To ask if anyone has regretting having / not having children?(205 Posts)
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.
No, I have 2, no regrets at all. Thought about a third at one point and then decided not to, no regrets about that either!
I could never say I regret having my DD. However hand on heart I can say if I had known how hard it was going to be I don't know if I would have had children, or at the very least I would have done so in a different way (i.e. not so far away from family etc.). They also bring untold joy but if you'd never had a child you wouldn't really know that you were missing that feeling iyswim.
No, I have 1 DD and I wouldn't change it for the world. I can't imagine my life without her now. Even though its hard work and frustrating at time I've never regretted anything
I have no children and have never regretted that decision for more than about five minutes at a time- and only in a really abstract way. In fact, the older I get the more I realise what a right decision it was for me.
I mean- I swear at my cats enough and they can't moan about emotional abuse
I have worked with children all my adult life and find them fascinating and great company and very amusing- but I'm always glad to hand them back!
I don't regret having DD at all, but I might have put it off a bit longer had I known how lonely I would be. She is amazing though and I wouldn't change her for the world
No. I've got 4 DC and although there are plenty of days when they have me tearing my hair out I can honestly say I have never wished things were different.
Everyday they make me smile and give me that heart bursting feeling of love and happiness.
I know that sounds naff but for me it's true
I don't regret having my DS and I would never want to be without him.
BUT...I sometimes think how much easier my life would be if I didn't have him. I'm not a relaxed parent, I'm quite anxious and over protective and this can be really draining, particularly as I'm also a lone parent so have no one to share the burden with.
Maybe I really just regret the circumstances in which I had DS, as I could never regret DS himself.
I have 1 DS and another on the way. No regrets so far. When I envisaged having children I thought I was deluded and expected the reality to be not nearly as good, but so far it's even better Becoming a mum was the best decision I ever made, followed closely by deciding to marry DH
No children of my own and have only ever fostered - I do not regret my decision to stop trying for a baby (was very half hearted about it after a few miscarriages).
I cannot wait for this foster child to grow up though I love her very much - I will finally get to sit around and drink gin at 45 and go on holiday, and have loud sex, and watch tv loud enough to hear the inappropriate bits...
I don't have kids & have never regretted it. Sterilised at 24, 35 now.
(And yes, I read mumsnet! Mostly for the Relationship advice )
God no. I have one DS and he is the best thing in the world ever and I have never regretted having him for a second.
My best friend has no children, never wanted them, and she doesnt regret her decision for a moment either.
Horses for courses, we are all different and that is what makes the world so interesting
Have never regretted having children for a second, even though I was a single mum for the first few years and life was tough at times - they have brought so much happiness to my life, I can't imagine my life without them and don't want to.
I don't regret my children, for the people they are, I love them completely etc.
However if I had known how I would be as a parent, I would have reconsidered. I didn't realise how much my past has affected my ability to parent. I have two brothers, one is gay and doesn't want children, and the other has decided he isn't cut out for parenting either. We all go a bit quiet when we think about how our parents were with us. (Offhand, critical, dismissive, obstructive etc rather than anything darker.)
yes when pregnant, both times have gone "eek that was stupid, how will we provide, what sort of world will they come into etc etc"
but no, never regretted DS once he was born, (no 2 not born yet so still from time to time get an "eek" moment). Still did all the things I planned to do, uni, clearing debt, working, hobbies, volunteering etc, plus more because being a role model and provider motivates you to be the best you IYKWIM
Just so hard to know what to do. Part of me wants kids, part of me just wants to carry on how I am. I am 31 now so need to start thinking about this.....i have lots of hobbies that would have to go if I had kids, and I have a good career that would suffer. And I like having DP all to myself and not being poor.
But then the other half of me wants a family.
There is a long running thread elsewhere on mn for women who regret their kids. As someone who doesn't it makes for distressing reading.
Never regret having my two. They are bloody hard work
said after a night of no sleep after 3.30am but so much fun. I enjoy seeing them grow and learn. It is especially nice having kids around at Christmas after there just being adults around the table for so long.
We have three children, one died, but never regretted having them.
I have two close friends and several other friends who never had them and none of them has any regrets. They're all in good marriages/long-term relationships with people who never wanted any children, either, and enjoy their lives.
I do have friends who regretted having them too young or too old, and colleagues who regret not having them (where they did want them but waited till the "perfect" time with the "perfect" man etc which of course never happens) And a couple of friends who sacrificed having children to be with men who couldn't or didn't want children.. and the relationships didn't last but by the time they split it was too late for them
I would imagine it's pretty distressing to regret having your kids, let alone reading it as someone not in that position.
I regret not having a baby when I could have done, I don't know if you mean that sort of thing? But I'm more or less made peace with it.
You can always go back to your career and also why do you have to give your hobbies up? I have a good career (same job as before I had DS) and loads more hobbies now.
You don't have to sacrifice everything to have kids - there are ways and means around these things if you want it enough
how much you sacrifice depends on your partner and support system. I had mine with someone who doesn't see my ambitions as less important than his now that we are parents which helps a lot, childcare is as much his responsibility as mine so if i have something i can't (or don't want to) rearrange then he'll rearrange his work. it means a lot of "tag teaming", so our DS is with one or other of us, but we are a bit like ships passing in the night, one comes in when the other has to run out the door.. but we were always a bit like that (not to this extent) as when we met I was doing full time shift work so you just make the most of a breakfast together here and a quick coffee there etc
I was unsure about having children and could see a lot of downsides when I looked at my friend's very changed lives, with young children. However I went for as it all seemed like a risk worth taking.
Six years in and two children later, I sometimes wish for more freedom, but fundamentally I'm really glad that we are now here. I wish I had known how much I was going to like the children, even with all the hard work. I spent years worrying about how awful life would be with young children and I'd wish I had known that I would be able to cope.
No I dont regret mine at all. The first 4 was planned number 5 wasnt (although we knew we were not finished - she was just a little earlier than we planned). I dont ever regret having them, I get stressed sometimes but generally if they are out I think "thank god they are coming back" life would be dull on my own.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.....
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 .)
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
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!
Not for one minute.
DD is an only - and I slightly regret not having more.
Children are wonderful and give meaning to life.
Sorry, I meant to type: it ISN'T for everyone!
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
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.
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)
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 .
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 .
