Do I regret being a mum i feel so guilty

(66 Posts)
Emily2626 Fri 16-Apr-21 11:19:36

My ds is 2 years old. My dh appears to be overflowing with joy and delight everyday at being a dad and has said he wants more. I think ds is gorgeous and smart and i love him but the thought of looking after him fills me with terror. I feel trapped by motherhood. Im a working mum and im ashamed to admit that i love the relief of escaping to work where i can relax and do something im good at. Ive told dh i dont want any more children and he is very disappointed. But what im too ashamed to say out loud to anyone is that im not feeling any happiness being a mum, to me it all feels like horrible stress and hard work and i wonder if i regret being a mum? Obviously ds is here now and theres no changing that but i have this stabbing guilt inside that maybe i wouldnt have allowed myself to fall pregnant if i knew what life as a mum would be like? Please no judgemental comments i already feel like the worst person in the world

OP’s posts: |
Mumof1andacat Fri 16-Apr-21 11:25:33

Same. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. There is no switch to turn the clock back. If I knew all what I knew now then I wouldn't have a child but he's here and nearly 9. Its easier now hes older. I decided not to have another child. Dh could see I was struggling and accepted my choice.

movinggoalposts Fri 16-Apr-21 11:27:01

No judgment here. I would heartily recommend getting a counsellor so you have a safe space in which to explore your feelings. I wouldn’t even tell anyone that I was seeing a counsellor. Nothing’s worse than being questioned when you just want to time to think about things.

Are you physically healthy? I’ve found motherhood to be completely exhausting when my body is somehow out of whack. It might be worth getting iron, thyroid, vit D levels etc tested.

VladmirsPoutine Fri 16-Apr-21 11:59:23

I think feeling that way is entirely natural but as a society we castigate women for having these feelings however transitory or temporary they are. No judgement from me, indeed it's very healthy to have this self-awareness and it might be worth exploring further with someone you feel you can talk to like a counsellor if you don't feel able to say this to your husband just yet. All that said, I think many people than willing to admit do regret having a child - and it is what it is.

BooksOnTheShelf Fri 16-Apr-21 12:11:19

Welcome to motherhood.

I don't say that flippantly. I think lots of women regret having children but society needs us to have them and so we encourage them to think it's what we aspire to and then we keep them trapped in relationships once we have them (through finances, social pressure etc).

My children are older now (mid teens and early 20s) and I love them but having them has negatively impacted on my life in many ways.

BooksOnTheShelf Fri 16-Apr-21 12:13:15

Also, it's a hard thing for us to discuss with our own children without the implicit 'I regret you' undertones.

No one talks about it so women carry it as a secret shame.

murbblurb Fri 16-Apr-21 12:14:43

So much for the frequent trope on here about no one regretting children...

You don't have to have any more and shouldn't if you feel this way - and that's nothing to feel guilty about. Can your husband be total child carer?

Caspianberg Fri 16-Apr-21 12:16:55

I think parenting is hard.

We will likely stick with just one child, or wait a while for another.

Rightly or wrongly I just like my own time. I love Ds, and the days are dedicated to him. He’s still small.
But I like having an hour to sit and read my own book in peace, or do a project of my own. I’m hoping the balance of time will improve as he grows

espressoontap Fri 16-Apr-21 12:19:46

I have two. I struggled to conceive DD and had losses in between, I was so desperate for her. If I knew how hard it was going to be I may have stopped at DS. I love DD with all my heart but it's soul destroying most days. DS can't stand the sight of me most days and it breaks my heart.

HEYBritneyAreYouReadyy Fri 16-Apr-21 12:20:34

OP do you have any mental health issues? Like depression?

Was you maternal/excited about having a child before having your DS? What's your bond like with him?

Sorry so many questions. Not everyone is cut out for motherhood. Some are more natural than others. I can't say I've ever regretted my two but it is bloody hard work.

imsoinmyhead Fri 16-Apr-21 12:23:09

No judgement - I hated the first three years. Then it got gradually better. Mine is 6 now, I still feel overwhelmed with the enormity of it all and the loss of freedom but I do find enjoyment in it now and my son is such an amazing person.

No more kids for me though. I know that I want to preserve the small slither of freedom that I still have. I'm not willing to give that up.

Kyliealwayshadthebestdisco Fri 16-Apr-21 12:25:48

Parenting is hard and I’m not saying it’s not valid to have these feelings. However I also think a lot of the milder end of postnatal depression goes unrecognised and can suck the enjoyment right out of new motherhood which might otherwise be there and be the thing that makes it all worthwhile so I wonder if this is something that might apply to you. I agree with the suggestion of getting a counsellor. I also agree that we don’t “let” women say this in society but it doesn’t mean you’re the only one to feel this way.

My own family and friends would jump down my throat any time I said that sometimes I wished I hadn’t met my abusive ex who has made my life a misery, because that would mean my son wouldn’t exist. I love my son, he was a deeply wanted child and I had him before I recognised the abuse and indeed before it ramped up in pregnancy and postnatal period which is common, and despite his father being awful, my son is great. I love him dearly. At the same time I can see how if I hadn’t met my ex, my life would have worked out very differently. Yes I wouldn’t have had my son. However I also wouldn’t have had the abuse and draining child custody battle over him. And maybe I’d have had equally lovely children with someone else. Or maybe things would have been even worse. Who knows. Obviously we can’t go back in time so it is an academic question anyway. We just have to make he best of how things are today and look to the future. But I found it surprising how people would recoil in horror that I would say that sometimes I do wish I had made different decisions in life. It’s simply the truth and it doesn’t to me imply that I don’t love my son.

