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?(445 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?
Hi All, I came across this post when I was feeling very down. I have never had a desire to have a child until a few years ago although I had been good with babies and children and I was familiar with baby care due to having babies in the family. Having a baby was a mutual decision of my husband and I. I had a lovely pregnancy although birth was very difficult and a bit traumatic. All in all, I dont have much to complain about as I have had full time support since day one and my husband and my family have been and still are very supportive whenever I need their help. I had so many episodes of unhappiness until few months ago. I have been meaning to write here but it just didnt happen so far. What changed my life was getting a professional help from a sleep consultant. I love to have a routine and plan my day, week, month so I get lots of things done. My biggest challenge was that i couldnt establish a routine for my baby for months and that made my life a chaos as well as destroyed my self confidence as I started to feel like a failure. I started to feel as if I had lost someone, as if someone I knew very well had passed away. However things changed completely when I got help from this wonderful lady who is a great sleep consultant. She works over the phone so it makes it so easy to work with her. The reason why I mention this is in this discussion is, such a simple thing can change your life and enable you to spend few hours a day and the entire evening for yourself. Also, it makes your baby very contended and also easy to be looked after.
If sleeping/eating or even manners of your baby is a problem for you, I strongly recommend getting professional help to fix it. Then, it is more fun and joy to be with your child.
I am also struggling with the decision. I suspect that I don't really want children badly enough. My fears somehow seem to outweigh excitement and I am trying to listen to and tune into my gut instinct. I fear that, at 40, I will be too exhausted. My partner is even older. It's sooooooooo hard, and the social pressure is hard to bear. Everywhere, it seems we are conditioned to want children, as though this is the proper way to be a woman. I seem to receive the message, over and over again, that children are the key to fulfillment. Yet I remain a little sceptical about this.
More than anything else though, I wanted to add the following to this thread.
The digital revolution has undoubtedly brought many evils to the world: the democratisation -- availabilty and variety -- of pornography. 'Electronic fidgeting' where none of us can quite switch off our multitude of screens. The problems of navigating the (at times) bitchiness of Facebook for young teenagers in school. The instant and invasive nature of Twitter soundbites and rolling news, blah blah.
BUT! THANK GOD! for threads like these. It brings tears of gratitude to my eyes (yes, really) to be able to access the testimonials here. It has been a great source of comfort and reassurance to know that I am not alone. Hearing other people's stories has been such a wonderful, wonderful help to me in my confused state. At risk of being sentimental, thank you posters, Mumsnet and the Internet, from the bottom of my heart.
No one should be too tired at 40 to cope with a baby or too knackered at 45 to handle a toddler. Unless they have disability/illness. I'll be in my 50s when DD is in her teens and have no problem with that!
Cate, you say you have no problem with being in your 50s and having a daughter in her teens, but (correct me if I'm wrong) you aren't in your 50s yet? So you "have no problem" with the idea of this, and you hope (but cannot know) that you'll have no problems with the reality of it, when that time arrives.
I think it's skating on thin ice to start saying what other people "should" and could be doing. Everyone is different. Certainly, if you've worked full time for twenty years in a demanding job and maybe had one (or two?) kids already, I can't imagine how a newborn / toddler wouldn't be exhausting for a 40yo. But that's just my opinion.
I'm 51, DD is 10. I know what I'm talking about
Okay CateBlanket, apologies - you ARE in your 50s so clearly you do know quite a lot about this. Is DD your only one or are there more?
She's an only - by choice, not because I was too physically frail at 40+ to contemplate more children . Mentally I would not have wanted more children, whatever age I'd been when I started a family, for many of the reasons stated in this excellent thread.
I have read this thread and cried. I feel as though I am in a bad place right now ... I'm not depressed, I know I'm not ... I just hate my life. It's fucking awful. I don't know why I had mine I really don't. Yeah sure I love them, I do every thing for them, but I regret having them. I don't want this life. I want to live, I want adventure, I want something more. I'm selfish. I wish I could be brave enough to give them to their dad's and go, but I can't. At least 16 more years of this.
This is an awful post but it feels good to let it out.
I don't know why I did this to myself, or to them really. The guilt is tremendous.
Myfirst, how old are your dc? Are they at school yet? Also, how old are you? "This too will pass." It might be a particularly challenging part of bringing them up that you are going through right now.
Don't worry for a second about "an awful post". Noone is here to judge and most are in the same boat.
MyFirst I can only echo what pan has said, the majority of folk on this thread understand exactly how you feel and how heavy the guilt can be. So firstly, know that you are NOT alone Do you feel able to tell us more? We might be able to help, offer some reassurances (though I totally understand that sometimes someone can have all the reassurances in the world and it won't make a blind bit of difference). But just to hopefully make you feel less helpless? It will truly be coming from those who have felt very similar to how you feel now.
Cate Ye gads, I wish I had the energy I had in my 20's! I'm (almost) 45 now with a 7 year old and I think I've had one day in the last...oooh..seven years where I have felt anywhere near energised! I am slightly unwell though so that's probably contributed somewhere along the line. Never been lazy per se but never set the gym alight either
Thanks panpipes, they are 6, 3 and 1. I'm only 26, too much too young. I was chasing an ideal, so naive, so stupid, didn't learn. It's too late to back out now. I feel guilty for them. It's got to get better, I know. Sighs. One day at a time.
