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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:
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Diamondcurtains · 04/01/2024 21:37

I always wanted children and I absolutely adore them but I if I had my time again I definitely would not have any. Mostly because our eldest is severely disabled and I feel incredibly guilty that life is so hard for him. He’s an adult now but will always need 24/7 care. Another reason is this is a really crap world to bring kids into. All of my kids have said they don’t want children.

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Lelophants · 04/01/2024 21:38

Desecratedcoconut · 04/01/2024 21:31

I can't believe most of your friends regret having children? That's really weird.

Edited

To regret anything in life is very sad tbh. We’ve all made choices and enormous life choices it’s very hard to see how it would have been doing it differently.

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StarDolphins · 04/01/2024 21:42

I never wanted children. Was happily child free. Until, I reached 40. I then decided I did want to be a mum so tried & had my DD at turned 42.

If I had my life again, I’d have had more. Only if I was rich though.

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Ipeakedinhighschool · 04/01/2024 21:50

Interesting thread. I'm nearly 35 and have been ttc my first for 2 years. DH and I are now at the point of getting tests, considering ivf, adoption etc.

If you'd asked me 2 years ago when I started, I'd have definitely said I wanted 2 kids. But with it taking so long, I'm leaning towards an only child now (hopefully). The more I think about an only, the more it appeals to me.

But if it never happened, I'd be very sad, but I recognise that there are advantages to a life without children. I wouldn't have said that at one time, so I think I'm in a better place with it all.

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Tacotortoise · 04/01/2024 21:55

The only thing I would like to change is recognising ds2 as autistic much earlier ie as a 3 year old not as a teenager. Poor kid.

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StellaGibson2022 · 04/01/2024 22:00

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.

Very similar to you.

I was absolutely certain that I never wanted to be a single parent yet that is how it has ended up.

The guilt I feel towards my DC is enormous - having to move between homes etc

I would not have chosen this no matter how I wanted DC

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auberginefortea · 05/01/2024 01:56

Personally, no - I've been very fortunate to have two children when I have. And I don't think it makes sense for anyone to really regret their choices - you can't change them. I will comment on the having children/childfree question as I have a particularly unique experience.

I was diagnosed at 12 with a condition which meant (or so I thought) that I couldn't have children, so I lived my teens, 20s and parts of my 30s with the idea I couldn't have children. And that was just it. And so I built my life around that choice (lived overseas, travelled a bit more, etc). And of course, I didn't regret it.

Then, when I was in my mid-30s, I learnt with a new medical procedure, it was indeed possible to have children. After some treatment, I now have two beautiful children. And now my life is a bit more "boring" from an outside perspective, and it's tough in some ways, but it brings a lot of joy.

The point being is that I can imagine a life where I wouldn't regret not having children, and I live a life where I don't regret having children.

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user1471519902 · 05/01/2024 02:41

I had our 2 children in the 1970s when the world seemed a happier place. I would have had a bigger gap between them..a 2 year difference is really hard work. I think I am a better me for having had children.

But would I have children now if I were starting my adult life again? No not in this world as it is and as it will be. It's hard enough being an adult. I fear the future for the young.

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mydogisthebest · 05/01/2024 08:16

Desecratedcoconut · 04/01/2024 21:31

I can't believe most of your friends regret having children? That's really weird.

Edited

I think it is a lot more common than people think. On many threads on here posters say they regret having their children (there are a few posts on here saying just that) and if they could go back in time they would not have any.

There is a facebook group that has over 70,000 members and also, I believe, several websites for parents (usually women) who regret having children.

I have lived in quite a few different places, including abroad, and met lots of different people. Quite a few women have told me they regret having children

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AllProperTeaIsTheft · 05/01/2024 08:26

And I don't think it makes sense for anyone to really regret their choices - you can't change them.

It's a feeling. It's not about 'making sense'.

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KimberleyClark · 05/01/2024 08:36

mydogisthebest · 05/01/2024 08:16

I think it is a lot more common than people think. On many threads on here posters say they regret having their children (there are a few posts on here saying just that) and if they could go back in time they would not have any.

There is a facebook group that has over 70,000 members and also, I believe, several websites for parents (usually women) who regret having children.

I have lived in quite a few different places, including abroad, and met lots of different people. Quite a few women have told me they regret having children

Edited

I never used to think that people could regret having children. When I was struggling with infertility I had an absolutely rose tinted view of motherhood. But it’s the biggest decision you will ever make and it is irreversible. Why is it so weird that some people, much as they love their children, feel they made the wrong decision?

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thaegumathteth · 05/01/2024 10:18

I'm glad I had mine when I did (mid 20s) BUT I do wish I could go back and be more confident in my parenting choices and take more time for me as a person.

