Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Does anyone else regret having children?(365 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?
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?
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
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
I am writing here because I just need to let this out. I have a beautiful daughter who is 3 years old. She is a great child. But I'm not a great mom. I suffer with anxiety when she is with me. I have a job and she also goes to stay with her father quite frequently. All I think during those times is that she will be back soon and my anxiety levels spike up. What is wrong with me?! I love her to death but don't enjoy having her because of this anxiety. I feel like I won't know how to fill our time or what to do with her. What do u do about this major problem? Why can't I be like other mothers who just 'get it'? I am so lost and miserable. I don't want my daughter's childhood to pass like this. Help.
Hi ted and lola,
Like i've said before: if you think you won't like it: DO NOT have children. You cannot fathom how hard, relentless and mind-numbingly boring it is to be a parent.
-No free time
-No me time
-Not enough sleep
-Boring activities all the time
-Weekends stop being a good thing
-Your life will be: work-kids-work-kids-work-kids ad infinitum...
-everything you enjoyed is less fun when you have kids
Need I go on?
Once again: do not have children!
I haven't read the entire thread, just recent posts, but it has made me feel less alone, less guilty so that's good.
I don't regret having kids, just having my daughter (second kid) when I did. It was too soon and I did it for the wrong reasons - to try and make my husband move. We didn't move and having her has made our lives more complicated and much harder. We should have waited a couple more years. At the moment I'm really worried about how these feelings affect my ability to mother her as the regret gets ever stronger with each complication having a baby brings (and also realising we could cope with them better in a year). I don't Want her to suffer though - it wasn't her fault. I need to make sure she is loved as much as my son. I'm bf her and feel love when I look at her but just wish I could turn the clock back
Can I ask, did you suspect you might feel this way or did you think you would enjoy being mothers? I think I will hate it and be an awful mother, but there's always that voice that goes "once you have them you won't want to be without them". I've always suspected that many people secretly regret having kids, but it's too taboo to admit it. This thread has confirmed my fears.
The voice also tells me that my husband would be the stay at home parent (this is agreed) and I wouldn't be tied to the kids in the way that most women are. I would get time away from them and they would go to my husband first, not me.
It's such an awful decision because once you've made it, you can't give them back. I'm scared I will give it one day, have them, and then spend the rest of my life regretting it
Zahora (and other moms in the same situation): I know this may sound very awful from my part, but would it be that bad if you were just to walk away from it all? From what you have written, you sound like you really regret it, like it was really better before the baby, so why would it be such a bad thing if you were to get your old life back? Many men do it because they just can't cope with the idea, yet when mothers do it, they are judged very harshly. But here is what I argue: being a miserable parent will make you and those around you miserable, including your child. So wouldn't it be better for all people involved if you were to quit life as a parent?
I never ever experienced so much hate than I did from my son. Wish I'd never become a mother.
Just to add, before DS I had worked in a job / industry I despised. Although I hated the work, the job paid well and I was able to enjoy many hobbies outside of work. Now to find I have swapped one job I hated to another (unpaid) job I hate... Is really hard to bear.... At the same time, I'm finding the loss of identity, freedom and financial independence hard!
I am a 35 year old new mum of a 14week old DS. He is healthy and active but I'm struggling so much. I hate my life and I'm a crap mum. I love him in a dutiful and functional manner and take care of his physical needs - he is always fed, watered, clean but I don't know how to engage him or play with him. He has always been high needs, active, alert, colic, suspected silent reflux, only naps during the day on me and doesn't sleep properly at night. He is also exclusively breastfed and is gaining weight well. Recently he has started to resist the breast more and more, arching and crying during feedings. He only feeds properly when drowsy or asleep. I thought feeding was the one thing I had a good handle on but now we have problems too I feel even worse.
I love my DS but hate my life and hate the fact I find motherhood so tough. I had always been ambivalent about children and am non maternal. My DH is a fantastic gem of a man, and he is great with children although he has never pushed me into having children. I admit I had DS as I love DH and wanted him to experience fatherhood.
It has been a lonely desperate struggle during the day for me. We have no family nearby so absolutely no support. I'm dying inside. I am an introvert so finding the lack of structure in my day and no 'me' time an absolute killer.
