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Does anyone else regret having children?

(445 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?

Salbertina Sun 14-Apr-13 18:29:58

I can imagine, sorry never meant it could ever go away just hoped you might find some peace of sorts with time..

dimsum123 Sun 14-Apr-13 18:48:35

Salbertina, they are year 2 and 5. Yes am hoping I'll feel differently once they are teens. It is better now than a few years ago so we're going in the right direction I suppose. Just wish I could enjoy the here and now instead of wishing the years away until til they start primary, secondary, college, uni etc etc. They are great kids just wish I was their aunt or godmother instead of parent and my own life was unchanged.

Expat v sorry about your loss.

Life is hard.

xigris Sun 14-Apr-13 20:18:20

Oh Expat I am so so sorry. I wish there was something more I could say other than you have my deepest sympathy. That is every parents worst nightmare. flowers

This thread is fascinating and very emotional. I think you're all so brave for as a previous poster said, admitting that you wished you'd never had children is almost the last taboo. When I had my first, much wanted DS, I found the early months to be awful. I'd studied something called 'Altered Body Image' as a student; this occurs when someone views themselves differently (and negatively) after something changes about them, usually physically eg an amputation, a stoma, burns etc. I felt as though I had 'Altered Life Image'. Not only had my body changed, I'd put on weight, my boobs were mahoosive, I'd had a 2nd degree tear, but every facet of my life had changed - I now had this tiny baby to care for, my life wasn't about me anymore. Thankfully it did get better and I now have 3 DSs but I'll never forget those early months with my first.

An earlier poster said that those who don't feel that they're cut out for the baby / toddler years may find themselves to be brilliant with teenagers. This was certainly the case for a close friend of mine and DHs: she was a secondary school teacher who came from a big, close Italian family. She couldn't wait to have children and was also lucky enough to have a lovely caring DH. However, she hated, really hated, having a baby or a young child. She was on anti depressants, had counselling, the lot. She went from a bright, extrovert woman into a nervy shadow of her former self. But! She was fabulous with the so-called difficult teenage years! When most of her friends, who she'd put on a pedestal in the early years were tearing their hair out, she was the one with the answers. It was lovely smile and I know who I'll be asking for advice when my lot hit the teenage years.

I really hope I'm not rambling too much; I truly think that us mums are our own worst critics and I just wanted to share this story. I wish all of you / us the very best. It's bloody hard work this parenting lark

dimsum123 Sun 14-Apr-13 21:29:31

Xgris thanks for posting. Well I certainly hope I feel better suited to being a mother during the teenage years. I have a feeling I'll be much happier tomorrow once both of them are safely at school.

Maybe I'm just impossible to please. Because I just know that if I had not had children I would be convinced they were the answer to my unhappiness and be desperate to have them.

It's twice as hard for me as I have no family support as I went no contact with my parents and sisters when DC2 was born 7 years ago. That's when my abusive childhood memories resurfaced and I couldn't cope with seeing them as they were denying all the abuse.

I feel very alone with the burden of raising the children. DH is at work all day so its all down to me all day every day.

xigris Sun 14-Apr-13 21:56:41

I think that having no family support makes it about a billion times harder. I know that it's a very over used but that 'it takes a village to raise a child' etc phrase is, imo, very true. My Mum is great but she's most definitely not the sort of fond granny who's available to help at a moment's notice. Having said that, I think the psychology of knowing she's only a mile up the road helps. I've got a few friends with either no family support because of the sort of reasons you say and also because their families are overseas. It must be very tough. Parenting is really hard! It's a 24/7 job. I love my children but I really had bugger all no idea of just how hard it can be (and at times thankless). Do you have support (apart from your DH) in RL? When I was struggling with DS1 I found our local Children's Centre to be brilliant. They also run parenting courses which I found really useful. They were a bit like a RL mumsnet as it was always small groups and a 'what's said here stays here' ethos. The one I go to is in SE London if you're anywhere near? I'd really recommend it! smile

dimsum123 Sun 14-Apr-13 22:29:44

xgris yes it does take a village to raise a child. So true. I don't really have any other support in RL. Nobody I could admit all this to. Four v close friends don't have DC's for various reasons so have no idea what its like. Other friends with DC's just don't seem to find it as horrendous as I do. Usually they work part time at least or study which I can't do due to my health. And everyone has some sort of family which even if far away can provide at least telephone or psychological support.

