Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features


You chose to have kids

100 replies

Significantudder · 18/11/2019 08:42

Maybe my extreme tiredness is making me unduly cranky today but AIBU to be able to state that I am tired without being told “you chose to have kids”?

Yes I did chose to have kids, and it was a long and hard journey to have them. I was aware they would impact my lifestyle and I’m absolutely overjoyed to have them but it doesn’t mean I can’t ever say I’m tired!

Applies to other areas of life impacted by being a parent too.

OP posts:

ShatnersWig · 18/11/2019 08:47

I think it depends how you say things and how often you say them.

I have a friend who does the "oh, it's SO tiring being a parent" and if I happen to say "I'm feeling shattered today" out trots "oh, you don't know what tired is unless you're a parent".


Monsterinmyshoe · 18/11/2019 08:48


Hate it when people say this. Shows a total lack of engaging their brain to come up with something more useful. We all make choices in life and with these choices come ups and downs , but that doesn't mean we don't find them worthwhile and we shouldn't make that choice in the first place. Besides, if we shouldn't have kids because of lack of sleep, then the planet wouldn't be populated, and the person you describe probably wouldn't be born, which demonstrates their stupidity.

Next time they moan about work, a meal or their partner just retort "well you chose to go to work, eat a meal, have a partner..."


Ragwort · 18/11/2019 08:52

How often do you say it and in what context?

The odd ‘moan’ is OK but if you go on and on about it then people do get fed up of hearing it, some people have a really negative attitude and that can be very draining.

Parenting is very hard work and personally I am amazed that people have more than one child (I happily have an only child, by choice). I do get quietly irritated by people who have more than one child and then go on and on about the expense, tiredness, lack of free time, sibling quarrels etc etc. However I would never tell someone ‘you made that choice’ (even if I secretly think it).


Damntheman · 18/11/2019 08:53

YANBU. Responses like that demonstrate an incredible lack of empathy. It doesn't cost that much to make a sympathetic noise, even if you've heard the "I'm so tired" line a million times.


TrixieFranklin · 18/11/2019 08:54

I think it depends entirely, if Sue Redford was moaning about being tired after deciding to have 20+ kids I'd be pretty HmmBiscuit


TrixieFranklin · 18/11/2019 08:54



Significantudder · 18/11/2019 08:55

I would absolutely never go on about the negative side of parenting to anyone who I didn’t know very well as obviously you never know what’s going on. However I would be comfortable discussing it with my good friends, as they would with me!

This particular exchange was person A to persons B&me “how are you guys this morning” person B “Tired, I slept really badly, don’t know why, was up at 4” me: “tired, the baby was up a lot” Person A “well you chose to have kids” in a pretty unpleasant way. It just felt like a real dig and upset me! Person A is early 20s and I’m not sure if kids are on her radar yet so I don’t know if I upset her by moaning about my kids.

I’m overthinking! And oversensitive I think.

OP posts:

wildcherries · 18/11/2019 08:56

On the other hand, I'm often told I don't know what it is to be tired because I chose not to have children. Sometimes you just can't win.


PurpleDaisies · 18/11/2019 08:57

I have a friend who does the "oh, it's SO tiring being a parent" and if I happen to say "I'm feeling shattered today" out trots "oh, you don't know what tired is unless you're a parent".

I had this while I was suffering badly with chronic fatigue syndrome. Apparently even if you have a medical issue, you still can’t understand the level of tiredness that parenting brings. Made me want to punch people (but was too tired).

The response to the op was rude though. It’s pretty easy to just make agreeing noises, even if you’re secretly thinking something else.


BendingSpoons · 18/11/2019 08:58

YANBU. Funnily enough when people have a hangover no-one seems to say to them 'well you chose to go out drinking til 3am on a week night'!

I do agree with a ShatnersWig though. If my child free friends complain they are tired I am sympathetic to them too. Just because I have a baby who doesn't sleep, doesn't mean their life can't make them tired too. (Unless it is due to the aforementioned drinking until 3am when I might inwardly roll my eyes!)


thepeopleversuswork · 18/11/2019 09:03

Agree with Shatners but also depends also on who's saying this to you. My ExH used to say this to me when I challenged him about not being willing to do night feeds/contribute in a meaningful way to family life.