Sammiesnake Fri 16-Apr-21 12:27:40

I wonder if something else is going on here, is it possible you have PND or generally feeling by depressed because of lockdown etc I’ve never experienced the way you feel about my children and don’t recognise that as “the norm” but there could be others who feel the same way too. It would be good to reach out and talk to close family/ friends so you can air your thoughts in a safe space.

YorkieTheRabbit Fri 16-Apr-21 12:28:20

I’ve always known that I didn’t want children, my own mum was an alcoholic so I had a very chaotic upbringing. My ex mil, who was a lovely woman, told me to stick by my guns regarding my thoughts on not becoming a mum. She told me that if she’d had her time again, she wouldn’t have had children, that she loved her son and daughter but that she’d never enjoyed being a mum. Having spoken to different women over the years, many admit the same.

RolloverRollover Fri 16-Apr-21 12:32:51

I don't exactly regret having my two but that's because they are now both adults. But I didn't enjoy being a parent at all. I did all the basics and obviously showed love and care but found no satisfaction in it.

I did have anxiety but that for me was only part of it - I've accepted that is who I am and I am okay with it.

It does get easier - and now I can look back and can firmly say I don't regret it.

mamal29 Fri 16-Apr-21 12:37:56


OP do you have any mental health issues? Like depression?

Was you maternal/excited about having a child before having your DS? What's your bond like with him?

Sorry so many questions. Not everyone is cut out for motherhood. Some are more natural than others. I can't say I've ever regretted my two but it is bloody hard work.

I find this comment insulting. Why does there have to be something wrong with her?

'Not cut out for motherhood' - FFS, have a day off.

HEYBritneyAreYouReadyy Fri 16-Apr-21 12:44:21

@mamal29 I agree It came across as quite rude and that wasn't my intention honestly.

Brokenrecord3006 Fri 16-Apr-21 12:46:57

I hear you OP, I feel this way. I have a child the same age and we are definitely not having any more. Thankfully DH is onboard which makes it easier.

There's also nothing worse than people suggesting you have depression or similar. Not everyone loves being a parent and that's just how it is.

I'm gradually enjoying being a mum more, but I also work full time so the time I do get with DS is shorter and feels more special. Try and focus on the future and the type of person your child will turn into, you might find you enjoy having an older child or teenager more. I think I will. I also wouldn't have had DS had I known what parenting is really like, it's been quite a shock.

HEYBritneyAreYouReadyy Fri 16-Apr-21 12:47:18

Oh and @mamal29 I was asking if she has any depression as that can make bonding/parenting harder. There's nothing with it but there is help out there if needed. I've been there. My first child prefers daddy because I had PND and couldn't bond. We have an amazing bond now a few years later but she'll always be a daddies girl because he met her needs/nurtured her the way I couldn't in her first year.

Shehasadiamondinthesky Fri 16-Apr-21 12:55:05

I decided very young I never wanted kids, I got pregnant and didn't know until it was too late to do anything about it so I had to have DS.
I had to bring him up alone too.
Motherhood wasn't for me. I always loved him so I couldn't have had him adopted but the sheer grind and tedium of it all was awful. I never had any more. I went back to work when he was 6 weeks old and always worked full time. He was very chilled about it.
i wish I could have enjoyed it all but I just didn't.

AOWNNs2 Fri 16-Apr-21 13:05:17

I had DS when I was 37 - he is now five and am still amazed at how many people have kids. I've never had a biological urge to have a kid and if am honest clearly only had one due to FOMO.

Don't get me wrong, I love him very much, but I will be almost 60 when he leaves home. I went from having a very full-on career and some free time to a very full-on job and no free time whatsoever - the idea that almost every adult around me cant wait to give up the little free time they have just to look after a small person is truely baffling.

I actually think that having kids is mad, and I reckon if more people knew what it entails a lot fewer adults would be parents.

Mumoftwoinprimary Fri 16-Apr-21 13:26:37

Parenting is hard and 2 is probably the hardest age of all.

Mine are 11 and nearly 8 now and parenting is now really good and no longer “hard work” at all. Obviously we have the future teenage years looming ever closer but, if nothing else, you can go to the toilet with teenagers without worrying that the kids have decided to scale a bookcase or eat the cat food.

Silverfly Fri 16-Apr-21 13:27:11

OP it's fine to work full time and enjoy your time at work. It's fine to decide to stick with one child. Try to accept these feeling and move past your feelings of guilt. Things will get probably get easier for you in a year or two - 2 is a tricky age!

bootlebum Fri 16-Apr-21 13:34:39

OP I feel the same. I'm amazed when my friends and family have (or want to have) more than one. I adore my DS and I don't regret him

bootlebum Fri 16-Apr-21 13:37:18

Sent too soon. I don't regret him. He's wonderful, but I find it hard, menial work and there's not much joy in it. I worry so much and feel anxious a lot of the time. One thing that is positive is that I like him and I'm glad I'll have him as an adult in my life. But as a 5 year old - he's too much

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