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Does anyone else regret having children?

(387 Posts)
Zahora Mon 29-Jun-09 02:39:04

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?

Hero1callylost Fri 28-Aug-15 23:10:09

Heard about this report on the radio the other day -

It's so important to have a support network.

Hero1callylost Fri 28-Aug-15 23:06:07

Shakey yes thank you, that helped - you understood exactly what I didn't express very well! I get what you mean about acknowledging it. I was just reading another thread about "recovery" meaning acknowledging that depression is here to stay. I guess in a way it's all about working out what techniques work for you - which takes experimentation and hard work - not always something you can focus on in the midst of family life. I find the concept of acceptance difficult - I'm pretty sure my mum had depression (we're not close enough to talk about it) and there were some parts of my childhood where it was truly awful living with her mood swings, so I've spent my life wanting to be the opposite and to NOT identify with that behaviour. It's difficult to admit that maybe that is part of me and that it will always be lurking.

Sticky I think it just helps to have a ramble about it sometimes smile

I came across this article, I identify with a lot of it.

stickytoffeeface Thu 27-Aug-15 23:41:59

My dd is 7 months old and I adore her. Love her completly but I can't believe how she can make me so happy and so unhappy all at the same time. My life is so different, I'm now the kind of person who wondered whether there was snot or food on a cushion but whatever it was I could turn the cushion over! I've never been hugely social but at least I could go out when I wanted. Now I am so lonely - everyone is at work! I can't just pop out, jump on a bus, drop by the gym, go back to sleep in the morning, go out for a glass of wind that turns into two bottles...

Everything about me has had to change which I expected to happen but I never realised to what extent my life would be different. Its so refreshing to read what people have written here as I find it so difficult to put into words but have been sure that other parents must feel the same. Some days I do wonder if I made the right choice. I have never been at all maternal, never 'got' babies, but I realised I did want a family and my dh felt the same. We thought about it, we made sure we both wanted it and were prepared for the change to our lives but its such a shock that first day you're sat in the house with just you and your baby. I am amazed at my love for our baby and she delights me every day but I hate the repetitivness of each day. I hate when I make a plan and it doesn't work out because she's having a long nap.

The thing is, I think I would like more children (thats if we ever manage to start having regular sex again) and sooner rather than later as everything has already changed. I know adding more children won't do anything for my quality of sleep! But my life is now about children, what difference will adding a couple more make, I'm in it now.

Sorry, I know a lot of this has just been rambling!

gg1234 Thu 27-Aug-15 00:35:09


I think it an old post .But still I want to put my views .I love my lo to heart.But I seriously regret being a mum .Its hard and it a job of loads of patience .I have lost my old life and the FREEDOM I had in my life .
My hubby hasnt lost much of it .So thinking this I ended on one kid only .

leftfork Tue 25-Aug-15 17:24:35

Re: meeting up - I'm London based and would welcome the opportunity to meet up.

I posted on here perhaps 3 years ago and have followed this thread since then. It's a supportive place to come on the really overwhelming days. I have to say that things have got easier as the kids have got older (both at school now) but the underlying feeling of regret is still there. Contrary to some folks here, I think I have found it easier having more than one. They get on really well and are happy in each other's company which helps A LOT. That said I realize that I am lucky that they get on really well.

Candlefairy101 Tue 25-Aug-15 16:23:50

Wow I've just finished the whole entire thread.... Only took me four days lol!!

I found it really interesting reading some true options on motherhood and not the butterflies and candy floss that a lot of mumsnet threads are due to the fear of being judged confused

I understand that's this thread has been going for years now and is love to hear how much or if your life's have changed for the better smile

Shakey15000 Sat 22-Aug-15 23:25:23

Hi all this is Shakey1500 with an extra 0 courtesy of Jeffery smile

Hero, fully recall the screaming days (even the silent ones).

Like you, I suffered from depression a couple of years before having DS. Actually, I prefer to say "I suffer from depression" as in, to acknowledge it you know? Like you I don't take meds and manage it myself. And it certainly wasn't easy in DS's early years. I find it easier to acknowledge it because it's easier to manage it that way. Deciding that depression would always be a part of me helped/helps enourmously. I understand what you're saying. Some days it was difficult to decide whether it was my depression making everything thing seem bleak OR just the equivalent of a normal, functioning stressed out mother's "bad day". I found that attributing a bleak day to something mundane like "I'm feeling like this because of lack of sleep, no more" or "because I'm stressing about that bill that needs paying". But for it to work for me I have to give the depression it's legs every once in a blue moon and have a duvet day.

