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AIBU?

Knowing what you know now, would you have still made the same decision about having children?

382 replies

Drsparks · 01/01/2024 15:20

I'm not necessarily asking if you regret it but if you had all the facts, and knew exactly how it would pan out would you have still made the same choice?

Eg
I would of had kids earlier/later.
Or
I chose not to have them because I wanted a childfree life but having lived it, I would have chosen to have kids because it wasn't all it was cracked up to be.
Or
I love my kids 100% but in hindsight I'd of probably been happier with a childfree life
or
Yes it is 109% the right choice

OP posts:
CharlotteRumpling · 01/01/2024 15:23

Yes, I would have still had them, but I would have done many things differently.

That said, ask me in 10 or 20 years when climate change really hits the fan!

FlyingSoap · 01/01/2024 15:24

TTC atm and MN has opened my eyes to the reality of parenting and really made me think about what I want for our future DC, and ultimately our family. Everything is so bloody expensive and if life continues getting more expensive we want to help them as an adult as much as we can, and for them to experience an annual holiday, whatever extra curriculars they want. I want to continue to work and to have time with DH. I don’t want to be stretched counting the pennies while paying for a second set of childcare fees - who knows how we would even budget for a second maternity. My own sibling has not enhanced my adult life, quite the opposite. So hearing of the reality, it has made us want to be OAD. Maybe we will change our mind.

squashyhat · 01/01/2024 15:28

I never wanted children and now in my 60s I'm 100% sure I made the right decision.

shivawn · 01/01/2024 15:29

I didn't plan to have children when I got pregnant with my first so it wasn't really a decision but I'm so glad things worked out as they did. Have a second child now that was very much planned. Wouldn't change anything.

Notadramallama · 01/01/2024 15:29

46, childfree and have never regretted it for a single second.

FrodisCapering · 01/01/2024 15:31

I would have had them earlier by choice but not with anyone other than their father - and we didn't meet until I was 36, married at 40.

Also, I can't imagine having anything other than the children I have, so I guess it was the perfect time because I am besotted with them!

supermamio · 01/01/2024 15:31

Its a hard one, i think i would choose to be child free. But then again having kids made me do better with life , make better choices like move to a better area.

Drsparks · 01/01/2024 15:32

I'm erring towards not having children atm, and am mid 30s so decision time is coming!
however I think the reality of my childfree life seems to be less than I expected

I think I thought I'd be trading children for more freedom, holidays and flexibility. When in reality I live a similar life to people with children, caring for older parents, pets and rarely going abroad.

OP posts:
Drsparks · 01/01/2024 15:32

supermamio · 01/01/2024 15:31

Its a hard one, i think i would choose to be child free. But then again having kids made me do better with life , make better choices like move to a better area.

Is there any specific reasons?

OP posts:
BeaRF75 · 01/01/2024 15:33

Yes. I am childfree by choice. There were times when I wobbled a bit, but I knew then that it was just emotions/hormones - NOT good reasons to have children.
Now I'm nearly 60 and both happy and relieved with my decision. I see so many of my friends still stressing and worrying about their adult children, and it looks exhausting and suffocating. Glad I've dodged all that!

AmazingDayz · 01/01/2024 15:34

Absolutely not and yes I do regret it but I’m a lone parent and i wouldn’t have had children if I knew I would be a lone parent. I wish I could have my time again.

MargaritaThyme · 01/01/2024 15:34

We are childfree by choice. I always knew I didn’t want to be a parent, and I didn’t particularly like children even when I was one myself. It was definitely the right choice for us, and if I had my time again I would 100% make the same decision. No doubts & zero regrets.

TedMullins · 01/01/2024 15:35

Drsparks · 01/01/2024 15:32

I'm erring towards not having children atm, and am mid 30s so decision time is coming!
however I think the reality of my childfree life seems to be less than I expected

I think I thought I'd be trading children for more freedom, holidays and flexibility. When in reality I live a similar life to people with children, caring for older parents, pets and rarely going abroad.

Can you do anything to change this? I’m the same age as you and have never wanted children and my life is the childfree cliche/dream - self employed, holiday several times a year, work from anywhere in the world, indulge my creative pursuits, live lazily and leisurely. That’s not to say my life doesn’t have boring times and lulls - it does. But even if it was always boring and unsatisfactory I still wouldn’t want kids because I just fundamentally don’t want them.

Jane1727 · 01/01/2024 15:36

Would definitely still have had them. Maybe not with the same person.