I'm more towards SW London than SE although I could travel.

puddingjane Wed 24-Apr-13 12:08:04

I feel exactly the same way as Zahara in that first post. I hate having children and I regeret it. And I don't feel guilty in saying this either I have spent years educating myself and then getting jobs where I had success and respect and now I am simply doing laundry and washing dishes like a brain-dead Zombie?! I love the kids and I always put their needs before mine and I never tell them I regret having them as they do not deserve that, I treat them with the same respect as I would give an adult colleague. But yes it has been a life limiting experience for me so far. I can no longer travel, buy clothes, eat decent food and my relationship with dh has been crushed by the lack of sleep and endless joyless servitude. We have no relatives or friends to help us during holidays or illness and we are feeling like we are just waiting to die as none of our goals are no longer achievable and we can no longer pursue any of our interests.

I am sure we are depresssed. I try to accept this during the saddest moments and try to get as much sunlight and exercise (walking around) to keep it in control but some weeks it is definitely a struggle. I had a Saturday job for a while and this really helped distract me so maybe worth trying to at least break the endless grey routine...

BabooshkaBabooshka Wed 12-Jun-13 09:47:15

There isn't a day goes by that I don't regret having my children. I absolutely hate my life now. I was pushed into having a second child when I knew it wasn't for me, I had suffered with terrible pnd after I had my first and I just wanted my life back. I got pressured by relatives to have another child and it has all been a horrendous nightmare. I feel like my life is over. I don't work as we cannot afford the childcare and I would be working for nothing. I am totally exhausted. The worst part is that I feel like I am nothing now (or perhaps a slave of sorts) as I have nothing to show for all my years because my depression (pre and post babies) has totally zapped all my confidence in life, even though I am fairly intelligent and I got railroaded into doing things I didn't want to do (like having kids) by people who knew I was vulnerable and mentally ill. Somehow they all thought that the best thing for a mentally ill chick who could hardly love herself was to give her the responsibility of two children. So, I am reduced to cleaning shitty bums and making food. I feel like I am brain dead. This is no life really and every day feels like groundhog day. I have nothing in my future except years of this grind and then old age. And to top it all off, you can't even admit this to anyone (except online) as it is so taboo and all the other school mums are successful and love having kids. Isn't life grand! sad

Shakey1500 Wed 12-Jun-13 21:08:36

Babooshka sad

Well, you're right about the taboo aspect, and yes, tis safe to admit it here!

How old are your DC? Have you had any help/support for your depression? Is there a partner/family to help and give you a break?

BabooshkaBabooshka Thu 13-Jun-13 08:50:21

Shakey1500, my kids are young (5 and 2) and I have a little bit of support from my husband and mother (most of the grandparents live abroad). However, the support is mostly physical but they are also the ones who made me have another child, knowing how mentally ill I was so I don't really feel very supported by them. In all honesty, I don't think they really have a clue how I feel, even though I have spoken about it so much.

I am just so so angry with myself, I can't get over it. I go over and over it in my mind and am just so constantly angry and the worst part is that I feel like these relatives don't really care about me that much because at the end of the day they put their desires (for another child/grandchild) before me and my wellbeing. It was obviously more important for my husband to have this child than for me to be well and happy. I have been sacrificed for his wants. It's not even like he is such a great dad and I wonder why we did all this when most of the time he seems so bored and frustrated with them.

