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Does anyone else regret having children?(276 Posts)
Does anyone else regret having your child? I loved my old life. My husband really wanted a child and I put it off for so long, just knowing that it's not my calling. I gave in after so many rows thinking I would adjust. It was either that or leave my husband whom I loved very much. My son is 2 years old and it has been such a lonely and desperate struggle. I feel like my wonderful life has turned upside down. I still do not feel like a mother. I look after my son full time, I even breastfed for a year, yet it just feels so ...hollow. It's not me. I miss my old life so much I just feel like walking out and leaving my husband and son. I hate playing in the park. I want to go to a gallery. I hate watching peppa pig- I want to read a novel. I hate going to playgroups - I want to have lunch with freinds. I do everything I can for my son and he is lovely. Yet motherhood so far has left me feeling like I have been conned out of my real life. Will life ever return to normal. Will my son feel that I am detached? I don't think I'm depressed. Has anyone else felt like this?
Maybe you are just not cut out to be a SAHM. I'm not either. Can you go back to work at least part-time? Working 3 - 4 days a week has been the perfect solution for me.
you can still do all these things. every mother needs her own me time. i read and every weekend me and dp go places, naturally my two kids in tow but we do have babysitters and friends who will have the kids for us should we want to hit the clubs etc.
some women are not maternal but does not make them bad mothers. when your child is over you may feel differetnly as you will be ale to reclaim some of your old life back.getting a part time job may be good for you as i work part time and it is great as though i adore my kids i think i wojuld go insane and it makes me appreciate the time we do have together.
hope this helps??
i meant when your child is older!
I don't regret it for a minute but that doesn't mean that I don't miss things about my old life. Tidyish house, reading novels, going where I/we wanted whenever I/we wanted etc etc .
Quite honestly I couldn't be a SAHM. I work 3 days a week and am with my DS the rest of the time which I enjoy. I knew during my mat leave that there was no way I wanted to stay home and do mummy stuff full time. My husband looks after him while I am at work.
Maybe you would feel differently if you had a bit more balance ? Have you got any friends with children a similar age that you can do stuff with ? or talk to about how you feel ?
And as much as its possible to tell from a small amount of information in your OP you do sound a bit depressed to be honest. Do you have a symathetic GP you could speak to ?
You need to talk this over with your dh. If you gave in after many rows then he should have been prepared to be the main carer. Or to start being so from now, or at least 50/50.
If this was me I would be feeling really aggrieved that I had given up everything I loved. Yes, you need to get some of your old life back - you never know, you may miss being a SAHM!
I will admit that I regretted having children at first and derived no pleasure from it. I have 2 very close together as I knew if I waited and got even some of my life back we would never have another. Even though I worked, I used to yearn for a day off when I could have a long lie in and not have to do children things. I was lonely all of the time I was at home with them.
My children are now 6 and 4 (nearly 5). They are both at school and I work 4 days a week (one at home). I love spending time with them now. I can talk to them about things and they make me laugh. I miss them when they are round at friends houses.
Could you go back to work part time or send your son to nursery once a week so you can have a break. You do need a break from them sometimes and no one will judge you because of it.
Thank you everyone for your kind words. Maybe when my DS is a little older it will get better. Goosey Loosey, what did you used to hate the most?
oh yes - regularly < not kidding>
Zahora its hard to say what I hated most. I think it was a combination of the isolation, the endless mind numbing boredom of it all and not ever having the freedom to be the person I was before having children - to just sit in a bookshop and have a cup of coffee or go for a walk around the village where I live with just dh.
All I can say is things have changed so much for me in the past couple of years. My mother has asked if the dcs can stay with her for 5 days in the summer holiday. They will love it so have said yes, but dh and I are dreading their absence. 4 years ago I would never, ever have thought that I would have not looked forward to 5 days without them!
I am feeling a lot better today. The thoughts of leaving my ds and dh have subsided for now. This is the first time I've been on mumsnet and it has helped. xx
I am feeling a lot better today. The thoughts of leaving my ds and dh have subsided for now. This is the first time I've been on mumsnet and it has helped. xx
Glad to hear it Zahora. These things do come and go and I at least felt that I could not admit to anyone in RL that I was anything less than besotted by my children so telling people things here was a great help.
Its really hard when they are young especially if you are doing the majority of the caring.
My DS is nearly four and he is absolutely lovely, he's changed from someone who needed my attention all the time to someone who happily plays on his own, or can at least play at something that is vaguely intellectual and interesting to adults.
He is now like my little friend. He's cute, he's clever, intelligent, observant (in a very amazing way), funny... He's still my baby but he is really good company too.
It will get better honest... in the meantime try and get as much you time as you can.
zahora - it is OK to be a good-enough mother. Really it is. It is OK to demand time to yourself. Perhaps to read a novel while DS is reading Peppa Pig. Take time to yourself when DH is home. I love my DC more than life itself but that isn't to say they don't drive me mad at times - and I was so bored on mat leave. Is there any chance that DH could be a SAHD and you go back to work? Especially as he was the one who wanted a child. If you take the pressure of yourself you might find you enjoy motherhood more and resent your DS less.
Life won't be the same again. Them's the breaks. But you can do things to make some of it like it was.
I felt much the same after my first DC- I had just got a hard won full-time job in teaching and then discovered I was pregnant. It felt like I had been robbed- I used to wake up in the morning and remember what my old life and relationships used to be like. It took a long time to get over it- maybe until last year (DD now 5) and I had to readjust my mindset- i will never be a childless woman again: I am a Mum. And being a Mum is undoubtably rewarding but can be sould destroying.
I've done the SAHM bit for 5 yrs and I need to go back to work now, for my sanity, my sense of self and my independance. I want part of that old life back- I just want it with the 2 beautiful people I didn't have before
I am scared that I may be developing a schizo kind of a personality. When my DS is fighting to eat cereal instead of his dinner....I try a few times to coax him into eating his meal ...when he refuses I just can't seem to control my temper.I blow up into a huge out of control rage!shouting and screaming at him and dragging him to make him eat ...god...I say the worst things like I never wanted him and he has ruined my life:*( I hate saying these things and feel so awful. (I hope he doesn't understand and I want to never say these things.) Then when DS is upset and holds me with terror saying mummy? I say in my usual soft voice...yes darling? and then he tries to make me smile. I didn't ever want to be this kind of a mother. I have turned into the worst version of myself. It's made more frustrating that he doesn't speak or understand and is so clingy. I just wish I could give him back. But I must be causing him so much grief because he doesn't even cry and seems to have accepted that mummy is a schizo. Oh and I give in anyway and give him cereal. I feel so bad. I'm not on the edge right now, but quite often...I just withdraw and let him draw all over the walls while I think of packing my suitcase and leaving him. There are some mothers that leave their children right? Am I one of them? What makes you different to a mother who leaves and a mother who comes out of the darkness? What gets you through?
When I first realised dd had ssevere learning disablities I admit I regretted having her.For the first year I felt she was horrible,she screeched,she did not sleep.Now she is a bit older,and more settled,and we have her statemented,and things seem more settled,I can't look back on the me I was without guilt.I think I am now coming to terms with the dd as she is.tonight she smiled at me and put her arms round e and said "Mumma" (one of her few words) and I welled up.Then I cried.It was the grief of not loving her properly for a while.But I got there.Toight when she said that I had a fierce overwhelmng love for her,because Ithought suddenly,I fI don't love her as much as my heart can take who will/She will never be normal but she is my dd and she is loving and cuddly and she deserves someone to love her totally..
OP you sound like you are depressed,please seek help,it WILL get better.Hugs,Wrinkly xxx
Oh I don't think I could go back to work...ever :-( I had such a lovely job. I actually loved my job. My DS is the clingiest toddler in the entire world. I can't even pee without him holding onto me. The situation is worse. DS sleeps in my bed, DH has moved to the spare room. (I can't remember why this happened, somethiimng to do with the breastfeeding time and lack of sleep...) There is not even a vestige of an intimate relationship between me and my dh anymore. (After 10 years of nothing but that...i miss it I am purely some kind of a childbreeder. Oh argghhhhhhh how did i let this happen??? We had cots and a nursery and we had Health vistors round to help me move him into his own room. but it's just all such a mess. I just want him to grow up and run away from home ASAP!
In the past it's been worse. I had been to the doc and said I am depressed. The doctor said I wasn't. maybe v.mild I got some citalopram or something which seems to numb me a little. But I find myself withdrawn more with them.
I'm not a baby person and I found the time when the children were very dependent on me very difficult. So I went back to work as soon as I could and found someone to look after the children who did enjoy babies and dependency and thought it was lovely. I have loved my children more and more as they have grown up, and now enjoy spending time with them, but I recently had a SAHP period again, and found it almost as depressing. So I'm back to work again and enjoying it, and dh is the SAHP and loving it.
It really is OK to say I'm not cut out for this, and if you are turning into a screaming banshee then you probably should.
So, why can't you go back to work? What could help that happen? Can you get the help back again to sort out the sleeping (I would so hate that - no independence even in your own bed - poor you)
Could you get extra help in for a little bit to sort out the sleeping issue, or just to give you a break. Toddlers are clingy I think, but unless he has some more people in his life that may not improve. If you are losing your temper and screaming at him then he may be feeling insecure and therefore more clingy, so I think that even if at first he finds it difficult to be separate from you in the longer term it is probably what you all need.
Work wise are there jobs you can apply for? Would your family finances be OK if you worked and your dh didn't? Or if you both worked part time, could you afford a childminder or nanny (or nanny share)? Could you do something part time and your son go to a creche or nursery (if you put his clinginess on one side - the right carer could overcome that).
To me the important thing is that you don't think that somehow you deserve this, and that things can't change. They can, and I think they need to. But please don't think that you are a bad person or even a bad mother for not enjoying babyhood. Maybe you will be fantastic with teenagers!
Oh, and bear in mind that you might not be depressed, 'just' very unhappy. dh thought I was depressed after I had ds. I wasn't I just wanted to go back to work and not have a small person attached to me all the time! Personally I think that is quite a reasonable thing to be unhappy about.
Hi Zahora - YES other people do feel that way! Admittedly not that many of us. My children are much older than yours but I still struggle every day with being a parent. It certainly does help when they're at school and you get some time apart from them.
Hi there. I am a SAHD in conservative Bavaria. I love my kids but I find them wearing. I am extremely isolated here from Britain. I find cleaning up Mess One dispiriting as I know I have go on to Mess Two then when that is okay its on to Mess Three. And in between there are interruptions when one is crying or arguing. My wife never listens to me that I am stressed she hates her job and always tells me she'd swap places but I know she couldn't do this because an hour after arriving home from the office she is screaming at them over a small mess they've made.
I hope you are feeling ok today. I've just read your post and just wanted to say that I can totally identify with what you are saying. I posted something similar myself recently ("I don't enjoy being a SAHM...")
Please try not to give yourself such a hard time. It really is the hardest job in the world. I've screeched, grabbed, bribed,screamed like a loony and cried so many times.
My son is five now and I still miss my old life like mad. I fantasise constantly about doing whatever I want and all the things we used to do befor we had DS. I have often felt I could just drive to Heathrow and jump on a plane and just disappear. I love my DS so I wouldn't but it's so tempting and I hate everything to do with parenthood. The sheer relentless, mind numbing boredom. I feel like my brain has shrivelled. I don't know how people have more than one child, I seriously don't.
I really think that you need more time to yourself. Does your child go to nursery or do you have anyone to help out? Grab some time to yourself anyway you can. Get a babysitter and try and go out with your husband. Try and reconnect.
The early years are the hardest. I HATED it. It will get easier. I love the 4-5 age. Especially as they start school but I miss him too!!
I just want you to know that you're not alone. Be kind to yourself. Could you see a different doctor-maybe get some counselling?
Sorry if I've repeated anything anyone has already said.
Keep posting on here. I always find it helps to just type it all out if I'm feeling down.
Thinking of you. Let us know how you are doing!!
some excellent advice on this thread
just to add : have you told dh how u feel
u need to get him on board so you cam sort sleeping issue out together, ds needs to go in his own bed and you and dh need to reconnect - try date nights, pizza and dvd, just snuggle up togethef , you sound like u could use a hug
how ru financially? could you afford playgroup a couple of times a week? then you would get some time to yourself
I totally empathise with all said below. I had a great career, followed by a period as a very happy and busy independent consultant.
WE then decided to have children but so far, ONE of us has a satisfying, enjoyable, stimulating career, and the other one battles depression on a daily basis. I know that I am not SAHM material but early on, with two kids very close together, we could not afford simultaneous nursery fees (over £2000 in our area, per month). I could not continue in consultancy due to the hours but a part-time role would not have covered the £2K a month (pre tax).
Now my youngest is going to school in Sept and I am delighted (as is she) but I know that if I want to return to work for someone else it will be ME that does it all ....AND work! By this I mean it will be ME doing the packed lunches, book bags, getting kids up, ironing outfits, driving to school, and all other admin as necessary- all before work then it will be (you guessed it) ...ME picking up kids - oh an 18 hour day YIPPIE!!! Just to get some intellectual stimulation and not to be alone 24/7. The loneliness I feel is crippling. Believe me I am trying everything to find a solution.
At every step it is my life that comes last. He cannot drive to school due to working 1.5 hours away. When the children were tiny I genuinely felt suicidal and would call him to bring home a bottle of wine (which I would polish off).
I still feel incredibly trapped, professionally resentful and deceived. I wish I had the energy to write a book for women trying to decide whether to have children ....confirming that if men they say they'll be involved they WON'T BE as they CAN'T BE!!! Society, and the way jobs work, means that men cannot support us as they wish to, and the extended family has more or less decided to follow golf, art or another lovely activity.
It was the latter that I found overwhelming also- the grandparents that I had asked for support PRE birth were not surely those that buggered off and played golf POST birth. Too selfish to help regularly is the reality- ours all live locally (less than five miles) but have golf, art, riding etc!!!!. If they knew how close they had come to not having a daughter in law to cook the sodding Christmas lunch then perhaps they would have helped more, instead of (one set in particular) waiting for their perfect daughter to finally produce offspring (which I know they would find it in their heart to help with).
SORRY!!! Too much wine and feeling so trapped. Amazed that mumsnet features suicide/mental health help at the start of this section. Why doesn't society realise just how awful it is to educate women, give them career freedom and then imprison them at home as there is no way to combine two careers by working part-time each and pay the mortgage etc?
Thanks for reading
Tired, lonely, love the kids but wish WE looked after them instead of ME ALL THE TIME.
i can totally identify with what you are saying too.
i have a 9yr old dd and 5yr old ds, and ds still comes in and sleeps with me every night. He is very demanding during the day too and i dont even get to pee without him following me.
i didnt enjoy staying home looking after them and it is only now i can say/realise that, as i work full time now and i love my job- it actually makes me feel like a person and not just this screaming woman whose only purpose in life is to clear up all the mess left behind from 2 kids.
i dont think i could ever have another child, i am not cut out for being a sahm and i certainly have no patience for babies.
Sometimes i do wonder how my life would have been if i hadnt had them so young (20).
Zahora, I really think that you need a revolution in your house. You are clearly either very depressed or utterly unsuited to be a full time mum. Nothing wrong with either of those things!
What IS wrong is letting your child be brought up in that atmosphere ("ds is upset and holds me with terror saying 'mummy'") I honestly think if your DH refuses to step in and take over that you could do something like sell up, downsize, rent - whatever it takes to get you able to leave the house and get him cared for by someone who wants to care for him. I think that's the best thing you could do for him and there is again, nothing wrong in the best person NOT being you. (in future, the best person may well be you, why the hell not? Kids change alot and as parents we all have strengths in different areas and at different times)
the other thing that occurs to me is to write down for your GP what you have said about how you are with your ds. I am unqualified to say whether you are depressed or not but to be honest your doctor needs all the facts to make a proper diagnosis.
If you can gird your loins to act now, I think the benefits will come to you in the future; happy you, happy ds....
and again, it may take some loin-girding but your DH needs to HELP YOU!
I'm glad you have had the courage to post on here. When I am with my children (I have 3) all the time I just can't wait to get away from them, get angry over little things, don't want to listen to them, feel a bad mother. I work part time and it makes all the difference - I love them and am much more the mother I want to be. I am sure you would feel like this if you could work a bit, you would appreciate your child so much more and be the mum you want to be. Why do you say you can't work - surely it would be worth it for your sanity and happiness even if you spent all your wages on child care.
The rearview mirror is 20/20, so to speak.
If I could go back in time 10 years knowing exactly what I know now, basically move myself back in time, then no, I wouldn't have had children, tbh.
I wouldn't be where I am now.
But that's not going to happen, and my life is full of regret already.
So instead of regretting having children, I work ever day to make sure I never do anything with them that I'll regret later on.
In other words, I focus on doing my best to make sure no more regrets.
i have to add that the isolation is what made having kids so hard, bar the odd visit from friends and family during the week. For the majority of the day i would be alone wiht my dd and my ds who was a baby, and i didnt know it at the time but i was as miserable as sin .
I absolutely identify will all of the postings here. I wasn't at all sure that I wanted children. I had no experience of them as I was the youngest in the family (at 35!) My husband desperately wanted them, though and his mother and my mother deserately wanted grandchildren so I was made to feel like some sort of pariah for hesitating. I thought "why not?" and went ahead, then I found out why not. I had a daughter at 35 and another daughter at 37. They are now 21 and 19. I have photographs of us all as a family when they were 5 and 3 years old and I look as though I am suicidal, and I felt it too. My older daughter only became livable with when she left home and went to university, but she still comes home for extended stays in the holidays and we still clash like we always have. The main problems have been with my younger daughter who was born with mild learning difficulties. The problems have been catastrophic and still are. The only way I have survived this long is to keep working - I hung on to my job with my fingernails, even when most of my salary was going on nursery fees. My advice to anyone thinking about having children late in life is this - unless children mean the world to you, unless you think your life would not be complete without them and unless you can accept the complete loss of life as you knew it - dont do it!! And yes, if I could turn back the clock 22 years I wouldn't have done it, either.
So glad I found this thread and to hear from other women who feel the same... I have two dds 8 and 2 and not a day goes by when I don't think if only I'd really really known ten years ago what I'd be letting myself in for I would never have even contemplated having children. I am now a sahm which I never aspired to be but gradually moved into it after it became apparent that my eldest dd has a disability - not apparent until she was two. In my case too my dh was the one who was so desperate for children (and his mother! - for grandchildren). However the bulk of the minutiae of childrearing has fallen to me. I love them so much and do take pleasure in them but, it in no way compensates for the radical change to my old life. Life now revolves around SEN issues and various medical appointments and dealing with tantrums plus broken nights with the youngest. I have told my dh that I shall be advising my girls not to have children unless they are absolutely desperate for them and even then only if their partner is prepared to risk his career by being a SAHD!! Feel like I am swimming in treacle most days - uphill!
Hi Fieryspark, you seem to have revived this thread.
I started this thread last year when I was feeling really low. Most days I would think of just packing my bags and walking out. I still haven't shaken those feelings off entirely. I have decided to not have anymore children though.
I'm still a stahm. Mainly because to get to and from work takes 2 hours everyday. I'd need to look for something closer to home. I've lost all my confidence. Might have something to do with not having properly slept for 3 years. I feel so detached from the outside world. When I'm in shops or restaurants, I find I can't really articulate myself. I can't even read a paper thoroughly. How can I create project plans, or make decisions or concentrate on work? It scares the hell out of me. I'm so embaressed of what I have become I try and avoid people from my 'old life'. So really, that's why I'm a stahm now. I don't tink I could work even if I wanted to.
Dh helps out more now. He takes ds to nursery and will help dress him and takes him out sometimes.
Aah Zahora so glad you seem a little better. Yes we all have attention deficit disorder following children. It is hard to regain your confidence even though I have always worked.
Have you looked at one of the 'Buddhism for Mothers' series of books or at mindfulness and meditation in general? It helped me when I was at a low point struggling with going back to work with two kids a DH who works long hours and a mid-life crisis precipitated by turning 40 (mid life crisis ongoing but that's a different story)
A lot of it is about letting go of perceptions of how your life ought to be whether that relates to your 'old life' or some ideal of 'perfect' motherhood and enjoying the present moment. There is a thread about mindfulness/meditation in the Mental Health section and also in Philosophy/Religion/spirituality.
Also exercise is something that has helped me hugely in the past with good mental health and which I really feel the need to do again. Of course you may have given al these things a try in which case excuse my middle of night ramblings!
Thank you for your advice. I do truly appreciate it, even though I've turned negative about it all.
LadyG, I've got the buddhism for mothers book, I really enjoyed reading that during the first year of baby. It was very good and did help. I agree with you about it all LadyG. I need to change my perception. And that's what I've been trying to do to cope so far. Your middle of the night ramblings are still very wise
Unfortunatley, I don't totally buy into it. In changing my perception, and standards of what is real happiness, and being grateful everyday, for being alive and having a healthy child and home, for the blades of grass sticking out through my patio - I realise that happiness, real roaring orgasmic adrenalin filled mind-blowing happiness I used to feel regularly before ds will never happen to me again.
I've considered divorce several times. If I get a divorce, I won't get even the 10% help from dh. It will be me and ds on our own, gassing myself in the middle of the night I suspect.
Zahora I don't 'buy it ' 100% either but I don't think you have to in order to benefit. I imagine getting to that place of equilibrium where one can really see the joy in everyday is a slow process! However I do feel sometimes it helps me regain a sense of perspective when dealing with the multiple trivial but trying things that children bring to ones life...
Speaking as someone who has been pretty depressed recently you do sound depressed.
For me it was the realisation that even things that ought to be 'pleasurable' eg spending time with family and friends even getting some time shopping on my own (took a day off work to go Christmas shopping) seemed worthless and a burden. This has made me realise that I am in a depression albeit 'reactive' and this negative person is not the one that I want to be for the rest of my life.
When I do manage to 'switch off' my crazy mind it does give me so much relief and I have had 'glimpses' of that pure pleasure you speak of.
Can you try sleep management techniques? (won't give you advice about that as my four and a half year old regularly gets into our bed-I don't even wake up so haven't been able to do much about it-the 18 month old is a darling and never gets up....)
How about counselling? Further study either with a view to work or purely for pleasure? A book club? Rediscovering old interests? I used to really love music and hadn't listened to anything new for 5 years or so. Spent the last couple of months discovering and downloading new or 'new to me' bands-online in my kitchen.
I relate to your feelings so much and would have felt as you do had I become a stay at home mum-and I am sure so many many others do and hopefully will be along with words of greater wisdom..
I feel very similar to you. I absolutely love my DS (3) to pieces but looking after him can feel like a prison sentence.
I too loose it sometimes and scream and cry and tell myself I hate my life and want to run away.
DH and I share very little and over the course of the last 3 years have gone from being very content together to very little intimacy at all.
I feel very grey and look forward to when DS starts school.
He is a fab little boy and I honestly think the world of him and would walk over broken glass for him but he can drive me up the wall.
I long for my relationship with DH to go back to how it was, I long for more sleep.
I do suffer from depression and am getting some help from professionals but life is still difficult.
I work part time and though the effort of getting ready for work and facing other people seems dreadfull some days, it really does help to have a break and think of something else for a few hours. I actually feel less tired and fed up at work than when at home.
Give the job situation a thought and I would go back to your GP and be honest with how things are at home for you.
Take care x
Thank you for your advice. I will start looking for a job. I'll have to discuss it with dh. When I've mentioned it before to him, he has point blank refused for me to get a job. He doesn't think anyone can look after ds like his own mother. He refuses to sympathise with how I feel and thinks I am making his fantasy life into an ordeal. He would have 12 kids if he could. He says that if he can provide and we are financially ok, he does not see the point of me rushing around. He's threatened that If I go back to work, he will give up his job 'to show me how easy it is to look after ds as a stahm. And the house would be immaculate when he is at home!'.
Can you believe this? Did I really ever love this man? He has me in such a tight trap. If I leave, I will have to do it all and he will have access to ds. If he gave up work, we wouldn't really manage on my wages, even if I worked full time. And he wouldn't really look after ds. They just seem to wait for me to get back. And he's a twat who would give up after 2 days and make me give my company the runaround. He is very controlling. I know If I left I'd be ok. Working with less expenses and smaller place. But dh apart from this is a good dad so ds would miss out and it's absolutely not the life I imagined. I feel trapped in my life that we created.