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teaandtoastwithmarmite · 05/01/2024 12:08

I would have loved to have another one. I have endometriosis which meant I had to try for years then after I had DD I never got lucky again. By the time the talk of ivf came along I would have had to pay and I wanted to focus on dd so maybe I would've started trying earlier. That said I didn't feel ready until I was 26 and didn't use contraception except pull out from when I was about 27 so I don't think I could've changed anything. I feel very lucky to have her and she's a little dream. She is nearly 11 now and has asked for a sibling over the years which broke my heart a bit but she seems contented

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Tandora · 05/01/2024 12:27

Pifful · 01/01/2024 15:54

We had DC when I was 37 and DH was 46. It was by choice that we waited as I didn't fancy the loss of freedom and wasn't that interested in babies. I was wrong and have loved every minute of being a parent, eldest is now 28.

In hindsight I wish we had made the decision 5 years earlier as I would have had a third.
Elderly parents didn't become a major issue until DC were late teens.

loved every minute of being a parent
howww 😱😱😱. Clearly I am doing it all wrong.

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HamBone · 05/01/2024 12:27

HeraSyndulla · 04/01/2024 17:26

A need an awful lot if men do not share as most are pretty ambivalent in the first place. As Henry David Thoreau famously quipped, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them".

Perhaps it partly depends on their upbringing@HeraSyndulla DH wanted a family too for different reasons, as he had a happy upbringing in a larger family. So he was happy to expand that family. Whereas I had so little family that I wanted to create one.

I might have felt differently if I’d had siblings whom I didn’t get on with!😂

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Lelophants · 05/01/2024 12:44

user1471519902 · 05/01/2024 02:41

I had our 2 children in the 1970s when the world seemed a happier place. I would have had a bigger gap between them..a 2 year difference is really hard work. I think I am a better me for having had children.

But would I have children now if I were starting my adult life again? No not in this world as it is and as it will be. It's hard enough being an adult. I fear the future for the young.

Interesting take as for me the 70s was much worse!

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greensleevez · 05/01/2024 12:49

I've found parenting very challenging at times but absolutely NO REGRETS! My girls are the most beautiful, magical human beings and bring light to the world. They have added purpose and meaning to my life and I consider them the one good thing I ever did, even though I do hear those who mention climate change and all of us contributing to it.

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Hubblebubble · 05/01/2024 12:51

@Lelophants house prices were more reasonable in the 70s though, surely?

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Lelophants · 05/01/2024 13:00

Hubblebubble · 05/01/2024 12:51

@Lelophants house prices were more reasonable in the 70s though, surely?

I was thinking more of the social issues - horrible sexism and racism, things weren’t great for girls at all. The young girls I know now have other issues but they are much more confident about their abilities, are able to talk openly about things like periods and are more ambitious, for example.

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KimberleyClark · 05/01/2024 13:17

Hubblebubble · 05/01/2024 12:51

@Lelophants house prices were more reasonable in the 70s though, surely?

But wages were lower and interest rates higher. Even in the 70s you couldn’t afford a house straight out of university.

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Teddleshon · 05/01/2024 13:45

People also sometimes forget how expensive household goods used to be, items like tv’s, sofa’s and white goods were a multiple of what they are now in relative terms. Same goes for some food items, clothing, flights and cars. When I bought my first flat interest rates were 12.5%.

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TheRumpofaBrownKiwi · 05/01/2024 14:04

@WhereIsMyLight completely agree with your comments around the cliched view that child free people are jetting here there and everywhere, enjoying lie ins, drinking cocktails and going out all the time.

I am child free, not really by choice - I am in my late 40s now. We didn't do anything to prevent pregnancy since I was in my late 20s. But I also didn't have that drive to investigate why it wasn't happening or start looking at IVF etc. I spent a LOT of time thinking about it all but not actually doing anything about it. If I am really honest there was always a sense of relief when my period came.

In my late thirties I sort of had an acceptance that I would be child free and was fine with it. I stopped thinking about it all so much. I am a very anxious person by nature and I often think the worries associated with raising children could have sent me over the edge.

I have had my periods of travelling, a lot of socialising etc. Now I am quite the home bird and never more content than cooking dinner at home with my husband and dogs and pottering around the house and garden.

Having children or not having children does not change your personality. I have friends with children who travel almost continuously, attending concerts sporting events etc.

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TheRumpofaBrownKiwi · 05/01/2024 14:14

Following on from my previous post, the only time I have once again questioned my 'decision' of remaining child free was when a parent was recently critically ill in hospital. As I was sitting holding their hand and helping with their care, I had the realisation that, in the ordinary course of events, if this happens to me when I am their age I would be alone with no one to hold my hand, to help move pillows around so I am comfortable, to advocate for my care.

I suppose this is not guranteed for anyone though.

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TinasLostHerSparkle · 07/01/2024 09:46

Knowing what I know know I absolute would not have had children. Mum to 2 late teens with special needs. It has been relentless for the past 19 years. I do love them. But the stress of having them has destroyed my career, my marriage, my whole life.
Not a day goes by when I don't think about ending it all or just running away. I can't even cry anymore so all the pain stays locked away inside and sits on my chest like some deadweight.
If anyone is offended by what I have said please do not pile on. I feel near suicidal already. I know I need therapy. But there is not a speck of space in my head to think about myself.

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