EmpressSoleil · 01/01/2024 15:37

My DC are adults now (in their 30s). If I was asked whether I'd have children today the answer would be no. In fact my 2 DC don't want any of their own. DS not at all. DD would consider adoption possibly.

As to whether I think I did the right thing. Well on the one hand their lives haven't always been easy, they've had some real struggles. But equally wonderful times too. They both make the world a better place in their own small ways. I think I'm someone who had to have the experience of having children. I don't believe I would have been happy to be child free, although I do see the positives. But on balance I would still have had DC. We have a relationship that I feel couldn't be replicated with anyone else and I wouldn't want to miss out on that.

VanityDiesHard · 01/01/2024 15:37

FlyingSoap · 01/01/2024 15:24

TTC atm and MN has opened my eyes to the reality of parenting and really made me think about what I want for our future DC, and ultimately our family. Everything is so bloody expensive and if life continues getting more expensive we want to help them as an adult as much as we can, and for them to experience an annual holiday, whatever extra curriculars they want. I want to continue to work and to have time with DH. I don’t want to be stretched counting the pennies while paying for a second set of childcare fees - who knows how we would even budget for a second maternity. My own sibling has not enhanced my adult life, quite the opposite. So hearing of the reality, it has made us want to be OAD. Maybe we will change our mind.

Only child here and I didn't miss having a sibling in the slightest. OAD sounds good to me. I don't understand people who want to have loads.

CuttingMeOpenthenHealingMeFine · 01/01/2024 15:38

I would still have them 100% no question. The only thing I would have done different is try for a 3rd years ago instead of ‘waiting until after Covid’ because it took ages to decide on the ‘right time’ then I had a miscarriage which was so traumatic I won’t try again (plus I turned 40 just after and I always said I wouldn’t try after 40).

There is no right time.

VanityDiesHard · 01/01/2024 15:38

I was ambivalent and havered but was on the childfree side. I am forty now and am more firmly childfree than I was before. It is too much work!

Sux2buthen · 01/01/2024 15:39

I have 3. They are the best things I've done. I'm a lone parent and it's very hard but I wouldn't change it for a minute

Fannyfiggs · 01/01/2024 15:39

I knew from a young age I didn't want kids. I'm 54 now and know for sure I made the right decision.

On saying that, I've just shouted at my two cats that we use gentle paws in this house 🤣

Noroomontheshelf · 01/01/2024 15:40

Probably wouldn't have had them.

Love them, have some really happy times with them but, and this is probably really controversial, but I would rather have a happy relationship with a man than have kids. And my personal circumstances mean that having the kids means I am vanishingly unlikely to have another relationship.

savemytimezone · 01/01/2024 15:41

No kids by choice - knew I would be as a kid.

No regrets, though I do about other stuff.

Drsparks · 01/01/2024 15:43

TedMullins · 01/01/2024 15:35

Can you do anything to change this? I’m the same age as you and have never wanted children and my life is the childfree cliche/dream - self employed, holiday several times a year, work from anywhere in the world, indulge my creative pursuits, live lazily and leisurely. That’s not to say my life doesn’t have boring times and lulls - it does. But even if it was always boring and unsatisfactory I still wouldn’t want kids because I just fundamentally don’t want them.

The obvious thing would be the pet side. We have fostered dogs etc and have two of our own. One is old now with health issues so difficult to leave with other people for extended periods.

I love them dearly and they add so much but sometimes I think while on a holiday in the UK, waking up early for the puppy and the constrictions on time a dog brings that I might as well had kids

I think the more tricky is fiancial aspects of things and we have some light touch care of elderly inlaws etc that I expect will be increasing over the next years

I have a stable NHS job but as part of that stability comes mortgages and commitments I guess

OP posts:
VanityDiesHard · 01/01/2024 15:44

savemytimezone · 01/01/2024 15:41

No kids by choice - knew I would be as a kid.

No regrets, though I do about other stuff.

Same same. I wavered a bit in my early twenties but I think that deep down I always knew. I like children but I like my sleep, my hobbies and my disposable income far more.

Therainfallingdownonme · 01/01/2024 15:44

@Drsparks i do think there’s a bit of an idealistic myth on here that those without children are living a life without any constraints at all. For me, while small children are undoubtedly hard work, I have a bit more flexibility and certainly more enjoyment than I did as a single woman in my thirties. My eldest is now three and I have a glimpse of life on the other side as well. The very intense years really don’t last forever.

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