Sorry, I'm waffling! Not sure if any of the above is useful in anyway, but no, you're not alone smile

Hero1callylost Fri 21-Aug-15 13:05:02

just joining this thread to watch. I had a bit of a flip out this morning - had this overwhelming urge to scream all my frustration out so screamed into my hairdryer at 7am this morning and gave my DH and DS a massive fright and they came running through from the next room. My throat hurts. Really feel tipped over the edge lately by not just parenting and toddlerish behaviour (DS is going through a hitting mummy phase which is wearing me down in itself) but everything that goes along with it - money worries about childcare costs, worrying we're putting pressure on the only member of our family who can help us as she's slightly ill, a few job issues being stressful.... it all seems so much lately and I struggle just keep a basic household routine going. So I just need to lurk to know it's not just me...

I'm questioning the line between parenting being stressful and everyone struggling to some extent, and where that turns into mental health issues. I have a history of mild depression though have managed without any meds for the last couple of years, but just feel like parenting is tipping me back over the edge.

There are so many moments of utterly glorious shining bright joyful moments in parenting that keep me going and keep me waking up wanting to try again today, but the relentlessness of it all is just making me cry a lot lately.

thisisnow Wed 19-Aug-15 21:46:34

Thanks Borrowed it is good to know others have coped

borrowedflat Mon 17-Aug-15 20:42:52

thisis I've just been re-reading this thread because it comforts me and wanted to reach out to your post. Please remember this thread is written by parents who are struggling, and that is not necessarily the only thing they (we) think and feel. I was very depressed when pregnant and got excellent counselling through the hospital, which also lasted 2 years after my dc was born. If you haven't already, please talk to your midwife about getting some support.

Cluesue Mon 17-Aug-15 09:02:25

The guilt is the worst bit for me,my DC didn't ask to be born but I regret having them so much.
I'm living day by day just waiting for them to grow up and leave,it's no life for any of us,doing it alone sucks too,although it wouldn't make me feel any different if I had a Dh/DP.

Ifiwasabadger Mon 17-Aug-15 05:08:55

It's not a RL thing, you mentioned it in earlier posts and I was just re reading this thread (I like to, from time to time, when I'm struggling). 8 years old, bless him. Happy birthday!

I was also 38 when I had DD, DH is 46 now. Aside from the age thing the pregnancy was absolutely horrific (surgery at 15 weeks) constant pain and stress. I have a coil now so no chance of getting a bit drunk and forgetting contraception thank god. I'd love to be sterilised, I really would.

Thanks so much for all the support smile

Shakey1500 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:16:01

And I feel warm and fuzzy that my posts may have helped blush

It's permanently on my watch list as I can't bear the thought of other's feeling as isolated/guilty/regretful as I did.

Shakey1500 Sun 16-Aug-15 22:12:52

if Yes, he turned 8 this week, I assume I must have mentioned it earlier in thread? (it's too long a thread to check smile ). Else you recognise me in RL eek? One of my greatest fears is my son when he's older finding this thread and feeling shit, though hopefully he will read it all and see the turnaround <fingers crossed>

For me, I stopped at one child. I think there are two reasons entwined. One being that, at 38, and after horrendous birth, I couldn't physically go through anything near that again (I've now just had major surgery stemming from the traumatic birth) and second, the way I felt towards being a Mum.

So I was sterilised in the Nov after his Aug birth. Fortunately DH didn't want any more either (already had kids as well as our DS and he's older than me). I can't imagine being in your position. But you know yourself best and it is your body and mental well being at stake thanks

Ifiwasabadger Sun 16-Aug-15 19:38:29

Shakey is it your son's birthday around now? I've lurked on this thread for years, your posts have helped me tremendously.

My DD is two and I'm just coming out of the fog of hating every minute of having a child. DH desperately wants another but I can't imagine anything worse. I fear he will resent me forever if we didn't have another but I just can't do it.

Shakey1500 Mon 10-Aug-15 21:37:06

AnnaM27 I know it's a while since you posted your question (April) but (for me) I've only just seen it.

I think "If you regret it so much, why don't you walk away" is a fair question, given the topic.

