Advanced search

What's for lunch today? Take inspiration from Mumsnetters' tried-and-tested recipes in our Top Bananas! cookbook - now under £10

Find out more

Anyone else regret having children?

(62 Posts)
Mol1628 Thu 01-Sep-16 10:01:08

If given the choice, would you turn the clock back and have a child free life.

I'm desperately sad. I love my children very much but I preferred life before and I want it back. I'm just a frazzled mess all the time with no confidence. I wake up and cry knowing it's just another day of dealing with crying arguing whingy children. They're 3 and 1. I know it will probably eventually get better, but this is 4 years that I've spend miserable and struggling. Can't have nice holidays or days out because the kids make it stressful, house it a tip and we don't have time to sort it. Just feel like I don't see the point.

The kids are fine, I do a lot with them, they're very loved. But how I wish I could turn back the clock and no go through this.

Has anyone ever felt this total despair with young children and it's got completely better to the point where you are glad that you had them? Because I can't imagine life being better than it would have been if I'd not had them.

Added to this of course is the extreme guilt that there are so many people that would do anything to have two healthy children and a loving partner. But I'm so miserable.

nightandthelight Thu 01-Sep-16 11:08:11

I regretted it in the newborn days but don't anymore (DS is 7mo). We definitely won't be having another though. Sounds like you are having a very rough time flowers

Do you work? If not it sounds like it could be good for you to do so. Lunch breaks, going to the loo on your own, adult conversation etc.

Have you seen the GP if you have been feeling miserable for a long time?

Hugs xx

Montysaurus Thu 01-Sep-16 11:20:48

I know what you mean, but also know it does improve somewhat as they get bigger. I liked most parts of my life before children (eg work, freedom, travel, nights out, time to read and watch movies whenever I wanted outside work hours, could sleep in) better than I like most parts of my life now (2 children, 6 years old and 1 year old, and I currently work part time) BUT I would never not have tried to have children as I wanted them (even then I knew it was an irrational, if natural, desire) and I'd have been miserable for many years if it hadn't happened for us. I suspect even if I could go back in time knowing what it'd be like I'd still end up doing it as at this point everyone I know has kids so there'd be no one for those nights out!

When we just had ds1 and he was 4 years old (so a preschooler, past the toddler craziness and ds2 was not yet born; I was working four days a week after spending his first few years doing just 2 days) it was much easier and I had regained a lot of freedom (as had dh) but still had the amazing bits of parenting (hugs, smiles, seeing them achieve something new, teaching them stuff they go on to love). I imagine that will come again with time. So hang in there! I sometimes think a 2 year age gap is toughest as you end up with 2 toddlers for a (relatively brief) period and that must be pretty tough for anyone! But it will pass. If you're not working, would that help? It did for me.

Mol1628 Thu 01-Sep-16 11:24:14

I regretted it in the newborn days too and it is better than that now. Mostly I get a full night sleep which is nice.

I can't work. Id never earn enough to cover the childcare. I did have an evening job but couldn't hack being home with the kids all day and then going out to work, I got less of a break and I couldn't function.

I don't feel like it's a GP issue, because when I go for a rare day out without the children it's so nice and I feel free and happy.

barefootbird Thu 01-Sep-16 13:36:46

There are some days when I have wondered what on earth I have done to my life. In the main though the good outweighs the bad over time over time.

I did in find having two pre-school DC's incredibly hard, even harder than having 2+ children, mostly due to the fact that it was so lonely and relentless.

Is your older one at nursery yet? I found that changed things for the better as there was some routine and your workload is halved for a few hours. I also stopped doing things that I knew were going to be stressful, so ironing and going to supermarkets for a start. I also got a dishwasher so I could sit down in the evening when the DC's were in bed instead of standing up at the sink.

In the early years I wished that I had shopped about more for a toddler and baby group that I liked, I went to 2 and then gave hindsight I should have tried a few more as they are all so different. I have found one now that I love, each week I am guaranteed a decent coffee, nice bit of cake and a bit of a rest.

SugarMiceInTheRain Thu 01-Sep-16 13:44:16

I can honestly say that when I had 2 preschoolers was the hardest time of my life and at points before DS1 started school I'd have said that I wished I'd never had children. They are 10 and 8 now and (mostly) a joy. Once they're older you start to get freedom back, unless you go on to have another one like I did blush but I'm finding #3 much easier, thanks in part to having admitted I needed ADs early in her life. It will get easier, 2 preschoolers is hard thanks

Candlefairy101 Thu 01-Sep-16 13:44:45

OP I was only saying yesterday that I would take 10x newborn and 10x 5 year old and ONE time but dint give me a toddler ever again!

My kids are 5, 2 and 6 months. My toddler makes my life a living hell!