I knew someone would pick me up on that
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Aaah Sundays. I used to complain I was bored
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!
The humdrum of life can be monotonous and dull.
The endless cleaning and tidying and nagging.
The blah of kids interests and being tied down.
But then you have a day like I experienced last week, when my DS1 was beaten up at school, and the force of feelings you have - the gutteral, primal roar through your body that someone dared hurt your child.
Well. To put it mildly, I am grateful in every way that I am a Mother and get to experience emotions that strong and that passionate.
And this week, watching him return to school after chest x-rays and a week of resting his bruised ribs - to say my heart nearly burst with pride is underplaying how emotional I feel.
I am unbelievably proud to be a Mum, to all of my sons.
My dparents had friends who decided when they got married in their 20s that they didn't want dc, and she even got her tubes tied.
At round about 40yo she suddenly felt she was missing out and they had them untied and were ttc, but didn't manage.
They're now in the position that their couple friends are having grandchildren and finding it very hard, much harder than when their friends were having children in fact.
I think they're both only children, and they now have almost no family at all, and their friends are having their families growing. I know dparents try not to talk about grandchildren round them, but it seems to be effecting them more and more.
That's the only story I have on people who regret having/not having children.
I love my children very much, but the business of bearing them and the early years nearly broke me. I am not sure if it was the right thing to do. I can't bear to imagine being without them but I think it was a bit foolish to think I could survive it all, and selfish to go ahead with it, hoping, rather than taking the cautious path and accepting loneliness and emptiness that would have hurt nobody but myself. Too late. We're here now
OP I was like you at 31 (had always thought i'd want children at 30, then got there and still felt too young).
It was around 31 that I thought we should try as there was never going to be a better time. I don't regret it, although earlier on I think I missed my old life more. 11 years and 3 children later the only thing I regret is not having done it sooner, mainly due to the age that gps now are and my worry that they are starting to age but I have less time to help them.
Oh Pinot Your poor DS. How dreadful for you. Hope he is feeling better.
I don't regret DD at all. She was planned but I was indifferent about having children. But I'm really enjoying her.
I see my life as comprised of phases. Parenting a small child is the current phase I find myself in. Prior to DD I worked long hours, travelled the world extensively, went out all the time; prior to that I was studying hard and enjoying loads of hobbies. Now I'm a parent I am still travelling, though not as frequently, and have changed careers so I can work more flexibly. Soon DD will be a teenager and much more independent and life will enter another phase for me.
The key, for me, is to enjoy and make the most of each phase and then be ready for it all to change. When I'm on my deathbed I hope I can say, "Wow, what a varied life I led!"
Got 4 Dcs, never regretted it for an instant. But then how can you regret the unknown? Been a mom for 23 years so can't imagine not having my kids.
Parenthood is frequently incredibly boring. This I do find hard.
Gd, we are not just here to procreate- if that was the case we'd all be dead after the menopause
I fell pregnant at 18, had DS when I was 19, was in an abusive relationship, ds has SN and I was still at Uni too. I'd still do it all over again if given the choice.
Oh Pinot, do sooo agree.. Hope your ds ok
Honestly? Yes. I have regretted having a baby. I have found the prospect of being responsible for another human being forever and ever and always coming second and not sleeping properly for years and just felt so overwhelmed that I want to get on a plane and escape. It's not a constant thought. But I will admit to thinking it.
I would never ever ever change it back though. It's worth it.
"But when you strip us back to basics, like the rest of the animal kingdom, our purpose is to procreate"
...Or maybe we have evolved beyond the rest of the animal kingdom and that's why those of us who can't procreate can still have meaning and purpose in our lives.
I'm expecting my first child and I regret not having children sooner I can't want for baby to arrive and to get started on the next
I dont regret having DS, but every now and again I wish I had waited a couple more years. It's normal to miss bits of your life 'before', but I wouldn't change anything. Yes, at times it can be really dull, and it is by far the most exhausting and hardest thing I've ever done. But it does have moments of just pure happiness and wonder. DS is so much his own person, even at only 11 months, and I marvel all the time about how he learns new things, and what he finds funny etc. Plus, I grew him from scratch! Which is very cool.
I was a total party animal and extremely independent all my adult life, was never gonna settle down. Loved being an auntie but that just confirmed I never wanted kids of my own iyswim.
Met DH at 28, engaged within a year, married year later....he defo wanted kids and we started tryin not long after wedding, if I'm completely honest I wasn't 100% sure but I knew he was and I wasn't totally against it anymore.
I got pregnant straight away and had MMC at 10 weeks, bloody hell from that moment on I wanted a child so strongly it was a very hard time for us.
DS is 8 months now and being a mum is by a country mile the best thing I have ever done. I do not have one negative to give you (except for the birth but you didn't ask abt that ), he brings me and everyone in our lives so much joy everyday he has changed my entire families lives, it is wonderful We started trying for DC2 when DS was 6 months and if we are lucky enough, I don't know how I will stop having more and more
Exit, YOUR purpose might be to procreate- its not everyone's thankfully! There are far too many people in the World as it is. Some of us have very full lives without children. I have been childfree all my life and can't think of anything worse than procreating. I enjoy sports, friends, campaigning, plus a million and one things and at 42 have no regrets at being childfree; in fact I often thank my lucky stars.
Hmmm, finding the statements 'our purpose is to procreate' and 'dcs give meaning to life' a little hard to stomach <paraphrasing>.
having said that, my bestest friend gave birth to a little baby girl today, 6 pounds, so am feeling a bit emotional generally
"Gd, we are not just here to procreate- if that was the case we'd all be dead after the menopause "
in anthropology theories the reason women have a menopause and survive is to help with the grandkids so their DNA is sucessful and lives on once they die!
- just sayin!
I've never regretted my kids for a second. My life would have been easier if dd1 had arrived a few years later but really she was the reason I got myself together to actually achieve things in my life rather than drifting.
I might regret not having a third. It is the only thing I think I will regret in my life, but I am not having much luck persuading dp that a third child is a good idea
Oh please - I didn't say it was our purpose, just if we stripped ourselves back to the animal kingdom procreation is the main driving force of existence. As Gore Vidal said in his novel Two Sisters, children are our link with eternity. I remember the powerful feeling that evoked in me when I read it before I had DD.