I find myself wishing DS' childhood away so I can get my life back. It feels like a prison sentence and DH says I shouldn't feel this way as DS didn't ask to be born. I know all this and feel even worse about myself. DS deserves a better mum than me. He deserves someone that loves and embraces him the way he needs to be. I am dying inside... Giving every last bit of myself I'm not sure how much more I have to give...
Hi guys so I have read through all of the the threads and it was on a day when I was at the end of my tether so it was very comforting to me.
My story is I always wanted children so I had one and another exactly one year later. I struggled as I believe every mother does but I knew in my heart I wanted them and whatever struggles I went through I knew if I had never had them I would always wonder and regret not doing so. But just when I had my two wonderful children close in age as I had wanted I fell pregnant again when my second child was only 5 months old. I was adamant that I could not cope having another so soon especially as both were born by c section and I had complications soon after my last was born. I decided to have an abortion and went through with it and it crippled me emotionally. Two months after said abortion I discovered I was still pregnant and my head was a complete mess by this time after having the guilt of getting rid of my child I was told I now had to make the decision to kill this child inside me for the second time and I had to have a surgical abortion or keep the child I had not wanted . I was ridden with guilt as my partner had always wanted to keep the baby anyway.
And so I kept the baby and got pnd after and have struggled ever since and blamed the baby for every bad day I have had since. I often dream of just having the two but alas the third is here and I would never not be there to love them. Some days it so hard to be a mum especially when you have three children less than three years old. I am alone all week with them and I can get so down but I believe we need to buck up and realise that these small people are a gift from God. Yes sometimes I want to run away or I can shout at them but I have a heart and when I actively sit down with all of them and put on a brave face even when I want to cry I find I get joy from something they will do or a smile and I am so grateful .
All I am trying to say is especially for me things can be so depressing but look for that joy , change your attitude as best you can, take a minute out and look at them with fresh eyes. It's shit it really is but it is not there fault and when we are old and grey these people will be our best friends and return every favour we have ever done. If these post are scaring you into not having children just trust your gut its hard but it is worth it more than u could imagine. Chin up ladies we are all in the same boat. God bless xxxx
Thanks Shakey, I hope so! My DS does not sleep so its making things so much worse His birth was horrifc and traumatising, 3 days of hell, then a week in hospital with problems after for both of us. Now 5 months on, I cant remember my own name, my body is ruined, im on anti depressants, no social life anymore, no fun. My partner works away monday to friday so im doing it all alone. Weekends we just argue becuase im so upset and tired after a week with DS. And i just cry most of the time and think hes the biggest mistake of my life. I thought children were a challenge but the best thing to happen to you, "theres nothing like it, best feeling you'll ever have," people said! I just sit at home looking at all my friends going out, on holiday, meals, drinks, cinema etc, and I realise its all over for me. I cant even get my hair done as its very thick and long and will take a good few hours to do. My DS would not go that long without feeding(breast) and he wont let a bottle anywhere near him. Nobody can babysit or help me as im the only one that can feed him I tried to go out with my partner on NYE but we had to come home after 2 hours as he was screaming hungry and wouldnt stop, refused the bottle One thing i know for sure is I wont be having anymore, which makes me sad as I always thought I would have a big family.
Like PP's having my DC's seemed to wreck my body and mind. I had to give up my career as I was too unwell to go back to work. I regretted every day for years having the DC's. They are great kids but the price I have paid is too high. My whole life has been sacrified. I have nothing left for me. I am constantly counting down the years (9) until the youngest leaves home and I can have my life and freedom back. I feel trapped and imprisoned. I had absolutely NO idea what I was signing up for when having DC's. Stupid me just had them because it's what you did after getting married. I put no thought into it. So I have nobody to blame but my own stupid self.
I'm sure it will get better Charlies
Don't forget, in a lot of ways, it can be harder when you've been with a partner for a long time, then have a child together. You've both got 10 years of child-free, care free, go-anywhere-you-want-when-you-want, sleep filled nights to miss! It's entirely natural to feel regret over losing the control you had over your lives.