It's not really even that I don't like children. I'm a wonderful mum. Despite the outbursts. Ds and I have an amazing relationship and he's so happy and healthy. I really wonder why my marriage has broken down, and dh is so unsympathetic. His mum had 8 children and coped. That's really the main point. The other threat he has made regarding work is he will bring his mum to live with us to look after ds if I go back to work. This is crazy as the mil needs more looking after and would just mean I work, and come home and work and he criticises everything not being perfect. I have low self esteem now and just seem to plod along like a zombie.
I suppose maybe this is what I regret the most. I wish I had listened to my instincts and not had a child with this man. I am only now realising how controlling he is.
I have decided to grit and bear it really and make sure dh looks after us properly, since that seems to be his calling in life. Just booked a holiday in March on his credit card. If not work, I will start an art course in September when ds goes to pre-school. But I just wonder how my life has fallen apart and why I let it. It seems to have happened since ds, but really I think some men trap women like this. And women just somehow cope.
LadyG, I totally agree with the music thing. I recently realised I didn't recognise any names in the charts and have spent time downloading music, and listening to it while on the treadmill. Music is so uplifting. I'm feeling tons better. Ds is in nursery now, I'm just going off to have a run and then lunch. xx tc
Just wanted to say hello, I have felt like you in the past. Pre-children I thought I could do anything, that the world was my oyster, now I feel completely useless and also frightened of getting back into the job market.
I do however have an excellent hands on husband and I think that´s the difference here. I have always had regular time away from the children, regular night classes, weekends away, etc. Then I´m happy to come home again, having been "me" again for a time. What is to stop you going out with friends once a week for example? What experience does your DH have of looking after your lo on his own? How does he know it is so easy and the house would always be immaculate? He hasn´t done anything to show this has he? Why haven´t you pointed this out to him?
Why do you have to ask permission from your dh to get a job? Why does he threaten you that his mother will come to live with you? Do you accept that he is the dictator and you have to do everything he wants just because he earns the money? Why might you ALLOW yourself to be incredibly unhappy just because it would satisfy your dh´s need to have a sahm for a wife? You so need to take control of your own happiness and your dh doesn´t seem to have YOUR interests at heart. I so don´t want this to sound harsh, I hope it doesn´t. It just sounds like you have been so unhappy for a long time and he is doing the necessary to make sure it continues!
I have to go now unfortunately, but I wish you all the best, I hope I´ve given some food for thought, would love to hear how you turn things around and even get back to work´. I haven´t aken that step yet, and wish I had the courage!
Your life does not have to be like this. It's not having a child that has has caused the problem, it's being married to one.
"He's threatened that If I go back to work, he will give up his job 'to show me how easy it is to look after ds as a stahm. And the house would be immaculate when he is at home!'. "
What you waiting for? Take him up on his offer and leave him to it!!
Sounds like he doens;t want a wife - just a baby making machine and cleaner.
Sorry - not in good mood today...........
Glad you are feeling better Zahora.
Interesting hearing about your husbands views- I'm from an Indian background and these rather 'traditional views' are very prevalent.
However though my husband is not from the same background (working class British) and in theory is very much in favour of women working men helping out at home etc etc in practice the division of work vs home/childcare has ended up being very traditional.
We are after all just a generation or two away from an era in which only poor women whose husbands couldn't support them had to work and his mother who is very much of that era says things like 'women had a great deal-those feminists just went and ruined it for everyone.' I have seriously discussed him having the SAHD role at a time when I was working full time and he was made redundant and he just was not up for it.
I suppose what I am saying is that your husband is just like most husbands (maybe not most MN husbands but we are a particularly erm feisty lot....)
Taking a positive attitude and pursuing some of your own interests and looking into work when your son is a little older may be better than hanging on to resentments.....of course I wish I could only practice what I preach
@ name coldtits! I had those earlier today.
It's good to hear other women's opinions.
I am feeling a lot better. Have tried to 'live in the moment' a lot today. Ds is asleep and it feels wonderful right now. I won't complain.
thank you ladies tc xx
The OP's post really struck a cord with me. I had my children late in life. DC1 was born when I was 38 and DC2 a couple of weeks before my 40th birthday.
Prior to meeting DP I'd been a professional in The City and enjoyed a very adult, childfree existence centred round selfishness and indulgence really.
I am now a SAHM (not really through choice but due to financial reasons) and struggle quite a bit most days. My kids are 3 and 1. I feel so lonely, fustrated, bored and underconfident.
I love my kids so so much but I worry there is something wrong with me because although I do everything to care for them, I often feel I don't enjoy them.
This thread has helped me feel less of an unnatural, coldhearted freak.
I hope as my children grow older things get easier and I can have a bit of "me" back again.
I often overdrink at weekends to release the misery and relieve the boredom which I know is an unhealthy habit.
Thanks ladies for your honesty. I relate to a lot of what's been said here. Too late at night to tell my story now but, needless to say, I have a lot in common with many of you.
It's so, so good to know I'm not on my own.
I like to think that i am a good mother - i just don't enjoy being a mother to anyone under 5 or 6 !!
I don't enjoy playing board games, watching kids tv, painting, play dough etc However, as mine got older (19 & 7 now) i did find i enjoyed doing lots of other stuff with them ...swimming (when you don't have them clinging to your neck) cinema, bowling, reading to them, out for meals, skiing etc.
I don't beat myself up about it - i just find young kids mind numbing - i went back to work 2 days a week when the second one was 5 months old ....i pretended to people it was because i needed the money - i didn't! It was the perfect set up for us because i did start to enjoy our time together knowing that in a few days i would be going back to work and so it wasn't the only thing i had to look forward to
So it does get easier then Manda25 ? or just different? Think i will enjoy it more when DS is older and we can enjoy similar things together. He is a right handful most days from the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed. Constant whining and being disageable.
I have found it all such hard work and a constant strain that i don't know if we will have number 2.
Love him all the same.
Manda25 please do tell us more...I have two DS's and I adore them beyond belief but I don't enjoy being a mother one little bit. I think I'm a shit mum too - I get angry, I have little patience and every other parent I meet seems somehow to 'cope' so much better than me.
I'd love to know when it gets easier...mine are 4.5 and 9 months..DS2 spends most of the day moaning and whining to be held and DS1 gets it in the neck because I'm at the end of my tether. As I said, I'm a shit mum. I'd like to know when you start to feel like you're a good mum.
I was a shit mum ....i had my 19 yr old when i was 17 ....and it was horrible ...to be honest he was an unwanted baby ... and we didnt 'bond' for many years. I have forgiven myself for being a crap parent ....and had my second 12 yrs later when i was 29. Although he was a more difficult baby i found him much easier because my head was in a better place ....and i can hand on heart say i have never shouted at him or smacked him (wish i could say the same about my first)
It DOES get easier the older i get and the older they get....once they became 'more independent' - i think it was the constant NEEDING me is what drove me mad.... i am just not cut out for it... i am a creature of habit ...and the kids didnt fit!
I think excepting your life will never be the same is a good start ....and then build your new life with your children in it .... it maybe going back to work or college, getting a new hobby or having a regular once a month night out with a friend. .... just have plans for yourself.
A happy mother goes along way into making for a happy kid....dont beat yourself up .... do the things you DO like doing (with the kids) and give yourself a break!!
Sorry for going on !!
this thread has been a life saver. i saw it yesterday and when DH got home i asked if he would read it. i have so far found it impossible to talk to him about how i feel as i know he doesnt feel the same way and i just was terrified he would be disgusted or disappointed in me. but anyway, we ended up having a lovely talk and i swear, i slept last night for what feels like the first time in years.
so thank you ladies for being so open and honest, its really helped me out.
It does make the day a little easier doesn't it, knowing you're not a freak and others out their have similar experiences to you.
That's good phokoje, sounds like you have a lovely OH there.
It's funny, because the thread title shocked me when I saw it; even though I could relate to it. I think I was amazed to find someone else felt the same. Even for someone who has had/is having such thoughts, it's still shocking, still a taboo. It's not something I could ever say in RL.
Yes, sorry about the thread title, just felt very alone back then. MN has been such a blessing.
I wonder if I'll ever be able to shake the feelings off for good and actually really embrace motherhood?
I know this is politically incorrect advice, but if you keep looking at your suitcases and fantasizing about taking off, maybe you should. At least for a little while. What you're doing now isn't working for anyone, why not try something drastic? Things sound pretty drastic right now anyway. See if your husband can take the kid for a month or two or six, and go travel the world. Pack your bags and go to Paris or something. It may get the yearning for your old life out of your system. Maybe it'll give you perspective and you'll realize that you really do want to be a mother. Or maybe you'll realize that you never want to go back and you can reach a new arrangement with your husband. Maybe you could move out and take the kid on weekends and your husband could be the primary caregiver on weekdays? Your marriage (I know this sounds cynical) sounds like it's basically over anyway, so why not divorce and split custody? You can't give your child back, that is wrong, but turning into the worst version of yourself isn't going to do the kid any favors either, and you do sound kind of schizo(your words, not mine). Whichever you choose, time away would give you perspective and time to think, which it sounds like you desperately need. I don't think you're depressed. Depression is when you have a mental illness where even though nothing is wrong, you can't feel happy. It is usually accompanied by fatigue. You don't sound depressed, you sound genuinely unhappy.
I'm actually not sure how qualified I am to give this advice since I'm not actually a mother. A big part of the reason I am not a mother is because the only reaction I can realistically imagine myself having to motherhood is exactly the one you've described above, right down to the feeling hollow part. Some people just aren't meant to be domesticated.
Dh and I regret having children. I wish I hadn't. I was so naieve. I had no idea it would be this shit. Becasue my mum ( and my dad) was such a good parent, and we were all so happy, I assumed thta if I applied basic parenting techniques Love, discipline, respect, saying no, being frim, consistency), adn worked at it, we all would be happy too. How wrong I was.
I wish they could be taken away for 6 months or a year. maybe i would miss them then. I doubt it. But that can't happen.
So I just have to shut the f**k up and get on with it.
What else can you do ?
Get yourself back to work. Part time. Was the best of both worlds for me. Well, atleast I can escape some of the time. I do enjoy them on my days off.
But I still wish we hadn't had them.
Sorry, first time on mumsnet, didn't realize there were three pages of comments, my comment was based on the first page. I'm glad you're doing better now though!
I can't believe this thread exists - that there are other people who feel this way. I've been trying to start this exact thread for the last week but just couldn't get it written down without crying.
DS2 is 3 weeks old today - I don't feel any feelings of love towards him at all. I'm constantly annoyed and shouting at DS1 who has become a whiney limpet (understandable probably but it's driving me mad).
I've been off work sick since Nov 2008 with no prospect of returning soon - I feel fine in myself but am not able to do the job i used to do. I didn't sign up for being a SAHM - I hate myself, dislike my children (shit mother eh?) and am jealous of DH who gets to have a full nights sleep and then go out to work where he can use his brain and have adult conversation.
They'd all be better off without me and I might hate myself a little less if i just left them all to it.
Norky, might be worth discussing this with your Health Visitor or GP asap. I discussed with my midwife similiar feelings when DD2 was a few weeks and have received a lot of support from the HV. SHe has reassured me that many many many women feel the same. It is getting better.
Oh Norky- I'm sorry things are so hard at the moment. When they are small is so very very difficult- it will get better I promise.
They are so needy, and we never get any time for ourselves- I remember after DD my wound became infected because I never had chance to even shower most days
It is still very early days for DS2- perhaps you have a touch of PND? COuld you speak to your HV/MW/GP?
Is there anyone who can help you a little so that you can catch up on some sleep when DS2 is napping? The lack of sleep is a killer...
there have been times when my DC2 was small that I really thought I was going to leave, but after some sleep it felt much better.
Can DH let you sleep more at weekend? (I know I just hated my DH on the days he slept downstairs, and I was up every 2 hours all night.
i regret not having more.....time ran out
Wow, I thought I was one of the only ones who found being a sahm boring, frustrating, utterly maddening, felt like imprisonment physically, mentally and emotionally. Wonderful to learn I'm not the only one. I also was full of guilt because this is absolutely not the way a 'good' mother feels, is it?
I got through by buying myself some absolutely life saving time to myself. Despite severe lack of funds - I sold stuff like furniture to fund this! - I put my amazingly clingy 2 year old ds into a nursery for a whole day once a week, from 9am to 5pm. He survived it, and I had a life saving day once a week to myself. Most free days I read something, just to see if i still could.
When kids were older I did evening classes, just to escape for one evening a week, and meet non child focused adults - bliss. Did woodwork, upholstery, Welsh, Italian - all sorts of things - another life saver. Not too expensive to do, but does help if you have dh/dp who'll look after kids for one evening a week.
I work p/t now, and love going to work - wish I'd done this years ago!
I have always wanted to have children, but my partner does not. Aside from this issue, our relationship is stable, fulfilling and wonderful. I am trying to decide whether it is better to save our relationship and not have any children or to leave the relationship and find someone who wants to have children with me.
After reading this thread, it seems that my lifelong desire to have a child might be misguided since many of you are very unhappy with the endless sacrifice that parenting requires.
Is it better to abandon the motherhood dream and save the relationship, or is there something truly rewarding hiding among the child rearing troubles?
If you really want children in the first place you are different from most people on this thread as i think they knew deep down they were not maternal.
I love children and worked as a nursery nurse but did not feel particularly maternal .However when i actually had my son the love i felt for my son was overpowering better than for any man ! It made doing the mundane boring stuff that motherhood entails bearable as i wanted to be with him not out at work. If you have a dog or cat times that love by a 1000.It did wear off a bit though then i was ready to go back to work.
Everyone is different trust your instincts about motherhood. Don't let this thread put you off if it's what you want.
I came across this title while searching for something.
I hope you're ok, OP..
Ooops.....I would love an update!
my husband would love another but Ican't face it. DS is nearly 4 and I just feel I am getting my life back. He will start school next year and I am planning to start my own business. I love him to pieces but feel that another one would put me back to a place that I just don't want to go. I feel guilty as I would love DS to have a sibling but I can't bring myself to do it. If we were loaded I would have another but get a live in nanny so I could just enjoy the good bits.
I honestly think this is the best thread I've read on MN (and I lurk a lot). I didn't realise that so many people feel the same, I thought it was just me with my horrible secret thoughts of regretting having the DC. On some level I always knew I wasn't meant to have children, then had two in the space of two years - they are 3 and 4 now and it's just within the last six months or so that I've started to feel that possibly, at some point, life will be OK again.
It's so taboo, isn't it? I could never, ever say this in real life, not to anyone.
Does it get easier at that age Scouser?
Topsi, I do feel that it has become easier, but maybe that's because nothing could be worse than having a 2 year old and a 1 year old Seriously, I did find it pretty relentless when they were smaller, the days used to go by in a blur of nappy changes, messy meal times, whining, tantrums, and going to the park. DD2 didn't sleep through the night until she was nearly 2, which didn't help!
I find the DDs more interesting now, they are becoming little people with their own personalities, they like going for days out and seeing new things, they like being read to and ask interesting questions (lots of but mummy why is the sky blue ? type questions too, but hey...) Plus they don't constantly need things (nappy change, food, drink, whatever...) and can actually play together for a reasonable amount of time.
I think actually a big part of my problem was that I had the DC quite young, while all my friends were going out, travelling, working etc. (Facebook has a lot to answer for: looking at pics of someone on a beach in Bali when I'd just cleaned up the aftermath of a sickness bug sent me into an unimaginable fit of jealousy ) But now I realise that quite soon it will be possible to go travelling etc. with the DC.
I do hate every one on face book with their oh so interesting lives!!
My DS is comming up 4 and is great but a real handful, I can't face going back to the sleepless nights. The tantrums and whining are bad enough as it is. So DS will be an only child [guilt emoticom]
I do love the chatting now, he does come out with some funny stuff and he definately has a strong personality, but I can't stand the bad behaviour and the total bundle of energy he is throwing himself round the living room etc.
Glad things are getting easier for you now, you could take them to Bali in a few years!
I am so pleased to have found this thread today as I was just sat in the kitchen wondering whether a day goes by that I don't regret having the children. I came to the conclusion that I don't necessarily say to myself every day "I regret having kids" but I never hear myself say "I am so glad that I had them".
I thought I really wanted Children and thought that because I have lots of neices and nephews that I knew what it was going to be like. I find myself thinking that I should love them more than I do, I only love them as much as I love my Neices and Nephews the difference is I don't spend all my time yelling at my neices and nephews to stop doing one thing or another so I sometimes feel like although I love them I don't always like them.
Although I wanted Children, I had a fantastic career so had always expected to go back to work at the end of maternity leave but unfortunately the week I was due back I got made redundant, the following week I found out I was pregnant with DS2. The pregnancy was carefully planned as I had enjoyed DS1 so much I wanted another straight away. The moment I got made redundant that all changed.
It was like working in a factory as a student, I enjoyed doing it but I knew that I was just earning the money for University and that I would only be there for 3 months so I loved it unlike the poor women who had already been doing it for 20 years. The moment I got made redundant that "summer Job" of looking after DS1 became permanent with no prospect of an end. Who would employ a senior manger who was going to going off on maternity leave in 9 months.
Anyway by the time DS2 was a year I was not going out to see friends, especially any that didn't have children or any I had worked with in the past. I became very secluded and spent my whole time being disengaged with life, feeling guilty every minute I wasn't enjoying being with the children (Which was every minute I was with them). DS1 hated being with me and just wanted DH, who wouldn't want to be with him he is charming funny and is entertainments manager. I wanted to leave all 3 of them each and everyday not because I didn't love them all but because they would all be better off without me.
Thankfully my GP was brilliant and I had a chat with him and the Health visitor, it turns out that the HV had been worried about me for months and had been looking out for me. I had a couple of councilling sessions straight away, including one with my DH and just talking through in a neutral enviroment was great.
Six months ago I finally managed to get work again, 40% pay cut on what I used to earn, not as challenging but considering I had reached a point where I believed I would never work again because my brain had gone to mush it was brilliant. More importantly I wasn't with DSs 24/7 and I started to enoy them.
Problem is I only enjoy them when I am with DH , I can't cope with them on my own. I work 80% so I get to have them one day a week myself...I hate it. I have to plan it to the nth degree. Today I thought I was going to have an afternoon with DH and DS but someting cropped up and I was left unexpectedly with them, within an hour I was screaming at them and by the time DH came to the rescue I couldn't stay in the same room with them and I was angry at them all for no reason.
So although things have got better, I still have days where I don't want to be a Mum anymore.
So thank you all for your honesty in this thread, for the first time I feel like I can say outloud (well in text)that I regret having children but I am heartened that some of you with older children have come through it and that it will get better and I may find that I am meant to be a good Mum of school-age children or teenagers just not 2 under 3 yr olds.
Writing all this down has made me realise how far I have come in the last 6 months.
Wow!! Until now I really thought I was the only person who felt this way, it is a relief to see others feel the same way, although I wouldn't wish this feeling on anyone so kinda wish I hadn't found this thread either!! I have a DS who is 4 and a DD who is 3, they are both very active, strong minded and BLOODY hard work, I don't get a minutes peace when they are around! My DH works away 4 days a week & the lonliness is horrible. Luckily 2 years ago I met a couple of other mum's at the toddler group who I really bonded with and have been absolute life savers! I'd been going to the groups for ages & find it so mind numbingly boring when all the talk is about kids, we managed to talk about other things before we had kids so whay do so many mum's find it impossible to talk about anything else after they have kids! I hate it when others assume that's all i want to talk about, my close pals are fantastic & say they love me all the more for not being a mummy bore! I don't feel I could go back to work yet but I have thrown myself into other things & having occasional nights off when I can feel like me again! But I feel so terrible at times, having kids was all I ever wanted & now I have them its not what I thought it would be like at all. I love them to pieces but I spend most nights lying in bed feeling guilty at not being a better mum, for shouting at them, worrying I'm screwing them up mentally for losing the plot with them & not spending enough "quality time" with them! How much is enough time to spend doing kiddy stuff? I have friends who are part of this new "baby led parenting" and do not know how they can do it!! One has a daughter who's a bad sleeper & if she wakes up at 4 in the morning & wants to make a cake then that's what they do, I'd go nuts if that was my kids!! Anyway, I've gone on enough! Just to say to you all, thanks for making me feel a smidgen less guilty & keep you chin up, surely if its this bad now there's no way it can possibly get any worse! xxxx
WHen DD was born me and DH talked about this at length as both of us had jobs we enjoyed and got really involved with, in our spare time I am a musician, he's an actor/writer and we knew that havingmuch less spare time would put real pressure on our lives.
Something that has helped us is having 'protected time' - easier after maternity leave and even easier now DD is 3 and gets 15 hours free childcare a week.
I work 2 and a half days a week, DH works shifts - 2 weeks during the day, 1 week during the evening.
We try to make sure we have time alone each with DD - when the other half is at work.
Time alone just the two of us - maybe once a month or so - pay £16 to pop Emily into nursery [that she loves!] and we often have picnic instead of spending that £16 on dinner for example.
Time as a family - weekends are special
Time alone to do what ever the heck we fancy. I have every tuesday afternoon as DD is in child care anyway - some weeks I stay at work and get into a 'project', sometimes look around the shops, read, see friends.
Its a total tonic.
We live very cheaply the rest of the time but find that these times are worth the small amounts of money.
I see your ;littleone is nearly 3 and perhaps when they go to nursery you can have time do recoup some adult life. Chances are you'll find you enjoy your time, then miss your kid and enjoy the time you have with him.
You are not alone - don;t feel guilty. After all you have given up your normal life to tend and nurture a whole new life. And for your husband too.
I have been searching on the web for some women that were brave enough to break the taboo of not talking about how they really feel about having children, when i found this. I have wept my way through the posts, and feel that the way I truly feel inside is the thing that i have to go with. I am nearly 35 and have never wanted kids (i knew this with certainty since i was 9!!)I am now married to an amazing man, who is caring, and loving and gentle, and wants kids.... I have never wanted kids. I think he was hoping that I would change my mind as I got older. We celebrate our 7 year anniversary (get togher)tomorrow and have been married for 2 1/2yrs. I have spent the last 3 trying to convince myself that having a child would be ok. I wouldnt loose my mind, and hate every waking moment of my life - it would work out, except I am filled with a terrible and deep sense of dread & doom about this and have been suffering from depression and feel suicidal a lot now, and really dont want to. After speaking with friend who has just had a kid and regrets it deeply, i have realised that I cant do this, and have a child to please him, and on the weekend of our anniversary I am thinking about breaking up our happy marriage, and am totally distraught and soul destroyed, but know that I am trying to do the right thing for both of us, so he can have the family he has always wanted. My thoughts are with you, and hope it gets easier.
Hi Zahora-totally empathise with what you are saying. Please don't be too hard on yourself for feeling as you do. The first few years ARE the hardest and the most isolating, especially as littluns don't seem to make friends until they're about 4. It will get better, especially when your DC starts school and you get to meet other parents. Being with toddlers is limiting in ways you probably never considered before-what I find especially irritating is the way in which motherhood is portrayed as the preserve of perfect, patient and ever-responsive women who never lose their temper and never, but NEVER stuff their DC with a cheeseburger in place of a nutritious, balanced meal. I used to find having a routine helped: I hated the "mummy" groups but used libraries, parks, telly, trains etc to help fill the time. And I ALWAYS made sure she took her full nap allocation at the same time every day. Just remember that it WILL change and as your DC gets older and develops you may well begin to miss the time you spent as once they start school, time will fly. Think it's a bit mean of your DP not to help out, though.
I am a European dad who stumbled on to these forums. I work fulltime but I have a job that makes it possible for me to be home a lot. Nearly all of the care for our three year old son is done by me and I do everything of the housekeeping. Me and my wife love our son, but if we could start over we would remain childfree, so I can relate to what you are saying (although this is a huge taboo over here). My opinion on your situation: sounds like your husband is an idiot, if I would act like that my dad would come over and kick my ass ( seriously), he's not a man.
Hi Zahora Just wanted to write and say that my DP sounds really like your DH and i have not met any others who have a similar thing- the mums i know all seem to feel their partners want them to go back to work and I should be grateful so i do understand. Mine would also like to have more children (have 2) and when he started going on about a third the other day i wnated to slap him- he so does not understand. His mother also had a big family and i feel under pressure to be a 'good mum'. He once told me that my qualifications etc did not matter (to him)..also when i needed a break when ds was a baby said 'oh mummy doesn't want you any more, poor ds'! I just wonder if he does not get it. It is like admitting to not loving it all the time is a kind of failure and an affront to him as a 'provider'.