Sigh. Tis hard to have an existential conversation on here.
Actually one of many reasons I am childfree is because as an antinatalist I think it's cruel to bring children into the world to suffer and die. But I felt that was a bit too deep.
I've done quite a bit in my life, but having DC is by far the best thing I've ever done.
Exit, sorry, it touched a raw nerve today...
I am recently single at 40, and with the news of my friend (who don't get me wrong I am thrilled for - my face aches from smiling today!), I'm facing up to the reality that I will never have DC.
I have hummed and haad for the last 10 years, and I think I'll regret it
(Ponyofdoom your generalisation is staggering!)
Sorry threesteps. I never mean to upset people, but frequently do. I had my DD at 40 so I was late to this game and had plenty of time for considering the nature of existence.
There are many paths through life.
We have 3. Big gaps between them(15, 10, 22months) which makes life interesting
No regrets, quite the opposite. They're my world.
I don't regret having my DS. I do have moments like I expect most parents do at times where I think "What the sweet FUCK have I done to my life?!", but they get less as he gets older. If I could have skipped the first 12 weeks or so, I would have .
I'm also now facing the possibility due to health issues that I might not be able to have another child. Which at 21 is hard to swallow, but makes me feel that everything happens for a reason, and my life took the path it was supposed to take, even if it was a scary one at the time.
Nothing can prepare you for motherhood, and it will never be the right time: there will always be something that makes it difficult. Its certainly the hardest bloody thing I have ever done in my life. And I love (almost) every second of it.
ah Exit mining a seam of the childless here I think. I have many 40+ friends who don't have DC. I would love to say they are all happy with their decision, but most of them are not and in fact didn't make the decision really it was thrust upon them by circumstance
i thought I was rather ambivalent about kids, but something hurts quite a lot tonight. I'm trying to work out whether it's loss of DP, and/or no chance of DCs. There's always a
distant chance I'll meet another bloke, not so much having kids though...
think now's the time I should blast up some
power ballads music in my child free home and have a wail
"ah Exit mining a seam of the childless here I think"
I don't know what that means Fanny?
I have 2 DCs and as I was left holding the baby literally at 8 months pregnant then with hindsight I might have wanted things different. It's bloody hard work at times. But seeing their little smiles everyday makes u wonder what the hell u were doing with your life before them.
And I constantly remind myself that I might feel trapped and lonely and scared right now but soon those little faces will be sulky independent teenagers.
If I had a DP I could depend on I'd never have a second of regret.
It's just so hard on your own when u can't even pop to Tescos for a loaf without it turning into a minefield.
I blame the OP for starting this thread.
Flojo I have an incontinent dog so can kind of empathise with you there!
i have never regretted having any of my six, although i do think about the fact because of a large age gap i will prob be a grandma before my youngest leave by years lol so the years of being child free will prob pass me by. and that saddens me a little.
i dont have any friends that dont have children but did once have a conversation with an oldish lady. she had stopped me to say how cute my children were and that she had never had children. she had a had great job lovely life and when all her friends had children felt happy with her choice. but she missed dreadfully not having grandchildren. the hole she felt was overwhelming at times.
i could only sympathies with her i had no idea what else to say.
i know this is similar to another post earlier but still wanted to share.
no one else can make this decision for you we are all different and want and
need different things out of life.
For a long time I was fairly sure I didn't want children, but ended up with a DP who wanted them desperately. I lost that battle and I'm so glad I did. I have a DS who I simply can't imagine life without.
Retaining a sense of self is very important though - I feel very fortunate that I'm at a stage in my life where I have an income, childcare, support etc to not ever feel like I'm sacrificing anything meaningful for my child. Quite the contrary - the thought of not having him makes my heart hurt. But I'd never have been able to predict that I'd feel like this, so I don't see how anyone else can advise you.
Exit I agree with you and I would imagine lots more do too, just are a bit scared to get flamed as well!
three just that I find a certain chippiness and defensiveness among some people who don't have children as illustrated by the response to Exits perfectly reasonable statement that we are primarily here to procreate.
She didn't say 'the childless have lives empty of meaning', but that is what her comment was interpreted as.
Its Funny btw, Fanny would seem a tad crass
Yes. I regret that I never had a dc4. DH wouldn't/won't agree to another one. I've accepted it now, but I secretly still wish for another dc. It's not even a rational thing as I often struggle with our 3, one of whom is very challenging. At the same time I am grateful every day for our 3 healthy children, but there's a small part of me that's still rather bitter towards DH for not "letting" me have another. At the moment I could still, in theory, have another (although almost 40 and youngest dc is 7 so not ideal) so I'm hoping that once I'm really too old for another I'll finally be able to put it behind me. DH just says he's looking forward to grandchildren but he has also agreed to look into fostering. I would like to foster, but I think the people who decide if we can will realise that he's mainly doing it to please me?
I don't regret having my son one bit. I have changed since I had him, but only in that I find life is fuller and richer with him in it. This has surprised me, because I spent all of my adult life before he came doing exactly what I wanted to do (which was a lot) and for that reason didn't want kids, because I thought that life would become narrower once I was a mother. But nothing could be further from the truth. I remember thinking, shortly after he was born, that it was as though some kind of veil had been lifted to another side of life that had always been there but that I had been unable to access. When I think that, had I carried on as I was, I might never have seen that, it makes me all the more grateful that he is here at all. I can honestly say that I love him with a passion I never thought was in me, that he is my favourite person and if I had to choose someone out of all the world to share my life with, then it is him.
Thanks for putting me straight Funny
You do come across pretty patronising.
And my apologies for calling you Fanny.
I'm only 8 weeks in to parenting but I am loving having DD which is a surprise because:
a) I was never a baby person. I like them better when they can talk etc.
b) The first few weeks were miserable after a CS (which hurt more than I expected) and the sleep deprivation is a massive shock to the system. At around 2-3 weeks I sobbed to DH several times "I have ruined my life!"
Then at about 5 weeks the magic happens - they start to engage a bit more. You can start playing with them more and get proper, intelligent smiles back. DD plays and coos and laughs and gives big gummy grins. I am absolutely besotted with her in a way that has taken me by surprise. She is also beautifully portable at this stage so you can take her anywhere and she will happily doze in car seat or lie on a blanket kicking and chirruping. In fact found myself looking at her yesterday and wishing I could freeze her in time because she's perfect. I was in a cafe, having coffee, doing some work while she lay and kicked and cooed away.
