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To ask if anyone has regretting having / not having children?

(205 Posts)
Cherryontop99 Mon 19-Nov-12 12:37:12

That's it really.
Has anyone regretted their decision, either way.
I'm just in the decision making process myself which is why I ask.

Hippymama Sun 10-Feb-13 22:34:34

I regret not having children earlier.

We waited until we were "in a better position" before having our son. He is now 15 months old and we would love more children if we are lucky enough to be able to. I'm 34 and worry that time is running out as I would like 3 or 4 children (I come from a big family) and have recently suffered a miscarriage. I think this has made me realise that having more children might not be as straight forward as I had thought (had no difficulties getting pregnant with my son, so was unprepared for things going wrong with my second pregnancy)

StuntGirl Mon 11-Feb-13 00:06:35

I don't have any. No regrets here.

HeyHoHereWeGo Mon 11-Feb-13 00:36:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ComposHat Mon 11-Feb-13 00:42:47

I am 33 and my fiancee is two years older than me. I would like children and I think she would too. Given the financial situation we are in it could be six or seven years before we are stable and able to settle in one place. by which time it will be too late.

I worry we will spend a long time regretting it, but it wouldn't be fair to haveachild in the circumstances we are in.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:35:30

I don't regret my daughter, and I don't regret all the MCs and the failed births but if I had my time again I wouldn't have children.

Goldielocks66 Sat 23-Feb-13 16:35:31

ComposHat - I'm pretty much on a par with you. My beloved (and boy do we belove each other) is 30 and I'm 34 and I've got at least another 16 months before I'm debt free. At that point we should have a nice comfortable lifestyle - I'm also the main earner so he would end up a SAHD which he does not want.

I'm naturally a very maternal person and all my friends are a bit shocked by my swaying towards the idea of not having children as they have all consistently seen me as a 'natural' and I often assume an almost maternal role within my friendships.

Lately I find myself noting names - 'oh that's a nice name' and for a few seconds in my head I trying calling out the name to my imaginary child. I also find myself thinking 'how would i explain this (a concept or news event) to a child'. But these are fleeting fancies and I don't have a strong urge for a child.

I've been asking this question to every female I know lately to make an informed decision. The two ladies I work with have both said emphatically that given the choice again they would not have had children. One has 2DD both grown up and at Uni (one a dream and the other a pain). The other has 2DD in high school (same again - one a dream - one a pain). Two single mother friends have also said pretty much the same. Funnily the conversation is always identical to begin with. Question asked......long pause...'Now don't get me wrong I love my kids to death but...'

I was dreading telling my mother but, star mum that she is, as usual she completely surprised me by whipping round and saying 'Couldn't agree more honey. Given the ludicrous modern pressures on parents I don't understand why anyone has kids these days. Completed different kettle of fish to my days'

When I think about it I always weigh up what the greater regret, harm and consequences would be. Yes regretting not having children in later life would be awful. But that would only affect me and my beloved and we are sure to have ample opportunity to be great god parents/uncles/aunties etc.

However, once you swallow the blue pill so to speak, you cannot go back and regretting having children is a far worse prospect (just take a look on the other thread-its heartbreaking). It can destroy lives (please note CAN and not does)- not just of the parents and their relationship but much much much more importantly of the poor child.

Given the all embracing nature of parenthood (see the lovely descriptions of the doting parents on this thread alone - I'm deeply happy for all of them) the latter trumps the former in terms of potential harm despite the prospect of untold joy it might deliver.

And that before you get to the cost! We would be permanently skint which i do not fancy. I've grown fond of making light of the whole issue by referring to it as the quarter of million pound bet. Will children make me happier than I am now - which is pretty wonderfully happy? - am I willing to make a £250,000 punt on this?.....erm No.

Rant over

meddie Sat 23-Feb-13 17:12:38

I regret having both of mine so young and with the person I had them with as he turned out to be a useless EA twunt who atfer I kicked him out had little to do with them and left them with issues. But I dont regret my kids.

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 23-Feb-13 17:44:55

Ive got 3 amazing sons and my one big regret is that I'll never give my parents a grand daughter.
Its something I will never ever be able to do for them.

Beaverfeaver Sat 23-Feb-13 18:42:03

It's nice to read so many positives.
I started reading mumsnet when I started thinking about children and I still can't decide if I will ever have that natural maternal instinct everyone on here seems to have.
I also still don't know if I am too selfish a person to have them.
I am scared of it changing my relationship with DH for the worse and worried about if we can afford to have children.

Posts like this help to give me the knowledge that its obviously not easy for everyone but that children still enrich your lives for the better. (Most of the time!)


determinedma Sat 23-Feb-13 19:16:57

I love my Dcs but if I had my time over, I wouldn't have children. So yes, I suppose its a regret. I would swap motherhood for having my freedom and my identity back

slatternlymother Sat 23-Feb-13 19:40:55

heyho sorry no I've never heard of that thread, I didn't know there was one?

Honestly. The first 6 months of my DS' life were... Just unimaginably hard. I was drowning in the soul sucking, treacle walking existence of PND. I wanted to run away and never come back. Truly, I did.

But I'm so glad I've (in the long run) experienced it, and come out the other side. I'm a far, far better person. I'm stronger, easier to live with, not as lazy, kinder and more compassionate. It shaped me, moulded me into who I am today.