I wonder how to move on from it too. He is also a good dad to them. Just to say as a positive, it is getting better as they get older in terms of him spending time with them not they are boys not babies they are obsessed with playing with him and leaving me to myself which is good in a way! I just go out and leave them too it at times. Am also still breastfeeding / co-sleeping ds (2)
Please PM me or write to me if you like, have never met someone whose relationship sounds the same in a controlling albeit protective sort of way
Forgive me for adding poetry here, Zahora and everyone else, but i thought these really fitted here.... I think she felt the same as you.
In The Park by Gwen Harwood
She sits in the park. Her clothes are out of date.
Two children whine and bicker, tug her skirt.
A third draws aimless patterns in the dirt
Someone she loved once passed by too late
to feign indifference to that casual nod.
How nice et cetera. Time holds great surprises.
From his neat head unquestionably rises
a small balloon but for the grace of God
They stand a while in flickering light, rehearsing
the childrens names and birthdays. Its so sweet
to hear their chatter, watch them grow and thrive,
she says to his departing smile. Then, nursing
the youngest child, sits staring at her feet.
To the wind she says, They have eaten me alive.
Suburban Sonnet by Gwen Harwood
She practises a fugue, though it can matter
to no one now if she plays well or not.
Beside her on the floor two children chatter,
then scream and fight. She hushes them. A pot
boils over. As she rushes to the stove
too late, a wave of nausea overpowers
subject and counter-subject. Zest and love
drain out with soapy water as she scours
the crusted milk. Her veins ache. Once she played
for Rubinstein, who yawned. The children caper
round a sprung mousetrap where a mouse lies dead.
When the soft corpse won't move they seem afraid.
She comforts them; and wraps it in a paper
featuring: Tasty dishes from stale bread.
Thank you so much to all the brave people who have shared their thoughts on this thread. I have been feeling so desperate and trapped, but thought that surely I must be evil and that no other mums feel this way and regret having children. It is a relief to see that others share my feelings.
Our 5 year old DS has a learning disability. All his functions are affected. He cannot talk (although he uses many signs), his understanding is like that of a 2 year old, he is still in nappies, he throws and breaks things like an angry toddler, and he needs attention all the time. Before we had him I was so unsure about having a child. For many years I was afraid of having a baby and then this feeling distilled into a general lack of interest in children and I thought I probably did not want one. At the same time, DH desperately wanted one.
In the year 2000 I had an early miscarriage and felt a deep sense of loss - it was a very sad time. But as I started to recover I actually felt relieved, as though I had narrowly avoided something I didn't want anyway. It sounds awful to say that about a miscarriage because obviously it is a horrid and sad trauma for most women - and it was for me to start with. But there is no getting away from it - after a while I definitely felt relieved. I now can't believe that we carried on trying for a baby. How stupid was that? It took a long time to conceive this time and one evening DH told me he would be happy whether or not we had a child. I sobbed all over him in relief. Why did I not realise what that relief was telling me??? DS was born in 2006 and our lives have been irrevocably changed. DS takes most of my energy - there is very little of me left for DH or anything other than staring at the TV at the end of the day. I do love DS and absolutely want the best for him - it hurts me when he is upset. BUT - I still feel it would have been better for all concerned if he had never existed. I know that sounds evil and I feel so guilty for voicing it. But it is how I honestly feel. I developed PND when DS was 5 months old and have been taking anti-depressants ever since - as the PND merged into depression over DS's disability once that became obvious.
Most of my hopes for recovering my sanity and some kind of normal life are pinned on anticipation of when DS is at school full time and hopefully I can then work part time.
Anyway - thank you to all those who have bravely posted. It makes me realise that my feelings are not so weird. I think some of us just aren't cut out for motherhood. Nothing wrong with that, I guess. We all have our individual talents, strengths and weaknesses - it's what makes us human. But I still have lingering guilt.....
I love my DS to bits but if I could wind the clock back I would. I just wish I'd realised how utterly charmed my life was 'before'.
We're definitely stopping at one. Whenever I see an elderly person my first, gut thought is 'you lucky git. Your kids have grown up and left home'.
When I came home from the hospital I couldn't watch the news about the Chilean miners because I was so jealous of them getting hotel rooms etc. I crave hotel rooms!
I work full time which is a godsend but I can't wait until DS is school age and then work can be guilt free. Sometimes people look at me when I say I work full time. My worst fear is losing my job. We'd cope financially but I might well relapse back to the depression and anxiety. I hated being at home with an intensity that scared me.
People ask me if I miss him when I'm at work and I say yes but actually, I don't even think about him until it's time to dash home and get him. He is truly lovely and a very easy child, but my god. Maybe I just don't have the gene or something.
I'm sure things will change when he starts talking and doesn't need nappies, bottles etc. I hope so, anyway.
sparky; your friend is a complete idiot. If my dd wanted to make cakes at 4 in the morning I'd tell her to sod off and get some kip.Some women take this mummy martyr thing too far. Looking after small kids is tough and boring imo and sometimes they do need to learn that cakes are not to be made at 4 am!
Any time after 10 am is fine but 4 am [wtf!]
I am struggling right now too. I have a DS 9 and DD 2. I work full time and am the main breadwinner, I also work from home most of the time. My husband works 3 long days a week when I am in effect a single parent as he is not here and he looks after DD the rest of the week (wed to fri). On a Saturday my husband wants to play golf. So in effect I am in the house all the time working and then dealing with the kids with not let up. The pressure of providing for everyone and being all things to all people is huge. I feel incredibly lonely and unloved, all people want is what I can give them and I am getting tapped out emotionally and physically. Whenever I pick my daughter up from the child minder on a mon or tues it is constant tantrums, screaming etc., my son just wants to do what he wants and silks when I give him chores, trying to be successful at work and be a good mum and wife, nightmare, we have little support from family or friends and I feel very lonely a lot of the time.
I fight wit my husband a lot about balance of responsibilities he does do childcare, housework etc., but I do to plus have a huge pressure in my job.
It is just the tantrums I can not deal with it makes me want to run away, all my DD wants is me, with me she gurns all day but wit everyone else is an angel I feel like walking out sometime, and long for trips away with work to escape
I just wanted to thankyou all on your honesty and bravery talking about such a taboo subject - I am lucky enough to lovie being a mum and initiallly read this thread ready to judge but have left it understanding just how difficult the battles you all face every day have been - wow my hat goes off to you all that you haven't just given in - that takes a strength and determination that should not be forgotten - thankyou all for sharing this
This thread is fascinating and enlightening. I dont have children and am not maternal (I am a caring person and adore my nephews!). Im often made to feel v odd because of my lack of maternal feelings. To me, the sound of a baby crying is like nails down a blackboard. I thought I was ambivalent, but if I'm really true to myself, I actually don't want children at all, ever. I wonder if this has something to do with my mother advising me to never have children, they ruin your life. Charming.
I hope that things get better for all the mums on here that are unhappy. I think its human nature to want what we don't have! Thanks to everybody for being so honest.
Thank you everyone for being so honest! We don't have children yet, but am coming to the point that because of my age, it may soon be too late. I haven't been trying to get pregnant because I have always had so many doubts, I have often suffered from depression and have many pets too, that I already struggle to look after. I have decided that, maybe for me, children would be too difficult.
Sorry I am not being much help to those who are struggling - I really feel for you and wish you all the best, the only help I could recommend is Cognitive Therapy, which for helping me cope with life and my depression has been really good, I can't afford a therapist, but the books by Dr David Burns have been fantastic, also Paul Mckenna CDs - they can't change the circumstances of your life, but help you cope with life.
Wow, it's so good to read this thread. I feel for you all who cannot come to terms with their choice to have children. It is such a taboo to even consider not to have them that I fully understand why you decided to go for it. But you can only find out how it is for you when you have them, so don't ever blame yourself, just try to make the most of it for your kids and try to find time for you.
My story is a bit different. I have a husband who is 10 years younger than I am and we started talking about having a child when we met and I was 37. I never really had the strong feeling I wanted to become a mother. I have 4 older sisters and many friends who all have children, so during the years I have baby sitted many and seen so much of what it all entitles. So I always doubted if this was good for me. I have always had a good career, travelled the world, partied a lot, love my own time. But with a husband who is 10 years younger I started to think this might be a good thing to do to have a child. He wanted it, but not so strong as to stop smoking for instance, so that made me frustrated, because we had to go through a hospital procedure when it turned out his seed wasn't the best. I stopped smoking, had 5 years of treatments on and off, which made me very unstable due to hormones, miscarriages, operations etc. He just lived his live..
At 42 years old the hospital told us to stop treatments, so I felt completely relieved in some way that I tried, wouldn't regret not trying and it didn't work out for us. So we made plans for the future without kids and he was fine with this. Than...I became naturally pregnant at 44! I was panicking, couldn't feel good about this pregnancy, felt too old, not capable of doing this anymore. Everyone told me I look so young and that it would be ok and I would be a good mum. But I didn't feel that way, I became depressed, slept all day, wouldn't see anyone.
My husband wanted to keep the baby, but I just couldn't connect with the feeling I was becoming a mum. He said I was negative and should focus on all the good things it would bring to our life. He also said that the first two years would really be my responsibility because he was too busy in his job...at 44 I was afraid I couldn't find the energy anymore, no way! I also thought of being 50 and have a 5 year old, 60 and have a teenager in the house, holidays with one child bored next to us or having to bring somebody else their kid on our holiday to make it nice for the kid...
I come from a large family and all I could think of is that this wasn't what I envisioned to be my life and also not for the child. And after months of thinking decided to end the pregnancy...It was sheer horror, hell, something you do not wish your worst enemy to go through. Especially since my husband dropped me of at the hospital and left me alone to go through the procedure and started calling me that he was crying when it was too late..it was so painful.
But now the good thing. I feel very relieved that I took this decision and trusted my own feelings. It is difficult now with my husband, but he seems to understand my decision. For him it is so different, he has no friends with babies, hasn't seen what I saw what they go through. That is how many people start with kids, very naive, no idea what they are getting into.
There is such a social pressure everywhere that having kids is magical and the best thing there is in life. Think of my parents in law who didn't sleep for weeks because of my doubts..my mum understood me and was a great support.
We are planning a holiday now to Asia to have a relaxing time and I'm slowly starting back to work again. I have no regrets fortunately, although I still feel guilt about breaking off a healthy pregnancy. I wish you mothers lot's of support, it really does get better, I see this with all my friends. And start working again, it's so important to have your own life, also for the kids! I also wrote this for all the women who are in doubt, please realize what you want before you become pregnant. I never thought I would become pregnant anymore but I did and to take that decision is heart breaking. I do blame myself for this.
I can't believe how many people on here sound like me. This is the first time I've ever written. I thought I was a freak but am starting to feel that am not the only one. I'm a SAHM to my son who's nearly 3 and I feel that all the passion, drive, energy, intelligence etc. has been wiped out of me. I didn'e intend t be a SAHM but it has ended up this way. I love my son but find him so hard to be around all day every day. My husband leaves for work at 7.30am and comes home at 5.50pm - those 10 hours in between are relentless, mindnumbing and lonely. My son is prone to aggressive behaviour and has lashed out at other children over the past year or so, drawing blood so we are not exactly flavour of the month with the perfect mummies - even though I have brought him up not to do that. I just feel worn out with him and the constant hitting, biting, scramming, headbutting and shouting. I long for real intelligent adult conversations and to have self esteem again - and to pee in peace!
If Sadglitter ever comes back to this thread I would love to know how things are going. I am in a similar situation but at an earlier stage - been together 3 years, not married yet. He has always wanted kids, I never ever have. Really don't know what to do. Everything is perfect apart from that one massive sticking point.
My sympathies to all the mums who are struggling - this makes awfully sad reading.
What a fantastic, brave thread. I searched for 'resentful of husband' and so glad I've read these posts. We have a six month old dd. I never wanted children however my dh did. I guess I was scared of losing him and I talked myself into it but when we were ttc, I was so happy when I got my periods. Pregnancy was good and thankfully our baby is well.
I have struggled with my feelings; trying to be happy about this dd but my life has utterly changed. In the meantime, dh career on upward trajectory, he has more responsibilities, travels more and salary has increased- he can easily support us. So what's the issue? I'm minding baby pretty much on my own even though he wanted the family. He blethers on about all these fantastic things happening at work which ultimately means he won't have the time(read: will be too important) to share the nursery pick ups and drop offs which he agreed to for when I go back to work in Feb. My work won't bring in pin money either- my earnings are not far off what he makes- but it's clear to me what life will be like. Actually, I'm starting to hate him. We had a great life and I felt nothing was missing- I loved life. Did he have to prove his virility? He loves dd very much and it's lovely seeing them together but I'd be jolly with her too if I only saw her at the end of the day and didn't have the rest of the mind numbing shit to deal with.
What is so wonderful about this thread is the bravery of us discussing something so taboo. In these days of low fertility rates and couples getting into massive debts for ivf, you're made to feel like a mad woman because you're lucky to have a baby. I am the eldest of a very large family and that put me off kids- my Mother was so beat down and angry all the time. Especially so because she was pretty smart but had to marry because she was pregnant and my Father was a complete dick. Anyway, the upshot is that I will be going back to work full time for my sanity and there wlll be no more babies. Not that we have much of a sex life these days anyway ;-)
Oh and I will add that I have gone from not wanting to lose my dh to actually not being that bothered about him anymore.
A big shout out to all the brave people who have posted on this thread, discussing this very taboo subject. I wanted to add my penneth if you don't mind?
I never wanted kids. I was THE most non maternal person ever. Had a great DH, a fantastic social life, holidays whenever we wanted, not rich but not wanting either,loved my niece and nephew but knew that deep down I could not be a mum. I had neither the patience, genes, interest, commitment, need or want. I was basically too self centered.
In 2007 I fell pregnant accidentally. At that time, for other reasons I was suffering from depression. I thought that having the baby would "fix" me. And (this will sound incredibly stupid) I never thought about the fact that at the end of the pregnancy, an actual baby would be there that needed to be looked after (told you!).
Pregnancy was fine, birth was horrendous. 4th Degree tear, several operations, I was not in a good place. I absolutely hated it. Hated everything. For 4 whole years I despised my life. Missed my old life with SUCH a strong yearning. I was angry that I couldn't do such a simple thing as "go for a coffee". Every single aspect of my life was changed and there wasn't a single thing I could do about it, I was stuck.
I tried, God knows how I tried. And even though I could say I "loved" my son I certainly didn't feel it. Never had that "thunderbolt" moment. Thought I was THE worst person in the world. Sure my son was fed, washed, played with, hugged but it all felt under protest of sorts, like I was living an utter lie. I detested this lifestyle more than I can express. I felt a raging jealousy at anyone who didn't have kids or, as a previous poster said, envious of those that had, but they'd left home! I used to think "Right he's 2 now...that gives me another set of 8x2 years till he's 18...."
And then. Out of NOWHERE something happened. It wasn't a momentous thing like him walking or being cute. He had been trying to reach the light pull in the toilet for ages and finally managed it. He was elated, so was I and I swung him around the room. He put his arms around my legs and said "I love you Mummy". WELL. That was it. I was in bits. I cried my heart out and held him so tightly. It was like I was looking at him for THE first time. I thought "OH.MY.GOD. I love you...like ACTUALLY love you...I FEEL it....I made you (!) you're MINE". And he gave me a smile that said "I knew you'd feel it eventually" I cannot tell you how much this has changed me.
So I wanted to let you know that it can happen, when you're not searching for it. And let me tell you, people who are brave enough to admit this probably try even HARDER to be a good mum. We are not devils, or awful people, we are who we are and we do the best we can. It doesn't come naturally to all of us, it doesn't make it/us wrong, just different. All the very best to you all.
Oh Shakey your post has had me in tears.
There was a thread a while back, about that "instant" feeling of love and if you'd felt it or not.
I was one of those who didn't (i wasn't alone).
However, it's the love she shows me that amazes me every day, and i did have a 'big bang' moment. I also think it's the mum's who worry that they're not doing it 'right' that are probably some of the best.
We live in such a child-centered society, it's easy to feel like your irrelevant.
We give our children life, but we don't owe them ours.
I think you are all very brave in being so frank.
Shakey.....I have just burst in to tears reading your post. What an amazing moment that must have been for you after the awful way you were feeling. The honesty in your post...I admire it. What a wonderful moment.
I wanted to add before I read Shakey's post & cried....our DS was very much planned. I love being a mummy very much but I used to get flickers of how easy/carefree etc my old life used to be. But what changed all that for me...was gaining control over it. I now work 2 mornings at a weekend..it allows 'me time'.. independence etc which I used to have.
I have embraced this new life. You will find what helps/works for you & as a family to ease these feelings.
Ooops for being emotional but hopefully in a good way! Trust me, I'm still NOT maternal per se, you will never find me making chutney in the kitchen or willingly sewing things but it DOES get better as they get older. I think maybe we're just not cut out to interact with babies. But as my ds gets older and I can actually converse with him and not have as many eyes in the back of my head, then you relax the shoulders a bit more. Work and hobbies are a big help in reliving (albeit) briefly a teeny bit of an "old" life.
I distinctly remember during the sleep deprivation stage that I (how crazy is this) would relish the theme tunes of Cbeebies programmes where because my ds was entranced, I could close my eyes for 20 or so seconds!
I so could have written this thread a couple of years ago but certainly the olde phrase "This too, shall pass" is VERY true and it was something I clung on to desperately for years. I'll never be perfect, but I will do what I can within MY capabilities.
Maybe I should repost in the teenage years..hmmmm. A big un-mumsnetty squeeze for all that need it. I will nod my head in complete understanding, never judge and hopefully this taboo will lessen over the years.
Another wonderful post by shakey... Things you say I can really relate to.
i will never be perfect but will do what I can with MY capabilities.....this sums it up for me.
You know, I feel for you. However, I really don't think you should dwell on the 'stalling having children' issue. I always wanted to have children. I dearly love children. However, when my first was born, I had the shock of my life. I literally felt like my life had ended, and 'grieved' the sense of identity that my career, care-free life gave me. It is tough. People should tell you more! Women should be really honest. I actually felt angry with my girlie friends - because I felt having kids should come with a statutory warning...'alert, having a baby can seriously wreck your life'. It took me until she was three to bond with her properly. Anyone who knew me would tell you, on the surface, I was a doting mother - she was very well cared for. However, I was on auto-pilot, doing things very much from a sense of duty, and also trying to keep up with the antenatal competition. However, let me also tell you this.... it took a while, but I can tell you that I did get that moment of falling totally in love with her, and when that happened, for the first time I understood what all those doting mothers were talking about. She is nearly 8 now, and I am still totally in love with her. I've had another since, and am besotted. So,,,, hang on in there. Just wait until you can have some more grown up conversations with them, and you will discover that you learn so much from your children.... and these are treasures that you would have missed if you hadn't had your child. This is the blessing of having children.
Haven't read what other people have said, but looking after a 2 year old IS boring, Peppa Pig is awful, toddler groups - horrid. I hated that phase so much and never had time to read a book or do what I wanted. But it does get so much better! I have fun with my DC now (5 and 8) and have a social life.
I know this post was started a long time ago and I am curious to see how the moms are feeling today? I also have a question. It seems that many of the moms have more than one child. Did you not like being a mom when you only had one child, and if so, what made you decide to have another? Or did you enjoy being a mom to one, but now dislike having more than one child?
I am very interested to know. I currently have a 2 year old son and LOVE being his mom and he is amazing. I don't have a desire for more kids except to give him a sibling, but I'm worried if we do have another child if my feelings on being a mom would change? I love just having one on one time with him and so many things are finally getting easier, I'm worried about "rocking the boat". Thx!
My first three years with my dd were not easy, I had pnd and she was (and still is) a little madam. So that did not make for a good combination nor did it endear the whole concept of motherhood to me. But I still went on to have another, something to do with having no siblings that completely share the same gene pool as me and being very lonely for the first nine years of my life with no siblings.
I had DS when DD had just turned three and while it still was by no means perfect, the second time round, it just seemed easier. And tempermentally he is a different kettle of fish to DD.
I like having two children, even if the fighting can be wearing at times but there is no way on earth I would have a third
despite what the hormones say.
Thank you for this thread, people.
Most of what you said could have been written by me. I don't have children, I've never wanted them, never thought I'd even consider having them one day. The only item on my "pro" list at the moment is the fact that my husband might want them (although "want" is probably not the right word...he's definitely more open to the idea than I am, but I'm not sure I'd call it "want", iyswim.)
It's been very helpful, to see myself in what you've written. It's good to see there are people out there who "get it". Funnily enough, I think it even made me a bit more relaxed about the whole idea of having a kid one day. It made me think "I'm not alone now, maybe I wouldn't be alone after either, maybe I'd find the support I need, maybe I have it in me to not only cope but also find a way to enjoy it."
Thank you again, and all the best.
Hi, I am soon to be a mum, and this thread is completely terrifying. I never wanted kids. I am 38 and fell pregnant last year (not planned). My hubby has always wanted kids, whereas me - I was an absolute 'no way', for all the reasons outlined above. We knew this about eachother when we got married. We talked about it a few times and I suppose I always had the attitude of 'if it happens, I'll roll with it then', really thinking it never would (I watch my ovulations, well used to, carefully)...and now here i am.
I think my marriage would not have survived had I had a terminnation. Now I wonder if it will survive me having a child. I in no way blame this little baby, its just I really have never wanted to be a mum, simple as that. I am trying hard to get excited, but its just not there. I have been seeing a counselor throughout the entire pregnancy...I have had some terrible thoughts. Even now, with less than 10weeks of freedom left, I am wondering if I should run away and have the bub given up for adoption. (I was adopted too, so I dont feel guilt about this as such). Reading this post has confirmed my worst fears.
I have had a great life over the last 5 years, Ive worked so friggin hard for what I have now, and thought of giving it all up may be considered selfish to some, but for me its reality.
Will it be OK? Will I be OK?
jac73, it is great that you are thinking about all this now because you will be all the more prepared, but try not to worry so much! You can be a mum YOUR way, you don't have to fit into any stereotype. Life will change but it can still be lots of fun if you let it. What things are you worrying about giving up? You can take a baby with you out for lunch, to galleries for eg. After a few months you can get a babysitter and go out in the evening. You can go back to work if you want to. It is a big big change but it would be boring if life just stayed the same no? Better to embrace new things. And if you don't like the baby stage (I loved it, but lots of people don't) there will be a later stage that you will love. All the best of luck xxx
YES, you will be ok!
Having a child isn't the end of your life as you know it. You will get an addition to your life, but it is up to you how much you want to change your whole life. The first few weeks will be knackering and intense but then you can make your own decision how hands-on you want to be.
I haven't read the whole 5 pages, but immediately noticed the OP who didn't enjoy her boy was a SAHM exclusively breastfeeding the child for a long time etc. and at the same time hating it...? Well, I hope she managed to create more balance in her life then... why didn't she try and get a part/full time job, why stay at home then and doing it all?
And it isn't about being a "perfect" Mum, it is about being the best Mum you can be, and that could mean a thousand things. And no-one expects you to become "excited"... maybe you don't get excited about being pregnant? So what!?
If you have worked hard for the life you have now you have the strength to build a great life for you, that includes a child, but doesn't have to be totally centered around the child. Also, you have a husband who was keen on having a child - get him to be a hands-on Dad!
It's your choice!
jac73: You'll be alright, I promise! I was the same age as you when preggers, and had the same sort of feelings as you, right up until the baby was a few days old. After a few days I discovered that my baby was actually quite a dude and I've surprised myself by having a bloody good laugh with her most of the time. I don't pretend to make organic home-made baby food or try to be a Power Mum (in fact the very word 'Mum' still sounds weird to me), but there's a lot of laughter in my house.
Biggest bit of advice: don't start comparing yourself to other Mums. Most of 'em are bluffing and pedalling like mad because they're trying and failing to be Perfect Mums. Be really nice to yourself. Your baby is going to think you're the coolest person on the planet btw.
Good luck and let us know how you get on.
Hi, thank you all for the replies..I just gave long winded reply and my session timed out when I hit preview!!
But basically I just want to say thanks, I have really felt ashamed about how Ive been feeling and havent really really been able to talk to anyone, friends, family (not even my counselor knows how bad Ive really been feeling).
Its 2.30 in the morning here (Aus) so Im going to stop for now and try to get back to sleep while I still can :-).
Thanks again, I will stay in touch
I can really relate to this thread. I wanted children for a long time, lost a pregnancy in the 2nd tri and didn't get pregnant again for 2 years - I was nearly 40 by the time DS was born. Despite being so wanted, it was still a massive shock. I immediately regretted it and those feelings still haven't waned completely, although going back to work has greatly lessened them.
