Do your children 'fulfil' you?

(21 Posts)
Whisskas Sun 10-Jan-21 14:39:16

I keep reading (mostly on MN) about how people felt unfulfilled and like something in their life was missing before having kids, but now they are parents they feel like they've woken up/found their purpose.

I felt unfulfilled before having my DD too...but the difference is that I still feel the same confused Please tell me I'm not the only one...

OP’s posts: |
TitInATrance Sun 10-Jan-21 14:46:22

Children grow up. I did feel like that when they were babies, not so much when they left primary school. Empty nest now so I have other priorities, but when they are small I think they do need to be your main focus - the sense of fulfilment achieves that.
There’s still room to plan other things, perhaps you could work on that? Knowing what you want is half the battle.

Almostslimjim Sun 10-Jan-21 14:59:01


Without them my life would very different, but no less fulfilled.

JamesMiddletonsMarshmallows Sun 10-Jan-21 15:00:02


Not so I want to feel fulfilled by them - I think it's really important women are their own people too not just "Noah's mum".

JamesMiddletonsMarshmallows Sun 10-Jan-21 15:00:16

*Not do I

JamesMiddletonsMarshmallows Sun 10-Jan-21 15:00:30

*NOR do I 🤦🏼‍♀️

Mylittlepony374 Sun 10-Jan-21 15:02:30

Yes. But they're young (2 and 3) so I imagine as they get older & more independent that will change.


cushioncovers Sun 10-Jan-21 15:05:49


jamesfailedmarshmallows Sun 10-Jan-21 15:06:00

Personally I felt I'd found my 'calling', as cringy as that sounds when my dc 1 was born. I had no interest in going back to work, no interest in child free events/nights out and 17 years later I still feel the same. I don't mean that I'm a martyr mothers by any means, but I enjoyed their childhood immensely and now that they are growing up in some ways I feel less fulfilled, or less enjoyment. I'm really looking forward to them having dc, not for a long while yet but I think I will find being a grandparent very fulfilling too, just hope the dc let me be involved.

Mybobowler Sun 10-Jan-21 15:08:20

I'm not sure I'd use the word "fulfilled". My toddler keeps me endlessly busy and the process of raising her is satisfyingly, but I don't feel like she is the sum of my life's endeavours. At least, I bloody hope not, I'm only 31. I'm sure I was made for something slightly more interesting than singing Old MacDonald 300 times a day...

EssentialHummus Sun 10-Jan-21 15:12:14

Randomly there are two PP on here whose usernames reference an obscure marshmallow business.

Not for me OP. As in, I get fleeting moments of fulfillment from getting through a tricky phase with DD, teaching her something, handling a difficult situation better than I did before, seeing her develop and build relationships... but that fulfillment feels quite fleeting.

NoWordForFluffy Sun 10-Jan-21 15:15:24

No. Definitely not. I like watching them grow up and celebrate their achievements, but I don't get fulfilment from them.

Shinyletsbebadguys Sun 10-Jan-21 15:15:28

They are a part of fulfilling me but by no means the whole lot. Honestly I find it worrying if people expect their children to fulfil them totally. We are well rounded human beings. If we expect our DC to be the thing that completes us the likelihood is that we also make them responsible for it unintentionally.

Part of my fulfilment is my children and how I feel I've taught them and raised them ,part is my work ,part is my relationship ,part is what I read and how I think.

I don't believe we have one purpose , I believe we have several. One may be to bring up your children but it can't be only that. Its unhealthy.

Whisskas Sun 10-Jan-21 15:15:40

Thanks everyone, so glad I'm not alone. I was very unsure about whether to have kids or not, but I did really feel like something was missing and my DH was so keen that we decided to go for it.

That niggly feeling hasn't disappeared though. I suppose, as naive as this sounds, I think I thought I'd feel content and satisfied, and that other things didn't matter anymore, but I just don't. She's primary age, and I've felt like this her whole life.

I think I do need to plan other things. Hard during a pandemic!

OP’s posts: |
Twickerhun Sun 10-Jan-21 15:17:22

Ha ha ha no. Definitely not. Love my kids dearly but no!

corythatwas Sun 10-Jan-21 15:18:03

Not on their own, no. And I'm probably as maternal as they come: always knew I wanted children, even like other people's children, loved being a mum, still love it now they're grown up.

But I love other things too- and always knew that I would. My work, reading, the countryside, my hobbies. A lot of those things merged quite easily with being a parent, but they didn't depend on it, they're still there now that my children are ready to move on.

Truelymadlydeeplysomeonesmum Sun 10-Jan-21 15:19:24

God no.

Wince at people that say stuff like that.

jamesfailedmarshmallows Sun 10-Jan-21 15:19:34

Essential we both must have been on the thread that referenced James Middleton's failed marshmallow business.

Echobelly Sun 10-Jan-21 15:19:56

I've never really thought about whether my kids fulfill me or not TBH.

I suspect I would have felt a bit aimless and unfulfilled had I not had kids - I'm never going to have a high-flying career, I'm not a big traveller, I don't have very intimate friendships, so if I hadn't had kids I'm not sure what I could have filled my life with!

So maybe in that sense they have fulfilled me? I have never felt like a very maternal person, but I think I'm doing an OK job!

Carouselfish Sun 10-Jan-21 15:20:56

Yes (ages 5 and under 1) but also because I'm at a time in my life where I'm not rushing wildly around the world looking for mad adventure, hurling myself into situations. I am comfy and content and they're a huge part of that. Without them, nothing else, even writing the book I want to write, or travel, or meeting my ideal man would make me feel that way, I'd still be searching for something. I still want to do things just for me, accomplishments, travel but I'm going out there with a filled heart if that makes sense.

whiteroseredrose Sun 10-Jan-21 15:23:33

Yes. My DC my greatest pride. With them came a sense of fulfilment. I would have been devastated not to have been a mother.

They are now 21 and 17 and I can honestly say that I have loved every stage of them growing up. I'm now enjoying their increasing independence.

Prior to DC I had a well paid career with travel and benefits but really it was just a means of earning money to me. I was happy to drop it like a hot brick when I got the chance to be a SAHM.

I know others feel differently and have mire of a sense of self wrt their jobs. My sense of self came when I became a mother.

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