DH is a huge support and we agreed some ground rules before we started trying (e.g. she will be going to creche part time fairly soon to allow me to do some freelance work while I'm still officially on maternity leave). This can help if you are scared of not having any time to yourself ever again. Ironically I now feel quite about putting her into creche!
I'm mid thirties btw and feel v lucky to have gotten pregnant as soon as we started trying. Other friends haven't been so lucky. You don't know which camp you'll be in till you start trying IYSWIM so there is something to be said for trying in early thirties if you're ready which gives you time for other options if it doesn't happen for you straight away.
You'll be fine OP whatever you decide - just different paths
<pours water over pants to put out flames>
This is AIBU though.
<reminds self not to post on emotive subjects>
Right now i am seriously wishing i'd stayed on the pil. But then i have a 23 week old who has woken every 2 hours for the last 5 months and screams when i put her down, in the pushchair and in the car seat. I am holding out hope that if you ask again in 6 months i'll be happier in my decision.
find a certain chippiness and defensiveness among some people who don't have children as illustrated by the response to Exits perfectly reasonable statement that we are primarily here to procreate. QUOTE
People aren't being chippy and defensive. They're pointing out the insensitivity of making statements on a website implying that life without children lacks meaning. I know some people who would love to have children and find it hard to cope with some of the unintentionally cruel remarks that people often make eg Having children is when you really grow up/stop being selfish etc. There's some programme being trailered on telly at the moment about the first year in life after giving birth where some young mother announces 'What's the point in life without children' and I cringe thinking of some desperately ttc friends having to hear that. I know people don't do it intentionally but when you've seen people in tears because of some thoughtless remark made by someone in work or whatever you do realise how important it is to think before making remarks like those.
I understand the chippiness and defensiveness, too.
Most people assume having children is the default and there must be something wrong with you or your life if you don't have them. Especially if you're a woman. In the best case scenario they'd think you are infertile and pity you. And if they think it's deliberate, they'd move on to other scenarios as to what could possibly be the reason for such an anomaly as a woman not fulfilling what she's "here for".
wallison I've just filled up a bit at your post, that is how I feel about my DS
(Secretly hoping random tears are a
2DPO very early sign of pregnancy )
I don't think there is any need for the childfree and the parents in life to be polarised or antagonistic, but I do think parents can be unbelievably crashingly smug, rude, and self-righteous in ways that non-parents are less likely to be (with exceptions of course).
Being a parent is hard but you do not have the monopoly on tiredness. Nor are you the only people living a valuable, meaningful life.
Fathers, in particular (crashing generalisation alert) can be unbelievably selfish while looking after their little darlings and very dismissive of the needs or wants of spinster aunts. (It is more usual for mothers to look after their children with at least some consciousness that, for instance, someone else in the room might want at least one strawberry, for example) If you happen to be feeling sad about being childless at the same time as being treated as someone who doesn't matter and doesn't exist, this can really be insult to injury. Or injury to insult.
I often wonder what people without horses do all day.
I would love to have horses, but I work full time (8-6) and commute an hour each way so I am out the house7-7 every weekday. Evenings and weekends are spent cleaning, cooking, eating, washing, sleeping! The little free time I have I try to hit the gym or see friends and family.
You are very lucky if you have so much free time to have horses.
I know. I have worked part time from home for the past 12 years (since having DD). But I am having to go back in to an office and I really do not know how I will cope. Back to 6am mucking out.
I don't regret having my children. They bring so much happiness and love into my life. I know I had them too young really and I wish the circumstances under which ds was born were different but the bottom line is he is loved, we survived and we now have a dd too. I had never thought about children before ds was unexpectedly conceived but I wouldn't be without them now.
After having DD1, I suffered with PND. I felt totally over-whelmed, always panic-striken but mainly crushed by the sense that I had lost my own life.
Luckily, I completely recovered, and now I'm often overwhelmed by how much I love our DDs, the feelings are utterly primeval and raw. I still remember actually flushing bright red with rage, and the hairs rising up on my arms when an older boy deliberately pushed my little DD1 over...total Tiger Mummy reaction
But, I think that sometimes Mums, although not necessarily suffering from PND, experience that crushing sense of loss of self, and never actually recover from it. They never experience the overwhelming love, or any love at all really, and give house room to their child, but never have a space in their heart for them.
I think that is so unutterably sad, both for the child and for the parent.
I have never come across a parent who is in any way as you describe lost. I must know nicer people
I think the main problem with having children, is that nothing can every really prepare you for what it feels like. The sense of obligation is hard at times, and it's frustrating not being able to just go and do what you want. But I find it's worth it, for me.
I always used to assume that having babies was the default position too, and rather rudely assumed that some people just couldn't have babies, or had very glamorous lifestyles and didn't want them, but that they were missing out. Since having DS, I can now fully appreciate that having a baby is not something that everyone would want to do. It's not something that everyone should do. I struggle all the time to be a better parent (I've got a short temper), and find having the patience to deal with the daily grind quite hard. To be honest I'm not sure that I'm suited to having small babies, so don't think I'll have another one! But I'm glad I have DS, if that makes sense?
'As Gore Vidal said in his novel Two Sisters, children are our link with eternity'
And how many children did he have? Er- NONE.
What's the point of having a link with eternity again? I don't think I'll care, once I'm eternally dead. I'd rather have full nights' sleep whilst I'm alive.
Exit, I have reported your 11.33 post. For Marie-Antoinette-ism
Funny There are often threads on here about rude or self absorbed or overly precious self righteous parents. No one's saying they are in the majority or anywhere near it, but I don't think anyone could say they don't exist. Maybe you just aren't particularly sensitive to those traits and don't find that type of person as grating/upsetting/tactless as some other people do.
Never regretted my children ..... just their fathers
I don't regret having DS but I had him young, and used to feel envious of childfree friends who could go out/do weekend activities/focus on work or study without worrying about childcare.
DS is older now and I have those same freedoms, while all my younger childfree friends are now at home with newborns and toddlers!
I enjoy being a mum, but wouldn't say it's the defining thing in my life. It's not the hardest thing I've done; it's one of the most valuable things I've done but not the only one. I have friends who have gone through gruelling cycles of IVF or years of assessments/waiting for adoption, and I don't think I'd care enough about becoming a parent to put myself through any of that.