I've felt all of the feelings mentioned on here over the last 2 years but I must say things are a lot better since my job improved - I've been back at work a year and am really into the swing of it again now. I still find DS very hard work though and am hopeless on the one day we have together and can't wait for bedtime - and feel guilty about that - horrendous!
One thing I will say is that it has improved incrementally more and more as time has gone on. I suspect that this will only continue as he gets older.
I'm also lucky enough to have 2 sets of very helpful grandparents. Without them, things would have been/would be a lot more difficult. We've managed to get away for weekends several times over the last couple of years and that has literally saved my life.
What an excellent thread.
Hi protect: I suppose thats one of my biggest concerns, i dont really have an immediate network of people I could leave a child with so I can take off by myself or with my hub' for a few hours, let alone a few days. Apart from joining a mothers group of some sort and trying to make friends with women besotted with their kids I dont have many options. Most all of my friends live far away. I really dont know how I am going to react to having another person so constantly dependant on me and continously in my space...but like Cartman12, I may just suprise myself (I REALLY hope so). I am planning on going back to work within 5 months...it will be virtually pointless pay-wise with childcare, but at least I will still have a life of my own of sorts.
jac73 what protect says is so true, as the years roll by it gets easier.
But look, this is all ^assuming* that you will find it difficult. I would truly hate to think of you there, pregnant and panicking about something you may or may not experience. Relax. It will be what it will be for you and everyones experience is different. Please don't add undue pressure on yourself.
On the plus side, it's fantastic that women are now talking about this and, if nothing else, if you do experience all the feelings/situations that you fear you will KNOW that you are not alone in your thoughts. And that there is a whole network of people who, for years, were too afraid to speak out who will help you every step of the way. No matter how isolated, lonely, sad, angry or resentful you feel. That's what I love about this thread. A place where we can be supportive of each other and not be afraid to say the very things we think people will think badly of us.
I sincerely wish you a happy, healthy pregnancy. Here if you need anything.
Jac - is it possible to start building up some networks now, meet some other pregnant mums? Also you could start thinking about how to make the newborn stage as easy as possible - freeze lots of meals, get some easy watching DVDs in etc. Sorry if I'm stating the obvious! And like Shakey says, you might surprise yourself and enjoy it, you just don't know.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Ophelia275 Does your husband know how you feel? What's behind his reluctance to do anything with him do you think?
I remember my sister umming and ahhing about having a second child as she didn't think she'd love another as much as her first.
So sorry you're feeling like this, is there someone in RL you can talk to etc? Anything we can do here? How are you today?
As an aside for anyone still watching this thread, a quote of mine on this subject is being used in Denise Van Outens new book. She asked (on Twitter) for experiences on bonding etc so gave a potted version of what I'd written on this thread, and to my surprise, it's being included. Great news for this subject being highlighted.
I quite often regret having them, i would not change them for the world and i love them to bits but i often wish i had never had children and stayed free and single, would have loved to have traveled. I miss being able to go out and do rendom things (without having to plan). If i had my time again i would not have children or got married .
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Marne I can totally relate to how you feel. I get insanely jealous when child free friends/aquaintances mention how they're dropping everything to go here there and everywhere.
ophelia It can be so hard finding the "right" professional to talk to, ref counselling etc. I gave up years ago! How old are your boys?
I suppose for all of us, there IS light at the end of the tunnel. But I really understand that those kind of platitudes carry little weight at the moment. Even as I type it I'm thinking through gritted teeth "Well, that's as maybe but I.DON'T. WANT.TO HEAR.IT.JUST.NOW.THANKS.VERY.MUCH"
Shakey, thanks for the reply. I read your post from ages ago (where DS reached the light switch) and it was the one post that actually gave me more than a glimmer of positivity (it actually made me laugh). Thanks for that.
Thanks too SLL, I must somehow try to build up networks - just a bit hard at the mo' still working FT and dont want to stop...spoke with my supervisor yesterday and not sure what I will be in for when I return. As he said - your life is going to be so much different. Ggrrrr - its already happening - the assumptions with being a mum. Oh well, I did know what I was in for.
i have 2 girls aged 5 and 6.I regretted having them to the point that they now stay with their dad in scotland and i stay in Wales.I had kids for the wrong reasons, i was never maternal in any way but was told that when it's your own, things will be different.How wrong they were!!!I don't think all women are cut out for parenthood i certainly am not,but i hate being made to feel guilty about it.
I don't regret having dd but I do find motherhood incredibly tough. I regret the circumstances of her birth as I am a single mum and would dearly love more support. I just wish I could have a nanny to do all the shit drudgery and then I could just enjoy the fun bits instead of doing it all. Noone is honest about how tough being a parent is; that is half the problem imo.
It's a hard thing to admit to that your not cut out for parenthood,but i think it's made worse by the attitude of others,that's why so few women will admit how they really feel. It's a topic that needs to be discussed more openly and women should be given far more support.This is of course my humble opinion lol
I felt such a relief when I read the title of this post, as I was worried I was the only one who feels this way.
Yes - I regret having children. My husband knows this but nobody else. I have 2 year old twins who I love dearly, but I have struggled for the past 2 years, and I can't see it getting any better.
My husband is incredible - he totally supports me and he feels sad for me that motherhood hasn't turned out to be what I had hoped it to be.
I too have looked for 'ways out' in the past and it took me a long time to realise that there is no way out. I don't want to be without them and I am very protective of them.....I just wish it hadn't happened.....
I feel low much of the time, and I feel so bad for feeling this way.....
Please don't feel bad no-one knows how they will be once kids come along.I said that i would be a good mum when my 2 came along and look at me now i live 400 miles away from them.I don't for 1 second regret moving because i was turning into the mother from hell so i decided the best course of action was to hand them to their dad and move far away.All women want to believe that they will be a good mum but like all things in life there are no guarantees that's what will happen.So don't be too hard on yourself, being a mother is THE HARDEST JOB in the world whether you have 1 kid or 10 kids:-)
There was an article in Grazi magazine recently entitled ' I was happier BEFORE I had children' whereby a mum admitted that although she loved her dd she disn't love motherhood. She urged more people to be honest about this.
I don't regret having dd as I love her dearly but I am not cut out for motherhood really. I wholeheartedly agree with the op in that I hate going to the park and instead just want to go for dinner with friends etc.
I don't know why I thought it would be so easy ( I really did when I was pregnant). My mum was always telling me how hard it is etc and she had a dp. What amazes me is that I WANTED to get pregnant so badly that I did with my ex who I had only been with for 6 months! When he pointed out it was too early on I breezily told him that i would be ok on my own if it came to that.
So here I am on my own with dd. I do see the positives although I am about to take anti-depressants.The early years are tough and I am looking foward to when dd can sit down and read a good book or take her off with her friends so I can relax. i do love her though and would never be without her. This is the quandry of motherhood!
I have 3 children, 2 with special needs, the last two have only an 11 month gap between them and i recently had a nervous breakdown.
I feel like im living my life in a cage, even though i thought i wanted children. I do love them, but I have totally bitten off more than I can chew
I do rather think that the psychiatric/patriarchy or whatever conspires against us by perpetuating the myth that women must want children and must be naturally maternal and those who aren't are somehow lacking. Mabe if our society was more supportive of mothers then we would feel much happier about this.
And also we should be more tolerant of those women who don't want to marry and/or have kids.
I agree toptramp
The reality of motherhood can be so far removed from the myths perpetuated by media,advertising, celebrities and, just those in general who seemingly find it a breeze. And whilst I think, "You know, I am glad for you that you don't feel as I do as I wouldn't wish it on anyone" there should be more support for the women that aren't naturally cut out for motherhood. And certainly, as you say, less derision for those whose choose not to have children.
But the world went and got itself in a great big bloody hurry for some reason. And in many areas, pressure to succeed has intensified to such a degree that there are totally unrealistic expectations placed all over the place. Motherhood being one of them.
And even though I eventually had my "thunderbolt" moment, I do still have regrets. And I do selfishlly, look forward to the day I reclaim my life, the one I had just for me, before DS came along and joined it. I will do the best I can, I will put him first, but I'll no longer surrender my entire being and "lose" myself again. I will try, through my faults,to show him that none of us are perfect, everybody is infallible and that, intrinsictly, none of us can help how we really feel, deep down inside. It's so bloody hard sometimes.
I'm the same, kids are overrated. With two boys (4 & 3) I feel lonely, isolated and confused. I miss the old me as she was fun, happy and lively. Easter has magnified all these feelings as I'm also very homesick and miss my family and friends who are on the other side of the world. I work, but at home which I think is even worse. Interesting to read so many familiar stories and good luck to us all. X
It's all a big con and a lie. Society tells you that you will be a leper if you don't have kids. Your family nags you and asks you "when are you going to have kids?" or your child "needs a sibling" and your husband tells you he will not be complete unless you have another child. Then no.2 comes along and the family only want to spend 2 minutes with said child because he isn't as interesting as youtube and cries a bit (although they do want to tell all their friends what wonderful grandparents they are) and you are left locked into groundhog day but with mess, noise, sleep deprivation, stretch marks, saggy tummy, poverty and doing things you hate on a daily basis so that everyone else can feel wonderful while you are left picking up the dregs of your "life".
Would love to know how you are now Zahora?
I've still got this thread on "watch" also. Yes, be great to hear how things are three years on!
Zahora and all the rest on here who think they are crap mums.
I have been in your shoes, the birth of my ds split me and my ex dp up. I hated hated being a mum, hated the tantrums, the tiredness, all of it.
Ds is now 18 and I madly love him. Somewhere along the way he became the most delightful charming entertaining child. He is now a delightful charming entertaining sensitive adult.
Your turning day will come. Mostof the posts on here are from parents of vey small children. BUT they grow and become an intrinsic part of your life. My turning point came when Ds was about 4 or 5 started to give something back. One day it struck me that we mutually loved each other.
Now at 18 he still tells me he loves me and I think he walks on water. I think for all of you it will hopefully become easier and more intrinsic and instinctive as they get older. I remember thinking about the old saying that Love grows. I think it is particularly true of children.
I hope this helps all of you. I becam such a convert that I had DD......
i dont have any children yet and its something hubby and i are talking about at the mo -as in thinking about trying. i feel sooooo mixed though and so worried it will be something i will regret. why cant we just continue as we are - happy, holidays, money. one minute i think yes lets do it. but then i flip back again to a definite no. i dont think im ready. but i dont think ill ever be. to add to all the flip-flopping in my mind, i suffer really badly with emetophobia(phobia of vomiting) so the thought of putting myself thru pregnancy and birth for something im not 100% on, i dunno. sometimes ive been so close to wanting it, but then i go back to not again. when i say close, i mean ive come off pill, ive been taking pre-pregnancy vitamins, we tried (once!) - urgh. goodness. i just feel such a mess and i dont wanna tell any friends or family coz i know they will get their hopes up. hubbys mum has wanted us to have kids for like ever and i really dont need her pressure.
reading all these posts though just makes me think, sh*t, this will be me in a years time :-( but it also confirms to me that it is ok to not be one of these mumsy mums. i fear that if i have a kid, it will literally be the end of me - forever.
and the post above - orangeandlemons - this makes me feel better about kids. i dont doubt the early days will be difficult. and i would like to go back to work really. i dont think sahm is me at all. but who knows. maybe it might be...
i have a neice and nephew and love them to bits. my neice is nearly 3 and shes so fun and full of life. but i like that - we have fun together then her mum deals with all the hard stuff !
I think an important message is that no-one ever knows how they will feel upon becoming a parent. You could be a complete natural, take to it like a duck to water, wonder what on earth you were worrying about. On the flip side, it could be a complete struggle, like this thread has illustrated. But, and it's big BUT, if you find it a struggle, then this thread also illustrates that it's OK to feel like this. That it's fine to have what you may feel are negative thoughts. That you won't be alone. That there are thousands upon thousands of women each thinking that they can't admit it.
It also shows that, whilst parts or all of it can be a struggle, that there is light at what can seem like a very long, lonely tunnel.
Don't NOT have children because of things you fear may happen, have them on the understanding that they can also be a source of intense happiness, legacy and fulfilment. And if you truly think that parenthood isn't for you then that's ok too and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
For what it's worth, I didn't feel sick or have sickness throughout the entire pregnancy!
Yes, there will be big elements of your previous life that you will miss initially, like holidays, nights out at the drop of a hat heck, even going to the loo on your own for a while. But I'm a great believer in "children join your life, not the other way around".
If more women were realistic about the way babies can alter your life, it would make things easier. The thing is, you never know how it's going to be until it happens, and that's ok too. Good luck in whatever you decide.
Shakey1500 - thanks so much for your kind words. Yes this thread is great because its nice to see women actually say, yeah its been tough. i hate it how there is sooo much pressure on women to be so perfect. its nice to be able to say im having a tough time and not be criticized all the time. all the good and positive things about having children i know i want. and all the elements that i will miss, well i am looking forward to sharing those with hubby and child.
Am a believer of this also "children join your life, not the other way around". my hubby is great too and i know hed be very hands on, and especially with the emet. ill do poo, he does anything out the top end !
Good to hear you didnt have any sickness. I use another emet forum and a lot of emet mums have coped very well through it all. basically im not going to let the phobia get in the way of having a child. yes it will be tough but i know im strong enough to deal with it. i travel a bit with work and next trip coming up in aug so ive made a decision - hold off until after that trip basically and then i think yes, lets get going. otherwise ill find another reason to put it off! and who knows, maybe i will want to be a sahm - it would be nice to meet some new people and make new friends. the thought of having some time away from work is appealing.
i guess its natural to have these worries and concerns.
What a powerful thread. One thing that strikes me is how many people on there have OHs who claimed to be desperate for kids yet a) persisted in marrying someone who didn't want them and still pushed the issue b) then had the outrageous cheek not to pull their weight with the baby.
Among my female friends with babies, several are career women with a male partner who is the main carer because he is just more suited to it. These women have a more typically 'male' experience of parenthood. The people I know with kids also DO go out to the pub/leave their kids for a few days to go on a holiday with the girls - whatever. And I have to say that 90% of women I know were pretty happy to get back to work after maternity leave.
I appreciate these people may be very lucky, but it sounds as though some stories here were off very maternal woman being shoved into some 1950s housewife role. I wonder whether in every case it is about not being suited to being a mother or not suited to a particular paradigm of motherhood?
Shakey 1500 - good to see you are still here...I had the baby on 28th May, and so now 8 weeks in. I can honestly say the first couple of weeks hit with the force of an avalanche, but I am now flying solo (hubby went back to work 2 weeks ago) and I have to say its not nearly as duanting as I expected, but yes it certainly has its moments where you wonder "what the hell..?". I am still trying to decipher what it is that makes parents go back for more, and the only thing I can think of this: I understand now what all those freaky mums and dads used to mean when they said to me "they miss their old life, but they wouldnt be without their kids" - I actually get that now, and think the reason is becuase kids give you an opportunity to experience, TRUELLY HANDS DOWN experience REAL unconditional love. Thats what it is...and at the end of the day thats what lifes all about - love. Yesterday my little boy had his first immunisation and boy, was he upset...I wouldve given anything to make him feel better, my right arm is dead today from carrying him around for 4 hours, but I didnt care at the time I just wanted to comfort him. I dont know that kids ever give back the kind of love Im talking about to their parents (I dont know I feel this way about mine), but yes, I cant imagine what it would take in the future for me to not love him anymore. Still, to all the other would-be mums out there wondering what to do, I would say unless you and your partner are both 150% sure, perhaps dont do it until you are.
I was looking at my last post and realised I sound possibly a bit coochie coo, so I need to elborate some more. Yes, I do love that little guy, despite the fact he woke me up several times last night and I have just given up and gotten up - early. I think for me I can cope OK knowing that I have a satisfying job to go back to later on this year. I have a very supportive husband...to the would be-s out there, if your dh wants kids - make it VERY clear up front - you will not be the only primary carer of potential offspring. Additionally, make it clear..."one-and youre done" unless of course you discover its the most awesome role ever. Not with me, I really am done and I knew that before we had him. Yes, my days are now taken up with largely banal activities, and come the evening when hubby gets home, he most often gets ds shoved straight at him whilst I go grapling for the shiraz. (No, I dont get pissed every night, but sometimes its tempting). Like I said in my last post Im only 8 weeks in, and I know there are gonna be some tough days ahead...thats my last bit of advice to would-be's, dont go in with rose-coloured glasses. I think thats why Im coping better than expected too - because I knew alot of it would be largely shit, and I accepted that before ds was born...it helps.
Ahhh good to hear from you Jac73
And I at "grappling for the Shiraz"! Your son sounds wonderful and many many congratulations to you both
So...just musing...do you think reading this thread helped you at all? In a kind of "expect the worse and anything else is a bonus" type way? I was just thinking that maybe if I'd have had the slightest inkling that it wouldn't be cute gurgles and cutie bottoms, I'd have been better prepared etc?
Heya Shakey, thanks for the well wishes.
Yes, interesting question and something else I pondered myself when I first came upon this thread all those months ago...but by then of course I was well and trully pregnant past the point of no return. See, had I found this thread just prior to, or just after, getting pregnant- who knows what the outcome may have been, but saying that once I found out I was indeed up the duff I kind of knew in my heart I couldnt go down the termination line anyway...I love my husband too much, and besides its not like I was 17 with no idea of who I was or where I would be going in life. So I think where you are 'at' in your life most certainly counts to how well you cope.
Being 38 too I had the opportunity to see all the comments in this thread in action with other people over the years...perhaps you didnt see that yourself so much? I also found that once I was pregnant people went from saying how FAB being a parent was to telling me all the horror stories - like, was this their weird way of saying 'sucked in'?
I think, like you have said yourself, that this thread has definitely helped me in the sense that on those moments where I am losing the plot, or having really negative thoughts, that I am NOT alone, and shouldnt feel that I have to be blisfully happy about the situation all the time. There appear to be a few chickis popping up on this thread who are considering starting a family, so it would have to help them - surely? Its good to get a dose of reality from others who have done it/are doing it (parenthood that is). But like you also said to me, everyone's experience is going to be different...but yeah - expect there to be shit, and like me, when it happens you just kinda breath and say 'yep, well I expected this, so no point getting upset about it'.
Sorry rambling on here will stop now ;-)
At least most of you on this thread were sensible and actually got married first! I was so desperate for dc that I couldn't wait. I don't regret dd but I would definately not have chosen this way to start a family.
I don't think I will have any more and on one hand I grieve this but on the other hand I think if you find one child tough don't have another one just to give your dc a sibling. Only children are NOT fucked up or spoilt. I never talk to my sister. Have number 2 or 3 because you love, enjoy or can merely cope with having another; not because society expects it.
Toptramp - please dont be so hard on yourself...one of my best buddies had her first at 17, and she did it tough on her own, but he is now 19 and they are great mates. She often regrets the circumstances too, but she wouldnt give him back for anything.
Also, I was an only child and I can promise you I wasnt spoilt. I dont understand people who say only having one is. You can only 'spoil' a child with gifts...really, how much do you remember about 'stuff' you were given as a kid?
What I remember is the times my parents spent with me (digging in the garden, going to beach, whatever), and it wasnt alot of time to be honest. But thats where I hope to be different, I will endevour to 'spoil' my child with qaulity time, laughter and learning (within reason - I need a life too! :-)) You can never spoil a child with too much of your affection and time...just be realistic about what you can provide and give yourself time out too whenever you can.
Stuff societal expections. One well rounded individual is better than 3 screwed up ones keeping eachother company.
Hello my dearies! Lovely thread, lovely people.
Well, it's a year since my last post. Am I still a bitter, frigid shell of a woman? Mostly, no. The truth is inescapable - it does get better!
My DS is nearly 2. People say don't wish his life away, but I can't help it. I want him out of nappies and speaking fluently. I don't have too long to wait now I guess.
Generally, life is good. I have a new job with a nice payrise, and have had some short trips sans DS. I'm very very slowly weaning down my AD dose. Hoping (against hope?) this will help me lose the stone of extra weight I'm blaming on them
I'm lucky also in that DP is brilliant, he does half the work, as he promised before you know what happened.
Do I want more? No fucking way, not on your life, never in a million years. Our DS is going to be a cherished only child and we're getting our lives back ASAP.
I still envy old people. I still prefer work to the weekends (tell me why, I don't like Sunday ;). I still think of being with DS as hard work. But in amongst all that is our growing boy. He's amazing. He gives us love and laughs every day.
And when he can feed himself, wipe his own butt, and put a tshirt on without screaming, then we may, just may, start feeling the plus column outweighing the minus. It's out there. Hang on, hang in, keep the faith etc. We will get there.
GO BACK TO WORK!
Great post (and news!) Morris
You'll be pleased to know that yes, it does get even better. DS is nearly 5 and what a difference all the milestones make. Thing is, no-one actually tells you just how bloody many milestones there are do they? I sort of assumed that it meant the two biggies, walking/talking but nooo noooo noooo, it's the equivalent of a round the world trip.
I'm still waiting for the arse wiping/dry at night ones (amonsgt, I'm sure, the billion others that have yet to reveal themselves)
I'm also on the "no fucking way am I having any more" bus. Apart from my set in stone retirement plans, my wish on the horizon is to have a lie in on a Sunday morning, with breakfast in bed, surrounded by the Sunday papers, staying there until Radio 2 has finished the musicals programme (sans Elaine Paige preferably)
Elaine Paige every freakin' time for me Shakey, if the alternative is Barbara Windsor.
<digs full strength ADs back out>
But yyy to the long lie. Oh yes. My own parents stayed in bed until 12 on both days at the weekend, leaving sibs and I to run feral. Never did us no 'arm.
Also (not trying to be smug), my DP is sport mad, and is already champing at the bit to get DS into footie, golf, cricket, cycling, golf, golf, and golf. I see my future: 'here's your packed lunch darling, have a great game. See you at teatime'.
Yipeeeeeee! Bed/ shops/ Starbucks, here I come. And I'm bringing a Grazia. And an iPad.
Oh I don't know who I dislike more, Elaine (and her infuriating chortle) or Barbara (and her infuriating chortle) or Michael Balls (and his...well...he's just all round infuriating)
Yes, DH is rugby mad so I too look forward to waving them off at the doorstep then spraying a bit of Plegde around the gaff five minutes before they're due home.
I love the days when no one is here I honestly couldnt be happier - just me and the dog! Two young boys and a selfish hubby who is so focused on his fitness and his own goals. So calm, no screaming, fighting and demands on me. I'm an older mum and lucky to have children really as many of my friends have divorced and havent found a new partner and its too late.
But I can say hardly any positive about them and being a mum. Everyday is a battle, a battle with constant planning, worrying, business, not going out as too much to do, the 3.00 pressure to leave the home. I love them dearly, yet I have no enjoyment with them, I hate having my weekends just doing things for their enjoyment, not doing or going anywhere as they are too mad to take out, too young for certain things and too loud for other just wild little boys that I am constantly trying to teach good manners & etiquiette. Even days out are horrible and not enjoyable.
Sadly, if we can afford it I would love to send them to boarding school. The thought of freedom, working and joining a gym getting proper fit, so selfish I know.
I honestly dont think it helped having two shit births and the last one left me so low for about 6 months and so gutted. Plus hubby not a baby person so constant jabs and comments about him. Hubby not a child person either. So he escapes out and works so I'm left 95% of the time doing it all not as I had planned. I've always thought if the boys left home at 16 then I would just do what I wanted to not worry about him and his needs.
I can see now why so many mums lose their confidence, get fat, take ADs.....its not a great life totally over rated. Yet, not sure if I would of felt gutted if we hadnt any.
I feel I'm always hiding my true feelings, no one knows how I feel.
what a Topic! I am glad there are mothers out there who are not afraid to admit it! I feel there is a lot of hypocrisies around motherhood. A lot of women pretend motherhood is this brilliant and magical status, but for me it has not been like that.
My son is only 11 months old, and I have been back at work full time since he was 7 months now. Grandma looks after him (my partners mum) 3 days a week and the other 2 days I work from home..which means logging in when he sleeps (if he does) and after he is gone to bed in the evening to pick up what I have not been able to do during the day.
