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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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Summerishere123 · 01/01/2024 17:08

I think I had kids a bit young (23) and should have waited a couple of years but only 2 or 3. I would probably only have had one child if I did it over as money was a struggle with 2.
They also never stop arguing!

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Hardbackwriter · 01/01/2024 17:09

Mine are only 3 and 5 but so far there has been so much more joy and pleasure in being a parent than I had expected. I'm sure I would have had a great life without them -and I am certain that it would have been one that most people would see as much more interesting- but I am 109% sure it was the right choice for me. I am equally certain that three would be too much for me so I'm very content exactly where I am.

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LoobyDop · 01/01/2024 17:10

Chose not to have any, and on the whole no regrets- I know that the day to day life of a parent would not make me happy. BUT it makes me very sad how isolated making different choices from everyone around me has left me. It usually feels as though there’s a big chasm between me and my friends.

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SleepingStandingUp · 01/01/2024 17:10

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.

No but the commitment does.
I have a great DH, I did a long weekend in Europe alone when my twins were 2 and eldest was 6. Two din and four work weekends away a year. Nights out when I want them. All because I procreated with a decent adult, not because of external support. But my phone was still on on vibrate the other day as one twin was a bit poorly. I had contingency plans in Europe of i needed to get back. We can't just book a month off and go back packing because kids have school, it's so more expensive with kids, eldest health issues etc. we have less income because more goes on the kids. Having kids in no ways increases your flexibility.

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Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 01/01/2024 17:12

I would still have them and I would still have them young. I feel it’s worked out really well and they’ll both be adults when I’m 40. They’re such good company these days.

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BingoMarieHeeler · 01/01/2024 17:13

Well my oldest is 9 so not sure if I can say I ‘know how it all panned out’. But I have 3 kids and would 100% have had 3 again. Had the oldest when I was 25, I’m glad I did. However I was too old to be a young mum and too young to be acceptable to all the other non-young mums around here. That’s my only gripe really! Got a lovely bunch of pals by now :)

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Rowfet · 01/01/2024 17:17

In an ideal world, where finances/relationship ...etc would permit, I would have loved to have several kids. They're just such good fun

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Mazuslongtoenail · 01/01/2024 17:17

I had children with a man who is competent, house proud, doesn’t game, does half of all kid stuff and most of the cleaning.

I wouldn’t change anything, but if I was unmovable on one thing it would be this. I would hate to live with an ineffectual faffer. Gives me the ick.

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GotMooMilk · 01/01/2024 17:17

I have children and I wouldn’t be without them. They make my life 100x better and I had a lovely life before! I also have a good career, lovely family and strong friendships which I think helps with retaining a sense of independence from the kids. I don’t regret anything about having them or how or when. I wish things were different environmentally and financially as I’d love a third!

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Abouttimemum · 01/01/2024 17:18

We have one DS aged 4, and if I had my time again I’d still have him (hoping it was him exactly how he is ha) but would have done it earlier, just by a few years. We may even have had a second, although there are lots of pros to having one child and it’s all fairly easy and straightforward now we’re out of the toddler / nursery phase.

As an aside I never wanted children either and changed my mind at 36!

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Lordofmyflies · 01/01/2024 17:19

I have 2DC in my mid/late 20's. They are in their late teens / early 20's. I don't regret having them for one moment and feel incredibly lucky to have had them when I was still fairly young. I do wish I knew more about the cost of higher education for them and started put money away when they were babies. Coming from an era of free uni fees, I didn't appreciate the costs involved when they were young.

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FluffyChemical · 01/01/2024 17:20

Child free 37 years old. No regrets. Partner 35 feels the same. I've had the occasional broody moment but mostly down to hormones I think and it passes. The decision is a lifestyle choice for me. I've got a career in the NHS that I enjoy. I work part time and take my annual leave in blocks for long holidays. I know what you mean about pets being tying, I have many but I love nurturing them and caring for animals in a way I'm not interested in doing for a small human. I spend my work day looking after patients, I dont want to take care of other people when I get home. I love structuring my days off around my own needs. I go for a nap if I want, lunch out if I want, dog walks, day trips without anyone to answer to. It's the day to day constantness and demands of parenting that put me off, there is so much freedom in every day being your own.