Recently the constant noise (high pitched screaming at 6am and constant fighting) has started to really get to me and I am starting to get very irritated by it and have started wearing earplugs all the time (which are not very comfortable).

I just don't know what to do. I don't want to take pills as I am not "depressed" - i am just stuck in a situation i hate and regret. Sorry I sound like an absolute cow, I am not, my kids don't go without, but i am just dying inside.

Salbertina Thu 13-Jun-13 10:01:48

Babooshka- really feel for you...and you're not a cow, just suffering hmm
Dont know if it helps, but the noise does lessen with age-2&5 is a handful!

Mine are older but one had SN and am struggling!!!! Dh rather in denial about SN needs, downplays it massively, our parents ditto. Overseas and zero SN support. Medication didn't help so trying to control thro diet but after 12+ years of oppositional behaviour ALL the time, EVERY conversation, feel so so weary and hopeless. Been dying inside most of our time here. My work refuge is gone. Oh what a pity party i am, sick of myself!!

BlackSwan Fri 14-Jun-13 06:29:19

Zahora, you said further up that you don't think you will ever return to work because your toddler is so clingy. I had a very clingy toddler but when I returned to work I found that his behaviour is far less clingy with his nanny and his nursery carers than with me! It's just when we are together he clings, whines, shouts, screams etc! Not always of course, but when he does it's quite frustrating, and I put it down to him resenting me for going to work (blaming self again!) but in reality it's best that he does spend time with others too as he isn't compelled to behave like he does with me, has fun, learns things...and I get to continue my 'old' life by having something of a career and having more balance.

Admittedly I haven't read the entire thread - but do you have any help? You need a break. Not just you, all mums.

namelessposter Fri 14-Jun-13 07:49:23

Hi Zahora. Hope you're feeling better. I haven't read the whole post but completely empathise. I have a 3yr old and 5yr old and couldn't wait to get back to work after both. Even now I find their full time company at weekends extremely difficult. I say ' I love my children but I hate being a parent'. Try reading Kramer vs Kramer. A really good book for exploring the guilt and resentment associated with not being a natural mother.

Shakey1500 Fri 14-Jun-13 13:37:37

Hi just pointing out that this thread is coming up to being 4years old. Have often wondered (i posted a couple of years ago and kept it on "watch") if things are any better/different for Zahora. Would love an update smile

Carolra Fri 14-Jun-13 13:50:04

This thread really has been resurrected...! Just wanted to ask BabooshkaBabooshka about working... I know you said you'd be working for nothing because of childcare costs, but perhaps it would be worth it anyway!? I work now because I know I'd suck at being a SAHM - my salary just about covers our childcare and my commuting costs, but its worth a lot more than that for my mental health... even if you just do a couple of hours a week... building a life for yourself is really important....

GettingStrong Fri 14-Jun-13 14:31:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PJM18 Sun 16-Jun-13 00:00:22

Hi. I think it will get better as in a few years time you will be able to take him to galleries with you and have interesting conversations. What is worrying, however is that in the meantime you risk making him feel very anxious and needing to please you in case you become upset and angry with him and this could change his little personality. I would speak to your doctor as this could be a sign of an underlying depression. Try to leave the room for a few minutes to calm down if you feel angry with him. None of us are perfect parents and I know I have said some terrible things to my children that I really regret so take some time out as it makes you feel terribly guilty afterwards and leaves your son feeling frightened.

PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Sun 23-Jun-13 10:17:55

I've just read all this thread & it's the first time I've found some honesty about what it's like to have children. Just last week I found that I'm pregnant with my first child, I was on the pill & so it came at a complete shock, unplanned. I'm 25 and my fiancé is 30, we've been together for 3years and lived together for 1. We were going to get married next year & then try for a baby as we are currently just buying a house together. We like going on expensive holidays together like the Maldives this year & we honestly love the freedom we have at the moment. The pregnancy is a shock & I still haven't got my head around the reality of this situation that's been thrown at us!! I just don't know whether we should keep it or not?!?!! I am excited that we r going to go through this amazing thing together & we will adapt but I know that we r not ready for this yet. And after reading the above I am aware of the realitys of having a child & I know I'm 25 but I still feel young & I feel like the world is still my oyster, I only finally got to move out of my parents home a year ago & I wanted for me & my fiancé to get some more selfish years together first being young with no ties & I really really wanted to do more travelling. Does life really change a lot once you've had a baby? Does it really take away your freedom? I'm an only child so I've not experienced children at all so would appreciate someone giving me a realistic 'dummy's guide' to what life is REALLY like once you've got a baby.
Thank you.

mouses Sun 23-Jun-13 14:53:50

reading this thread has lifted some heavy guilt off my shoulders, i do often tell my only firend that i regret having kids. i care about them and im protective of them, if they fall or get hurt - i hurt. so i know i love them. but if they wasnt here i wouldnt have to worry.

if i was to say it in RL im sure to get a flaming and ungrateful speech!

i had a horrid childhood amongst depressed unloving mum and no where around father. thought it would be clever to get pregnant at 18 and show my mother how to be a mum - how badly that back fired will always haunt me!

had second DS cos i didnt want my child to be lonely. when he was born i felt nothing, he wasnt for me he was for my son. i suffered PND and didnt bond with him until he was 1.5yrs old.

what made it worse was the useless man who they called dad got to keep his drink and drug lifestyle while i was at home thinking how to end it all.

so when i met some one new it felt fresh and with rose tinted glasses and promises of support i had DD..... it was like those years all over again! like round 2! i had no support, no family support from his just as before with ex dp. once again man carries on his luxury life while i hide away deep with depression.

fast forward 3yrs and im ruined! a complete mess. man lives with his mum, no support from either dad or family. poor kids who didnt ask to be here are stuck with a depressed mother and dull life that reflects my own. in a way i wish i never had them for their own sanity aswell as mine.

if i could rewind time then i can honestly say i wouldnt have kids.

PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Sun 23-Jun-13 15:41:25

This thread is scaring me about having children & is making me tempted to abort it whilst I've still got the chance sad

TVTonight Sun 23-Jun-13 17:12:05

PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Within kindness to all posters on this thread it wouldn't really be representative of most people's views. I think the pregnancy board BFP threads would give a view from the other end of the spectrum.
Good luck whatever you decide to do

PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Sun 23-Jun-13 17:49:01

So that's what I have to say to get any sort of response in here?!! I'm dedperately trying to seek advice & confidence cos I have no one to speak to so I see this website but no one replys to my comment. I went to my gp last week & she was useless too...who do I talk to?!

PregnantconfusedandscaredazA09 Sun 23-Jun-13 17:50:11

And what is BFP?

Thurlow Sun 23-Jun-13 18:21:48

Hi pregnant, where have you been posting? Can you post it again here?

Don't be scared by the comments on here. I have an 18mo and yes, she is very trying. Today I am ill and tired and right now she is watching her 3rd hour of TV while I lie here MNetting. I'm too exhausted to do anything with her and I am snapping a lot. This happens to everyone sometimes, and some months it happens a lot more often than not. Very young children are frustrating and it can be very hard to switch from work to mum mode, whether you are doing it for 2 days a week or 7.

But there are wonderful moments too. Amidst all the stress of today DD sat at the table and managed to eat with a fork for the first time like a big girl, and that, to me, was wonderful.

People on this thread are trying to be honest and say that the young child isn't the easiest and people can find it very hard not having what they have before.

Can you tell us what your situation is? What other boards have you posted on?

TVTonight Sun 23-Jun-13 18:53:54

& it's the first time I've found some honesty about what it's like to have children.

People have different experiences, those of the posters here are valid and honest, but my own experience (lifestyle was similar to your's pre-children ) is just as honest and valid, but completely different. That's All.

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