I admit my life was a lot easier and happier before, I had no worries, I was able to do whatever I wanted to, whenever I wanted to. But if I had to be honest what I missed most (especially the first few months) was having time to be there for my partner all the time. Then my DS came along and even sharing a cup of tea on the sofa started to become a struggle. I remember the first few months lying in bed at night while breastfeeding DS and looking at my partner and crying because all I wanted to do was cuddling him and kiss him..but I couldnt because I had my son constantly attached to my breasts. My DS was not an easy newborn, he would fight sleep, he wanted to be in my arms all the time and I did hated that, I hated having to be completely responsible for another human being and I hated being alone with him the whole day.
I also fantasized a lot about running away and leaving DS with my partner (he is a very good dad) but then I remembered the way I felt when my mum left and never came back when I was 14(after 20 years I still do not know where she is) and I just cried and cried and cried for days, weeks and months..I am still trying to recover now that I am back at work from all those horrible thoughts I had towards my newborn baby.
The thing is I was naïve, I went into motherhood without having a clue of what it really meant, hoping a loving relationship and enough money would be enough but it was not.
This child almost broke me, almost broke my relationship with my partner (10 years of happiness!) .but he never asked to be born so I looked at myself in the mirror and said this is it, you ll never have another one for sure, so make the most of it and ride it through!.
I still have moments where I do miss my old life, but I know little by little, as my very clingy baby grows up I ll get more and more time back for myself, for my partner and I ll also have a son who loves me dearly and who I love back.
I have also learned to give a lot of respect to people ( mothers and fathers)who bring up children on their own (while before I was almost looking down on them) because I would never be able to do it.
Life is definitely not going to be the same ever again but I guess thats what life is about, you grow, you change and bring to the world someone else to do it all over again
I am glad there are other women out there who feel the same as I did, because that was a very lonely and scary place to be and I do not think there is enough support out there to help new mothers coping with all these feelings. I definitely never got any help from my HV, GP or Midwife .I just got a prescription for AD which thanks God I chucked in the bin.
Motherhood is no joke but once you get used to it ( I am still not 100% used to it) it gets slightly easier. I think for me what really helped was going back to work and going back to Italy - where I am from to see my family and friends as often as possible....you need a strong support system around, otherwise is very easy to sink. Shame all these things I have learned will be of no use..as I am definitely not going through this ever again. I love my DS, but just the though of being pregnant and go through the first year all over again is enough to not make me want any more children.
Thanks for sharing Ladies!
I'm both glad and not that I found this thread. This is my first time on this site. I'm 5 weeks pregnant and torn over whether to go through with it.
I've never been maternal and my husband is also ambivalent about children. But, I'm 36, so after years of wavering, we finally decided to stop actively preventing conception and 'see what happened', both presuming that we'd be happy with any outcome. However, I got pregnant very quickly and now we're so unsure about what to do. We worry about the sacrifices we'd have to make for a child we're not even sure we want. Most of my friends, and our siblings, have kids and there's very little about their lives that we envy. I find children boring and annoying (sorry!). Our friends and siblings are also all mostly far better off than us and can still afford holidays and material goods, things we'd probably have to give up to have a child. We're very happy and emotionally fulfilled by our marriage. We are financially fine, but don't have much left over each month, so a child would stretch us. But, are we just being fearful of the unknown? Will it be the 'best thing that ever happens' to me as friends say? Will it just make our already strong relationship even deeper and better? Or will I regret it terribly as many here seem to. We are particularly worried about having a child with a disability or learning difficulties, something we are sure we could not cope with.
I'm so confused about what to do and I have no idea how to make the decision whether or not to go ahead with this pregnancy. We love our life, so why would we change it?
The trouble is CityDweller you never know how you are really going to feel about it until its too late and you have the baby. I echo your feelings about disability etc. as that just puts so much extra pressure on everyone. Will you have the tests do you think? good luck with whatever you decide.
CityDweller - I felt the same before DS1 was born - I had no rose tinted view I was scared and so was OH. I was 34 when DS1 was born and 37 DS2 and I had no worries on the disability yet I did have an amnio has I wasn't willing to take the risk. Both myself and partner have no history at all with medical problems so I was positive. Both pregnancies went extremely well and to be honest I loved it, I loved the fuss, I loved the excitement. But was concerned that they would ruin my life too.
I wasnt in love with them when first born - I sort of felt like I just had to do my duty. I wasnt like other mums even though i loved them I didnt have that 'bond'.
Its a hard one for you as no one can answer it. Can you imagine life without children that when your old?
No it wont make your relationship stronger, its a battle - a battle to agree on certain things, a battle for 'me' time, a battle to enjoy time together, so unless you live in a 'perfect' world then its constantly a battle to get through the day. On the other-hand its not all negative there are joys and times to share.
People do balance it all work/children/money/freetime and it is about working together. Lucky if you have close family too. Very important and essential you have hobbies and sports as you need to escape and release tension.
I've also met some fab people through children, made some interesting friends yet I'm not one one for talking non stop about them. I do find them very annoying and flippin hardwork.
Not all mums are the same, its not a good maternal and bad non-maternal. I think we are all a mix but some people admit it more or show it more.
I understand how you are feeling and best of luck deciding on the right decision.
I think you should only have kids if you are 100% sure you want them and don't feel pressured by society or family. You also need to be in a good state of mind. If you suffer from depression think how you will feel when you are feeling very low but you have to look after a little person who is completely dependant on you. Will you be able to cope? Write out a list of pros and cons of having a child and be completely honest with yourself. Spend as much time as possible with other peoples children and observe the good as well as the bad.
CityDweller - I really can empathise...I came upon this thread last year when I had 10 weeks to go and felt exactly as you do now. I was also feeling the same about my great marriage, mediocre finances etc. The only difference was that hubby wanted kids and I didnt. I was 38. Im now 39, and DS is just about to turn 3 months. If you decide to go ahead my first word of advice is to try and stop stressing (hard I know) and enjoy the pregnancy - chances are you'll never to do it again so do try to enjoy the wild, but magical ride it is. I wish I'd done that. I was worried about dissabilities too (esp. as I enjoyed a few, ahem, beverages early in the peice), but everything was fine. As I said in a recent post, where you are at in your life counts for alot on the outcome (I reckon) - I think being this age has helped heaps, theres no way I was emotionally, financially ready say even 5 years ago. But really its turned out better than I expected. There are some life goals that are gonna have to wait for awhile (like travelling), but I am already envisioning how the 3 of us will go together when DS is a bit older to do stuff Ive always put off because of work anyway. I have a great reason now to finally just do it. Ahhrggg - its so tough isnt it? It dosent matter what anyone says, cause' only you will know if you get there yourself what it will be like. I can only tell you I havent found it too bad cause' I was mentally prepared for the worst.
Thank you all so much. I thought I was the only one in the world that felt this way. I wish I could go back in time but can't. I don't enjoy being a mother at all. I hate it. Yes-every single day, every hour, every minute is a battle with myself, to not run away or just end it all.
Depression is an evil illness-I fear the effect it has and will have on my current DS 16 months and child soon to be born (completely unplanned). I'm terrified of the whole thing. I am not cut out to be a mum. Never was.
Feeno - you must have some free time, time to have a hobby, some kind of escape?
You must find some escape route because it is strangling and as a mild depressive but havent suffered badly for a while I can understand how it feels. Does anyone know how you feel?
If your lucky to have family help then you must use it and find enjoyment in life again. If you have spare money then use a private nursery to have a break.
I'm struggling too more than my OH knows, my children seem to have joy in constantly being horrible and wild. Everything I hated about other peoples children have now become mine!!!
Feeno - your probably a better parent that youve given yrself credit for. I have done everything to the book, healthy pregnancy, routine, weaning to perfection, home cooked meals, social, etc but its a bit like spending time with a husband you want to divorce because you dislike him yet you are handcuffed to him forever!
Seriously, if you are suffering so badly then you should get help to address these feelings have you tried CBT? You sound like you really need it. Many of us on this thread are depressed because of the children not depressed from outside issues and glad you address the effect it could have on your children.
feeno Do you get much/any "you" time? Have you a supportive partner/family etc?
16months is stillan extremely challenging age, and with one on the way it's entirely understandable that you feel this way.
Can you tell us more about your situation/set up? Meanwhile, have some
I have v supportive family and DH tries his best but doesn't quite understand my problem. He gets the opportunity to miss DS as he goes to work and comes back just in time for bath/bedtime. He thinks DS is awesome-I really wish I felt the same.
My mental health isn't helping the situation but I've asked for help with that too. Home treatment come and check on me every couple of days and I have consultant psychiatrist from mother and baby unit that is fully aware of how shitty my state of mind is.
There is just soooo much going on in my family at the moment though I'm worried that my situation is just the ticking time bomb waiting to destroy everything. I have terrible AND, highly likely to have terrible PND which I don't think I really got over after DS was born, my sis gave birth to her first child nearly 2 weeks ago so my mum is helping her out at the moment, I'm due to pop in about 4-5 weeks with DC2 and my brother is due to get married with a proper big wedding planned for Dec. I just don't know how we're all going to cope/manage. It's all very poor timing and I just feel like its all going to end very badly for me-I'm just not a mummy person and I'm terrified of the baby I have t had yet. I've only visited my sis once since her son was born because its just too much reality for me to cope with right now...truly terrified
Been following this post for at least 18 months. You've made me feel less confused for which I thank you all. Similar story. DH wanted children, I didn't see the point, I had a great life. 4.5 years later here we are. I was right, I haven't had the light bulb moment and maybe I never will.
I remember being in a similar situation 2.5 years ago. Eldest child 21 months, 2nd child due, moving town at 37 weeks pregnant and completely depressed at the thought of child number 2. I didn't realise it then but I suffered from depression because I didn't want the kids but only talked to the GP recently - wish I had done it 2 years ago.
As other ladies suggest do try and find some time for your self. You have a lot going on but just try and pick one thing. Maybe get Hubbie to take your child all day saturday (are there any Dad's group where you live?) while you do something you really miss doing, even if it's just reading Hello/newspaper the whole day.
Anyway, I want to tell you it does get easier. By that I don't mean that you will suddenly love motherhood - I certainly don't but it's little things. My two keep each other company for 20-30 mins at a time now. I even found myself reading a book while with them yesterday .
Hi. I dont have children but have toyed with the idea for a while now.I am so relieved to have found this post and I am so glad that everyone has been honest. Ive always had a sneaking suspicion that all the mums I know wernt the happy bunnies they made out to be. How could they be surviving on hardly any sleep and dealing with screaming children day after day?
I have read this thread from top to bottom and found it hugely enlightening.
BUT in spite of the vast majority who do regret having children I cant help but find myself drawn to the idea. I am intrigued about myself being a mother, my husband being a father, its a role I cant imagine myself in and I think the reason is curiosity more than a natural 'desire' to have a child.
This probably isnt a good reason.
I am a very analytical person and have toyed with the idea of having children on and off for the last few years. My OH is fantastic with children. I worry more about myself as I am not naturally a maternal person and find young children annoying in general. I find myself being judgemental (if that was my son he'd never get away with that etc) but I also know that very rich of me to say sitting in my quiet, tidy house with the prospect of not very much planned for the evening other than a few glasses of wine and some telly...
Having a baby is OK-its the fact that this baby will grow into a toddler and eventually a teenager. I was horrible as a teenager and though I get on well with my parents now I worry that my child will turn out to be awful and pregnant at 13 or something dreadful. I have a friend whos children are teenagers and are the most delightful young people youd ever wish to meet. That what I want! But there are no guarentees are there...?!
A quick question- I dont have many friends, I have recently moved abroad and still settling in. Id have little in the way of support and two sets of extremely heartbroken grandparents on the other side of the world if we did decide to have children. People have advised that sometimes having children can be a social link. Or if Im isolated now will I just be eqaually as isolated just with a screaming baby instead?
I know this thread has been going a while, but I've only just come across it. I have cried most of the way through the thread, partly as it has highlighted my guilt at feeling the way I do, partly because I feel a sense of relief that I'm not the only one.
I really really wanted a family. At 18/19 all I wanted to do was get married and have 4+ children. Was convinced that I would feel happy and fulfilled. DH comes from a large family. We got married when I was almost 21, I finished my degree, got a job and we started ttc (actually technically we started ttc before I'd even finished uni though we didn't tell our families that!) As it turned out, we were subfertile so it took nearly 2 years to conceive. I loved the baby stage with DS1 and we decided we'd ttc again when he was 1. Found out I was pg with DS2 who was born just under 2 years later and I definitely had PND after he was born - saw GP who advised me to try other strategies before ADs. PND eased but I think my depression has just altered the way it presents itself. The more I read on here and other MH forums, the more I realise I am still suffering with PND.
I miss my old life so much (posted on a thread about that earlier today). I love my children and am so proud of them, but if I could turn back the clock I would. I realise how naive I was marrying at 20, having children, thinking life would be rosy. I miss being me, rather that DS1&2's mum. I am trying to have more 'me time' but even that doesn't seem to ease the hollow sadness and regret I feel. However, I don't know if it's the depression talking or me not being maternal. On the outside, nobody would know - I'm obviously a good actor - I do the happy SAHM thing, always a smile for people, glass half full type of person, but just feel so sad when I'm at home when nobody else can see me. I waste days at a time barely functioning when the children are at school. I feel like my brain has turned to mush - have forgotten most of what I studied at school. Couldn't get a stimulating job if I wanted to now - I have been applying for any jobs I can find just to help me out of this rut, but nothing.
Rationally I feel that family is the most important thing and ought to be my priority. Yet I only feel happy when I'm busy and engaged with things other than my family, whether it's volunteering at school, meeting friends for a hot chocolate or going away to my mum's for a couple of days without DH and the children (I love this). I feel awful for just wanting to leave it to my DH and run off into the distance. DH, by the way is wonderful and adores me and the boys. He is so supportive great with the children, hands-on, does far more than his fair share of domestic stuff because I find it so mind-numbing, and always has time for us. I honestly can't fault him, which compounds the guilt I feel about wanting to jack it all in .
OK, I can't even see the screen for tears now... I think I might need to go to see the GP tomorrow. This is ridiculous.
WonderInAloud in answer to your question - in my experience, it isolates you more. I had recently moved when I had DS2 and felt completely cut off. Family were miles away, no support network of friends. Tried a few baby groups but people already seemed to be in cliques and nobody spoke to me apart from the group leader. It was horrible. I stopped going to any of them as I hated it so much (yet with DS1 my experience was different, made some friends, one of whom I still see regularly). I wished I was living closer to family. In fact, it's very possible that had we been living nearer my support network, I would feel very different about my family to the way I do now - because we'd have people who could babysit occasionally, so DH and I would be able to go out, I could see my friends, I could probably get a job a lot easier as my hometown is a short train ride from London. Anyway, sorry to go on - you might find it helps you find friends, if the baby activities near you aren't too cliquey, but in my case - because I didn't already have family or friends around me, I just found it lonely and isolating.
Thanks twolittlemonkeys. Im sorry to hear you struggled. I guess it's luck of the draw then? Even as a single person iv struggled with a social network (I'm not the kind of person who's the life and soul of a party so to speak) but have a couple of friends I keep in touch with. I guess I'd hope to meet another isolated pregnant somebody to have coffee with and share the experience with but probably not a good idea to bank on that.
WonderinAloud - I would strongly advise you NOT to have children shortly after moving. I moved a few months after my ds1 was born and I went into a pretty catastrophic depression (I was totally out of it, hallucinating and just feeling absolutely awful). I missed my family terribly and I found the two big changes - having a baby (which is a life change you cannot really ever be prepared for) and moving was just the worst mix. Unfortunately just after ds2 was born our landlord sold the flat we were living in and once again, I got very depressed having to make such a big move after such a big life change. In my experience it is too many big changes in one go and I would not advise it.
Have been following this thread for some time, and I am so grateful for everyone's honesty.
I do not have children. Never thought I would. I am married to someone who never considered that he might not have kids one day. We discussed this at length both before and after getting married (and continue to now) but my feeling is that deep down he thinks I will change my mind.
Occasionally I do think that maybe we should - he would be fabulous as a father and he understands most of my reasons for not wanting to.
I had a mother who was depressed, unhappy, bitter etc. She has narc tendencies. My father just kept out of it for the most part and had many affairs. Eventually they split but not until I was in my late teens.
I have anxiety and depressive episodes. I just know that having a child would be mentally extremely tough for me, despite DH knowing this. I don't think he really understands what it would be like and my fears about this.
My friends who have (willingly! more or less) had children have been relatively honest with me as they know how I feel. They have had struggles and depression etc - almost all of them. And for the most part they weren't already dealing with mental health histories.
I fear for my marriage ultimately. I love him, but I am not capable of being so selfless as to put myself through it all for him.
I almost look forward to getting a bit older and finding that I am no longer able to have kids. Or I sometimes think that it may be a relief to find out that I can't. Which makes me feel like a very bad person obviously as there are people who would dearly love to be able to and can't.
Anyway, that's me. Am very grateful for this thread.
HavingAMaybe, I follow some other threads on here and joined to comment on this thread before I even saw your post, but I am in almost the same position.
I also experience depression, as did my parents, and I know that were I to have children, they likely would too. Quite apart from the fact I instinctively do NOT want to have kids.
What I originally came here to investigate, was whether there was a filp side to all the "you'll regret it if you don't have children!!" that I come up against. I wondered if anyone regretted that they did. It makes me really sad reading posts on here, thinking that some people are regretting having kids, I can't imagine what a struggle it must be if you feel that way, and it's not generally something that's talked about.
In my investigation into how other childfree people live, I've seen a lot of parents being so accepting about it, and not preaching evangelically that children are the only option in life, not spouting the usual "you're selfish / you'll change your mind" nonsense, and really trying to understand my point of view, and that's a lovely thing. I want to try and understand the parents' side of the experience too.
To all of you struggling with this, my heart goes out to you, and I hope you find a solution that works for you and your family.
I feel exactly the same and don't know what to do about it. I told DH that we could start trying after Christmas though as he will never be happy with a childfree life.
I can't believe I've ended up in this situation. I've never understood people who got married and then had the kids chat only to be surprised that their views do not match. But I always thought I'd change my mind. Everyone bloody tells you you will! But it's all lies and if I ever tell someone they should have children when they aren't sure I hope a thunderbolt strikes me down. If it hadn't been for all those idiots (my lovely friends and family) and all the media constructs of a perfect nuclear family I wouldn't be married to someone who wants kids. I love him and it was so hard to find him and now I feel trapped!
How fantastic to see people being so honest about what seems to be almost a taboo topic. MsMoppet & Having a maybe I can totally relate to the incredibly difficult position you ladies are in. DH & I disliked kids to the same extent when we got hitched 14 years ago and I honestly thought it would never be an issue and then .....he changed his mind. To my shock and disbelief he got really broody when I was 35 and we went through an awful time. Initially I agreed to try and I'm not proud of the fact that I did as much mickey dodging as possible behind his back. Aside from the dodging, it soon became apparent that I was not getting pg and that there was a problem fertility wise. We went through 4 IUIs and 2 IVFs and I'm again ashamed to say that my heart was never in it. I was going through the motions to keep him happy but I never felt that longing to be a mother. I will never forget the day I asked dh to reassure me that if the fertility treatment didn't work that we would be ok and he said he wasn't able to say that as his desire to be a father was so profound. Crushed is the only word for how I felt. The guilt of my own lack of desire on top of the angst of IVF resulted in a very difficult time for me. Then to my amazement the 2nd IVF worked (proves that how much you want it is irrelevant!) and resulted in a healthy ds born shortly after my 40th birthday. I won't even bore you with the details of the stress and guilt throughout my pregnancy. I was so worried about my ability to be a mother. Ultimately I made the decision to keep my marriage. I have a feeling you'll know where I'm coming from with that.
I'm not going to pretend that I suddenly became earth mother of the year. I find it sometimes boring and all of the things the others have said on this thread before but here's the thing; I look at my son sometimes & feel like my heart could burst with the sheer love I feel for him. I'm glad I have had the opportunity to feel love on that level. I never ever felt a stirring of any sort for a child, they only ever irritated me but nature is a powerful force and although he drives me mental pretty much every day I still couldn't put my hand on my heart and say I regret him. (I won't be having another one tho!)
I wish you the very best of luck with your tough decisions & thanks ladies for the honesty on such a tricky topic!
First I want to say that I feel much admiration for all the posters here for their honesty. I've read through the posts and feel very moved by the stories and struggles. I'm 45 (in November) and have never had children for various reasons. I've sometimes wondered if I should have gone ahead and had a child. From about 38 to about a year ago, I really tried to find a nice guy who I could have kids with, but I was never convinced by the men I dated that they'd be supportive enough, and I didn't want to be a single Mum - not for any moral reason - just because I didn't think I could handle it without the right support!
Reading these posts makes me feel less of a freak because I too don't have much of a maternal instinct.
One thing I've always thought, is that maybe it's not natural for a Mother to be isolated and by herself with her baby. When I look at so called 'primitive' societies, the women seem to all hang out together sharing the responsibility collectively, and the babies and children know they can find support from women other than their own Mum. This must make it possible for Mums in this situation to have 'off' days, or weeks, or months even! It's like our society has overly sentimentalised the whole baby making thing. There's a hypocrisy at work here though, because if as a society we really were committed to bringing up children, there'd be more breaks for working Dads and more free support for women (work creches etc)
I agree with the posters who feel that although having babies has turned out to be un-fulfilling, they know they have to make the best of the situation, but there's so much brilliant advice here about how to make that bearable. Having suffered bouts of depression, my heart goes out to Mums here who are going through that exhausting and draining time when it feels like nothing will get better and something has been 'taken' from you
Here's a few lines from DH Lawrence's 'Shadows' written when he was suffering from incurable TB - (substitute 'man' for 'women'!)
'And if, in the changing phases of mans life
I fall in sickness and in misery
my wrists seem broken and my heart seems dead
and strength is gone, and my life
is only the leavings of a life:
and still, among it all, snatches of lovely oblivion, and snatches of renewal
odd, wintry flowers upon the withered stem, yet new, strange flowers
such as my life has not brought forth before, new blossoms of me
then I must know that still
I am in the hands of the unknown God,
he is breaking me down to his own oblivion
to send me forth on a new morning, a new man'
I know I'm reviving an old thread here, but it feels like the right place to post. I sat here finding myself agreeing with a lot of what's been said.
I had a DD when I was 19, she's 6 now. If I could go back in time and change things, I would never have had children. I've found motherhood very hard, probably made worse by the fact I was in an unhealthy marriage with lots of control issues. I'd been with DD's dad since I was 16 - I was young, impressionable, naive and escaping an abusive homelife, while he was a fair bit older and whisked me off to the other side of the county away from my family.
Once DD came along I felt trapped and the little confidence I had was completely gone, I felt worthless and bored. I spent most days just going through the motions of looking after her or daydreaming about what my life could have been like.
But fast forward a few years to present day and I am so much happier in myself. What changed? I went to university, left my controlling ex and got a job in an industry that I really enjoy. DD lives with her dad most of the time but is with me weekends and half of the holidays. I wouldn't go back to the days I was a sahm for anything.
The issue I have at the moment is that I'm still feeling like I can't live my own life. To progress my career in the way I'd like I need to move to London - there are no jobs in this area in my particular field. I feel incredibly selfish to be thinking this way. There's no way I could move DD, practically OR legally. I know nobody has answers, I just wanted to vent and this thread really struck a chord. I wish people could be more open about these kinds of feelings as it is very much taboo for anyone, let alone mothers, to admit they regret having their children.
Hi Bee, and other recent posters,
What an awful situation to find yourself in. I don't know what to say but can I ask how do you feel about not being the full time carer of your child? I guess this isn't the best thought to be having whilst TTC but I often wonder whether I could let (force) DH to take it/them if we split up. Both whether he would take them and whether I could let them go. I recognise that however much people regret having children, they rarely seem to want to leave them once they arrive (thankfully I guess). It is that permanence that terrifies me - what if I don't even like my own!!!?
We are TTC on our second month and I was so relieved that it didn't work the first month. I am now secretly hoping that we won't be able to conceive. But then at the same time, if it is ever to happen I almost want to get it over with asap and at a similar time to our friends. So I am totally torn and wondering what on earth I am letting myself in for, either way!
And what is really frustrating me at the moment is that all my friends who are currently pregnant (and all wanted to be desperately) seem to planning to be Gina Ford-esqe mothers without a thought for their babies comfort and only wanting to minimise the impact the baby has on their lives. I don't even want a baby and even I can see that it is best to change your life when they arrive and live by their rules at least during the newborn phase when their needs are most urgent and non-negotiable. Why do they want children and not want to adapt to them? I just don't get the mentality. It seems I don't really "get" anything about having children!