Didn't see your message Shakey, sorry. I feel instantly better getting it off my chest, and knowing I'm not totally abnormal, and not being flamed though I know I would deserve it. You know, I just feel as though I mess everything up. I'm going through the motions, but some days it just gets too much to bear. Ah, I would never act on it, but just ..... I know I'm echoing others, I wish I could just walk away from it all, forever. I can't though, I can't mess them up just because I'm a mess if that makes sense.
This is the problem, my whole life feels like one big "can't" and I resent that, even though it's all my own doing
my mother regretted me and left me homeless at age 13. I knew it didn't matter how well I acted and that it wasn't my fault that she was so abusive, but it still hurt. I discovered music festivals as a result. I soon began selling my artwork at them, touring all over the country. the farther away from my abusive mother I was, the better I felt. from 15 to 28 years old, it was always the same life-long art goals- to finish new masterpieces and then sell them at the shows. I gained recognition around the country while still a teenager and thought I was on my way... but then I was approached by a guy that seemed to care a lot about me. I was very busy and wasn't even lookn for a boyfriend but I fell for his charms. I was dumb because he turned out to be an abuser. I told him that I didn't want children but he kept pushing me to have unprotected sex. he beat me while I was pregnant. to make along story short, my art dreams have been replaced with single motherhood, and i'm dying inside. no time for the kind of art I do. I used to lock myself in a room for weeks literally. I do love my son and I try to block out the pain of being severed from my livelihood but it always resurfaces again and again. I've always used my art to heal and I'm unable to get my therapy. I feel like instead of being that well known and respected artist, instead i'm on my way to becoming my worst nightmare- my mother. worst part is that I've ended up moving to my mother's home town for more support. unfortunately her alcoholism makes her distant and it's just me and my son on our own now in iowa. iowa a place I never would have saw myself 5 years ago from Colorado where I used to live. I am afraid for my son because if he grows up seeing me so miserable, well that's not good for him either. sad to say that I actually felt freer in jail. i'm sorry but it's true. I try to deny these feelings and I just feel like I don't have a soul anymore and even have suicidal thoughts. so far my son is a happy and vibrant 2 year old but i'm worried that my deep sorrow could destroy both of our lives. I feel like i'm being swallowed and can never breath. can't be good. god please help. i'm not ok
Myfirst, it will be better when they all start school - just a few years to go now. And when they all hit their teens, the oldest one might help out by keeping an eye on the littler ones. You will all stick together and be okay. Although I don't have children, I can imagine how the limitations would be frustrating, but there must be big joys to compensate.
diannside what comes across in your post is what a survivor and phoenix you are, rising from set backs. Your love for your son is obvious, and I guess that is the gain from losing the freedom to do what you want with your time.
I admire you both of you. I am so pathetic, I haven't even got the courage to have children as I am so worried I will regret it.
Thank you, diannside. Your words were comforting to me. I am a bit distressed by the decision. I suppose it isn't for everyone. But how do you really know beforehand? I guess the truth is that no-one does.
I regret having kid. I cannot stand the crying part. If I knew this will happen, I will never have any kid. I miss my carefree day, my old life... Though I do love my girl, but think I'm not enjoying the 'motherhood' life. Wish I see this thread b4 giving birth. My baby is abt 7 weeks old, long way to go... Sometime, I wanna kill myself to get over, been crying n now on depression pill.
Pleased you are getting such good support from other posters. Try to give yourself permission to have some quality time for yourself. Genuinely it will benefit the whole family if you are feeling well and fulfilled.
Could you have a frank chat with DH about what's not working, and start to make some changes?
All the best.
I came across this thread because I am looking for a way to go forward now my 3 kids have left home and feel more than a little bereft and I feel that a change of heart is needed here. Kids expect and deserve time and attention - who's the adult here?? Really you know kids grow up! Very quickly! And what's so amazing about all that going to galleries, reading novels, having lunch out and especially going to work in some mediocre office with tiresome colleagues that compares to the intense pleasure your little one has in a book or video that you can sit and read/watch with him? No amount of 'me time' is going to change the way you feel - treasure instead the transient company of your child. Yes make changes that enable you to cope with the demands but realise that kids are demanding and sacrifices are worth it - focused attention will reduce the 'clinginess' of your child whilst resentment of his demands will only increase them.
BigSmiles I am sorry that you are feeling bereft
But, with respect, and as mentioned many times on his thread, it really isn't as simple as you have put it. I'm sure all that suffer would pay a kings ransom to have a "change of heart" in a nanosecond if it were possible. To not beat oneself with a big guilt stick because we (general) know that our (g) children deserve time and respect and it's really REALLY hard to generate emotions and actions that simply are not there instinctively.
If you've read the whole thread, the desperation and guilt are evident. I'm glad that you have experienced your joy readily and hope you find something equally satisfying going forward.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.