FATEdestiny Thu 01-Sep-16 14:01:45

Who doesn't hanker after the carefree, childfree days? When you could go on holiday and just lie by a pool reading a book. When you could go on lovely long days out with relaxed boozy lunches. When you and DH could both sleep until lunchtime and laze around doing nothing.

Surely everyone looks back on those carefree days with envy?

Fact is, we move forward in life. We move on, we mature, we develop responsibilities. Having children is one of those responsibilities. To hanker after the carefree days doesn't mean you don't want your children. It was a different life back then. It will be different again when your children get older.

The toddler years are hard work. It does get easier though.

Mol1628 Thu 01-Sep-16 14:30:11

Thanks everyone. I feel awful for having these thoughts as I truly do love my children.

Eldest starts 3 hours a day 5 days a week at nursery next week. He has been doing two sessions a week for a while so it shouldn't be too much of an adjustment so I'm really hoping life gets less stressful.

Hah I already do the minimum I need, definitely no ironing... and my parents bought me a dishwasher a few months ago to help.

I just don't know why I struggle so much when we get by OK money wise, our relationship is good, kids are overall really good as can be expected of their age. I just find it all so so hard. It was easier when the baby was a newborn because he slept loads and didn't want much. Now I'm just constantly pulled in two directions and whinged at in stereo and it's just so so draining.

UrsulaBirkin Thu 01-Sep-16 18:27:52

I have feelings like this. My four year old DD is the cutest, sweetest creature on earth but sometimes I just wish she would 'Leave me Alone!' - I actually say this in my head occasionally.

But ... I also have an eight year old DS so I know that it gets better. SO much better.

There are always emotional demands with a child but most of the drudgery and constant need for attention, hours of hide and seek and doctors, constant demands for drinks and food, the embarrassing behaviour in cafes DOES end.

MorrisZapp Thu 01-Sep-16 18:34:11

I felt like this after DS was born and still often do, but he's here now so I focus on the good stuff. I think it's more common than you think, but it's not really said out loud.

Does anybody who feels like this mind if I ask why they had further kids after they found out how hard it was? I often wonder on these threads.

justjuanmorebeer Thu 01-Sep-16 18:42:28

I don't regret her as such but I wish I'd have waited another 10 years or so until I was more sorted money wise etc. I also did it with the wrong partner.

It improved massively when she started full time school. I don't think I will ever have another one though.

LuchiMangsho Thu 01-Sep-16 18:49:03

I can answer this. I found the first two years very hard and draining. I didn't have PND but I skipped back to work at 7 months. As he's grown older he's so much more interesting and fun. He's 4.5. We chat about stuff I am interested in. Yes I do talk about the London Underground and types of aeroplanes more than I would like to. And yes, when I go to concerts and plays they are of the kiddie variety, but I have a semblance of my life back. He's also in bed and sleeps at a good time, so we have our evenings back.
Yes, there are days when it is draining and when he says the same thing a zillion times but as someone said, he's not that dependent on me anymore. He can wake up and put on his uniform, and get a headstart on breakfast. He can shower and dry himself independently and change into night clothes (I supervise, but I know he can because he did it when I was very sick last week). He reads in bed and switches his own light off. So overall, life did become easier and we have been trying to have no 2 as a result.

Msqueen33 Thu 01-Sep-16 19:13:20

I adore my kids. They're 7,6 and 3 and two have autism. The youngest is incredibly hard and due to the severity of the autism. It's tough day in and out and I think of all the things I miss. I can't work now as the Dc can't cope with childcare. I'm screamed at 12 hours a day as youngest cannot talk. I'm exhausted. I miss my quiet time and a lot of the time the shit outweighs the good. I hate the constant demands on me emotionally and physically. I miss who I use to be. Had I known autism would enter my life I may well have stuck with one or even just the two.

UrsulaBirkin Thu 01-Sep-16 19:29:04

To answer MorrisZapp - In my case, I simply found my DS easier than DD when he was a baby and a toddler. He slept through the night from nine months, kept to his own bed (DD still comes into ours every night at around 2am) and was always very chilled. Still is.

At the age my DD is now he was MUCH more independent. They're all different.

It didn't help that I had quite serious PND with DD (only came off the meds six months ago).

It's much better now and I accept that my life is what it is on the whole. But I definitely wouldn't have another - and really puzzle at those who have three like you do at those who have two.

Candlefairy101 Thu 01-Sep-16 19:40:43

OP I actually shouted today "can some get the kids out of my ass!!!"