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dinglethedragon · 01/01/2024 17:20

Mine are all adults now. I naively thought that, at that point, I would be able to please myself about what I did. Sadly my eldest DS got involved in drug taking in his 20's - as did his friends, they all grew out of it, no ill effects, it sent him into psychosis and very serious MH problems, which have been unresponsive to drugs. Well, one works, then stops working.

So now he lives with me and I'm trapped in parent mode, with a 35yr old who can't be trusted to lock the doors 🤷🏼‍♀️. He has no relationships outside the family and no quality of life. When I'm gone I know his brothers will feel responsible - and that thought haunts me.

Right now I would choose not to have DC, at least not him.

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honeyandfizz · 01/01/2024 17:20

I am 46 with a 19 and 20 year old. Never a second of regret, they are the best thing that ever happened to me, I cannot imagine how empty my life would be without them - the love and bond we have between us cannot be compared to anything else in the world.

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Purplebunnie · 01/01/2024 17:20

I would have had a couple of years earlier and had a third

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WolfFoxHare · 01/01/2024 17:23

I’d have started earlier or at least tried for number two very soon after having DS, because I suffered secondary infertility and we haven’t managed to have another child. I know how lucky we are to have had one.

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OhmygodDont · 01/01/2024 17:25

If I could go back in time I’d be child free. My mental health. My wealth. My life.

I love my children and I wouldn’t want to loose them but if I knew what I did now 15 years ago I wouldn’t.

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Yolo12345 · 01/01/2024 17:25

I found it very hard to find a "good man" to settle down and have kids with. Honestly knowing what I know now, I might have organised myself differently and done it alone with a good nanny and housekeeper or with another woman in the same position. I love men but they can be hard work.

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Jingleballs2 · 01/01/2024 17:25

I have one. I always thought we'd have more but decided against it when he was 2-3 and definitely happy we stuck to 1! But also wouldn't change having him. Your life isn't disrupted as much with an only child, still have holidays and disposable income.

If you'd asked in the first 6 months of him being born, I'd have sent him back 🤣

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cloudydays2 · 01/01/2024 17:25

I was naive about how hard it would be and also thought I wouldn’t get pnd which I did ! I wouldn’t change her at all but I am definitely one and done, it’s very costly and, if I’m being my honest, time consuming.

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Islandermummy · 01/01/2024 17:26

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.

It now seems WILD to me that we could wake up on a weekend, drink coffee in bed and lounge around all day reading our books and watching telly if we wanted.

So having kids does massively change your lifestyle, especially when they are young and need to be actively looked after during all their waking hours.

My DD is still young, so perhaps too soon for me to have perspective, but at the moment, I don't regret the timing. Waiting until I was in my late thirties to have a child meant we are now financially secure (I know money isn't everything but I think it reduces the stress of parenting) and I'm more senior at work so generally in charge of my workload and not at the whim of others. Or maybe just a year or two earlier would've been good to increase her time with grandparents.

However my perspective might change if I get a serious health problem, something happens to my parents or we struggle to conceive a second. I might then wish we'd started earlier.

Apparently statically most people are less happy after they have children!... my personal experience is that the daily highs are higher than pre kids. I might be laughing in delight at 7am on a work day, which I don't recall doing pre kids... you get nexpected flashes of joy in the mundane. It's really hard work though and can be gruelling at times, particularly if you like to relax in peace and quiet.

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Vettrianofan · 01/01/2024 17:26

This is the wrong day for me to have spotted this thread. No I wouldn't have had children. If I could go back in time I would not have got married either.

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TripleDaisySummer · 01/01/2024 17:26

In an ideal world, where finances/relationship ...etc would permit, I would have loved to have several kids. They're just such good fun

Poor maternity care in last pg and 2008 crash effect on us stopped us otherwise we'd have had more and for years after seriously thought about it. That said as they hit teen years with increased expenses we were glad we'd stopped when we did.

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VickyEadieofThigh · 01/01/2024 17:28

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. I could never see a reason to have children (I'm talking purely about myself here) and I know I wouldn't have been a good parent.

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herewegoroundtheblueberrybush · 01/01/2024 17:30

I crave my old life BC but then, I would still be getting older without kids and probably the shine would also be coming off my career, going out etc the stuff I used to enjoy. I don't so much think about not having kids as I do sometimes think about a different life, not meeting my partner so young. It's really hard to have to make a choice in your 30s for the rest of your life for kids

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