But the control can come back, when your little one isn't so little any more and your social life can once again expand. It may creep in slowly slowly but it will increase
Glad you found us and know now, that you're not alone! Stick this thread on "watch" to hold onto it, and it will always be here to have a rant on/ be honest on All the best
Woke up this morning ready to give up, full of guilt that I wish Id never had my Ds. This thread has made such a difference to me, thank you everyone for posting and being so supportive!!
My DS is 5 months old and obviously there have been a few good bits and some happy times but most of the time I hate it I thought after 10 years with my partner having a family would complete us. Instaed I now regret it and think about how amazing life would be if he wasnt here. I love him and will always look after him and give him everything he needs but because I have too, he didnt ask to be born. I feel like every decision ive ever made has been the wrong one and having kids is not something I thought could ever feel like a mistake, it's something ive looked forward to my whole life. Feel so dissapointed and gutted I hate it so much. Wish I had a bettr idea of what it would be like I would NEVER have had a family. Now when I see friends on Facebook etc say they are pregnant, instead of feeling happy or pleased for them, i just think S**T what have you done, you dont know what you've let yourself in for Hope it does get better one day
Bingesplodge and TheLondoner
Hello lovelies. I'm the poster who had the thunderbolt moment when DS was aged 4. I'll reiterate, I've never felt such relief over anything in my life and literally sank to my knees and wailed like a banshee.
What's good is that you both have support from close family members/partner that are able to least share the load. I recall DH being away from home for 2 weeks and I was struggling massively, totally overwhelmed. Clock watching until bedtime till I could at least breathe on my own (and smoke copiously). My parents came one afternoon and whilst I thought I was plastering the right kind of smile on my face they must have seen right through me and offered to take DS overnight. The relief!
DS is 8 this year and in all honesty, I know it seems like a distant lifetime away but time really has flown. I do still have pangs of yearning for my "old" life but it seems so far back that this life has morphed into me accepting that this is my life (if that makes sense) and I'll admit I sometimes
often fantasise about retirement when I'll be totally able to do exactly as I please.
TheLondoner You are right, it will come. And do you know why I think it will? Because I truly believe that if none of us really cared, we wouldn't bother to find threads like these to seek help, words of comfort, knowledge we're not alone.
It's bloody hard, especially in the early years. I just had no option but to muddle through the fug, take each day/week/month at a time and wait for it to pass. There was no lead up to the thunderbolt, it just happened. Perhaps because I (thought I'd) reconciled myself to the fact I would always feel as despairing as I did. I wasn't trying, wasn't looking for it, I just ploughed through. But I'm mighty grateful it did and a huge burden has lifted.
Keep ploughing, keep doing the best you can, even if you feel it's not enough, it is enough for now. We're none of us perfect, there are no guidelines, our emotions can overtake us sometimes, we will get there in our own time, in our own way. Because we're human. And it's totally ok to feel absolutely rotten about it and yearn backwards. As I often say, it's not wrong it's just...different. And for those that slate this thread and have no understanding, I don't feel anger towards them, I feel glad that they have not felt like I and many of us did. Because I wouldn't wish it on any parent.
Glad you found this thread. I always have it on watch and always try to reply
Even if you don't feel like it, you're doing great.
Good post Bingle, I wasn't sure this thread was still going either.
Everyday I literally mourn my old life - I'm also a lone parent, DS now 14mths was an accident but I thought I could cope & do it all on my own. Well I have no choice........ & he's healthy & happy.
However, I am dying inside.
From day 1 he too was high needs, cried all day, only slept on me, I would leave places or just not go out.
My parents are amazing, I moved house to be closer to them & I couldn't of survived without them, I still can't.
But I truly believe & still do that it does get easier, or more to the point we cope better. My DS genuinely cried non stop, it's only in the last 3 months he's actually slightly happier! Some babies are just grumpy, and some are high needs, some are content & happy.
Please don't feel alone, I have found such solace in others that have felt the same.
I find everyday a struggle, and I can't wait for the day that I enjoy being a Mum. I hope it comes.