All I ask for is to be able to eat a yoghurt without "mine" "mine" "mine"


ChrissyHynde Thu 01-Sep-16 19:49:20

I've felt the feeling of being trapped over the years but my DC are now 17 and 12 and life does evolve really quickly. My coping mechanism was to go out , socially, with friends - usually worked out about once every 6 weeks but it was my switch off moment! Lots of chat, laughs and alcohol kept me going! Is this achievable?

uhoh2016 Thu 01-Sep-16 22:39:52

Yep 9 6 and 18m here and I wonder why the hell I put myself in this situation. Life with kids sucks

splendide Fri 02-Sep-16 08:14:17

I bitterly regretted it for about the first six months then was pretty happy with it all for about a year, it's just hit very difficult again. I love him and actually I don't think I do regret having him but I certainly am nostalgic for my life before i had him. And no way anymore!

Metalhead Fri 02-Sep-16 09:22:47

Mine are 6 and 9 months. The large gap is due to not being ready to contemplate having another until DD1 was nearly 3. However, I found once she started school life was almost back to 'normal': she was so much more independent, we could go for nice meals and holidays and keep her entertained with a book/iPad/DVDs etc. Of course there are other challenges with older ones (teenage tantrums at 6, really?!), but overall I'd say it definitely does get easier.

I did regret having DD1 for a long time, partly because I had PND, but never DD2, maybe because she's been a happier baby, maybe because it took us nearly 2 years to have her. Of course I have days when I just want to curl up in bed or run away, I think most people do! But I think if you really, really regret having your kids every day then it might be worth trying some counselling or ADs, just to get you through until things do get a bit easier.

Bedsheets4knickers Fri 02-Sep-16 16:46:57

I'm feeling like it today :-( I'm at the end of my tether after the 6 weeks holidays . The house is a mess . I can't go near a cleaning product without my 3 year old wanting to join in and spray them everywhere .
Roll on Monday x

waterrat Fri 02-Sep-16 17:50:59

OP - it sounds like it is being a stay at home parent that is getting you down. I don't regret having children but I work part time so I have a life outside family / children. Being with kids all day every day is absolutely relentless - of course you miss having time to yourself!

IS there no way you can do part time work? Would it matter if you slightly lost out financially ? THe childcare cost is from both parents salary not just the mother.

If you are at the point you describe then your mental heath is suffering - you ave a 1 year old so three more years of full time parenting. It will most definitely get easier when the older one is in nursery then school - and a 1 year old is bloody hard work. PErsonally I love my 2 year old and find her hilarious - so with the older one at school it all feels much easier.

Think about working just for yourself rather than for money.

TisConfusion Fri 02-Sep-16 18:26:35

OP, I understand how you feel I have a 4 year old and a nearly 5 month old. I'm at home with them all the time, I didn't return to work after DC1 as the hours wouldn't have worked for us and I would've been working just to pay for childcare!
My 4 year old doesn't seem to be able to play by herself so I find it exhausting. Even though last september she started going to nursery for 3 hours each morning, it didn't really feel enough! And now she's starting school on monday and I feel sad and kind of guilty. Although it's draining at times, it really does go by quite quickly and before you know it they're at school.
But yeah I can only get the bare minimum done in regards to housework. I think people must think our house should be spotless as I'm home a lot but I just don't get a chance!
I can't honestly say I regret my children as I love them so much (but don't always like DC1 and I'll probably feel that way about DC2 at some point I'm sure) - I would've been so upset to never experience having children. However I do sometimes feel sad that I had DC1 at 22 (unplanned) and me and OH only moved in together about 3 weeks before she was born. I feel like I missed out on the experience of just me and OH having our own place and doing whatever we want on weekends etc rather than things for the children! But I can't change that.
I just think it's important to try and get some time for yourself - do whatever it is that you enjoy. I like to meet with a friend now and then and go for lunch and actually have some adult conversation! Although it doesn't happen often enough. But you sound like you need a break! smile

Snotlynn Sun 04-Sep-16 13:12:36

The confessions pages on ScaryMommy suggests that a LOT of people feel the same (plus the fact that you only every hear about how boring/hard/drudgery etc. parenting is) but society dictates you must not admit to feeling like this, because after all, that's what women are for. So all complaints have the same sentence tacked on the end 'it's worth it though'.

sleepyhead Sun 04-Sep-16 13:30:29

I had a child free friend over for dinner during the week and I won't pretend that I look at her life and wonder - money issues would be gone, could do things we haven't been able to do for years, PEACE AND QUIET...

But I know she feels the same about my life. We've taken different paths and both have lots of great things about them, but you give up a lot of stuff too.

My youngest is 3 and driving Dh, ds1 and me absolutely demented, but I know it gets better.

Re: having no2, I didn't realise it at the time, but ds1 as a toddler was a piece of cake. Totally different personality. We could eat out, he would play by himself for a reasonable length of time, he didn't draw on walls hmm or break things as frequently. Things might have been different if ds2 had come along 1st....

I crave a week alone. In the middle of nowhere.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now