My life certainly wouldn't be empty and meaningless if I'd never had DS, I have always managed to maintain my sense of self and keep my own interests and achievements outside of being just a parent.
I never regret having my children, although I do regret the timing out first dc came along because she was unplanned. If she'd been born about 9 months later, my life would have been much much easier, but that time in my life has made me a much stronger person.
i have a 15month old ds. I could never say I regretted having him, he is amazing! and i love his so much. BUT
i had him too young (20). Still at uni, and am so jealous of my friends who can go out partying and travelling around the world. it makes me depressed sometimes. So i guess I agree with lots of people on this thread, don't ever regret him, but regret the circumstances! I'm lucky I have a supportive DP though!
I do wish I had had a longer gap between having our DDs. They were born only 53 weeks apart (curse DH, and his 'It's okay babe, I'll be careful' promises... )
So the first 2 years were just a drudgery of greyness, and I didn't have time to enjoy any of it.
Would also have liked to enjoy being married to DH for a while too, and had time to get settled into our dream home - but, I got pregnant on honeymoon and we moved into our dream home when DD1 was only 8 weeks old.
So, our timing (especially feckin DH's ) has always been shit...but, our DDs are utterly, soul-searingly beautiful
iit sounds bizaare but I didn't realize how 24-7 having a child is. You imagine a lovely little baby, but I literally can''t even go to the toilet upstairs without worrying if my 15mo has eaten something/climbed on something/choked on something/fallen off something etc etc etc. And having someone else dictate when you can sleep is the weirdest and most frustrating thign in the world. DS is a terrible sleeper and it's so irritating being exhausted at 4am while he runs around the living room. If i had to be awake for a reason work/uni, then i'd be okay, but to be up at 4am to watch adverts about a steam mop (the x5, i really really want it....) its frustrating.
I adore my twins and simply love them more than anything in this world- I would never regret having them. However, I do find it so, so tiring at times (toddlers who don't like sleep!) and I do look forward to a time where this settles down.
What I do hate is how vulnerable I feel with regards to my fear of anything happening to them- natural, I know but I have pnd which I think can make this worse. I had to give myself a stern talking to when I recognised I was avoiding certain situations (out of town car journeys, other relatives driving with them in the car etc) as I would convince myself something would go wrong.
No. It is better than I ever expected. I only wish I'd had one or two more in between them.
No one wants to hurt anyone who can't have a child or make out there life isn't complete etc. But are we not allowed to say that the love I feel for my children is the most intense feeling and love I could imagine and I'm glad I didn't go through life without experiencing that? On the other hand my children are still young and beautiful and innocent and UNDER MY CONTROL, have no idea how they will turn out or what struggles we might face. Being a parent is also the scariest thing too, terrified something happens to them, that your parenting sucks and you let them down, that your relationship falters. To get the highs you must also risk all and the lows that could follow. It scares me.
MargeySimpson I was in your position 12 years ago. You can still go partying and travelling in your 30s, and all your friends will be stuck at home with their toddlers!
Actually, I was quite lucky and my mum used to take DS on overnights once a week so I could still go out regularly. She hasn't done this with any of my siblings (who had dc when older and so my mum was also older) so in a way it was quite lucky that I had DS when I did...
I love my DD with all my heart and wouldn't be without her ( despite all the probs we have) BUT if I had my time again I would never have had children. It's not just that its difficult , exhausting, frustrating etc . It's the worry. The awful awful worry.
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).
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.
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.
I think Tiger Mother used to be as LaQueen wrote, but lately the meaning has changed to an Amy Chua type of parent.
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.
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.
Blister I don't have PND my dd is 14 . 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.....
Well, whatever, I basically was enraged that anyone had hurt my DD1, and would quite cheerfully have drawn blood in revenge.
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.
No regrets, but I in NO WAY understood how hard it would be.
Isn't it a mother bear and her cubs? <irrelevant>
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.
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.
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.
No regrets. After 4 miscarriages and one path down IVF I'm so grateful everyday that I have two fantastic daughters. (13) and (7).
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.
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.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
It's pretty difficult to properly regret either way, because you don't know what your life would have been like.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I have no regrets but a close friend does 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
I regret not having children earlier.
We waited until we were "in a better position" before having our son. He is now 15 months old and we would love more children if we are lucky enough to be able to. I'm 34 and worry that time is running out as I would like 3 or 4 children (I come from a big family) and have recently suffered a miscarriage. I think this has made me realise that having more children might not be as straight forward as I had thought (had no difficulties getting pregnant with my son, so was unprepared for things going wrong with my second pregnancy)
I don't have any. No regrets here.
Does anyone know where the long running thread is for those who do have regrets?
Is it in the other place?
I am 33 and my fiancee is two years older than me. I would like children and I think she would too. Given the financial situation we are in it could be six or seven years before we are stable and able to settle in one place. by which time it will be too late.
I worry we will spend a long time regretting it, but it wouldn't be fair to haveachild in the circumstances we are in.
I don't regret my daughter, and I don't regret all the MCs and the failed births but if I had my time again I wouldn't have children.
ComposHat - I'm pretty much on a par with you. My beloved (and boy do we belove each other) is 30 and I'm 34 and I've got at least another 16 months before I'm debt free. At that point we should have a nice comfortable lifestyle - I'm also the main earner so he would end up a SAHD which he does not want.
I'm naturally a very maternal person and all my friends are a bit shocked by my swaying towards the idea of not having children as they have all consistently seen me as a 'natural' and I often assume an almost maternal role within my friendships.
Lately I find myself noting names - 'oh that's a nice name' and for a few seconds in my head I trying calling out the name to my imaginary child. I also find myself thinking 'how would i explain this (a concept or news event) to a child'. But these are fleeting fancies and I don't have a strong urge for a child.
I've been asking this question to every female I know lately to make an informed decision. The two ladies I work with have both said emphatically that given the choice again they would not have had children. One has 2DD both grown up and at Uni (one a dream and the other a pain). The other has 2DD in high school (same again - one a dream - one a pain). Two single mother friends have also said pretty much the same. Funnily the conversation is always identical to begin with. Question asked......long pause...'Now don't get me wrong I love my kids to death but...'
