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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:
Nina9870 · 01/01/2024 16:05

If I were an adult in the 70s or 80s, then yeh, I’d probably have had more than I do. I love them so much and enjoy them- the little loves of my life.
but the more I read about climate change I feel sick. I don’t think my kids/ our kids are in for a great future and it really worries me

FancyBiscuitsLevel · 01/01/2024 16:07

I wish I had a 3rd. I stopped at 2 for sensible reasons, but I do wish I’d had a 3rd.

re babies making you make better life choices - I found being a parent took my general vague lefty views and caring about the environment and wanting the world to be a better place etc and put a fixed 18 year deadline on that. I want the adult world my dcs emerge into to be a better one than I had- and that makes you focus, because 18 years isn’t long.

tokesqueen · 01/01/2024 16:07

Yes. At the same age with the same age gap and at the same time into my relationship with the same man.
Wouldn't change anything.

Notateacheranymore · 01/01/2024 16:07

CFBC. Married 25 years Aug just past, and DH thinks the same as me.

I really enjoyed being a teacher, except the non-teaching bullshit parts, and I taught Science at secondary age. It was fun, but I never saw anyone for more than 2 hours any given day - unless I had to cover an absent colleague, and with some kids that was waaaaaaaaaay too much.

I rarely see any kids now, except teens belonging to two friends, who are all really nice, even though they are all ND. I 100% do not regret my decision; in fact the day of my hysterectomy, 10 April 2018, was incredibly momentous. I had to really fight for it as well, being only 42. Had to wait 18 years from first request to GP. 😤

Winnipeggy · 01/01/2024 16:08

I would have had them about 5 years earlier (had my DD at 38) so I could comfortably have one or two more

Jl2014 · 01/01/2024 16:08

100% would have them. Having a child has brought joy, purpose and meaning to my life that I wouldn’t have gotten from work, travel or more free time.

I thought I loved my DH (I do!) but I never in my life felt love as strongly as when my child was born. I often think that song from Cinderella “so this is love” is more about the love of your child than finding a partner.

Whereinharrogate · 01/01/2024 16:08

2 kids, love it, wish I'd started earlier so I could have had 3!

Having said that having children has required much more adjustment/self sacrifice than I expected.

RedHelenB · 01/01/2024 16:08

Absolutely no regrets.

Snackpocket · 01/01/2024 16:09

41, no kids, no regrets ✌🏻

MyFirstLittlePony · 01/01/2024 16:09

My boys are 21 and 19

Sometimes I wish I had had more kids ...

I love being a mum, and I loved all ages (though the baby years and late teenage years were hard, it has driven me to the brink of despair)

I still traveled, my kids were born abroad, we have made some tough (stupid?) decisions about living in adventurous but tough places), I still followed my own dreams, but yeah massive compromises along the way...

No regrets really Smile

Mumof2NDers · 01/01/2024 16:09

I’m 53 and he’s 2 DS’s (23 and 16)
They both have ADHD have both had bouts of poor MH. They are my whole world but having them has caused my MH to suffer. I developed anxiety and insomnia because the oldest one was such a tearaway. Think “borrowing” my car and writing it off kind of tearaway behaviour.
They are both the light in my life and the cause of the darkest times of my life. Raising them has left me exhausted.
But on the other hand when things are good they bring me such joy. They love me unconditionally and are my biggest fan club. So I’m answer to the question sometimes but only sometimes I do wonder how my life would bd if I hadn’t had them.

HamBone · 01/01/2024 16:10

49 with two teenagers (18 &15). They’re expensive and yes, they do place some constraints on your life, for example, you need to consider schools when choosing where to live.
But for me, it was 109% the right choice to have children in my 30’s. They enrich my life immensely and the restrictive period is so short, we’re already out of it, tbh.

But it’s not the right choice for everyone. Our siblings are childfree and compared with us, I’d say that one lives a more exciting and interesting life, one about the same as us and the other far more limited. Different lifestyles suit different people. 🤷

tulipsunday · 01/01/2024 16:10

Yes so glad I had my son and feel lucky to have another on the way following miscarriages. Parenting is not easy and can really take a toll on energy levels etc. but I always knew this was the path I wanted.

