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Does anyone else regret having children?

(420 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?

diamond457 Mon 25-Jul-16 18:51:46

I constantly grieve over my old life and all the potential I had and the things I could have done with my life. I had dd at 19 so its my own fault. But I am depressed and my career is well and truly down the pan.
Applying for jobs I wouldn't have took in a million years because its all I can do now due to childcare restrictions etc.
I do feel like a caged animal, a shell of who I was.
but I do love dd and im a good mum and she deserves the best.
I have to live with the grief the rest of my life.

sammyjayneex Mon 25-Jul-16 14:21:40

I don't regret having my kids because of what I've had to give up but I regret having them because of the responsibility you hold for them. It's your job to keep them safe, your job to make sure they eat well, your job to make sure they succeed well at school, make sure your keeping an eye on their health ect. Any thing that happens it's basically you who has to take responsibility and life can be so full of guilt of you get it wrong. I suffer from anxiety and OCD so it makes it even harder to be a proper mother so I regret having them because of the amount of stress it cause but I don't regret having to give up anything in my life before.

Vero03 Sat 23-Jul-16 22:14:50

Hi, I see this is an old discussion so I hope someone out there can discuss this with me. Im feeling pretty bad about having children. I have three kids under 5 and as bad as this sounds I wouldnt wish this life on my worse enemy. I love my children dearly but I hate my life now and I too regret having them every single day. I starting to really hate my husband for pushing me to have children. I feel i was so happy before and now I'm not. I can never abandon them because I grew up without my mother who passed when I was three so I would never want them to go through what I did but at the same time I miss my life. Ive decided to get in antidepressants so I hope this helps. At this point since there is no escape I might as well be on autopilot.

CPtart Thu 21-Jul-16 20:01:22

I don't ever regret having them, and they are almost teens now, but I too constantly wished the time away when they were babies. I went back to work pt when DC1 was 4 months and DC2 was 5 months and felt massively better, more in control with some return to routine. I feel as though I outsourced a lot of the work, stresses and boredom of those difficult early years, but have no regrets at all. We had zero family help and returning to work absolutely saved me.

Cashewnutts Thu 21-Jul-16 18:57:21

So glad I came across this thread.
I don't always regret having had my ds but when she is crying/whinging and ridiculously clingy I often find myself regretting the decision.

It's been such a relief to read some of the stories in this thread and know I'm not the only one, and that things will get better.

Dd is only 15 weeks but we have had so many ups and downs (tongue tie, trouble breastfeeding and the emotional decision to bottle feed and recently reflux) that sometimes I've wondered if dp and I made the right choice in procreating. i love her to bits but just keep counting the days until she is older and emotionally stable! Which makes me feel awful for wishing this time away.
Thankfully, dp and I are very open about our feelings and i can talk to him. I'm also lucky to have a very supportive nct group (best decision to pay for those classes, just for the ready made mum friends!) but it's still so reassuring to hear some of my feelings written already within this thread!

toodloo Thu 12-May-16 13:43:49

Oh yes, had children very young raised them on my own as divorced very young extremely had life but did enjoy it until they grew up. Now I wonder why I made so many sacrifices for them they couldn't care where I was here or not,Heart breaking

lazyminimoo Sat 23-Apr-16 02:41:52

Yes i have really regretted having my son as i have depression social anxiety an i feel like he shouldn't have to have me for a mum an i feel like i would be less depressed if i didn't have to worry about how I'm affecting him and how hes gong to grow up feeling regretful and sad that he has a mum like me . Its just guilt that i wouldn't have to have if i didn't have a child. I don't want him gone but i at times feel it would have been best all round if i hadn't had him or if only id have had him adopted so his life would turn out better and i wouldn't feel so bad and worry all the time about how I'm not being a good mum an he deserves much better . I have mostly thought yes in a heartbeat i would go back In time an have the abortion I was planning to have but didn't because the dad begged me not to an i didn't wanna lose him as he would have dumped me if i had aborted . I sometimes think maybe i was selfish not aborting him as he now has a life that i feel is worse then most 3 year olds lives because they have nice normal mum's not socially anxious depressive mums .

wagnerjessi Wed 30-Mar-16 04:28:21

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SnowCurl Wed 02-Mar-16 22:44:53

Oh, I definitely miss work, so would agree with you there.
Simmi1, its also incredibly frustrating when you can't get an answer. Can they give you antispasmodics to help with the cramps and bowel issues? Spoken to you about referral to a dietitian or something? Hope you are feeling better.
I'm really thankful I came across this thread. Found it last week when going through a really bad spell. I feel sad thinking so many of us women feel this way. At the same time its reassuring to know I'm not alone. It can often feel very isolating when everyone around you looks and seems so happy and at ease with motherhood.

