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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?

I would of had kids earlier/later.
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.
I love my kids 100% but in hindsight I'd of probably been happier with a childfree life
Yes it is 109% the right choice

OP posts:
VegetablesFightingToReclaimTheAubergieneEmoji · 01/01/2024 15:46

A contraception failure here so not an active choice as such.

No I wouldn’t have.
climate change.
the dire financial future for them (cost of education, cost of housing) and lack of opportunity to improve things for themselves now

but more than anything my mental health is utterly atrocious and living everyday is painful. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here now, but I know the damage that choice will do to them.

Now I’m older I know more people who are child free than with children, a lot about their lives seem enviable.

Hungrycaterpillarsmummy · 01/01/2024 15:47

I wouldn't make the same choice now I know what's involved.

sloemum · 01/01/2024 15:47

Yes definitely, I had mine in mid twenties which lots of people think is too young but has worked out well for me (menopause/elderly parents/freedom timings as they grow)
I would have picked a different father though- I was NOT fussy enough on aligning parenting principles. I probably should have had three rather than 2 (controversial) and even though I enjoyed being a stay at home parent when young, I'd probably recommend most women to keep a career going even if just minimally.

Snowpaw · 01/01/2024 15:52

I'm very glad I've had my child, though that has only really become clear to me as she has aged. She's 5 now and in my experience it just gets better and better. I found the baby years / intense hormone changes / breastfeeding etc very tough and a big adjustment to make. It has taken me a number of years to adjust to this life, but I now feel very satisfied with life in a deep way and I am so glad that I went through those struggles to get to this place.

I go to bed content that she is content. I love explaining the world to her and having conversations with her. I love listening to her talk - the things she comes out with is fascinating to me. I love seeing the world through her eyes. I love the routine that a child requires because it has helped my own mental health (i.e. regular exercise, lots of fresh air, having to keep a reasonably tidy home, eating properly and regularly, seeing friends and family regularly, waking up and going to bed at proper times etc).

Most of all, I am thankful of the many friends I have made in the community that I would not have made had I not had my daughter. It is this that has, perhaps, enriched my life most of all.

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.

Alwaysthesunandthemoon · 01/01/2024 15:55

I always very much wanted children. I loved looking after them when they were small. I realise now that I should have been more careful who I chose as a husband and father for my children. Looking back now that they are adults, I can see that I could have had a very pleasant child free single life but there are pros and cons to both sides.

Youcannotbeseriousreally · 01/01/2024 15:55


cariadlet · 01/01/2024 15:56

I never wanted children (decided as a child, still convinced as a teen and as a young adult).

I agreed to try for kids after being with my partner for a few years because he had always wanted children.

I surprised myself by falling in love with my dd straight away. Had thought that the toddler stage would be interesting but that I would be bored to tears during my maternity leave.
Turned out that I was only bored by other people's babies.

With the benefit of hindsight, I would have started trying earlier because I struggled to get pregnant with dd and I didn't manage to get pregnant again (apart from a couple of miscarriages). My age might have contributed to that.

Zoomzoomzoomzoom0 · 01/01/2024 15:56

I think women should talk more to each other about how having kids is not for everyone. Especially if you have a career you love and/ or expensive, time consuming hobbies. The reality is the level of sacrifice will be felt differently depending on each individual's circumstances. I love my kids, they have enhanced my life and taken my navel gazing focus off myself, which is a good thing. But I'm basically very selfish so I do struggle at times with the " mothering" expectations.

wannabetraveler · 01/01/2024 15:57

46, three kids and if anything, I'd have started earlier and had another one. I absolutely adore them, and they add immeasurably to my life. That said, the years from birth - 3 were brutal.

Desecratedcoconut · 01/01/2024 15:57

I had three between 28-34 years, and they are wonderful, and I wouldn't change a thing. It has been fantastic. I would say easy but full of laughter, learning, adventure. I can see why for some, it makes their lives especially difficult but for many it is a life enriching experience.

Useruser1 · 01/01/2024 15:58

2 kids, all great, I will always slightly wish i had 4!

sweetpeaorchestra · 01/01/2024 15:59

Like a PP I would have had a third, but I’d have needed to be more financially secure to do so. Wish I’d been more career driven earlier to allow for this. I was prone to depression before I had DC but I find them so life affirming and been much happier overall since being a parent (not that it’s easy and dreading the teen years!)

FurballFrenzy · 01/01/2024 15:59
  1. Childfree. Zero regrets.
BurbageBrook · 01/01/2024 15:59

I'm still in the baby stage but I guess in an ideal world I'd have had her earlier than I did (32) as she's just totally enriched my life for the better. I had a great life before but I feel I was born to be a mother, I feel so fulfilled by it. But then again I didn't meet my husband until I was 29 and I'm glad we had that special time as a couple.

0psiedasiy · 01/01/2024 16:00

I also wish I had a third, I had 8 pregnancies, just wish I had tried again (but at 35 I decided my body just wasn't up to it, I had my first two no problems at 25 and 27, then when I wanted a third at 32 it was just miscarriage after miscarriage).

SouthLondonMum22 · 01/01/2024 16:01

I'd still have a child but I wouldn't have tried for a second if I had known they would be twins.

StaunchMomma · 01/01/2024 16:02

I'd have started earlier and had more.

Familiaritybreedscontemptso · 01/01/2024 16:02

I love my dc and am so glad I had them. However I do worry a lot about what their future looks like and perhaps would make a different decision if I were making it now. The world feels very different from how it did 15 years ago when we decided to have dc.

DrNo007 · 01/01/2024 16:03

I’ve always known I didn’t want children and have never regretted not having them. Although once I had a tiny wobble when I thought it would have been nice to have a daughter just so I could give her a certain beautiful Italian name. Fortunately I came to my senses pretty quickly and never looked back.

I don’t find most children interesting or enjoy spending time with them (that was true even when I was a child myself) and I think even babies pick up on that, as the few times I’ve been asked to hold a baby for a minute they scream their heads off.

Pollyannamex · 01/01/2024 16:03

Childfree with absolutely zero regrets. Sometimes I read the endless SEN threads and the posts about not being able to cope etc and it just cements my position even further.

TrousersAndPotato · 01/01/2024 16:03

No. I'd have had none. I had 4!


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Dacadactyl · 01/01/2024 16:03

I don't know, it's a hard one.

I go thru stages of thinking that I'd have had them later, but then I think they gave me purpose and drive when I was just coasting in life at the time (was 21 when I had my first and now am 38)

Hipnotised · 01/01/2024 16:04

Three DC, 100% the right choice.

IncessantNameChanger · 01/01/2024 16:05

My kids are the best things that ever happened to me. We have had to be inventive and extended a house. Would never have such a house without the kids as no need.

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