For me the answer would be-

1.Because the guilt I would have felt in walking away would be far far greater than the guilt I felt for feeling regret. And it was difficult enough living with that guilt, never mind any more.

2. Whilst I absolutely missed my "old" life, feeling trapped made me acutely aware of the other life, that of my son. And for all my yearnings, he was there. Looking to me for love, support, protection. And whilst I felt daily like launching various vases at the wall in frustration he needed me. Whatever version that was of "me". He didn't know. Had nothing to go on. Didn't care even. DH was away working most of the time. Who else would do it? And as I've often said, deep deep down, I did care very much.

I think all that find this thread care. I may have felt regret but it doesn't mean I could have left him either. thanks

Shakey1500 Mon 10-Aug-15 21:21:41

I kind of understand that pugh

My Mother absolutely put the fear of god into us about "getting pregnant before you were married". Very old fashioned of course but Ye Gads I used to shit myself when I was due on and pray for my period to come. Didn't help that I was never regular, so spent most of my late teens in a constant state of panic and drowning under pregnancy test sticks.

pughpughbarneymcgrue Mon 10-Aug-15 19:48:41

I'd like to meet if others are going to. I'm Hants/Oxon way but happy to travel. I am not pg and at 41/5, unlikely to be. But still I dither. Still I would like to be - kind of - until my period becomes due - when I become scared and panicky. There is no logic to my situation.

This first-person account resonated with me and may be useful to others. When the writer states, "for me, pregnancy meant being trapped inside my greatest fear. It was the equivalent to an arachnophobe being locked inside a box of spiders for nine months", I know precisely how that feels.

(I have posted to this thread on and off for the last three years under different names and revisit it regularly)

thisisnow Sun 09-Aug-15 16:03:51

Hi everyone just found this thread and trying to stop myself from crying. I have already terminated a few years ago due to antenatal depression and here I find myself pregnant again and feeling the same sense of doom and fear. My DH will be the most amazing father but I am so terrified of this being a mistake. We have been together 11 years and I'm worried it will break us. I want to feel happy and excited but deep down I'm not sure if I even want to be a mother or if I'm doing it just to keep my relationship. I love looking after my niece but all I'm thinking is how am I ever going to cope. I am so selfish I know that.

Shakey1500 Wed 05-Aug-15 20:31:38

I'd happily do a meet also. This thread has been a big part of my life for the past seven years, in one way or another smile

I'm North West.

boxoftissues Thu 30-Jul-15 21:59:20

I'd be up for meeting. I'm in London. I am so grateful for this thread.

Gettingthere88 Thu 30-Jul-15 20:03:51

Would anyone like to meet up? Perhaps a group of us to talk honestly for once. I am in Somerset. I simply love this thread. I feel like part of a community just reading it. You are all amazing women. X

Link55 Fri 17-Jul-15 17:22:47

It's so hard because I want a child, but I know I'll hate it like everyone here.

But yet that doesn't take away the desire to do it. I wish it would.

People often say (and have said many times in this thread) that "no one tells you how hard it is" but I don't think that's true. For the last few years all you read about parenting is that it's horrible! From various tv shows to books like "Go the fuck to sleep", all the horror birth stories out there, many long form articles about hate filled parents and threads like this one, the word is well and truly out.

To all the parents out there, what do you think would have convinced you not to have kids, if all the above things didn't?

Nolim Tue 19-May-15 10:26:12

I havent rtft but just want to express my sympathies. I am not cut out to be a sahm, not a chance. Going back to work on monday is such a relief. I am in a lucky position since i enjoy my work and can afford it, otherwise i woulg go bananas. But i can say that it gets better with time as dc get older flowers

Shakey1500 Tue 19-May-15 10:16:09

tiredmamma I hear you. I can only speak from experience and totally recognise the anxiety/dread you feel. I also found it really difficult to fill up the day! I had to force myself to attend playgroups, have playdates even leave the house.

For me it got better slowly slowly. It was a number of things really. The fact he started nursery ( increased me time), he became more aware/confident (less eyes in the back of his head) found ways to entertain himself (less time required one on one) and developed his personality so my enjoyment increased.

A lot of the time I gritted my teeth and repeated "It won't be like this forever" type phrases and ploughed through each day one at a time. Please don't feel bad, you're not alone and many of us have survived thanks

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