years old, etc) and is popularly associated with Asian mothers.

I think you are thinking of the "lioness" trope.

blisterpack Tue 20-Nov-12 16:54:22

What are you worried about Doinmummy. Is it to do with PND like another poster said? I don't understand being scared or worried for your children like some people upthread say, unless you have some particular situation that makes them vulnerable in some way. I hope I'm not being too nosey to ask that.

blisterpack Tue 20-Nov-12 16:55:58

I think Tiger Mother used to be as LaQueen wrote, but lately the meaning has changed to an Amy Chua type of parent.

lostconfusedwhatnext Tue 20-Nov-12 17:01:37

Maybe, or maybe something about "Mother Tigress", but "Tiger Mummy" (specially "mummy" as La Queen said) I am pretty sure is specifically a phrase associated with highly pressured parenting.

wherearemysocka Tue 20-Nov-12 17:48:21

I liked what Caitlin Moran said in How to be a Woman about women who don't want their own children. Not those who want one desperately but don't manage to, or those for whom circumstance dictated they couldn't, but those who choose not to.

I'm paraphrasing but she seemed to say that women who choose not to have children demonstrate that it is not the only thing that women are capable of - that women, mothers and non mothers alike have a lot more to offer the world than just their ability to procreate.

I thought that was an interesting point. You can still be creative and productive and contribute to society, like childless men have thoroughout history (I think she mentioned Beethoven and Emmanuel Kant) without that one decision defining everything you are. Have children or don't have children, but do it for your own reasons, not anyone else's.

Doinmummy Tue 20-Nov-12 17:52:53

Blister I don't have PND my dd is 14 grin. I worry about where she is, who she is with, drink, drugs, her running away, her going down the wrong path, her relationship with her absent abusive father, having to call the police when she has set about me and on and on.....

LaQueen Tue 20-Nov-12 17:58:26

Well, whatever, I basically was enraged that anyone had hurt my DD1, and would quite cheerfully have drawn blood in revenge.

Wallison Tue 20-Nov-12 19:42:37

wherearemysocka, the thing is that being a mother isn't just about procreating - in fact, that is a tiny part of it. It's about parenting, which is not only a lifelong job but also quite a specific activity and I can't see how it is bad to recognise that that is contributing to society in itself. It doesn't mean that people who don't have children don't contribute; rather, it is about recognising that those that do do something that people without children just do not.

ItsGonnaBeFine Tue 20-Nov-12 19:44:55

No regrets, but I in NO WAY understood how hard it would be.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Tue 20-Nov-12 20:29:38

Isn't it a mother bear and her cubs? <irrelevant>

wherearemysocka Tue 20-Nov-12 21:44:29

I'd agree with you, wallison if all parents were great and did a bang up job of raising their children. Unfortunately a minority do not, and by becoming parents actually become more of a drain on society than contributing to it.

It doesn't take any special talent to have a child and some people would be better off not doing it. People are not more virtuous or special just because they had sex without contraception. I admire good parents a great deal - but not all parents are good parents.

Wallison Tue 20-Nov-12 21:56:31

Sure, wherearemy, but that wasn't what you said. I agree with you that there's nothing special about the mere act of procreation but I do think it reasonable to praise those who bring up the next generation just in the same way as it is reasonable to praise those who do anything worthwhile with their lives. It isn't paid and it isn't going to win you any awards, but it is still a worthwhile undertaking and I don't see anything wrong with recognising it as such.

everydayaschoolday Tue 20-Nov-12 23:04:06

I regret not having kids earlier. If I knew then how fulfilling and rewarding parenting is, I would have done this years ago. I did uni then career, and had DD1 at 34 and DD2 at 37. Now nearly 39, I'm looking at taking time out to be a SAHM for a couple of years before a career change.

I appreciate I have a terrific DH for support and we are financially comfortable (not rich!) - which would not have been the case in my early twenties. So perhaps I'm looking back with rose-tinted specs.