I was dreading telling my mother but, star mum that she is, as usual she completely surprised me by whipping round and saying 'Couldn't agree more honey. Given the ludicrous modern pressures on parents I don't understand why anyone has kids these days. Completed different kettle of fish to my days'
When I think about it I always weigh up what the greater regret, harm and consequences would be. Yes regretting not having children in later life would be awful. But that would only affect me and my beloved and we are sure to have ample opportunity to be great god parents/uncles/aunties etc.
However, once you swallow the blue pill so to speak, you cannot go back and regretting having children is a far worse prospect (just take a look on the other thread-its heartbreaking). It can destroy lives (please note CAN and not does)- not just of the parents and their relationship but much much much more importantly of the poor child.
Given the all embracing nature of parenthood (see the lovely descriptions of the doting parents on this thread alone - I'm deeply happy for all of them) the latter trumps the former in terms of potential harm despite the prospect of untold joy it might deliver.
And that before you get to the cost! We would be permanently skint which i do not fancy. I've grown fond of making light of the whole issue by referring to it as the quarter of million pound bet. Will children make me happier than I am now - which is pretty wonderfully happy? - am I willing to make a £250,000 punt on this?.....erm No.
I regret having both of mine so young and with the person I had them with as he turned out to be a useless EA twunt who atfer I kicked him out had little to do with them and left them with issues. But I dont regret my kids.
Ive got 3 amazing sons and my one big regret is that I'll never give my parents a grand daughter.
Its something I will never ever be able to do for them.
It's nice to read so many positives.
I started reading mumsnet when I started thinking about children and I still can't decide if I will ever have that natural maternal instinct everyone on here seems to have.
I also still don't know if I am too selfish a person to have them.
I am scared of it changing my relationship with DH for the worse and worried about if we can afford to have children.
Posts like this help to give me the knowledge that its obviously not easy for everyone but that children still enrich your lives for the better. (Most of the time!)
I love my Dcs but if I had my time over, I wouldn't have children. So yes, I suppose its a regret. I would swap motherhood for having my freedom and my identity back
heyho sorry no I've never heard of that thread, I didn't know there was one?
Honestly. The first 6 months of my DS' life were... Just unimaginably hard. I was drowning in the soul sucking, treacle walking existence of PND. I wanted to run away and never come back. Truly, I did.
But I'm so glad I've (in the long run) experienced it, and come out the other side. I'm a far, far better person. I'm stronger, easier to live with, not as lazy, kinder and more compassionate. It shaped me, moulded me into who I am today.
DS is 2.4 now and he does get irritating at times. But he's a toddler, so that's expected. I'm so proud of the boy he is, and the boy he's becoming. DH and I are closer and kinder to each other. I'm so glad I did it, and I'd do it again for him in a heartbeat.
I cannot imagine the agony of regretting your children
I didn't want DCs but when I was 31 (like you OP) I changed my mind.
I now have a 4 month old DD and it is the best thing I've ever done, it's like she's opened up a new dimension of the world to me and I feel like I 'get it'. Sorry if that sounds wanky!
However, when I speak to and see friends with 2 kids it freaks me out
mainly because they moan how tired they are all the time and I think - I'm OK with the one thanks!
Nope it is the best thing I have ever done. They give meaning to my life. I had a hard time having them which makes me appreciate them more.
I had ds in rubbish circumstances and I can say, honestly, that I have never regretted it. I do regret that I might not have another,especially as ds is desperate for a sibling.
Although I did recently have a conversation with a gay friend about this and we talked about the idea of sharing one! This has got me almost unreasonably exited, but practically may not be the best idea!
I also have friends who don't want any, and never have, and I totally understand that too. One friend is 44 and never, ever wanted kids, and is totally content with her life, and I think that's great. After all, the planet is overcrowded, so having children, while lovely, is actually quite selfish.
No, I don't regret them. HOWEVER, the one thing I do regret, for want of a better word, is not making "more" of the time I had before having them. I did plan it out; was married 6 years before having them. However, with the benefit of hindsight (always an easy benefit!!!) I wish I'd lived in London the whole time, done different things with our leisure time and holiday opportunities etc. Part of this was of course down to my husband but if I could have truly understood the various constraints I would have done things differently, albeit slightly.
I also agree with cloudy in that I don't define myself as a parent. It is one of the things I am, but it's not my whole life. I think maybe that is because ds was an accident, so I never had that build up of weighing up the pros and cons. I had him because I couldn't face a termination (pro-choice here, just wasn't for me) so I gritted my teeth and let it happen.
Other stuff in my life, my work etc, is very important to me. I never feel guilty about that. Most people in the world happen to have children, and they are wonderful, but they grow up, they leave home and have their own lives, and you should always have your own life too.
IN the first few weeks I did regret it. A lot. Now my DC is older and I genuinely ache when I contemplate her not being around.
It is really hard work and the person who said parents don't have the monopoly on tiredness have clearly never had a night with a baby who won't sleep... or several years of nights.
I have also been passed over for promotion, excluded for business trips, told I should give up my career as I am a bad mother for working and I have no doubt I won't reach my full working potential with a child.
But seeing my amazing child grow up every day fills me with so much joy. I adore her so much. I only hope that she continues to be as happy!
I agree with ems
I love ds dearly but given my time again I would have liked to wait until I was older.
Mind you there's tons of stuff, given my time again, I'd do differently.
The beauty of high insight eh
Don't have children if you like a peaceful do what you like life. I have two (very challenging) children who I love dearly but I could have been happy childless.
I don't regret having DS. He's amazing, if difficult at times.
However, if I had never had him, I doubt I'd regret not having children. If that makes sense. I was perfectly happy in myself, hobbies, friends who didn't have children (most still don't). Having DS changed my priorities, and I eventually (not instantly) bonded with him. Watching him grow into the little person he is has been amazing.
I would never have been happy childless. It was the thing I wanted more than anything.
I dont think anyone could say they regret having children, surely?! I dont regret having them for a second they're the best thing in the world. Yes i do miss nights out and having money but one hug or kiss or smily from my DCs and i couldnt care less about anything other than them, go for it have DCs i think you'd regret it more if you dont!
I have found children are career limiting. Do I regret having any? Nnnngggggoooo but life would be different without. Better? Not sure about that but different yes.