It will come .... We have to look at the positives x x x
Not sure if anyone is still reading here but I just want to add my voice to this thread: it's a hard subject but I wish people felt more able to be honest about how hard it is to become a parent.
Our little one is 16 weeks and a very fussy, high-needs baby who needs to be held for daytime naps, feeds every few hours during the night and cries often during the day. He is a very beautiful baby with an utterly adorable smile and everyone is besotted with him. We're exhausted and to be honest we're feeling a bit like having a baby was the wrong decision for us. Perhaps it's just his high needs nature and perhaps it will get a bit easier?
At the moment we hardly see each other. We parent in shifts so the other can get some rest as DS is not a calm, sit around and let you have a break sort of baby. We don't go anywhere: he'd cry and we'd have to leave or not enjoy ourselves awaiting the inevitable meltdown. We sleep in separate rooms, I in with the baby and he in our bed. I have no ability to leave DS with anyone for longer than an hour or two as he's bf on demand. My DH has cut back on all hobbies outside of work so he can support me as I find being alone with DS from 8-6 is enough without evenings added on top.
If we had a time machine we'd go back to before we tried for a baby: at the time I think we were ambivalent and I feel like such a fool for assuming it would all magically fall into place. I did all the right things: nct classes, read all the books, the blogs, the magazines, made sure I followed all the guidelines. I didn't imagine for a moment that I'd spend the days with my baby pining for my old life.
Can it get better from here? I was so moved by the story of the poster who finally had the wow moment at 4 years but I really can't stand the thought of waiting that long. Surely we should be besotted now?
God, that was long. Sorry. Help?
saltedcaramel i think you should tell him about your feelings as you just can't have another with the way you feel. The best way is to be honest. If you'll hide it - you won't be happy. I know how you feel as my partner wants another one in the future (somewhere in five years), but i don't want to have anymore. That's what i said to him. And he understands me, maybe just for now as he's older as well.
I just feel guilty because i feel that way sometimes, but when i remember the way my life used to be it seems that i live this life (with the baby) for about ten years. I love her more then anyone but why then i feel like that. I miss my freedom.
I am really glad I found this thread.
I am 28 and actually already have a 10yo, who I fell pregnant with at 17. I actually feel I got on ok with bringing him up at the time, I was living with his dad and it was ok.
We split up a few years ago and decided on 50/50 custody. Was weird at first, but I now have a new partner and I absolutely love the weekends when my son is at his dads, me and my partner can lay-in, wander to the pub, have a conversation, watch films all day, have whatever we want for dinner. Basically all the things I never got to do with my ex as we were thrust into parenthood so young. I always thought I would have another baby and partner and I had said we'd start ttc summer 2015. Since that conversation I've been completely freaked out by the idea. No freedom all over again. No sleep, no money, a wrecked body. Nappies. Whinging. Toys everywhere. Being woken up early. I actually feel kind of sad that I feel this way as I want to want another, but I really don't think I do. Partner is quite a bit older than me, his kids are grown up. Can't say that I have the luxury of waiting a few years to see if my mind changes as partner would be well into his 50s by then.
I had my little nearly three months ago. And now i have a bunch of health issues. I don't blame her, i love her into pieces but how did that happen? I was all ok until i had her. My health (psychological and physical) and i loved my life. And now i feel broken. I know i have pnd and maybe that's why i'm thinking like this but i don't know how to get my life back. I din't smile for ages. She's wonderful baby. Yes she cries but which baby doesn't. I just feel that nothing is the same and never will be. I have no sleep, i have no strength, i have no health. By saying i have no health i mean i fell very bad in all possible ways. I start to take ad today, i'll see how it goes. My partner is very supportive, sometimes i don't even know why i'm complaining but yes, sometimes i would like to turn back time. She was expected, i really waited for her and when i gave birth - everything changed.
Sorry if that was random, i just probably need to talk to someone.
Everyone uses it because everyone knows who everyone is referring to. It's not compulsary, you go ahead and type whatever you wish.
a bit off topic but why does everyone use this "DS" "DD" and the most annoying "DH" for (gag) dear hubby. Why not my kid, my husband?
Join the discussion
Please login first.