Loveweekends10 Wed 21-Nov-12 00:50:25

No regrets. After 4 miscarriages and one path down IVF I'm so grateful everyday that I have two fantastic daughters. (13) and (7).

SerenityX Sun 10-Feb-13 18:49:55

No regrets here. I am managed to get lucky and my lifestyle is good. I have lots of friends who are miserable and always complaining. Usually about lack of money, time, sleep, patience and loss of self.

If I had to it all over gain in today's world then no. The opportunities for women ate a lot better. In my day you were considered an 'old maid' or past I if you weren't settled down by mid to late 20's. That is so young now. All I ever heard as settle down....and get married! It was expected.

I am divorced. My husband was good dad material but he was Mr Average and conventional in every way. He held me back intellectually. I definitely settled. LOL the trip into suburbia was not for me. I left him and went backpacking in Borneo with one toddler and at 6 months pregnant for a holiday. He spent the time looking at wallpaper and decorating. I knew then my marriage was over and we finally made it legal 5 years later.

He's remarried with 4 more kids and a woman who bakes. We have zero to talk about. My kids are fine and have amazing adventures from our crazy life. Things I would never get away with now.

You are right to think carefully....once you go down the parent path there is no going back.

Purple2012 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:01:18

I regret not having them. I have a step daughter. And although I do love her it's not the same. Unfortunately we can't have children together but I regret not doing something about it and now it's too late.

lisad123everybodydancenow Sun 10-Feb-13 19:02:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 19:03:40

It's pretty difficult to properly regret either way, because you don't know what your life would have been like.

thebody Sun 10-Feb-13 19:10:27

I have 4, they and dh are my life. I define myself as a mother first but I do work ft as well.

We neatly lost dd in an accident a year ago on 19th feb.

The girls who survived the crash and the mothers are going out for lunch that day. It's to celebrate their struggles and survival during the year.

Nothing but nothing is as scary terrible and wonderful as having children.

If you don't have children you have no idea but its a choice and not for everyone of course.

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 19:15:10

I find a certain chippiness and defensiveness among some people who don't have children

"Chippy" and "defensive" are words often used about feminists too.

When you make a choice (or have a choice thrust upon you) that is not the accepted norm then sometimes you encounter so many people who think you are doing it wrong that defensiveness is a perfectly natural feeling when the subject come up.

Chocaholics Sun 10-Feb-13 19:18:47

I have 2 DC, one just about 2 the other 3 weeks old. I have never regretted having them but it is much tougher than I ever imagined. Some things drive me crazy, the bed time routine, saying the same thing over and over to my toddler, the lack of sleep but I have found it totally worth it. Watching DC1 learn new things every day is amazing and seeing DC2 smile (even if it is only wind!) makes my heart melt! I was never maternal and always thought I'd never have children but an very glad I did.

But it is very hard, very lonely at times and not at all like I imagines pre-DC!

Yika Sun 10-Feb-13 19:29:23

Nothing has ever made me happier than having my daughter. I've more or less given up all other outside activities - but I'm hoping to start them all again in the next couple of years and certainly by the time she starts school. But then again, I had her so late I felt I'd done everything else I wanted to do, so was happy to throw myself 100% into child rearing.

Purple2012 Sun 10-Feb-13 19:32:32

I am defensive in RL about not having children. I don't want to tell people we can't as it's none of their business but I get sick of people asking why we don't have children of our own. I make excuses like age etc and then people say I'm not too old etc. So of course I get defensive. It's no one else's business and it is hard to deal with having your choice taken away for you.

NothingIsAsBadAsItSeems Sun 10-Feb-13 19:33:57

I have no regrets smile but a close friend does sad he blames his children (both severely disabled) for the breakdown of his marriage and hasn't seen them since he left his wife, as they are apparently a reminder of everything that has gone wrong for him and are too much hard work sad

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