MissTriggs Mon 29-Feb-16 20:41:48

Wow what a thread. I felt this way in my first pregnancy.... it was hard when everyone else was or seemed so happy..... Fortunately it was ok when the baby came

I have worked remotely since2004 and would be happy to talk with anyone who is desperate to get back to work as I think this is a big party of the solution for many of us.

Simmi1 Mon 29-Feb-16 00:24:35

Snowcurl, thank you for your concern. The first specialist I saw was not much help so seeing another one on Thursday. I've had a few tests and antibiotics etc but symptoms still continue. It is miserable being ill but I
know it's not my baby's fault xx

SnowCurl Sun 28-Feb-16 10:43:01

Just thought I'd post a message to offer some support. There's nothing more miserable than looking after someone else when you are feeling ill yourself. It sucks and I'm thinking of you. May I ask what your GP has done to try and help?

Simmi1 Tue 23-Feb-16 23:26:56

I remember wanting to run away when dd1 was a baby as I was tired and overwhelmed. However things did get easier when she started sleeping through at 6 months and then I went back to work at 9 months. Then I got pregnant again, and was happy to be expecting. Had dd2 6 months ago and have been experiencing severe IBS symptoms ever since which has really made me regret having her. I now have 2 small children and I feel unwell. Never had any of theses problems before birth and no one seems to know what's causing it and how to fix it. I feel miserable and depressed and want my old life back when dd1 was in nursery and I was working and most importantly was healthy. This has made me feel suicidal.

Viewofhedges Mon 22-Feb-16 16:24:42

Hello Cornwall. There haven't been many posters on here for a while but I've seen your messages and wanted to reach out with a hug. We're in very different positions - I was due to start IVF in January but after crying snottily down the phone at the nurse we panicked and pulled out. I'm now back on the thinking about it and feeling every day slip past (I'm 39 now) and not knowing if we're having a lucky escape or missing out on something amazing.
I don't know if I'll ever know.

For what it's worth I think you're in a very difficult situation and I'm not surprised you're struggling. I can't begin to imagine how hard twins must be and how hard it must be to have a partner who doesn't want kids. (My DH and I are similarly torn which means it's hard to decide but at least we're as hopeless as each other). It's a real shame that your DH can't step up and interact with his own family. Great that you can afford a Nanny though and I hope you can use that resource to give yourself some time to rest and breathe.

I hope you can find some support in IRL. Are there any twins support networks you can join? My friend had twins and a toddler and I'm surprised she didn't collapse (I went to help her a few times but when she told me to 'just get a dog' when we couldn't have kids and were trying to figure that out in our minds we stopped talking. But now both DH and I really want a dog!) I really do send you as much support as possible over the internet and hope that as they grow you will experience some of the joy that's supposed to come with kids.

Cornwall73 Mon 22-Feb-16 10:32:48

Im not working today and days like this morning on my own with children that make no sense and on 2 hrs sleep I could very happily walk out of the front door and not look back. How can something I wanted so badly hurt me to much that I sometimes regret having them?

Cornwall73 Mon 22-Feb-16 09:22:58

I think I have finally found a safe haven in Mumsnet again. They say that when you make plans God laughs. Well with me he was literally rolling down the aisles.

In my case I regret having children because it is literally destroying my marriage. My husband did not want children. We were married for many years and always said he didn't want them and what a crap father her would be. I DESPERATELY wanted children, it felt like a hole in my life. 8yrs into the marriage I fell pg but miscarried. I was in such a torn world of grief and helplessness at the loss of my baby and it was the only thing I could think of. We carried on trying half hearted until we were diagnosed with infertility. This led to several years of treatment which included seven cycles of IVF and two further miscarriages. DH loves me so much and was so torn to see me in a heap of loss and failure that he encouraged me to try again and again, anything to make me happy.
Cycle 7 worked and we now have toddler twins.

I suffered from antenatal depression, I knew I was going to have to cope mostly with the babies on my own as DH works long hours and sometimes weekends. No friends or family nearby. I even said that we should give one up for adoption as I wouldn't be able to cope. DH didn't engage with the pg, touch the bump or tell me I looked glowing. He just felt put upon that I was so tired and uncomfortable that I moved into the spare room to be able to cope with my pg insomnia and toss and turn without waking him up.

