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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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ZforZebra · 01/01/2024 16:43

I would have them again. I find having DC simplifies life - before I had them I often lacked direction, was too impulsive and rarely considered the full impact of my decisions. With DC your options and priorities are streamlined and pared down, which may sound like hell to many but has been really good for me. I’ve achieved my best professionally because I have them as a motivator. I’ve been more inclined to really work through conflict/disagreements with my DH because now there’s more at stake - our relationship is stronger as a result. I’m also much wealthier and more financially secure because now I actively save/invest to ensure I am not a burden to DC in my old age and can hopefully help them get on the property ladder or make major purchases when older - before I would burn through my paycheck on useless crap like clothes and takeout. I’m more interested in and active around things like climate change, politics and other issues because now I have my kids future to consider while before I was apathetic or completely disengaged. Having something bigger than myself to focus on has been good because I was quite self-centered and self-absorbed.

It helps that my DC are very easy, laid-back and make me laugh everyday (and I have a ton of support from family on both sides, nannies etc.). Parenthood has so far been much easier for me than many experiences I read on MN. It’s also made me closer to my parents because I can relate to them better and understand the decisions and sacrifices they made for us. Overall I’m glad I did have DC and wouldn’t change it, but can fully appreciate it isn’t the case for everyone who has kids. My answer is largely based on my circumstances - I can imagine many scenarios where I could regret having DC.

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shamshir · 01/01/2024 16:44

Yes, I am 100% certain I'd have kids again if given the choice- they are flipping amazing and I love spending time with them.

My only regrets are my career choices- I would have gone for something very different knowing what I know now.

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Ohtobetwentytwo · 01/01/2024 16:45

Completely the right choice to have kids.

Completely the right choice to decide not to have the 2 I'd planned and to stop at 1 child because I'm a better mum for it.

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brownbutterfrangipanetart · 01/01/2024 16:48

Beezknees · 01/01/2024 16:39

I stuck at one because I knew I couldn't do pregnancy, birth and baby stage again. I never once regretted it.

That’s good to know! Everyone says the baby stage doesn’t last long but it seems to last forever! One child families are common where I live too :)

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Toastcrumbsinsofa · 01/01/2024 16:49

I’m 100% sure it was the right choice for me. I always wanted children and it was (mostly!) a pleasure bringing them up. DH and I are empty nesters now so I’m probably looking back with rose tinted glasses Smile

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HamBone · 01/01/2024 16:51

brownbutterfrangipanetart · 01/01/2024 16:48

That’s good to know! Everyone says the baby stage doesn’t last long but it seems to last forever! One child families are common where I live too :)

@brownbutterfrangipanetart When they’re small it can drag but once they’re older it seems SO long ago. I’m now the smallest person in the family, my teens tower over me. 🤣

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KimberleyClark · 01/01/2024 16:52

I wanted them but couldn’t have them due to fertility issues. If I had my time again I’d be childfree by choice.

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Halfemptyhalfling · 01/01/2024 16:53

If I had my time again I wouldn't change it. However if I was contemplating now I might not have kids because of the expectation of 50:50 custody in divorce. I don't think I could mentally cope without them 50% particularly if the other 50% they were with someone I disrespected enough to divorce ( or disrespected me enough to divorce)

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Hibernatalie · 01/01/2024 16:55

Absolutely.

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Deadhead2024 · 01/01/2024 16:55

2 children, Love them as much as life. I would not have children if I could do it all over again.

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susiedaisy1912 · 01/01/2024 16:56

I would have had the, but with a different man.

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willWillSmithsmith · 01/01/2024 16:57

As long as I could have the same kids I’d have had them younger (older mum) and with a different father. Even though there were some tough years (single mum) I don’t regret for a minute having them. Fast forward the difficult years with toddlers and I now have two strapping adult sons who tower over me and are lovely people.

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Camarthen67912 · 01/01/2024 16:57

I wish I'd started earlier. I was young as it was, but I wish I'd had them sooner still.

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TripleDaisySummer · 01/01/2024 16:57

N0 - happy with my choice of having kids.

I have had moments when I wonder if we should have had them later in life - I was very late 20s - as I could have got more senior in career and maybe hung on better to it - got life work balance some mother I knew who had first in late 30s early 40s managed. However I'm not sure it would have worked out like that and it would be super hard with parents health issues and younger kids now.