DS is 2.4 now and he does get irritating at times. But he's a toddler, so that's expected. I'm so proud of the boy he is, and the boy he's becoming. DH and I are closer and kinder to each other. I'm so glad I did it, and I'd do it again for him in a heartbeat.

I cannot imagine the agony of regretting your children sad

Spice17 Sat 23-Feb-13 20:19:40

I didn't want DCs but when I was 31 (like you OP) I changed my mind.

I now have a 4 month old DD and it is the best thing I've ever done, it's like she's opened up a new dimension of the world to me and I feel like I 'get it'. Sorry if that sounds wanky!

However, when I speak to and see friends with 2 kids it freaks me out mainly because they moan how tired they are all the time and I think - I'm OK with the one thanks!

jellybeans Sat 23-Feb-13 20:42:13

Nope it is the best thing I have ever done. They give meaning to my life. I had a hard time having them which makes me appreciate them more.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 23-Feb-13 20:43:49

I had ds in rubbish circumstances and I can say, honestly, that I have never regretted it. I do regret that I might not have another,especially as ds is desperate for a sibling.
Although I did recently have a conversation with a gay friend about this and we talked about the idea of sharing one! This has got me almost unreasonably exited, but practically may not be the best idea!
I also have friends who don't want any, and never have, and I totally understand that too. One friend is 44 and never, ever wanted kids, and is totally content with her life, and I think that's great. After all, the planet is overcrowded, so having children, while lovely, is actually quite selfish.

TattyDevine Sat 23-Feb-13 20:48:06

No, I don't regret them. HOWEVER, the one thing I do regret, for want of a better word, is not making "more" of the time I had before having them. I did plan it out; was married 6 years before having them. However, with the benefit of hindsight (always an easy benefit!!!) I wish I'd lived in London the whole time, done different things with our leisure time and holiday opportunities etc. Part of this was of course down to my husband but if I could have truly understood the various constraints I would have done things differently, albeit slightly.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sat 23-Feb-13 20:56:42

I also agree with cloudy in that I don't define myself as a parent. It is one of the things I am, but it's not my whole life. I think maybe that is because ds was an accident, so I never had that build up of weighing up the pros and cons. I had him because I couldn't face a termination (pro-choice here, just wasn't for me) so I gritted my teeth and let it happen.
Other stuff in my life, my work etc, is very important to me. I never feel guilty about that. Most people in the world happen to have children, and they are wonderful, but they grow up, they leave home and have their own lives, and you should always have your own life too.

NumericalMum Sat 23-Feb-13 20:57:13

IN the first few weeks I did regret it. A lot. Now my DC is older and I genuinely ache when I contemplate her not being around.

It is really hard work and the person who said parents don't have the monopoly on tiredness have clearly never had a night with a baby who won't sleep... or several years of nights.

I have also been passed over for promotion, excluded for business trips, told I should give up my career as I am a bad mother for working and I have no doubt I won't reach my full working potential with a child.

But seeing my amazing child grow up every day fills me with so much joy. I adore her so much. I only hope that she continues to be as happy!

YesIamYourSisterInLaw Sat 23-Feb-13 23:38:16

I agree with ems
I love ds dearly but given my time again I would have liked to wait until I was older.
Mind you there's tons of stuff, given my time again, I'd do differently.
The beauty of high insight eh

wotsoccurring Sat 23-Feb-13 23:51:28

Don't have children if you like a peaceful do what you like life. I have two (very challenging) children who I love dearly but I could have been happy childless.

GreenEggsAndNichts Sat 23-Feb-13 23:53:19

I don't regret having DS. He's amazing, if difficult at times.

However, if I had never had him, I doubt I'd regret not having children. If that makes sense. I was perfectly happy in myself, hobbies, friends who didn't have children (most still don't). Having DS changed my priorities, and I eventually (not instantly) bonded with him. Watching him grow into the little person he is has been amazing.

sydlexic Sun 24-Feb-13 00:02:22

I would never have been happy childless. It was the thing I wanted more than anything.

midastouch Sun 24-Feb-13 01:26:46

I dont think anyone could say they regret having children, surely?! I dont regret having them for a second they're the best thing in the world. Yes i do miss nights out and having money but one hug or kiss or smily from my DCs and i couldnt care less about anything other than them, go for it have DCs i think you'd regret it more if you dont!

GrammyPissedRUs Sun 24-Feb-13 02:05:23

I have found children are career limiting. Do I regret having any? Nnnngggggoooo but life would be different without. Better? Not sure about that but different yes.
Would I ever give him away (adoption etc) in exchange for my pre child prospects? not a chance in hell.

pollypandemonium Sun 24-Feb-13 02:21:21

Have them while you're quite young, that way you have a chance of a decent career after kids as well as before. You will be healthier and happier, and enjoy grandchildren when you can still run after the in the park. I had mine when I was 36 and my mother had me at the same age. By the time the youngest was 5 she was 79. Not helpful for anyone.

Ozziegirly Sun 24-Feb-13 03:30:28

I wasn't maternal at all before my DSs, but the searing, pure love I have for them just took me totally by surprise. It's like I need a separate word for the love I feel for them.

I find bits hard, I also have a quick temper (as does DS1), which I try to keep in hand, I find whining and complaining toddlers intensely irritating, but I actually enjoy being a parent a lot more than I thought I would.

If anything I regret not having them a bit earlier so I could have more and also that we live the other side of the world from our parents so they will never have that easy grandparent relationship that I had.

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