I have a single mother to a one year old daughter who I had at the age of 35. All my life I thought I wanted children and I loved spending time with my friends children. I am so depressed at being a parent and I have absolutely no reason to be as my daughter is the sweetest, most lovable little girl who deserves the very best. I never thought in a million years I would feel like this honestly feel my life is over and I wish so much I could turn the clock back. I have explored anti depressants and therapy and none of it has helped. Has anyone ever thought things would be better for their child if they were adopted? Not that this could ever happen unless you were a teenage Mother. Having a child is a blessing, and it is so unnatural not to feel the greatest love for your child- I know I received it from my parents myself so I just don't understand how I could have got this so very wrong and I didn't know myself. I know it's utterly disgraceful and for most Mothers unbelievable but I really don't know what to do. Does anyone else feel this bad? I feel so guilty and sorry for my daughter but I desperately wish I could return to my old life. I find the practicalities and responsibilities of parenthood daunting and am like a Bridget Jones messy untidy childlike and it feels really tough rather than feeling you do whatever you can for your child I am not enjoying all the different stages which other parents understandably love. I have lost my confidence at work as I work 3 days a week so am out of the loop and I can't enjoy the days I have with my daughter- can't get things done, can't manage to look in anyway acceptably normal and groomed and be organised, tidy and practical. I'm also not at all interested in peppa pig etc. I honestly feel I am not cut out to look after another human being and it will get more demanding practically and financially as the years go on. I look around at all the Mothers I know and many of them have more children and a much more demanding life but they are motivated by the passion they feel towards their children. I really don't know what I can do to turn my thinking around and I've got to do it for the sake of my daughter. Does anyone have any advice? I just wish there was a way out of parenthood- can you believe it?
I've just re read my message and I realise how ridiculous it all sounds. I do realise that we all have certain yearnings of our life before and we can only just do the very best we can for our children as they absolutely deserve that and things will get easier.
Not ridiculous at all canyoubelieveit that is exactly how I felt for quite a while but it is SO hard in the early years. Like you I feel unsuited to motherhood and like I am no good at looking after another human being (I should have known, never was good with pot plants or pets!). I thought I had ruined my life.
HOWEVER at one Year I felt a massive relief and now DD is 3.2 it gets better and better.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Does anyone know what happened to Zahora? Because her posts made me cry, both for her and her poor little son. I had a mother who displayed similar behaviour to that which Zahora detailed on here and it screwed me up big time, to the extent that I put off having my own DCs until my late thirties (yes, Liz Jones hates me ) because I was so terrified of doing the same to them. (Luckily, so far I seem to be doing OK.)
Fishandjam - Why don't you pm her? If she responds you will know she is still on mumsnet.
I hope she is ok, if you look at her last posts in March there is a concerning one.
I have been desperately searching the Internet on whether or not to have a baby and thankfully came across this thread. Thank you all for sharing your experiences on such a taboo topic.
I have just turned 40 and am STILL on the fence about whether or not to go down the motherhood track. I was never one of those girls at school who dreamed of getting married and having kids but rather threw myself into my education. 3 degrees and a phd later I feel I have accomplished my educational goals and now wonder whether I should have had children. I have frozen my eggs so children are still a possibility and while my work is fulfilling I fear I may be missing out on the joys of motherhood or rather the joys of loving someone so completely. I also think about how I may feel when I'm old and don't have children to love.
This thread has been so enlightening as I confess I have had very little to do with children. I really have no idea what motherhood would be like. However, I have been starting to feel that life may be empty without children and I am struggling to make the decision either way. Either I accept children aren't for me(and make peace with this and move on) or go through the ivf process. I am not married so would be seeking a sperm donor and going it alone.
At the moment the question that pervades my every waking moment is is it better to have kids and maybe regret it or end up regretting never having kids at all???
forty, just seen your post. If it's any help, I got to age 35 pretty damn convinced that I didn't want kids. I'd never had anything to do with them, and felt I'd be a rubbish mother. And all the mates I had who sprogged became so bloody boring afterwards...
But then I realised, after talking to DH, that while neither of us had a burning desire for children, we felt we'd regret it if we didn't do it. I was lucky that we had DS and then DD without too many problems.
I'll admit there have been days when I've longed to be without kids. But overall they've been wonderful - I now get why people have children. (And yes, I'm probably now just as boring!)
However, it's been, and continues to be, fucking hard work and I am full of awe at single parents. I know for a fact I'd have crumbled without DH. But you may be made of sterner stuff than me!
What I find is the thankless and tireless job....I feel as though I'm having the blood sucked out of me and its a constant battle. I may have two young boys but I have a husband too who relies on me loads to help run the business and do all the chores so in essence I have 3 children!
Not that I want the word "thanks" but its constant effort of trying to do everything right just having it thrown back in your face, crying when I help at homework wanting them to get on, hearing them moaning about going swimming, turning the TV on off on off, the screaming, shouting, whining and winning then the dread of spending the whole weekend with them, thinking what to do, when I do make the effort its painfully awful - wish I hadn't bothered.
Yet you have the mums who spew out the comments like "I wouldnt change it for the world', 'cant wait to spend time with them', 'boys will be boys', 'they are such a joy' endless statements I feel so distant to I can hardly break into a smile when I hear these...I actually want to say...'you having a laugh?' surely you must get more joy out of a hobby??? Honestly I cannot be more happier when they are away for the weekend (hardly ever) I'm a different happier person it is like a great weight lifted off me and I can be myself again and realise I actually do have a personality and I like myself.
I'm also battling with a 7 yr old who is pushing his cocky personality which again is a battle. I want to shake him to get him to accept that he has more than most, much more than I ever had, amazing opportunities, great healthy life endless and a 4 yr old who is wild, naughty and tempered. All makes for a cocktail of disaster in my head. Love it when strict hubby comes in and doesnt understand the stress, he escapes it, but has endless opinions of my failure to parent effectively.
Yet I am not a scholar, I have high expectations and valves yet it didn't happen and yearn to have that professional stance that successful self fulfilled people have. I feel as though if I had that then I'd have made my marque on the world and not be just another none person.
I am of the opinion that I respect the couples that decide it not for them as these are the couples we look up to now. Yet, if I didnt then I wouldnt feel womanly fulfilled and part of what life is about. There is no answer....its russian roulette!
It's the sheer bloody exhaustion of endless sleepless nights that's make me regret having a child. And the endless screaming tantrums when getting dressed or changing nappies or putting in the highchair or going out in the pram (and all the times in between). I used to keep in touch with friends. I used to have a happy relationship with my dp. I used to be in good physical and mental health. That's a lot to sacrifice.
i wanted to thank you all for having such an honest thread. perhaps i am an anomaly to find on this site, but i am not a mom, and am solidly on the fence about having kids for many/most of the reasons you touch on within this discussion. i never wanted them, growing up, but now that i'm late 30s, the decision is going to be made for me (if it hasn't already) and i find myself soul-searching to make absolutely sure i'm making the right decision for me. it's so easy to hear regrets from those who don't have kids, but it's harder to find people who will admit they regret having kids, again, for all the reasons you've discussed here. at times, one of the reasons i'd considered FOR having kids, is that it seems that most mothers end up not regretting it, or feeling that the payoff (love, sweet child moments, etc.) were well-worth the costs, in addition to feeling i'm missing out on a HUGE set of experiences by not being a parent. because for those of you who DO miss your non-parent lives, you at least DO have some knowledge of what it's like to have had the experience of your previous child-free lives - if i remain a non-parent, i don't get to experience a life with a child. :-) in any event, i want to thank you again for all the bravery and brutal honesty you've all exhibited here, and to let you know that even if your intent was to find some catharsis for your own frustrations, you've also managed to help others immensely in sharing
thank you again for creating such a safe, welcoming, supportive environment.
While searching for a little comfort from my living hell, I've found this thread. THANK YOU. My story is a little different...I've always wanted children and thought I had found the right man to have one with. Big mistake. While pregnant he did very little to help me through severe (for 6 months) morning sickness and what turned out to be a difficult pregnancy...always wanting to do something or go out somewhere I physically couldn't cope with. The birth was a breeze compared to the horrendous fights we had while I was pregnant. Constantly stressed doesn't even begin to cover it. And then for WEEKS he refused to help in anyway with the baby. And DD was a handful! Needless to say I couldn't believe that my dream of pregnancy and motherhood was shattered so quickly. I did my best to bond with DD while recovering and being on my own...husband off to his home country for a "becoming a father party" or constantly whining that the weather was horrid during his "time off work/holiday," instead of acknowledging what it really was, paternal leave or then back to work 7 am to 7pm. No bonding for him. It went on for months. Eventually I just broke down and we had to get help as I have zero family here. So these "off" days are like gems where I can feel a little like my old self. Tackle chores. Do laundry. Do something that isn't always bloody baby related. Needless to say at 2 DD is off to nursery for a few days so I can try to get some balance (of course without his help.)
Today DD is 9 months and its thanks to me (and a pinch of Gina) that our DD is happy, healthy and sleeping knock on wood at night. He did nothing. He grumbles at everything I ask him to do. Our rows are disgusting and leave me in shreds emotionally. It's gotten to the point where I filled out separation papers. I feel used, unloved, yanked around every time he gets frustrated with something and utterly exhausted having to constantly figure out what our lovely but demanding DD wants as well as soothing his ego and rages.
Although I've been depressed, it hasn't been about the baby per se...dear god I REGRET FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART having had one with him. I can't take anymore of the fear and criticism and yelling from him when all I'm trying to do is raise a happy, healthy child while trying to maintain a semblance of work and sanity. Sometimes I get so frustrated and angry with him I it spills out into everything I do, even playing with DD where I'm on the floor crying instead of singing her a song etc. I hate myself when I'm such a poor mother.
Where do I draw the line?
Millionprammiles....I totally agree with you...
Onaiis, I'm sorry you're having a such a tough time.
You should paste what you've written into a new thread in "relationships" and you will get good advice and support.
I still regret having my kids 10 years later. I keep thinking about the life DH and I could have had. Nice holidays, eating out, a nice apartment in central London. I would have had the time and energy for the things I enjoy doing. I feel the best years of my life have been given over to raising our DC's. And for me its not worth it. I know that is a shocking thing to say. I wish I was an aunty instead of mother. My children are great, its not them, its me. I hate being a mother. I hate being a parent. I hate the loss of freedom and choices and sacrifices I have had to make. I hate the negative effect on my physical and mental health. It hasn't overall been worth it.
I don't know.. Sometimes, definitely as it opened a whole can of worms for me re my own (emotionally abusive) childhood and ongoing v challenging relationship w my dm and dsis (who despite having no children nor bothering with mine us rather quick to criticise my parenting on the v rare occasions we meet! How dare she?! Sigh...)
I -like many- had no idea how relentless it all is and how inept and unskilled i would feel at coping with my dc as they get older. I don't like games, crafts etc .. I am impatient, self-absorbed at times as troubled so not the carefree, fun parent i had so hoped to be ie nothing like my miserable mother! Much as i navel-gaze to remedy the situation, i swear am often worse than my miserable mother!
Salbertina, yes it opened a can of worms/Pandora's box for me too of all the unresolved fall out from my abusive childhood. Until I had DC's I had somehow managed to bury my own horrible childhood so deep that I'd forgotten all about it and all the horrors I went through.
I don't know if those memories would have somehow resurfaced anyway had I had not had DC's or whether they would have remained buried for ever and I would have carried on in my state of blissful ignorance.
I am a total introvert and so find the constant noise and attention DC's naturally need utterly exhausting. I find the holidays especially difficult. Thank god today is the last day. I cope so much better during term time when I get 6 hours a day to myself on weekdays.
I can't work due to health issues caused by having DC's......like I said, for me it is not all worth it to have DC's. I'd rather have kept my good health and life pre DC's than have the DC's and the life I have now.
Sorry to hear that dimsum. Are they still quite early primary?? Wise person once pointed out that those of us less good in the early years may be v much better w teens, hope so!
I regret it now. My eldest of three, my elder daughter, got cancer and died after much pain and suffering. Now, our family is broken forever and despite my best efforts I will never be the mummy her two surviving siblings knew. So I wish I'd never had any of them. If I could go back in time knowing what I know now, what suffering they'd have to endure, I'd have never had any of them.
But no one can do that.
Oh God expat! Im so sorry! I only hope support and time to grieve brings you some eventual peace
It never goes away when it's a child. I know that from a lot of people now. You just live on and get used to it.
I can imagine, sorry never meant it could ever go away just hoped you might find some peace of sorts with time..
Salbertina, they are year 2 and 5. Yes am hoping I'll feel differently once they are teens. It is better now than a few years ago so we're going in the right direction I suppose. Just wish I could enjoy the here and now instead of wishing the years away until til they start primary, secondary, college, uni etc etc. They are great kids just wish I was their aunt or godmother instead of parent and my own life was unchanged.
Expat v sorry about your loss.
Life is hard.
Oh Expat I am so so sorry. I wish there was something more I could say other than you have my deepest sympathy. That is every parents worst nightmare.
This thread is fascinating and very emotional. I think you're all so brave for as a previous poster said, admitting that you wished you'd never had children is almost the last taboo. When I had my first, much wanted DS, I found the early months to be awful. I'd studied something called 'Altered Body Image' as a student; this occurs when someone views themselves differently (and negatively) after something changes about them, usually physically eg an amputation, a stoma, burns etc. I felt as though I had 'Altered Life Image'. Not only had my body changed, I'd put on weight, my boobs were mahoosive, I'd had a 2nd degree tear, but every facet of my life had changed - I now had this tiny baby to care for, my life wasn't about me anymore. Thankfully it did get better and I now have 3 DSs but I'll never forget those early months with my first.
An earlier poster said that those who don't feel that they're cut out for the baby / toddler years may find themselves to be brilliant with teenagers. This was certainly the case for a close friend of mine and DHs: she was a secondary school teacher who came from a big, close Italian family. She couldn't wait to have children and was also lucky enough to have a lovely caring DH. However, she hated, really hated, having a baby or a young child. She was on anti depressants, had counselling, the lot. She went from a bright, extrovert woman into a nervy shadow of her former self. But! She was fabulous with the so-called difficult teenage years! When most of her friends, who she'd put on a pedestal in the early years were tearing their hair out, she was the one with the answers. It was lovely and I know who I'll be asking for advice when my lot hit the teenage years.
I really hope I'm not rambling too much; I truly think that us mums are our own worst critics and I just wanted to share this story. I wish all of you / us the very best. It's bloody hard work this parenting lark
Xgris thanks for posting. Well I certainly hope I feel better suited to being a mother during the teenage years. I have a feeling I'll be much happier tomorrow once both of them are safely at school.
Maybe I'm just impossible to please. Because I just know that if I had not had children I would be convinced they were the answer to my unhappiness and be desperate to have them.
It's twice as hard for me as I have no family support as I went no contact with my parents and sisters when DC2 was born 7 years ago. That's when my abusive childhood memories resurfaced and I couldn't cope with seeing them as they were denying all the abuse.
I feel very alone with the burden of raising the children. DH is at work all day so its all down to me all day every day.
I think that having no family support makes it about a billion times harder. I know that it's a very over used but that 'it takes a village to raise a child' etc phrase is, imo, very true. My Mum is great but she's most definitely not the sort of fond granny who's available to help at a moment's notice. Having said that, I think the psychology of knowing she's only a mile up the road helps. I've got a few friends with either no family support because of the sort of reasons you say and also because their families are overseas. It must be very tough. Parenting is really hard! It's a 24/7 job. I love my children but I really had
bugger all no idea of just how hard it can be (and at times thankless). Do you have support (apart from your DH) in RL? When I was struggling with DS1 I found our local Children's Centre to be brilliant. They also run parenting courses which I found really useful. They were a bit like a RL mumsnet as it was always small groups and a 'what's said here stays here' ethos. The one I go to is in SE London if you're anywhere near? I'd really recommend it!
xgris yes it does take a village to raise a child. So true. I don't really have any other support in RL. Nobody I could admit all this to. Four v close friends don't have DC's for various reasons so have no idea what its like. Other friends with DC's just don't seem to find it as horrendous as I do. Usually they work part time at least or study which I can't do due to my health. And everyone has some sort of family which even if far away can provide at least telephone or psychological support.
I'm more towards SW London than SE although I could travel.
I feel exactly the same way as Zahara in that first post. I hate having children and I regeret it. And I don't feel guilty in saying this either I have spent years educating myself and then getting jobs where I had success and respect and now I am simply doing laundry and washing dishes like a brain-dead Zombie?! I love the kids and I always put their needs before mine and I never tell them I regret having them as they do not deserve that, I treat them with the same respect as I would give an adult colleague. But yes it has been a life limiting experience for me so far. I can no longer travel, buy clothes, eat decent food and my relationship with dh has been crushed by the lack of sleep and endless joyless servitude. We have no relatives or friends to help us during holidays or illness and we are feeling like we are just waiting to die as none of our goals are no longer achievable and we can no longer pursue any of our interests.
I am sure we are depresssed. I try to accept this during the saddest moments and try to get as much sunlight and exercise (walking around) to keep it in control but some weeks it is definitely a struggle. I had a Saturday job for a while and this really helped distract me so maybe worth trying to at least break the endless grey routine...
There isn't a day goes by that I don't regret having my children. I absolutely hate my life now. I was pushed into having a second child when I knew it wasn't for me, I had suffered with terrible pnd after I had my first and I just wanted my life back. I got pressured by relatives to have another child and it has all been a horrendous nightmare. I feel like my life is over. I don't work as we cannot afford the childcare and I would be working for nothing. I am totally exhausted. The worst part is that I feel like I am nothing now (or perhaps a slave of sorts) as I have nothing to show for all my years because my depression (pre and post babies) has totally zapped all my confidence in life, even though I am fairly intelligent and I got railroaded into doing things I didn't want to do (like having kids) by people who knew I was vulnerable and mentally ill. Somehow they all thought that the best thing for a mentally ill chick who could hardly love herself was to give her the responsibility of two children. So, I am reduced to cleaning shitty bums and making food. I feel like I am brain dead. This is no life really and every day feels like groundhog day. I have nothing in my future except years of this grind and then old age. And to top it all off, you can't even admit this to anyone (except online) as it is so taboo and all the other school mums are successful and love having kids. Isn't life grand!
Well, you're right about the taboo aspect, and yes, tis safe to admit it here!
How old are your DC? Have you had any help/support for your depression? Is there a partner/family to help and give you a break?
Shakey1500, my kids are young (5 and 2) and I have a little bit of support from my husband and mother (most of the grandparents live abroad). However, the support is mostly physical but they are also the ones who made me have another child, knowing how mentally ill I was so I don't really feel very supported by them. In all honesty, I don't think they really have a clue how I feel, even though I have spoken about it so much.
I am just so so angry with myself, I can't get over it. I go over and over it in my mind and am just so constantly angry and the worst part is that I feel like these relatives don't really care about me that much because at the end of the day they put their desires (for another child/grandchild) before me and my wellbeing. It was obviously more important for my husband to have this child than for me to be well and happy. I have been sacrificed for his wants. It's not even like he is such a great dad and I wonder why we did all this when most of the time he seems so bored and frustrated with them.
Recently the constant noise (high pitched screaming at 6am and constant fighting) has started to really get to me and I am starting to get very irritated by it and have started wearing earplugs all the time (which are not very comfortable).
I just don't know what to do. I don't want to take pills as I am not "depressed" - i am just stuck in a situation i hate and regret. Sorry I sound like an absolute cow, I am not, my kids don't go without, but i am just dying inside.
Babooshka- really feel for you...and you're not a cow, just suffering
Dont know if it helps, but the noise does lessen with age-2&5 is a handful!
Mine are older but one had SN and am struggling!!!! Dh rather in denial about SN needs, downplays it massively, our parents ditto. Overseas and zero SN support. Medication didn't help so trying to control thro diet but after 12+ years of oppositional behaviour ALL the time, EVERY conversation, feel so so weary and hopeless. Been dying inside most of our time here. My work refuge is gone. Oh what a pity party i am, sick of myself!!
Zahora, you said further up that you don't think you will ever return to work because your toddler is so clingy. I had a very clingy toddler but when I returned to work I found that his behaviour is far less clingy with his nanny and his nursery carers than with me! It's just when we are together he clings, whines, shouts, screams etc! Not always of course, but when he does it's quite frustrating, and I put it down to him resenting me for going to work (blaming self again!) but in reality it's best that he does spend time with others too as he isn't compelled to behave like he does with me, has fun, learns things...and I get to continue my 'old' life by having something of a career and having more balance.
Admittedly I haven't read the entire thread - but do you have any help? You need a break. Not just you, all mums.
Hi Zahora. Hope you're feeling better. I haven't read the whole post but completely empathise. I have a 3yr old and 5yr old and couldn't wait to get back to work after both. Even now I find their full time company at weekends extremely difficult. I say ' I love my children but I hate being a parent'. Try reading Kramer vs Kramer. A really good book for exploring the guilt and resentment associated with not being a natural mother.
Hi just pointing out that this thread is coming up to being 4years old. Have often wondered (i posted a couple of years ago and kept it on "watch") if things are any better/different for Zahora. Would love an update
This thread really has been resurrected...! Just wanted to ask BabooshkaBabooshka about working... I know you said you'd be working for nothing because of childcare costs, but perhaps it would be worth it anyway!? I work now because I know I'd suck at being a SAHM - my salary just about covers our childcare and my commuting costs, but its worth a lot more than that for my mental health... even if you just do a couple of hours a week... building a life for yourself is really important....
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Hi. I think it will get better as in a few years time you will be able to take him to galleries with you and have interesting conversations. What is worrying, however is that in the meantime you risk making him feel very anxious and needing to please you in case you become upset and angry with him and this could change his little personality. I would speak to your doctor as this could be a sign of an underlying depression. Try to leave the room for a few minutes to calm down if you feel angry with him. None of us are perfect parents and I know I have said some terrible things to my children that I really regret so take some time out as it makes you feel terribly guilty afterwards and leaves your son feeling frightened.
I've just read all this thread & it's the first time I've found some honesty about what it's like to have children. Just last week I found that I'm pregnant with my first child, I was on the pill & so it came at a complete shock, unplanned. I'm 25 and my fiancé is 30, we've been together for 3years and lived together for 1. We were going to get married next year & then try for a baby as we are currently just buying a house together. We like going on expensive holidays together like the Maldives this year & we honestly love the freedom we have at the moment. The pregnancy is a shock & I still haven't got my head around the reality of this situation that's been thrown at us!! I just don't know whether we should keep it or not?!?!! I am excited that we r going to go through this amazing thing together & we will adapt but I know that we r not ready for this yet. And after reading the above I am aware of the realitys of having a child & I know I'm 25 but I still feel young & I feel like the world is still my oyster, I only finally got to move out of my parents home a year ago & I wanted for me & my fiancé to get some more selfish years together first being young with no ties & I really really wanted to do more travelling. Does life really change a lot once you've had a baby? Does it really take away your freedom? I'm an only child so I've not experienced children at all so would appreciate someone giving me a realistic 'dummy's guide' to what life is REALLY like once you've got a baby.
reading this thread has lifted some heavy guilt off my shoulders, i do often tell my only firend that i regret having kids. i care about them and im protective of them, if they fall or get hurt - i hurt. so i know i love them. but if they wasnt here i wouldnt have to worry.
if i was to say it in RL im sure to get a flaming and ungrateful speech!
i had a horrid childhood amongst depressed unloving mum and no where around father. thought it would be clever to get pregnant at 18 and show my mother how to be a mum - how badly that back fired will always haunt me!
had second DS cos i didnt want my child to be lonely. when he was born i felt nothing, he wasnt for me he was for my son. i suffered PND and didnt bond with him until he was 1.5yrs old.
what made it worse was the useless man who they called dad got to keep his drink and drug lifestyle while i was at home thinking how to end it all.
so when i met some one new it felt fresh and with rose tinted glasses and promises of support i had DD..... it was like those years all over again! like round 2! i had no support, no family support from his just as before with ex dp. once again man carries on his luxury life while i hide away deep with depression.
fast forward 3yrs and im ruined! a complete mess. man lives with his mum, no support from either dad or family. poor kids who didnt ask to be here are stuck with a depressed mother and dull life that reflects my own. in a way i wish i never had them for their own sanity aswell as mine.
if i could rewind time then i can honestly say i wouldnt have kids.
This thread is scaring me about having children & is making me tempted to abort it whilst I've still got the chance
PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Within kindness to all posters on this thread it wouldn't really be representative of most people's views. I think the pregnancy board BFP threads would give a view from the other end of the spectrum.