Would I ever give him away (adoption etc) in exchange for my pre child prospects? not a chance in hell.
Have them while you're quite young, that way you have a chance of a decent career after kids as well as before. You will be healthier and happier, and enjoy grandchildren when you can still run after the in the park. I had mine when I was 36 and my mother had me at the same age. By the time the youngest was 5 she was 79. Not helpful for anyone.
I wasn't maternal at all before my DSs, but the searing, pure love I have for them just took me totally by surprise. It's like I need a separate word for the love I feel for them.
I find bits hard, I also have a quick temper (as does DS1), which I try to keep in hand, I find whining and complaining toddlers intensely irritating, but I actually enjoy being a parent a lot more than I thought I would.
If anything I regret not having them a bit earlier so I could have more and also that we live the other side of the world from our parents so they will never have that easy grandparent relationship that I had.
Motherhood isn't all it's cracked up to be. Think very carefully before having children. Make sure it is what you really really want deep in your heart. Not what your parents want or what your husband wants or even what society says you should do once you reach a certain age but what you want.
I love my kids but I so terribly miss my pre-child life. And it's true that you don't know what you've got until it's gone. It's such a big decision and not something you can ever take back. I wish I'd really thought about it more before I became a mum.
No, I don't regret it.
There are times where I think if I'd known how full on motherhood would be, maybe I wouldn't have done it. But I can't imagine life without the little boy sleeping in the next room, can't imagine what a chance it was that I had him at all. (He was a "surprise"!)
DH and I had only been married for a few weeks when I found out I was pregnant, and weren't sure at that point what we'd do with our lives. But then when DS was on then way we had to make decisions about work and buying a house, etc. I'll never know what our lives would have been like without him, and I'm glad.
Now I figure I might as well have 5 or so. (DC2 here in May)
I only regret the oxygen stealer who fathered DD
HippieHop I adore my twins and simply love them more than anything in this world- I would never regret having them. However, I do find it so, so tiring at times (toddlers who don't like sleep!) and I do look forward to a time where this settles down.
I adore my twins too, time has flown by and they are now 21. But I still worry about them, that will never change till I die I think.
To the OP I have never regretted having my DDs. I think they completed a part of us that we were not even aware had a gap, IYSWIM.
i wish i would have started my family sooner. i was 27 when we had our first and 29 with the second. just had our third and last at 32. i wish we would have started after we got married (22)
i am finding it dreadfully hard at the minute but i am glad we have 3 & in the future it's going to be lots of fun watching them growing up
I have things that I would like to go back and change and regrets, or thinking x y and z would have turned out differently but since having ds I find it harder to regret those choices as they have all led to me having my ds right now - so how can I regret anything that led to him - I am also suffering pmt/hormones and being a sentomental sap
I used to regret having DC's. I HATED the 24/7 high dependency stage. But now they are 7 and 9 I am really enjoying being a parent and am glad I had DC's.
I do think though, that on the whole; if you're not bothered about children either way, that you probably shouldn't bother. Not in a horrid way; it's just that I think it's better to not have children and slightly regret it, than to regret bringing a life into the world, you know?
I do think the hype surrounding having a baby is overrated. Easy for me to say, I know.
But once you've decorated the nursery, and had your baby shower, and bought your pram, and dreamed over names and how lovely it's going to be... Once you've brought baby home, and the balloons have deflated and the flowers have wilted; in reality it is hard graft from thereon in. It's not horrible, it's just constant. And the guilt! Oh, the guilt. Am I doing it right? BF or FF? Am I socialising them enough? SAHM or WOHM? It's endless, you're always 'doing it wrong' somehow.
I only enjoy it now he's a toddler, aged 2.4. It got better after 6 months, I started liking him after a year and then by 2, he was a joy. I'm obviously not good with babies. But to get to this 'nice' stage, I've effectively written off 2 years of my life. 2 years!
I doubt I'll have more, or I'd put myself back to square 1 again, and have to write off another 2 years. That is a big investment.
I've been pondering whether to write this. I had to name change just for this post because I don't think this is something you can or should admit to in a way that might possibly get back to your kids.
And I don't know if regret is the right word, because I do love them, but if I had my life over I wouldn't have children. I don't know if it's because I was so lucky in my life without kids, or if it's because our society is so unfriendly towards children and families, or if I'm just a bit too selfish, or what. But I would like my old life back. Much as I love my kids, and fascinating and wonderful though it is to watch them grow, I've just found that there's not enough room for me left in life. I was happy with the decision for the first 3 or 4 years, but after that I found I was really hungering for the life I had before.
There are still many good bits but I find myself dreaming I'm childfree and loving it. Doesn't mean you'll feel any one way. It's not a decision you can undo, but it's also not something you can know for sure before you do it. In the end it's a leap of faith.
I have 4dc, between the ages of 2-10yrs. Love them, they have made my life whole.
I don't regret one bit of it whatsoever, a big family is what i have wanted for years. I love the noise, the days out, the challanges they bring, baking, crafting and well lots more.
Looking at their smiles on their little faces, and wiping their tears when upset-I wouldn't change none of it for the world
But from your persepective op, if you are still undecided and not quite sure, do wait until you are ready.
Being a mum isn't for everyone, and being a woman doesn't mean you have to go ahead with having children if you don't think it's for you.
It's your decision, that no-one can make for you.
Simply from writing this thread, you sound unsure as of yet.
Goodluck with whichever path you follow x
I regret having a child. I don't wish him away, but if I could go back in time I wouldn't have him.
He has tied me to an abusive/controlling ex for pretty much the rest of my life.
Said ex thinks I am a shit mother and has already started the process of turning DS away from me, so whatever positive efforts I make, I can easily imagine in five or so years DS is going to turn around and say, you're a shit mother.
We (DS and me) are unalike in our attitudes and outlook, he is aggressive and competitive, hard to have fun with because his default setting is that everything is hard work and he seems simply not to enjoy life. I try to engage him in new activities, take him new places and show him new things, and his reaction is inevitably that I'm trying to cause him hardship. He is unhappy anywhere except in front of the xbox and if I get him to do anything else I'm being 'nasty'.
DS is rude to me, constantly puts me down. After years of this it's getting harder to laughly and shrug it off (especially because his father agrees with him/acts the same way).