WartyDoris · 01/01/2024 16:11

Knowing what I know now about the risks coming as a result of climate change, I wouldn’t have had dc. Love them dearly but frightened for their future.

Makeupalley · 01/01/2024 16:12

Glad we had our DCs at 26 and 28. We're now about to get into our 40s and life is good.

We were lucky, had plentiful babysitters, so we still met up with out childless friends as much as we could when they were small. Now many of those couples have babies / toddlers and it's nice to be out the other side, as it were.

We have still kept up our careers, but have just had to do it with the kids as well. Glad we didn't wait, I'm excited for our late 40s when the kids are grown and we have plans to travel (with them too if they'd like, depending on where we go and how long).

We had to really put in the effort to keep up with our friends in our 20s though, or we could have drifted apart with us being young(ish) newlywed parents and them child free (As I say, very lucky our parents could/would have them for sleepovers fairly regularly when they were small, and now. They also used to look after them whilst we were working).

They're now in their late 60s/70s and there's no way they could do as much now with regards childcare. So I guess that's another bonus to having kids on the younger side.

So maybe I should give a shout out to the GPs here!

(Sorry, its a ramble, having a NY's day wine in the bath and can't be bothered to edit to be more succinct!)

haloeffect · 01/01/2024 16:13

absolutely right decision for me although it has been bloody hard even with a loving caring handy husband. I would encourage DCs to have children as well (long way off of course) and hope they see us as example of doing our very best and having lots of fun despite the hardship.

MyFirstLittlePony · 01/01/2024 16:13

@Mumof2NDers I hear you!

My boys are also ND, and the mental health issues related to that (for them and me) have been hard

But like you, I also feel very loved and appreciated

And they know they are loved unconditionally back

Am hoping to reclaim a bit of fun for myself in 2024 as this has been a tough year

Still no regrets though, honest Grin

harriethoyle · 01/01/2024 16:13

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.

I am one of four and I loathe it. I so wish I was an only child. Happy to pm if it would help rather than set it out here but it's definitely contributed to my decision to be child free.

Pifful · 01/01/2024 16:14

Interesting how many like me left it late and wish they had started sooner so they could have had three.

PeanutAndBanana · 01/01/2024 16:17

My children are wonderful young adults. They are kind, passionate, funny people who I love more than I could ever have imagined. I always wanted children and can't think what life without them would be like.
But if i could take out if the equation the fact that my life would be infinitely less fulfilling without these three people in it, no I would not have children knowing what I know now. The world doesn't need more people and on a personal level the worry, stress and lack of freedom means I have made choices that I would prefer to have not made. But I have precisely zero regrets about being the parent of these three people because I am absolutely delighted by them.

Dianaofthelakeofshiningwaters · 01/01/2024 16:18

The only thing that I would have done differently would be to have them earlier so I could have had another one, or two.

I knew that I wanted children from a very young age as I had loved caring for my younger siblings and babysat for many children as a teenager. Purposefully chose a job working with children as love spending time with them.

Would have loved to have done it with good health and no disability as it was physically hard when they were young but no regrets at all. They are fantastic young people and the best company (even as teenagers).

Kitchenwitchery · 01/01/2024 16:19

Childfree by choice with no regrets, age 51. When I was younger I wouldn't have been a good mother for mental health reasons - and that's even if I'd had an easy child. Plus I can't stand noise and am lazy, and parenting seems like thankless drudgery to me. Now I'm older I'm a lot more stable and love my life, free time, career, marriage, and finances the way they are. Plus like PPs have said if I had had children I'd be very worried for their futures.


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LaurieStrode · 01/01/2024 16:22

squashyhat · 01/01/2024 15:28

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

Same here. It doesn't seem like a pleasant lifestyle choice.

thecatsthecats · 01/01/2024 16:22

I have a ten week old and I'm fairly certain that I am OAD. I'm having a great time, he's mostly a very easygoing baby, but I'm just pretty confident that I don't want to repeat the experience - making the most of my only time.

longtompot · 01/01/2024 16:22

I absolutely love my three, but two of them have chronic pain conditions and if I knew this before having them I really don't know what I would have done

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