Good luck whatever you decide to do
So that's what I have to say to get any sort of response in here?!! I'm dedperately trying to seek advice & confidence cos I have no one to speak to so I see this website but no one replys to my comment. I went to my gp last week & she was useless too...who do I talk to?!
And what is BFP?
Hi pregnant, where have you been posting? Can you post it again here?
Don't be scared by the comments on here. I have an 18mo and yes, she is very trying. Today I am ill and tired and right now she is watching her 3rd hour of TV while I lie here MNetting. I'm too exhausted to do anything with her and I am snapping a lot. This happens to everyone sometimes, and some months it happens a lot more often than not. Very young children are frustrating and it can be very hard to switch from work to mum mode, whether you are doing it for 2 days a week or 7.
But there are wonderful moments too. Amidst all the stress of today DD sat at the table and managed to eat with a fork for the first time like a big girl, and that, to me, was wonderful.
People on this thread are trying to be honest and say that the young child isn't the easiest and people can find it very hard not having what they have before.
Can you tell us what your situation is? What other boards have you posted on?
& it's the first time I've found some honesty about what it's like to have children.
People have different experiences, those of the posters here are valid and honest, but my own experience (lifestyle was similar to your's pre-children ) is just as honest and valid, but completely different. That's All.
Pregnant -yes, your life will change, and it won't have all the freedoms you previously had. It is hard work, and there are always moments you wonder what you are doing.
However, and this is THE most important thing and I can't stress this enough... the one thing you can't prepare for when you give birth is just how much you will love your baby, and just how much they will make you laugh and cry.
The hard work, the boredom, the night feeds, the endless episodes of Peppa Pig... they all get forgotten when your child does something that surprises you (they do something new almost every single day).
Depending on how you parent, you can still do the things that you want, you make your family work as you want it to. I have friends that haven't been out in a couple of years (out of choice), and friends that went away for the weekend 6 weeks after the baby was born. Babies are hard, but they are also amazing....
Hi Thurlow thank u for ur reply u will find my first post about 8 comments up from this one
pregnant, I too would not want to in any way lessen what these mums feel, I hope you will find that for a lot of us mums although it is different, hard knackering sometimes mind numbing it is also the best most rewarding life I was only married 3 months when I fell pregnant.DD is 30 and ds 28 and I've had the mosta mazing life. I've never been to the maldives and shivering watching cross country or netball or football etc isn't the same but not every mum regrets it.
Oh, sorry That was me skimming the thread as it was long and old.
I was actually in a slightly similar boat. DP and I were both about 30 and had been together 10 years when I fell pg by surprise, though it was only about 6m before we'd been planning on trying. It was a big shock to both of us even though it was just a few months early. We ended up buying a house, that I'd never seen, in a rush and moving at 34w pg!
Does life really change a lot once you've had a baby? Does it really take away your freedom?
There's no straightforward answer to these because while yes, life changes utterly and you have far less freedom than before, what matters is how much that bothers you. Some people will find they won't mind at all, some people will be very stressed by it. There's no way of knowing beforehand.
You can still go on holiday. You can still travel. You can still work. (Money allowing, obviously). But unless you have understanding family or a babysitter on the doorstep, you can't decide to nip down the pub on a Friday night. In your house, you can't sleep when you want to or even where you want to, watch TV when you want to, read when you want to, eat when you want to, spend time with your partner when you want to... It's a whole different world, and really it's not something you can describe just through an internet post.
This is an old thread so you are probably not going to get many replies on here. Maybe try starting a thread on Pregnancy (http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/pregnancy) for a better response?
I know this thread is very old, even though there's some recent comments, but I just had to post.
Like others, I wanted to thank the posters for being honest and brave enough to admit that you regret having children. This alone has probably helped me more right now than anything else I've tried.
My boyfriend and I broke up two weeks ago because he wants kids (2) and I have never wanted any. We've known this was an issue from pretty much two weeks into the relationship, but that early on you kind of figure there's a lot of things that can go wrong before that is an issue, especially when you're in that early giddy, first kisses stage.
(Un)fortunately, nothing else has gone wrong in the relationship. This is the best relationship I've ever been in, we love each other, and we want to be together. Hell, I honestly think if I did want kids he would have been proposing. But, as he put it when he broke up with me, we're not being fair to each other and he's ready to start a family.
The problem is that I had been debating having kids for months, because we're just so right together every other way. So I started to think about how we could do it to where it might actually be okay.
Even if I had wanted kids, I would never have biological ones - there's a lot of serious mental illness that runs in my family (mom had multiple personalities, sister is a bipolar paranoid schizophrenic that grew up in a mental institute after she stabbed me for the second time, etc.). I wouldn't want to play Russian Roulette with that.
I also know I would never get past the infant/toddler stage, as seems to be the hardest part even for those of you that wanted kids. I've always said my version of hell is populated with children under the age of 8 - the screaming, the dependency, the needing all your attention...I know I couldn't do it. I can't even stand the little buggers in the grocery store, let alone be stuck with one all the time.
So I thought maybe we could adopt a 5 or 6 year old. They would be young enough they could get over whatever made them be adopted at that age and be able to be our children, yet old enough they could feed themselves, use the bathroom on their own, and go to school.
I still figured I would probably be happier sans children, but it seemed like an okay compromise that I might even enjoy at some point. I can definitely see the appeal of having kids...sometimes.
Alas (or perhaps luckily), he wants biological children from birth, and I at least know that I could never do that. So we broke up.
But as we've continued to try to be friends, and I see over and over again how great we are together (if anything we get along better now), how we want similar things for the future (well, minus those kid things), and just miss him, I keep thinking about it and almost trying to talk myself into motherhood.
Googling brought me this thread on a night when I missed him terribly and was thinking it might be okay if he was a SAHD, and it's helped me not only to not do something stupid, like ruin my whole life for a guy, but is helping me to stop thinking we can work something out. We can't, and after reading these posts, I'm sure my compromise of adoption would have me miserable as well, as I worried it would.
Anyway, I know I'm not quite the flavor this was intended for, but thanks again for your honesty. Everyone tells me I'd be a great mother and I'd probably love it...but it's good to hear that I should trust my instincts.
We still miss each other, and I still wish there was some way we could work it out, but I now know confidently that this wouldn't be the answer.
That's so sad MidknytOwl, and I think I will be in the same situation in a few years. Although he says it won't break us up, I don't think I could bear to deny him the fatherhood he's always wanted, especially as all his friends are starting to have kids now. I suppose it's too much to hope that they will all tell him what a nightmare it is and he'll change his mind?!
I wish you all the best and hope you meet someone who feels the same way as you, when you're ready xxx
It's amazing for me to finally find people in my situation. My boyfriend is wonderful and I love being with him and feel like we could marry and be happy together for years and years. He wants kids (at least two) and I have always been doubtful about whether I wanted to have children at all. When we met it was something we discussed but we agreed to see how the relationship went and that we'd revisit it in a year or so. It's been 18 months (and I am 35) and I am no closer to knowing whether I want to have a child.
I have a great life, a worthwhile, interesting and challenging career with a lot of travel, and amazing friends I love spending time with. I constantly swing from thinking a child would be wonderful and that I could offer it a great life, to feeling like I want to scream at the thought of giving birth to a little person who is reliant on me for the next x years. Reading through the experiences above I feel like even considering having a child is crazy unless it is totally 100% what I think I want. But then I swing back the other way and I think that anyone who knows the loss of freedom, the boredom, the work and the exhaustion of having a child could not go into it without some level of trepidation? So maybe I am just being pragmatic and realistic in not feeling totally enamoured with becoming a parent?
MidknyOwl I fear I will be in your position soon; I am so sorry to hear what you are going through. I am glad that you feel confident in your decision, that's so important. I hope I can reach some surety at some point too.
Well, I know reading through the thread I loved any updates people had, so I figure I might as well post mine too.
This thread popped into my head again because I had this incredibly realistic dream (nightmare?) last night that I was 8 months pregnant.
My ex and I (naturally, because if I did ever end up in that condition, he would be involved) were at this kind of expectant parent conference. We were going to different sessions, making baby books and learning some of the basics, etc. Looking back on it, probably a really cool thing if it existed.
He was beyond ecstatic to be there, that we were expecting, and very attentive and supportive, kind of the ideal guy in that situation (which honestly he probably would be).
I excused myself to an out of the way bathroom...to pretty much have a panic attack. I was sobbing, clutching my stomach, knowing deep in my soul that this was the biggest mistake of my life, and wishing there was some way I could go back and change the decision. I felt the terror and panic overwhelm me as I knew I had just ruined the rest of my life and didn't know if I would be able to get through it, and berating myself for ever being so stupid.
Guess us breaking up was definitely the right thing to do, though I didn't really need a confirmation at this point. Very happy to wake up and find that a dream.
It’s been two months since I posted originally. My ex and I still spend a lot of time together – I actually spend more time with him and talking to him than any of my other friends. It’s definitely the strangest breakup I’ve ever had, and it was rough, especially in the beginning, but now I see him as a friend. It’s been long enough that I remember those things he does that weren’t perfect (since no relationship/person is), and I’m glad I don’t have to put up with that forever.
We are still incredibly compatible in getting along and long-term life goals, minus that kid part. I guess now we’re more like gay best friends, minus the gay part? Who knows, maybe I’ll be his best maid at his eventual wedding to a breeder. Maybe when he finally gives up on kids for being too old, we’ll end up back together. Either way, it’ll work out.
My point in posting again though is that, since it seems some of you are in the same situation, the breakup is okay. It hurts and sucks for a while, but it’s still better than making such an impactful life decision to keep us together. Yes, we were really good together and compatible, but now I see that as “I was able to find someone that wanted a lot of the same things I did in life, so there must be more of them out there that are even a better fit” than “I may be throwing away my soul mate over this one decision.”
You know what’s right for you. Trust yourself and know it gets better, whichever way it ends up. I know I second-guessed the hell out of it for the first month, but, especially after feeling everything in that dream last night, I know it was the right decision for me.
Good to hear that you are happy with the decision you have made. It is nice to read updates across the years
It's been a long while since I posted on this thread but it was nice to read other people's updates so I thought I should add my own.
I was the poster that had a child at 19 and when I split from her father let her live with him. Since I last posted I've actually focused more on my career and moved a few hours away. I see dd (now 7) every other weekend and half the school holidays. And for me, that's enough. I know I might get flamed for this, but as everyone else is being so honest I thought I should be too. I actually DO enjoy the time I spend with her now, because it's precious. I've always struggled with being a parent, and if I had fulltime care I know I would be sinking into depression by now.
Having children so young is so life-limiting, and to me it felt almost as if I was giving up my own life before it had even started. That feeling of unfairness is very very hard to deal with when you know this is it, no changing the past now.
These days thankfully I am able to feel like I have my own life, when I'm in-between visits with dd. I have a new partner and I'm enjoying my career and able to do the "grown-up" things I missed out on first time round. I know this wouldnt suit everyone, and I'm lucky that dd has a decent father (even if he was a rubbish husband) that is able to care for her. I know that it's also a huge social stigma for a mother to live apart from her child, and this is actually something I'm still working through myself. But it's been 2 years now, and I can honestly say I wouldn't want to go back to fulltime carer if I had the choice.
Thank you to everyone on this thread for being honest and frank, it's certainly helped me come to terms with my own feelings and situation.
Bumblebee123 no flaming from me. Everyone in life has their own agenda's and that goes for everyone on here too. People can flame if you are not validating their choices.
As long as your dd is happy, loved and secure who are we to flame and blame!
Thank you all so much. You've no idea how much this thread has helped. I found this after screaming at my 16 month old for spilling water from a glass I left in front of her knowing what she's like. I don't regret having her, I regret losing my freedom. I'm a SAHM through my own choice as I despised the job I had. But I'm not cut out for it. She goes to daycare for 4 hours twice a week while I do a bit if work for a local business, and it's bliss. I look forward to seeing her again. But just as quick I can lose my temper. I love her to bits and she's the best in the world but when she's in a temper or testing the boundaries I genuinely feel like I'd gladly hand her to my DP and go. He's great with her and understands so that helps too. I feel I can cope so much better after reading all your stories. It'll help me have more patient to know I'm not alone.
Been a while since I posted on this thread, I find myself coming back to it for encouragement when I'm feeling particularly miserable.
Lots of posts have struck a cord. Thanks to the poster who pointed out that being utterly miserable for a reason isn't the same as depression. I don't think I'm depressed but dp seems to want to attach that label to me. I guess it's easier than accepting that I regret giving in and having a child, that its made me very unhappy, that its destroyed a relationship that meant everything to me but that I'm just trying to get on with it.
I recently posted elsewhere about feeling dp and i needed time away from dd and that we had only had 4 days away from dd this year. Lots of people posted that 4 days was a lot and that they hadn't left their child for years. That thread made me feel like an outcast. This one doesn't. Thanks for that.
Ps hope Zahora and others are ok.
It's really good to see that people still watch this thread and to see updates. I'd like to hear how Morriszap is getting on. And Zahora of course.
For myself, DS is now 6years and 3months. A long way from my thunderbolt moment. I think the feelings of regret have definitely lengthened and wonder if, for me, it was a "baby" thing. As in, I find babies mind numbingly boring and toddlers extremely challenging (even though to be fair, DS was a dream compared to
most some I've seen)
I was talking about it to a work colleague t'other day and said that, when I look back I can't believe I actually came through it. I hardly recognise the stressed, resentful, bedraggled, utter mess person that was me.
I work FT time now and time is at a premium most days. DS mixes between DH's shifts, school, Nanna and Grandads. It was useful (by default) that he spent a lot of time with various people when he was younger. Automatically accepts when we say he's staying at Nanna and Grandads.
One thing I will reiterate though is that whilst some people may think that 4 days away is a lot, it's mainly because they're probably jealous. Grab any opportunity to have time alone I say
Much love to all
This was a very interesting article, which reflects my own feelings very closely (but without the IVF element).
I cried with relief when I read this (relief that I'm not alone), and with gratitude that the writer went public with her story. Claudia Connell, it sounds as though you went through the torments of hell trying to work out what you wanted, and that you went through such high levels of uncertainty and anxiety on your own. My heart goes out to you. You went through so much. ((((hugs))))
Hi, I can relate too. I hate post natal depression which didn't help, as I desperately wanted my old life back. Like others have suggested, it was going back to work that turned it around for me. I found a good nursery for 2 days, hubby adjusted his hours to stay at home 2 days and my mother in law helped out one day a week and I went back full time. Being a SAHM was never going to be for me. I can also relate to the anger you feel, again this can be a sign of depression. Keep up with the citalopram, it can take up to 6 weeks to start working fulling. Join a gym (with a crèche facility) to get some time back, meet up with friends in a coffee shop or pub that has a children's play area (we have a soft play cafe in Bristol with CCTV so you can watch them
Play from further away than you would normally and enjoy a hot coffee and a natter with friends). Start going to mums groups. I made some Lovely friends there who when I returned to work kept including me in their nights out, where children's talk is not allowed....
My son started school this September gone, it's not been an easy 4 years, but we have now started tomgontonmuseums together and he will sit quietly in a coffee shop with a colouring book when I want to meet a friend, but in all
Honesty, now I am not with him every minute of the day I am finding I really enjoy spending time with him, and yes I love my clever boy with all my heart, something in the beginning I wasn't sure would ever happen xxx
To all the brave and brilliant women on this thread who have wrestled with a similar dilemma: I'd appreciate it a lot if you could read to the end. I don't know what I'm doing and I'm in a state of complete despair.
I am seven weeks pg, but very ambivalent towards the pg. I know that to have a baby, you should really want one. And I'm not sure how much I do. I am forty and have no other children, so at this point I think I have to accept that I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't. It's going to be difficult either way; with either course of action, there will be hardships and loss and regrets. But this still doesn't help me to know what to do.
My situation is complicated by the fact that I am 40; dp is almost 60. But hey! at least I have a dp, right? Lots of people go it alone at this age.... the other factor that doesn't help is that there are no aunts / cousins / grandparents / brothers / sisters, etc in our town, so we'd be dealing with all childcare on our own. My family are miles away. His family are grown / scattered / dead, etc.
I love playing with babies and small children, and I have a nephew who I adore. But I've never spent more than 48 hours in sole charge of a tot. THe idea of it fills me equally with feelings
of excitement and horror. Now that I am pg, I constantly try to imagine myself doing the things I normally do, only while being in sole charge of a two-year-old. This rules out: taking a long bath; going running; lying here on Sunday morning typing this; browsing shops; taking a long time to cook something new; staying late at work because I feel like getting a bit extra done; basically, the extent to which it changes your life makes my head spin. It is intimidating me.
How do you all manage?!
I keep thinking to myself: you are 40. You've managed this far, without children. You haven't particularly craved them. You are doing okay now (after many and various difficulties, especially in my 20s).
But then I think: if you terminate, you will regret it because this is your last chance.
Although my desire to have kids has always been "Oh, it'll be nice if it happens", rather than "Got To Do It At All Costs!!". Now it is happening and if I'm completely honest, I can't say I'm over the moon. My initial reaction when I saw the faint line was, "Oh. S**t." I thought, "perhaps I'll miscarry, then the decision will take care of itself", but I don't think this is going to happen, somehow.
I'm an idiot and I don't know what to do. I have printed this entire thread and read it lots of times. The bits that resonate are
AND work! By this I mean it will be ME doing the packed lunches, book bags, getting kids up, ironing outfits, driving to school, and all other admin as necessary- all before work then it will be (you guessed it) ...ME picking up kids - oh an 18 hour day YIPPIE!!!
I do love DS and absolutely want the best for him - it hurts when he is upset. BUT - I still feel it would have been better for all concerned if he had never existed.
Of course, it's highly unfortunate to look back, with hindsight, and think "if I could live again, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't have children". And I would like to avoid this, of course. But then you have mothers saying "it was the making of me", "the most intense love affair ever", "the best thing I ever did". But I have no clue which way it will go for me. All I know is that I am full of trepidation. I am browsing the thread reminding myself of posts that resonate, but there are just too many, and it's so upsetting that I'm now crying.
fortyandstillunsure, canyoubelieveit and lastminute all speak very loudly to me.
But I just don't know if I can terminate. When I look at new mums with their babies, I feel jealous! But I don't feel at all jealous of older mums in their fifties struggling with hormonal teenagers, and knackered sixty-year-olds working difficult jobs to put demanding kids through university. And the baby bit is oh-so-transient. Perhaps I should focus on being a brilliant auntie to my three neices and nephews, and a good partner and loving daughter to my brilliant mum (who I haven't always had the best relationship with, but I do now).
I'm scared of the commitment, and scared of living out the rest of my years feeling as though I've missed something wonderful and as though I lack a sense of purpose. Plus, I would always be looking over my shoulder at that time when I was 40, thinking "what if...?". To be honest, though, I don't think an abortion would ruin my life. I had one at 35 and didn't regret it or think about it much. In the back of my mind I was thinking "there can be another time". But this time, there can't.
I need to take control, make a decision, and enjoy the rest of my life. Yet this is easier said than done. In some ways, getting pg at 40 is like a gift. I have had not a jot of sickness. So why am I so unsure what to do for the best.
Then there is the small matter of money: neither me nor dp have much money. He is retired and has a pension of £1,000 a month. I'd be on maternity. Not much to sustain three of us!
I should have known my own mind before getting pg. There is a counselling service for women in our position called 'ticktockcounselling' but I didn't know until I was pg. I agree with all of you who cite social pressures: threads like this are like 24 carot gold. Elsewhere, all you hear about are the supposed delights and joys.
What a mess.
No one can tell you what the right thing is for you.
I've never read this thread before and can relate to it to an extent. In my case I don't particularly like babies and never have. I always saw in my future that my children would be adults . I really don't understand people who say dd2 (22 months) is a lovely age I think she's a nightmare. Dd1 (4) gets better by the day and I can't wait until the little one is at least a year older.
A lot of the issues on this thread are dp/dh related I think. Men can take 50% responsibility if they want to or even more. Some are disability related, which I can't comment on. Some are guilt related, people trying to be something they aren't. I had a guilt phase with dd1 when I realised that I wasn't ever going to be an earth mother and its highly destructive. I felt bad that I hated mat leave, mother and baby groups, other mothers ! These days I aim for average which is reasonably achievable. (Most of the time )
At least with dp retired you can go back to work (I didn't last a full 12 months Mat leave, shudder). With 2 parents and one child you can have freedom it just needs planning. Presumably though you won't have that much support from grandparents which I find useful?
Brettgirl, agree that lots of issues are probably dp/dh related. If mine were more, or 100%, 'behind me', I'd feel steadier. But I think my uncertainty makes him uncertain. We de-stabilise each other.
We'd have no support from grandparents but have friends nearby. These friends have children who have grown up / left home, so they wouldn't help in quite the same way as grandparents. The bond just wouldn't be there.
I wish lastminute would reappear!
I was 38 when I got pregnant. Had also had a termination 12 years before without a jot of regret. Only a rare, fleeting thought once in a while along the lines of "He/She would have been xyz years old now" but not in remorseful way.
I think I may have regretted not having DS in years to come but honestly, who knows?
I can't lie, it's (and has been well documented!) bloody exhausting to be begin with and I'm not sure how I would have coped without support and a break every now and then. I mean, I'm quite sure it's exhausting at any age but certainly more so being an "older" mum.
I'm not quite sure how I "managed" the first say, three years? It all seems a blur now to be honest. It has got better though, now he's a person not a ball of arms and legs.
I hope you reach the decision you feel is best for you [thanks
I had a horrible abusive husband and terrible pregnancy, because I was beat up, nearly every day. When my son was born I get a very serious psychosis but that time in my country nobody know about this.
My son was a problem child all his life. Sometimes he was lovely but most of the times he lied about everything. I divorced and I find a love of my life, we brought him up together. We gave him everything love, care . I was a full time mum I tried my best, and my husband did the same.
When he was 15 we find out he has schizophrenia. He did not take medication, because he lied to the doctor too.
year later he started to use drugs, when he was 18 he moved out. I cooked for him, cleaned his home did everything, I begged go to rehab.
He did not go. he committed suicide when he was 19.
I blamed myself because I lost my temper so many times, I wanted to die too.
This happened very long time ago.
He gave me so much pain and suffer, I got cancer, even doctors said caused by the stress all the time.
Now he is dead, I miss him, but the same time I got my life back, and don't suffer any more. I loved him and I hated him .
I still don't like children definitely not babies. I am not want to be alone any babies because I fell the urge harming them. I was under psychiatrist care for 13 years, but this urge never disappeared.
I am OK now, all my friends are childless.
I think because when I was sick after childbirth I get damaged forever because I did not get any help.
I hope my story help someone who thinks for herself she is a monster. No, she is damaged, she need help. And if she feel she want harm a
baby or child, never get friends with children, don't babysit etc. and she will be OK.
I found this thread by chance today when i did a google search for 'i hate looking after my daughter'. I am so glad that i am not alone in having these feelings. I am 48 and a SAHM of one. Feel so wretched and ashamed for having such negative feelings. It has got better since dd started school and i have time to myself. It would be great to have a nite out with someone like me who struggles with motherhood. Please pm me if you are in the liverpool area and would like to meet up for a drink or go to a gig (punk/rock/indie kind of stuff).
There is a gigantic con out there I think, about motherhood. It is just hard, hard, hard - especially with babies and tiny tots. Tiring, mostly boring and a huge sacrifice. When my dd was a baby I suffered raging cabin fever - I remember moving the TV into a different room to make life a bit more interesting. And I remember, when she was pretty much a newborn, wanting to go grocery shopping and being unable to, because of the cropping up of endless baby jobs or baby sleep. Finally managing it at 4.45pm. Awful. And is 'bonding' a myth? It took me a long time before I got to the point where I'd have felt bereaved if she'd just vapourised and disappeared from my life - I remember thinking at various stages - how would I feel if I lost her now - I kept realising, guiltily, the answer was 'perfectly OK'. It took a very long time before I knew something had changed, and I'd find it painful.
Some babies are easy, but mine was very very discontented.
My GP said, when I complained how whingey my dd was, that some babies just don't enjoy being babies - they feel frustrated because they want to do things which they physically can't! Which was something to hold on to.
My dd (grown up) is such a great daughter now. I am so very proud of her, and the terrific thing is, she loves me to bits as well.
There's the luck of the draw, with babies, I think. It can turn out well, or better than well - but many years of hard grind often come first.