What he meant but didn't quite have the balls to say is that as I had chosen to be a mother I had signed up to a contract demanding never-ending sacrifice of my entire liberty, right to work and ability to function as an adult human being because I am a woman while he, as a man, had the right to a full 8 hours sleep, a fulfilling and totally supported career and endless nights out in the pub.


GiveHerHellFromUs · 18/11/2019 09:08

This particular exchange was person A to persons B&me “how are you guys this morning” person B “Tired, I slept really badly, don’t know why, was up at 4” me: “tired, the baby was up a lot” Person A “well you chose to have kids” in a pretty unpleasant way.

This update sounds like you were the antagoniser to me.
They said they were tired so you tried to one-up them.

People without kids are allowed to be tired too. It's not a competition.


JacquesHammer · 18/11/2019 09:13

YANBU, so many people are unable to manage the pleasantries of small talk without being dicks.


BillHadersNewWife · 18/11/2019 09:14

I am very careful to not complain about the constant pain I'm in due to a bad ankle. It's it's almost always severe. Nobody wants to hear it's not fair to complain to others. Always better to be cheerful.

You can confide about pain/tiredness/sadness to people who are close to you.


BendingSpoons · 18/11/2019 09:19

Having read your update, Person B was probably just tired and grumpy and meant 'well you are tired because you have a baby, you knew that would likely lead to poor sleep and there is a sort of point to it. I am tired due to insomnia which I have no control over and is utterly pointless'. (I have experienced both and not necessarily saying B is right).


TryingToBeBold · 18/11/2019 09:20

I think it's really difficult because.. some babies sleep like a dream.. others not so much.
Although we did choose to have them.. the lack of sleep hits you hard! And your friend may just know other parents that.. aren't tired. (I have a 6 month old and other than general.. end of day tiredness its nothing a coffee cant fix but I know I'm lucky)
If that makes sense?


ShatnersWig · 18/11/2019 09:22

Is it possible that Person A said it because you are always doing the one upmanship "ah, but I have a child...."?


OhWellThatsJustGreat · 18/11/2019 09:22

I'll bet the same people who tell you that you chose to have children are the same people that love to trot out the line "you don't know what tired is until you have children"


adaline · 18/11/2019 09:27

It's difficult.

I know people who have small children who get really pissed off if anyone without kids mentions they're tired - like only parents can have sleepless nights and feel like shit the next day Hmm

There are lots of reasons for people to be tired - children are just one reason. MH issues, insomnia, anxiety, depression, medical issues, medication side effects, noisy neighbours, a late could be anything.

As a non-parent, I do find it frustrating when parents expect special consideration because their tiredness is due to having children, as opposed to all the myriad of other reasons it could be.


caranconnor · 18/11/2019 09:27

Yes I too wonder if what you said came across as one upmanship. That is always annoying. We all know someone like that who whatever you say will always try and go one better than you.


53rdWay · 18/11/2019 09:30

“You don’t know what tiredness is until you have children” = “I didn’t know what tiredness was until I had children, and I have a very low ability to understand that other people are different from me.”

But I don’t know why it’s relevant here. The OP didn’t say that! Are we just not ever supposed to mention if we’re tired due to children? If I say “I’m knackered because the baby was up 14 times” I don’t mean “my tiredness is more important than yours”, I just mean “I’m knackered because the baby was up 14 times.”


newdeer · 18/11/2019 09:31

YANBU. Person A is ignorant. We are all allowed to do things which overall we love and appreciate but whinge about aspects of them.


Littlemeadow123 · 18/11/2019 09:31


Person A asked how they were.
Person B said that she was tired because she hadn't slept well the night before.
OP (Person C?) Said that the baby had been up during the night so she was tired too.
It was Person A and not Person B who jumped down OP's throat for having kids. Person A did not state whether she was tired or not so OP was not trying to outdo her in terms of tiredness.


Pomley · 18/11/2019 09:34

It sounds a bit like going into competitive tiredness territory, if the person had asked if either of you were tired fair enough, but person A is possibly bored of people with children being more tired. Also if she struggles with sleep for no rhyme or reason it is frustrating, she is correct that you chose to have children. I really wouldn't get worked up about it.


Pomley · 18/11/2019 09:35

Misread the OP that it was person B who said they were tired. Either way, let it go.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?