When the babies were born everything was okay but a few months in they had colic and reflux and I sent most days on my own covered in milk with two screaming babies. I often screamed myself.

Roll on to now and DH is just as unengaged. He says he loves us all but he doesn't like children, doesn't get them, finds them mind numbingly boring and has little interest in them. He is happy to spend 10 mins with them but then hand them back to the parents like he would with any other kid.

I feel like a single parent with the benefit of double the income and having another adult around the house. He doesn't parent, take decisions or take an interest. My mental health has really suffered and I veer from loving my children desperately to disliking the back to back tantrums from 6:30am and the constant challenging behaviour. DH's response is to throw money at it by getting me a nanny so she looks after them and he can just step back from any parenting. He says he is too selfish to have children, it isn't his home anymore and hates weekends because he is duty filled to spend time with them/us when it just bores him.

Most weekends it feels like I deal with three toddlers at different levels of behaviour and tantrums and sulks. It's exhausting and I'm seeing the doc next week and plan to ask for medication just so I can break my cycle of pressure and unhappiness.

I know toddlers are difficult, I don't have the patience to laugh off their behaviour. But does it get better?

lantee711 Sat 20-Feb-16 07:06:31

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reluctantprego Tue 01-Dec-15 02:44:07


i really respect your choice and courage to be and remain childfree, especially in such a baby obsessed world....

reluctantprego Tue 01-Dec-15 02:42:11

sunflower, thanks for your reply and you honestly! It's very helpful!!

lorelei9 Tue 24-Nov-15 09:24:09

Reluctant, no, it's not too late. Get it sorted.
I'm childfree btw. Every day I think "no matter what I've got wrong, not making this mistake has saved my life". The major relationship I had was with a man who wanted kids....when I got together with him, I was so young, I didn't think it mattered and thought he'd change his mind etc.

lorelei9 Tue 24-Nov-15 09:21:16

I applaud the courage of posters here
I wish people were more honest in real life but I suppose you can't say "I regret parenting" in cae it gets back to your child
People might be spared from making the same mistake if they heard these stories more often?
I think it's a huge mistake to have a child because the other partner wanted it and know of two cases where divorce resulted in neither parent wanting the children.

Rebeckett Tue 24-Nov-15 08:59:01

Dear Zahora, how are things now?
I hope they got better but I fear you damaged your child emotionally at that stage.
I was in the same situation- desperately loved a man who wanted children. Wrestled with it a long time, saw a counsellor etc. But we had to split. I would have been an awful parent. Since got sterilised so that I never myself in that situation again. I'm outraged that you became the primary carer too. Why didn't he take charge of his wanted child? Why he did he not care what this did to you? Having a child should not result from an argument!

sunflowermeadows Tue 10-Nov-15 11:07:28

I have two children circa age 10 and love them but really hate my life. I have no fun any more. I have no money any more! I can not take holidays, wear nice clothes, go out to eat etc. I have no money to put in a pension and struggle to stay out of debt .I cannot afford to send them to a good school or pay for them to have a car etc later in life.

I never wanted to have children but thought I would feel differently afterwards as people make out that it is so fulfilling and rewarding. But it has been the opposite for me I went from being a happy successful person with enough money to enjoy life and a bright future to being in a situation where I am trapped and cannot think of a way out.

I do not support abortion personally but I would not personally recommend having a child unless you enjoy playgrounds, crafts, crying, etc and also having a lot less money. Your house or flat will become overcrowded and you will have to move or live with shoes and bicycles everywhere. Less time to make money and more things you must spend money on.

If you have a child with a disability which statistically increases as you age your life will be even harder.

reluctantprego Tue 27-Oct-15 23:45:44

I mean, too*
Sorry for the typos. I am in ranting mode : )

reluctantprego Tue 27-Oct-15 23:44:22

ps: I should also mention that I booked a termination and was not able to go through with it. While I suspect very strongly that motherhood is not for me that is such a hard thing to go through with, so I need to be sure (if such a thing is possible).

There is also a small part of me that fears I may regret not having a child much later in life. Say when I am in my late 50s/60s. So if there is anyone on here that I can tell me whether or not they regretted having/not having kid(s) later on, that would be very much appreciated to.

This is quite literally the hardest decision I have ever been faced with. I have read that, in the case of children, it is better to occasionally regret not having one than to spend a life time resenting/regretting a living child. Any thoughts?

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