I was pg with last child when we got hot by 2008 crash - and I do wonder if we'd waited we'd have not had the last one- which I think we would have regretted.

Overall I expected hard work and times - but living through them was harder than I imaged but highs have been so much higher as well.

I also wanted kids though imagine I could have lived a good life without them - we'd probably settled latter - DH career bumped us round UK a lot so would been even more fucked with house prices though- but don't think I'd be any happier.

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Beginningless · 01/01/2024 16:57

I probably would have had them earlier if I had my time again, but that would bring other problems as I was more immature. I’d have likely been as happy if not happier in a childfree life but it would be an entirely different kind of life, and the kid path is what I wanted wholeheartedly.

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Icantbedoingwithit · 01/01/2024 16:58

If you asked me when they were small I would have said it was the best decision ever. Teenage and young adult years….nope.

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TooOldForThisNonsense · 01/01/2024 16:59

Now my children are bigger 15 and 17 I would say I don’t regret a thing. They are fantastic people I am so proud of them and they are amazing company. I love largely having my independence back. However there was a lot about having younger children I did not enjoy, even though I still loved them of course. So a few years ago my answer may have been different.

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Thelineofbeauty · 01/01/2024 16:59

Adore DC with every fibre of my being and they have improved my life immeasurably. Only wish I started earlier and had more (I would need to have met someone earlier than I did).

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Disillusioned11 · 01/01/2024 17:02

Absolutely love my darling DS who has been the easiest baby, child, teen and young adult.

But if I had my time again, I chose a lot of things differently and that includes having children

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AllProperTeaIsTheft · 01/01/2024 17:03

I have two teenage children. I would maybe have had them a little bit earlier if I'd met dh sooner! Otherwise I wouldn't change anything except maybe getting a bit fitter and healthier before having them, as that could possibly have prevented the high bp which kicked off in pregnancy, and which I'm still on meds for 15 years later.

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WhereIsMyLight · 01/01/2024 17:03

I was undecided and leaning towards being childfree when I decided to go for it. I’m only in the toddler years but I don’t regret it, it was the best decision. I hated maternity leave but even then, I didn’t regret it. I do feel like one is the right amount for us though and I think if we were to have another child it would be the tipping point to regretting it.

I think there is a cliche that people with children are very tied to one place and childfree people are jet setting everywhere. In reality, if you are the type of person to crave travel and flexibility then you do that with or without children. If you’re the type of person to be in a fixed place, you do that with or without children and fill your life with things in that location - pets, family, hobbies, career. I also think wanderlust is a spectrum, some are happy with a fixed place of address and one holiday a year and some need to be constantly on the move and a fixed address would be seen as suffocating. I know someone from school with a toddler who has no fixed address and is living from the earth and I know someone with no kids who wanted their own house near their parents and wants to stay in the area they grew up in.

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Grapefruitstars · 01/01/2024 17:03

I think I'm one and done. I'm about to get married for the 2nd time and don't think we'll have any. Fiance isn't bothered and now my ex does 30pc custody we do have some time to ourselves.

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HamBone · 01/01/2024 17:04

TooOldForThisNonsense · 01/01/2024 16:59

Now my children are bigger 15 and 17 I would say I don’t regret a thing. They are fantastic people I am so proud of them and they are amazing company. I love largely having my independence back. However there was a lot about having younger children I did not enjoy, even though I still loved them of course. So a few years ago my answer may have been different.

@TooOldForThisNonsense Yes, when we think about having children, we tend to focus on their brief childhood years, whereas we have adult children for decades! DD(18) is great company and DS (15) can be, he’ll get over the mopey mid-teens in a couple of years.

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TheKeatingFive · 01/01/2024 17:04

I find this question hard to answer, to the extent that I think it's the wrong thing to ask.

Having children turned me into a different person. It was a tough transition, but I love them, my life and who I am full heartedly. But I would also have loved the life I could have had without them. I don't feel like I can meaningfully compare the two options.

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HalfasleepChrisintheMorning · 01/01/2024 17:07

I would have TTC within a year of getting married so probably 1 year earlier. It took 3 years.
It’s possible we might have ttc again so maybe 2 rather than one but I can’t say that for definite.

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