People who decide not to have them, 'gain' - or rather, keep intact, many years of 'normal' life which babies and small children DO take away.
NOT having children is definitely a wise decision for lots of people.
Hi everyone, it has been reassuring and humbling to read people's experiences. I am desperately in need of someone to talk to about my experience of this. Firstly, I am so very lucky to have a kind, supportive and sweet husband who is a WONDERFUL father. I always was sure I wanted a BABY, but secretly wasn't keen on CHILDREN, but thought surely it'd be different with your own? I became pregnant 1st time of trying and had a daughter who I adored looking after.
I was happy to stop at 1 but he really wanted 2, so as I'd enjoyed the baby bit so much, I thought it'd be OK. Son was born when she was 2y 9m. It's kind of gone continuously downhill since then, as I found it difficult to cope with two. I always preferred getting away from them whenever I could (work part time) and could only feel like myself when I was peacefully alone, which I craved. I feel my mental intelligence has been completely sapped and I feel (v guilty of this) utterly resentful towards them.
Unbelievably they are now 10 and 13 and my avoidance of them has reached new levels. The tone and pitch of their voices sends me crazy, their constant bickering and arguing, their mess, their answering me back, their physically taking up so much space in our small house, the cost, the constant need to help organise their lives. I'm doing such a crap job I cannot bear it and just try to get away and not interact with them at all as I fear I'm damaging them so badly. I am terrified of talking to my daughter about sex etc and so I never do. They all would be SO much better off without me and I am now hoping I will get cancer or something so they can be a loving family on their own. I feel so shocked at myself, but I genuinely can't help how I am feeling. I am only ever happy when I am away from them. I fantasise about becoming a missing person. I can't bear being responsible for damaging 2 people's lives in this way.
missmouse, your post was really honest. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Lots of people who've posted on here say words to the effect of "I really wasn't sure, but went ahead and struggled. It was grim at times... but now they're grown or growing up, it has got easier and I'm not so unhappy as I was". You are a bit different, as you enjoyed the early bits but are enjoying the older years less. What's interesting to me, is that you suspected that this might happen. You knew all along that you enjoyed tots and young children. You knew that a second child might be more than you could comfortably cope with. So I'm wondering whether your doubts made the situation come true? Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy?
But you ARE coping and I'm sure you are doing a good job and that you love them, and they you. My mother sounds a bit like you. She loves and enjoys her four grown-up children but I'm pretty sure she didn't not enjoy being a mother to pre-teens or teenagers. Your relationship with your kids may continue to be bumpy for the next few years, but it will all come good in the end, I'm sure. xx
I read this thread before my DS was born.
I read it again when he was here and I was in a psychiatric hospital going through the most horrific PND. I thought I'd made the biggest mistake of my life and the sheer terror that I couldn't undo it was indescribable.
I want to thank everyone who's contributed because it's getting the message out there for anyone reading that motherhood can be and for many feels like a jail sentence.
Parenthood, and motherhood in particular, has been fetishised in our society and we are bombarded with messages and images of perfectly happy families and earth mothers who love love love every moment of their children's lives. That a child can 'fix' issues in your life. That a child is the source of unending joy. That you must have another because, you know, you can't have 'just the one'.
We all know that's not the truth.
Thankfully I'm fully recovered from my illness now and I no longer think I made a mistake. I know there will be challenging times ahead but I can do it with one child.
I do think another baby would be a mistake, I'm not sure my marriage would survive it. We won't have another.
For me, returning to work was an epiphany. Looking back I was so unbelievably frustrated at home all the time, I was bored, I was impatient, I had far too much time to think I was a bad mother and I wasn't doing it right.
The only thing I can say to anyone reading who is suffering is to reclaim a piece of yourself. Whether it's through a job, a hobby, two hours at the weekend to window shop, meet a friend or do a class. I really don't believe it's good for a woman to be mummy 24-7 and on-duty permanently.
I promise you it does get easier!!! I have 4 children ages between 4-12 and I have time to read, visit galleries and lunch , all with my kids! It's lovely, a lot of the time
Hang in. I don't know anyone that doesn't find playing at the park and playgroups boring
I hope it gets better for you, OP, I really do.
Thank goodness I came across this thread. This has really helped me and also some of the threads have really made me laugh, I relate to all being said. Im just going to stop placing such high expectations on myself and admit that it is not what I thought it was going to be.
Well, my wonderful 5-year relationship has just gone the same way as MidknytOwl's, sooner than I expected. I'm devastated but also relieved in a way that he was brave enough to sit me down and call it a day now, because I pretty much knew it was inevitable.
Hope you are still doing well MidknytOwl. If by any chance you're in London & fancy a drink & a chat sometime, I shall be moving there soon!
Big love to all you struggling mums, I really hope it gets easier. x
I really hope it gets easier but if doing it on your own, I wonder how. Feel overwhelmed emotionally by it all. Never thought that I would be crying so much, cry at the good things and the bad things, it is an emotional roller coaster. I don't think that ever ends does it?
I look back at this thread periodically, and turns out the timing was good.
blackeyedsally, sorry to hear about your breakup. It sucks, terribly. Internet hugs to you.
One thing I'd say is trust that it was the right decision - I definitely questioned myself and second guessed the decision for months. I think that's just natural though, since you want back what you don't have, and that's the seemingly only thing keeping it that way. (And such an easy solution: just have a kid and you're back together. Never mind you're kind of throwing the rest of your life away for it.)
We've been broken up about 8 months now, and I can honestly say I'm happy with how things worked out. We still spend a very odd amount of time together, almost like the opposite of friends with benefits (celibate dating?), but he's more like my non-romantic life partner at this point, if that makes sense. Like having a gay best friend, I think. It's weird, but it works for us.
I also don't think I'd take him back if he changes his mind about the kid thing, if that gives you any hope. It's funny how someone you thought you could spend the rest of your life with can have so many flaws when you're not dating them anymore! He doesn't handle money as I would like, we disagree on some points that would actually be an issue with raising a child. Sometimes, he bugs the crap out of me. And he NEVER stops talking about his daughter. When he'll see her next, what she said on the phone, etc. Not only do I not care, but I can't imagine if we had had some of our own - he would never think about me, our worlds would revolve around the kids. It may be selfish but I'm much happier having my own life.
Hang in there, and as you told me initially, hopefully you'll find someone that shares your views, when you're ready.
(I'd love to grab a drink sometime...but I'm actually in America. Oops. Damn Yanks sneaking into your message boards. Should I end up that way on vacation, or if you end up in the west coast here someday, we should definitely hang out.)
Havent seen this thread in a while - I posted wayyyy up the thread under a different name. I talked about having a child at 17 and one at 29.
I just wanted to say to the newer posters that have added to this thread that yes I had a terrible time and have had to deal with my guilt. However, given the fact that you (and I) are even acknowledging these feelings stand us in better stead as parents. Surly having these feeling are normal and are best not to deny?
Also mine are now 23 and 11 - and truly are the best things I have ever done. I can sit for hours watching the 11 year old in amazement and I am so proud of how my 23 year old turned out given that her had a pretty useless mum.
I sometimes find myself wishing the time away as I find looking after small children so desperately boring.
I have a DS who is 3 and a DD who is 6 months, and whilst I love them dearly, the 3 year old knows exactly how to push my buttons and I spend an awful lot of time telling him off and occasionally shouting at him, which always makes me feel sad and depressed.
Some days I am so tired I just want to slump on the sofa, but you can't with a 3 year old who is bouncing off the walls and a baby who requires regular feeding (I'm BF'ing).
I drag myself to the park and stand around freezing, windy playgrounds and wonder if this is all there is to life.
What I'd really love to do is drop them off with a grandparent for a weekend and go off with OH and have some fun..I can't remember the last time we did anything or went anywhere that didn't involve kids. Unfortunately my parents are in their mid 70's and in poor health so can't help, and OH's parents live over 3 hours away, so we have no family support. I am so envious of friends who have younger, fitter and closer parents to take their kids off to the park or away for weekends.
None of my close friends have ids ether..it seems to have skipped my generation of friends a bit (I'm 40), so I perceive them as all still having loads of freedom and going out having fun etc, and I can't..selfish I know.
Anyway..thanks for this thread. It's very comforting to know that being an 'earth mother' isn't for everyone!
I wonder too how Baboushka and the original OP are doing now...?
Being as we're updating ....
I've also posted a couple of times on this thread and will keep it on watch forevermore I think.
DS is now six and a half. I struggled greatly in the beginning. I know I made the right decision to not have any more children.
Hand on heart though, I can honestly say that I no longer feel regret. Certainly not as I used to. Sure there are times where I long for some space but I realise this is within the realms of what (if I can use the term broadly without attaching any negative connotations) "Earth" mothers yearn for. I am fortunate to have family support childminding wise which means I DO get more than my fair share of "me" time (and with DH) and I'm conscious that if I didn't have that, I may still feel that regret.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is hope that feelings can change. I certainly never envisaged that it would happen for me. Not in a million years. Despite the relief, I will always acknowledge that the depth of regret I felt was very real, needed to be understood and that I wasn't a bad person for feeling that way.
As always, much love to all of you
I've got a six week old baby girl who I love terribly. However, having had PND after the birth of my DS three years ago, I am now starting to develop similar symptoms which is terrifying because it was awful last time. I was on Citalopram last time which helped but it was when my son was older than my little one so it wasn't a problem to give up BF. BF is going really well this time and I really don't want to stop but absolutely won't take any AD and BF at the same time. Feeling very lonely and isolated with no one to talk to so thought I'd post my very first ever message on MN to see if anyone had any other tips about coping with PND without AD. I'm starting CBT in 10 days time but really want someone to talk to or some informal help too so I don't feel so alone. Please help!! My babies deserve more than a depressed mummy.
Hello Madcat-sorry you are going through this-I'm just wondering if you might get more responses if you start a new thread or with a title referring to PND.
I didn't have PND so I'm probably not the best person to comment but I'm sure there are plenty of others who can help, but they might not see your post.
I totally failed to bond with DD1, and was diagnosed with PND just a few weeks after she was born. I took good care of her, but I was desperately grieving for my old life - Like you OP I loved my own company, enjoyed pottering about, novels, spontaneous weekends away with DH.
I felt all that I enjoyed in life had been taken away from me. I just couldn't adjust to having a baby, and felt wretched and resentful, and frankly scared all the time. I just wanted to travel back in time, and never have got pregnant.
The problem was then hugely compounded when I accidentally got pregnant with DD2, when DD1 was only 3 months old
The next couple of years were just a grey, exhausted haze. I don't remember a lot of it. My PND had lifted, and I had fallen in love with the DDs, but it was still relentless drudgery. I just did not enjoy it, none of it.
But, by the time the DDs were 3 & 4, life had improved such a lot. Slowly I found the time to actually enjoy a coffee and a few chapters of my book, while they occupied themselves. They began having proper conversations with me - and became proper people, with opinions.
Then they started school, and I felt I was really hitting my stride as a Mum. They could wash, dress themselves, get themselves a drink/snack. Life just got easier and easier.
Nowadays, they're nearly 10 and 11, and bizarrely I sometimes find my self grieving for back when they were little enough to snuggle on my knee (both are now well over 5ft tall). They are getting more and more into their friends, and they often disappear into their bedrooms for hours to Skype their friends, or read...and I find myself missing them, and feeling a bit lost and lonely...yes, even though I could drink umpteen coffees and read as many books as I wanted, with no disturbances.
And, I simply cannot bear to think of them leaving home and going to university. I will encourage them to go, and wave them off with a smile, but inside a little piece of me will die, when they go.
After googling 'struggling with my children' I found this thread. And have spent the last hour reading through comments.
It's reassuring others find it hard and that it seems most people say it gets easier.
I think I started finding it difficult when I had to become a full time mum last year as my wage would not cover childcare. And now my husband works away through the week.
I have three boys, 6, 4, 3. For the most part they are well behaved, well mannered, thoughtful, eat well sleep well etc. On the flip side (mostly when at home) they fight, argue, whine - the little one once triggered can scream for up to two hours regularly (the health visitor is involved with this). The same routine day after day is busy, monotonous and wearing.
And I know this is just children being children and the typical life you have with children but I find it mentally exhausting and I find myself not enjoying being a mum most days. Most days my goal is just trying to get to their bedtime without resorting to shouting at them. And if I do end up shouting I spend the evening regretting it & wondering if I am somehow damaging them and wondering why I'm finding it so hard.
Also, I know really I have loving super boys, I can take them anywhere, feed them anything, put them to bed for 7pm and not see them until 7am. Which makes the guilt worse for not enjoying them.
It just feels too intense being a full time mum it feels like a constant battle and my thinking that makes me feel bad about myself and terribly guilty.
I think one of the problems is that women are expected to "have it all". Be mothers, have perfect bodies, have loads of friends, have the perfect relationship, go out and have a wonderful career, have loads of confidence and get up and go, have your own home etc. This is just not possible in this day and age. Everything is so stressful, so inconvenient and so expensive. Especially if you are living in London. What makes it worse is that so many mums are so snobby and competitive so if you haven't achieved one of these things (at least for appearances) you can feel really dejected, like you are not perfect. It's just so utterly draining and takes all the joy away from what used to be a natural thing.
What I found the hardness was the sheer relentlessness of it all - made harder by the fact I had not a single family member (other than DH) near me to help out. The first year of baby and toddler was the worst year of my life. All worth it now though to see my 25 and 23 year old making their way in the world.
Reading here has pinpointed what it is I struggle with. It is that it's relentless, endlessly relentless and it's the same relentless every single day, same routine, same mess, same fights to referee, same stories to read, same games to play.
I also think this competitive keeping up appearances makes you feel like you're the only one to find it hard because no one else seems to. I have to admit I do to - because you admit struggle & someone (often good friends) walk off with a spring in their step after saying in so many words they aren't struggling & listing how it's harder for them!!
Thanks. I can really relate to a lot of what been said and realise that I am not depressed, just not happy with my current situation.
It really is taboo to say anything negative about having children. If I am slightly down with one 'friend' who has spent the deposit for a house on IVF, I am immediately reminded of how lucky I am. Yet I have to keep stum when she says how much she needs her week long yoga retreat in Turkey. I have had a friend reshuffle since having kids.
I think for those of you considering kids I would say
If you are getting on a bit (I was 40 when DS was born and 42 when DD was born) and in any way ambivalent then don't do it. Try and ignore the pressure or deal with it outright, take the steps to ensure you don't stay in a relationship when DP/DH changes his mind about kids, find something else meaningful to fill your time etc. I'm not sure that I regret that I had kids but if I had my time again things would be different.
If you do go ahead make sure you have done your maths. Full time child care for one child can be covered by a £20k salary with a bit to spare. It costs over £2k a month for two.... And when you have moved to the sticks for a better quality of life, £35k jobs in the charitable sector are hard to come by. I didn't plan to have kids so didn't plan my career. DH earns enough for us to live on but there's nothing to spare.
Two kids also seem to be sooooo much more difficult than one so if you are in any way ambivalent about the second don't do it. Having said that my 9 month old DD is gorgeous with a sunny nature (she didn't get that from me) and seems to be an easier baby than her brother. But I am sure when he is 4 and she is 2 he will be the easier child.
Don't have preconceptions about how you will parent or let anyone tell you what to do. Have confidence in your gut instincts. Breast feeding past 6 months, baby wearing, bed sharing etc have helped me bond with children whom I think I love but have no overwhelming feelings for. For other people bottles, schedules and sleep training work as they enable them to return to work and have a break.
It is very difficult when grandparents are too old/far away to be actively involved, and the local mums I have bonded with are those that work or who will be going back to work shortly so limited opportunities for helping out with child care to give each other a break. It feels selfish to walk out the door for run as DH walks after a 12 hour day but if it means I have more patience then it isn't selfish. I personally have used baby and toddler groups as a chance for break as sometimes someone will hold the baby and the toddler can play independently, it just depends on how he is feeling. Often someone will make me a cup of coffee as well
Good luck to us all. This thread has made me realise, once again, that things are not so bad for me
Also, what people don't understand is that if you have children and realise it was a mistake, there is no going back, you have to live with your decision forever and it is totally taboo to admit you made the wrong decision in rl. If you take a job and it is wrong you can change jobs. If you buy a house you don't like you can sell it and move away. With children it is a one way decision which you can never reverse. Such an important decision (for mother and child) should come with a lot more warnings and real facts, not just the glossy media presentation and the "keeping up appearances" that we currently have.
Its funny how you never love your children so much as when they are sleeping! I mean I love my DS, don't get me wrong, I have always loved him in a dutiful functional kind of way, but I have never enjoyed being a parent until recently, and even now occasionally its really tiresome...
Known affectionately to me (or not) as 'being under house arrest', it was horrid being a SAHM- just mind numbingly boring and endlessly tiring, like an 18hr job with no pay and no one to talk to, then in the other 6 hours you get to do further housework etc and maybe squeeze a bit of a snooze in here and there.
When you're a single mom, you might as well be in solitary confinement, but its even worse because you add total sleep deprivation, slave labor and mental torture that you cant share with a significant other...it comes to something when you have seen all the episodes of peppa pig (my favorite being the one where they go ice skating) and the thing you look forward to is an episode you haven't seen, and that you have managed to learn basic sign language courtesy of Mr Tumble.
I was never maternal, people even used to comment how odd it looked if i held a friends baby (normally at arms length hoping it wouldn't puke), i have no idea why I decided to have a baby- it seemed like the right time I suppose, financially stable, engaged (although he left not long after DS was born) blah blah blah.
Turns out I'm a crap mom, not in the basic needs sense, but in the actually liking children sense. I mean if it were Neanderthal times then I'd be the most awesome mom ever- like if it were about survival of the fittest then my offspring would be chubby feral survivors.... but its not. Its a day and age where even the mere sniff of not being totally grateful and in love with motherhood gets you shot down by the mummy mafia. Those who chirp on about how fulfilling and meaningful having children is and who do arts and crafts 8 hours a day, and bake cakes with perfect princess daughters like something off a bloody flora advert.
I had post natal depression, which sucked, I dont think i really loved DS with affection until he was about 6 months old thanks to that, but i was a good mom in the functional sense (keeping things clean, keeping DS fed and watered, changed and comfortable and happily dribbling at the tweenies) for the first 18 months, it didn't get really bad until the 'terrible 2,3 and 4's kicked in, along with speech, potty training, breaking things, tantrums and the words 'no' and 'why'.
In hindsight i think i got off pretty easy as my DS was a pretty good child looking back and having experience now of other peoples kids who are far more 'naughty' than my DS was, or friends with kids who have disabilities requiring constant care... but at the time, being an exhausted single mom with no support network and no outside contact from grown ups other than my parents or family maybe once or twice a week, i used to think about walking out all the time and leaving DS with his dad or with my parents....I mean men just take off all the time without much recrimination, so why couldn't I?
NO IDEA...god i wanted to....I wanted to SO badly. I used to fantasize about running away and working in bars in greece or on cruise ships etc all the time, but there was just something that stopped me, I don't know if it was some deeper primal in-build mother love/instinct or just plain society based expectation and guilt.
I used to get to the point of packing my bags then I'd have a flash forward into how much I could screw him up emotionally. See his little face understanding that his mom didn't love him. To think I hadn't loved him enough to stay, to think he wasn't worth the effort, to think he could live his life feeling like he wasn't worthy and where those feeling of self loathing/guilt/worthlessness might take him. The kind of life he could end up living if I weren't there to keep fighting for better for him(cue tears and floods of guilt). Bloody awful times they were. It was just a cycle of misery- frustration- resentment and guilt.
It started getting easier when he turned about 5 and started to understand the world a bit better, and being more independent....I think it also helped that I started working full time about the same time.
He's 8 now, and I can say now that he's brilliant 90% of the time- he's my little mate and has a great personality and I love him to bits, I miss him now a little bit when he goes to his dads or grandparents, which is a relatively new experience as I've always enjoyed and craved my child-free time and as long as his safety was assured I'd go and have a 'single and childfree' 48 hours once every 2 weeks- where I could pretend I had my life as it was pre-DS and go back to real life on a sunday evening.
Having been just me and him for so long now, I cant imagine my life without him (wait that's not true- I imagine my life without him fondly and wistfully for 5 seconds, then realize there's only so much clubbing in Day-Glo bikinis a woman can do at the age of 34 LOL).
Its a pain in the bum all the rushing about and organizing and planning that you do when you are trying to 'enrich' your child's life, all the driving to cubs/football/cricket/parties/swimming lessons/karate/play dates...god it just goes on and on and never ends, kind of like the laundry pile created by afore mentioned extra curricular activities. I am convinced I could personally captain an elite squad of Navy seals with my military timing and planning precision.
When i look back i feel massively ashamed and guilty about all the times i resented him and the life i chose in having him, yes it was hard, yes it was tiring and thankless and exhausting and at times soul destroying. Yes I felt like I had lost who I was, and that the only thing that defined me was being a mom, that I had given up my life for 18 years.
But truth be told I was selfish and immature and not particularly nice before I had him- I realize that now. He has taught me to be truly selfless, to make sacrifices when I REALLY don't want to, to think always of someone else's future beyond my own and having him has in general made me a more patient, organized and independent person than I would ever have thought possible.
I still wear my 'bad mom' t-shirt every now and again (metaphoric of course) and scream and shout at him over small things that needn't be screamed about...and he knows to give me a wide berth on those days... but when I see the kind, sensitive, helpful, mostly polite and thoughtful boy that he is becoming already, I have hope that despite everything, despite all the negative thoughts and misery and despair i felt in the early years, and all the crying in the shower, and all the wishing I'd never had him, that he is, against the odds, going to turn out to be a lovely young man....and it absolves me a little of the guilt.
That if our children are reflections of us as parents, I cant be such a truly awful terrible incapable mother.
TBF I think I got away really lightly with him- cos he's more of a moaner than a rebel, and aside from ongoing (grrr) annoying nightly negotiations about why he has to go to bed at 8.30, he's pretty low maintenance.
I never thought i'd find myself saying i wouldn't change having him...up until the last couple of years i was still saying i regretted ever having kids...in fact i could have been voted the person most likely to build a time machine and go back and change everything so I could carry on clubbing in furry boots and run away with the circus... but now the hardest times have passed, I wouldn't change him.
....still there's the 10% of the time when I cant wait for him to grow up and sod off lol.
Hugs to everyone feeling crappy...all I can say is hopefully it will get easier for you like it has for me. And don't feel guilty if you aren't mary poppins- the mummy mafia will manage with one less member. xxxxxx
Honeybadger - respect!! What an amazing, refreshing, honest post.
Congratulations to each and every one go you who's posted on here - I'm serious, you are all heroes for being so honest!
I'm 35, divorced, and in a (pretty crap) relationship. I don't have kids, and all my life I've been fold that basically I'm not fulfilling my purpose.
One friend told me that the love between me and my (ex) husband wasn't as string as the love between her and hers, as they had a kid. I'm so sick of hearing about how ' I don't know heat love is' etc etc, because I've not had a child.
I'm not maternal - well, not with babies. I adore dogs, I love older kids, and am always drawn to help and support older kids that have problems - but babies just don't do it for me at all.
I'm so sick of having it rammed down my throat that I MUST have children to understand the meaning of live and life. I've always secretly been scared that if I did, I'd hate it/regret it/be awful/flings screaming baby from a window - and your postings are a JOY to read, so refreshing and honest.
THANK YOU LADIES! You all sound fabulous. Xxx
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I am so glad I found this thread. I too regret having a child. All my time energy and money goes to a child that I regret. It makes me angry. I cant go out or do anything without her either crying or throwing a fit because Im leaving her. All I do now is work come home and take care of her. Thats it. I do not even get to shower or use the bathroom by myself and if I lock the bathroom door she screams and beats on the door until I open it.
I have a 3 yr old DS who I adore but I absolutely regret it. I'm a single mother, completely not through choice, I was engaged & my baby was planned & I desperately wanted him but where I'm alone & I have no family (my parents died years ago), I find the whole thing a lonely struggle.
I could ramble on for pages but basically I never chose to do EVERYTHING for my child & I never ever said I could be both parents, breadwinner, etc, so to be dumped in a situation I find almost impossible is hard. All I seem to hear is how you have to be able to do it all & smile about it, so I feel useless that I can't be like that.
I regret the circumstances not him but it plays such a big part I really wish I'd not had a child (& this comes from someone who previously had an infertile partner & did 8 yrs if IVF treatments!), I feel guilty too, he's so lovely but me being so worn out & feeling like a failure will effect him.
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