He is unhappy and badly behaved at school and I can't see this changing, no 'treatment' seems to work, so I worry for his future in terms of friendship and career - I can see him turning into some kind of teenage/adult delinquent.
I have no family support or friends, I only get a few hours to myself each week. I can't even do things like start running again, because DS is too young to be left alone.
I have no career despite my First Class Masters degree, and am permanently poor, and am never going to have a decent job. Childcare is an ongoing issue.
Being poor means I will never be able to provide for DS in the way I would like; he's never going to have the latest mobile phone or the cool clothes or foreign holidays his peers probably will have.
I have no time for the private creative pursuits I used to be passionate about, and even when I do have time I am too mentally wrecked and depressed to be able to snap back into an intellectual frame of mind.
I have not had a proper relationship in years and never have the opportunity to date. I am trying online dating atm but am frequently rejected on the grounds that as a single mother I am a loser, or stupid, or a golddigger. Also, I don't have the time to date properly, let alone establish a proper relationship.
The only thing I fantasise about is getting to my 40s/50s and living alone in peace and quiet and being able to read and not have anyone around to tell me what an awful person I am.
Phew! That was cathartic. I appreciate the opportunity to share but apologise for being so dark and miserable.
No, but I don't think I would have regretted not having them either. I'm sure my theoretical child free life would have been just as interesting and fulfilling, possibly more so. Nor can I honestly say that 'my children are my life'. Of course I love them and want the best for them but I still have a lot of hopes and ambitions for myself and some of those will not happen to the extent that they might have if I'd not had children. That's life though- its a compromise.
I have DS1 who is 3 and DS2 who is 9 weeks. DS2 has been a tough experience, i have had moments where ive questioned why we wanted two / was it a good idea but never regretted them. Despite PND this time I love them both and truly couldnt imagine life without them, I think i would like one more but DP doesnt want another, but we shall see how things change over time. Definitely couldnt imagine a life as rich without them
Tamoo don't apologise. Life does not become a bed of roses just by having a child. Your situation sounds very hard and you sound understandably down. I hope things get better for you. Maybe telling your GP might be an idea, he/she might be able to offer some help and support.
I also wouldn't say my children are my life and all I ever wanted to do was to have children. They are a central part of my life but certainly not all of it.
No I don't regret having kids - I regret that I don't think ill be able to cope with any more. I'd love more, we have 2, but I find it all pretty stressful and don't have any family nearby. So I can imagine I might regret not having more.
No regrets, lots of fun, worry, enjoyment.
Tamoo, you sound really depressed, which I am sure is adding to the way you feel about your son.
It is very hard to be connected to an abusive ex through a child-particularly if that Ex effectively uses the child to continue to emotionally abuse you, which is what this sounds like.
However, I do know that a lot of what you have said, probably because of the fact you are depressed, can be a sort of self fulfilling prophecy.
I have had bouts of depression, where my thinking can almost create the situations I most dread.
And often, with children, they do pick up on your tension and worries, which in turn makes them tense and difficult.
Maybe your ds is in part responding you your unhappiness and acting out accordingly.
Children need, more than anything, to feel secure, and feeling put in the middle or a bad relationship, or in any way vilified, will cause deep insecurity. Negative behaviour can be a defence mechanism; a way to regain control over some aspect of their lives.
I am NOT blaming you for this, just trying to offer a more optimistic possibility.
It is hard being a lone parent, even without an abusive ex, but please don't write yourself off because of this.
Dating is tricky, but most men won't won't judge you for being a single mum, or think you are a golddigger. Often they will have children too, and understand that life is complicated.
You can still be creative, you can find time for you, and if you can find ways to be happier, your son will feel happier too.
Have some confidence in the fact that no matter what his dad says, YOU are his mum, and he DOES love you, and need you, and he always will.
How old is ds? Is he at school yet? Even if you have no family support, maybe once you have got to know his friends parents, you can do things like child swaps in holidays etc? I have built up a network of other parents that I can call on to help me out from time to time-for example if I have an early meeting, I can drop ds at a friends before school.
I then reciprocate at a later date.
I know that when you are down, these things can seem insurmountable, but they are not. Please see you GP, and maybe get referred for counselling. I guarantee that if you feel more optimistic and open, your ds will too.
Oh, and also, if I were you I would stop shrugging off rudeness and come down on ds like a ton of bricks when he is rude to you. Rudeness will not be tolerated. He loves x-box? Good. Remove it when he is rude. Don't argue, just refuse to tolerate anything other than the respect you deserve.
We regret not starting a family earlier. We have 2 but would have had at least 4 given time. I sometimes kick myself because I had become so bored and disengaged in my childless lifestyle, but the obvious next step did not occur to me. I never thought I was the maternal type, or would fit in a family lifestyle but was wrong about all that too.
Sticky that's what happened with me. My life became dull and something was missing. I wish I didn't get pnd after a baby?, I would have another if I didn't but it's not fair on anyone to have more
Tamoo, that's really awful. Have no answer but have a hug virtually from me.
Looking back, I realise the same thing happened to us, sticky; we were getting very dull and lacklustre
Life with dc is many times harder- particularly with SN in the equation, but I also feel a lot more alive.
I was aksing oh about this yesturday i think out life would be really dull we would loose out social circle all our friends have children and there are only so many nights out and hoildays in my view one can have before your the sad middle aged couple left at the bar in my view thats not a good look
If I had the decision to make again, I would not make the decision to have children. They are great and I love them to bits, but it has been very hard, I have made bad mistakes which I can't now correct, and I am now aware, as I was not then, about how hard the future will be for their generation (global warming and more).
I always knew I didn't want children, so I didn't have them. I've never had any regrets, but appreciate that I have had it very easy. It wasn't a decision I ever had to wrestle with. I never muse on 'what might have been' because I love my life - it's easy and pleasant. And I love being half of a 'sad middle aged couple'!
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
ds2 and I'm on ads too! I love him but he is hard work . If my ds were easier well I'llbe honest ds2 I would not be medicated up to the eyeballs !
Don't have and never wanted. Regret nothing.
Ps. does anyone have a link to the aforementioned other thread?
PND is horrific. It is the reason we have chosen to keep DS as an only. I cannot risk putting myself through that again. If that makes DS a 'lonely only', then I could not give two shits. I have had to adjust my expectations and be grateful for what I have.
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