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Mental health

Does anyone else regret having children?

457 replies

Zahora · 29/06/2009 02:39

Does anyone else regret having your child? I loved my old life. My husband really wanted a child and I put it off for so long, just knowing that it's not my calling. I gave in after so many rows thinking I would adjust. It was either that or leave my husband whom I loved very much. My son is 2 years old and it has been such a lonely and desperate struggle. I feel like my wonderful life has turned upside down. I still do not feel like a mother. I look after my son full time, I even breastfed for a year, yet it just feels so ...hollow. It's not me. I miss my old life so much I just feel like walking out and leaving my husband and son. I hate playing in the park. I want to go to a gallery. I hate watching peppa pig- I want to read a novel. I hate going to playgroups - I want to have lunch with freinds. I do everything I can for my son and he is lovely. Yet motherhood so far has left me feeling like I have been conned out of my real life. Will life ever return to normal. Will my son feel that I am detached? I don't think I'm depressed. Has anyone else felt like this?

OP posts:
jabberwocky · 29/06/2009 03:28

Maybe you are just not cut out to be a SAHM. I'm not either. Can you go back to work at least part-time? Working 3 - 4 days a week has been the perfect solution for me.

bethoo · 29/06/2009 07:38

you can still do all these things. every mother needs her own me time. i read and every weekend me and dp go places, naturally my two kids in tow but we do have babysitters and friends who will have the kids for us should we want to hit the clubs etc.
some women are not maternal but does not make them bad mothers. when your child is over you may feel differetnly as you will be ale to reclaim some of your old life back.getting a part time job may be good for you as i work part time and it is great as though i adore my kids i think i wojuld go insane and it makes me appreciate the time we do have together.
hope this helps??
take care

bethoo · 29/06/2009 07:38

i meant when your child is older!

sazlocks · 29/06/2009 07:58

I don't regret it for a minute but that doesn't mean that I don't miss things about my old life. Tidyish house, reading novels, going where I/we wanted whenever I/we wanted etc etc .
Quite honestly I couldn't be a SAHM. I work 3 days a week and am with my DS the rest of the time which I enjoy. I knew during my mat leave that there was no way I wanted to stay home and do mummy stuff full time. My husband looks after him while I am at work.

Maybe you would feel differently if you had a bit more balance ? Have you got any friends with children a similar age that you can do stuff with ? or talk to about how you feel ?
And as much as its possible to tell from a small amount of information in your OP you do sound a bit depressed to be honest. Do you have a symathetic GP you could speak to ?

hocuspontas · 29/06/2009 08:05

You need to talk this over with your dh. If you gave in after many rows then he should have been prepared to be the main carer. Or to start being so from now, or at least 50/50.

If this was me I would be feeling really aggrieved that I had given up everything I loved. Yes, you need to get some of your old life back - you never know, you may miss being a SAHM!

GooseyLoosey · 29/06/2009 08:09

I will admit that I regretted having children at first and derived no pleasure from it. I have 2 very close together as I knew if I waited and got even some of my life back we would never have another. Even though I worked, I used to yearn for a day off when I could have a long lie in and not have to do children things. I was lonely all of the time I was at home with them.

My children are now 6 and 4 (nearly 5). They are both at school and I work 4 days a week (one at home). I love spending time with them now. I can talk to them about things and they make me laugh. I miss them when they are round at friends houses.

Could you go back to work part time or send your son to nursery once a week so you can have a break. You do need a break from them sometimes and no one will judge you because of it.

Zahora · 30/06/2009 00:04

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Maybe when my DS is a little older it will get better. Goosey Loosey, what did you used to hate the most?

OP posts:
Tortington · 30/06/2009 00:36

oh yes - regularly < not kidding>

GooseyLoosey · 30/06/2009 08:41

Zahora its hard to say what I hated most. I think it was a combination of the isolation, the endless mind numbing boredom of it all and not ever having the freedom to be the person I was before having children - to just sit in a bookshop and have a cup of coffee or go for a walk around the village where I live with just dh.

All I can say is things have changed so much for me in the past couple of years. My mother has asked if the dcs can stay with her for 5 days in the summer holiday. They will love it so have said yes, but dh and I are dreading their absence. 4 years ago I would never, ever have thought that I would have not looked forward to 5 days without them!

Zahora · 30/06/2009 11:56

I am feeling a lot better today. The thoughts of leaving my ds and dh have subsided for now. This is the first time I've been on mumsnet and it has helped. xx

OP posts:
Zahora · 30/06/2009 11:56

I am feeling a lot better today. The thoughts of leaving my ds and dh have subsided for now. This is the first time I've been on mumsnet and it has helped. xx

OP posts:
GooseyLoosey · 30/06/2009 12:12

Glad to hear it Zahora. These things do come and go and I at least felt that I could not admit to anyone in RL that I was anything less than besotted by my children so telling people things here was a great help.

amisuchabadmummy · 30/06/2009 12:17

Its really hard when they are young especially if you are doing the majority of the caring.

My DS is nearly four and he is absolutely lovely, he's changed from someone who needed my attention all the time to someone who happily plays on his own, or can at least play at something that is vaguely intellectual and interesting to adults.

He is now like my little friend. He's cute, he's clever, intelligent, observant (in a very amazing way), funny... He's still my baby but he is really good company too.

It will get better honest... in the meantime try and get as much you time as you can.

OrmIrian · 30/06/2009 12:20

zahora - it is OK to be a good-enough mother. Really it is. It is OK to demand time to yourself. Perhaps to read a novel while DS is reading Peppa Pig. Take time to yourself when DH is home. I love my DC more than life itself but that isn't to say they don't drive me mad at times - and I was so bored on mat leave. Is there any chance that DH could be a SAHD and you go back to work? Especially as he was the one who wanted a child. If you take the pressure of yourself you might find you enjoy motherhood more and resent your DS less.

Life won't be the same again. Them's the breaks. But you can do things to make some of it like it was.

shootfromthehip · 30/06/2009 12:25

I felt much the same after my first DC- I had just got a hard won full-time job in teaching and then discovered I was pregnant. It felt like I had been robbed- I used to wake up in the morning and remember what my old life and relationships used to be like. It took a long time to get over it- maybe until last year (DD now 5) and I had to readjust my mindset- i will never be a childless woman again: I am a Mum. And being a Mum is undoubtably rewarding but can be sould destroying.

I've done the SAHM bit for 5 yrs and I need to go back to work now, for my sanity, my sense of self and my independance. I want part of that old life back- I just want it with the 2 beautiful people I didn't have before

Good luck

Zahora · 02/07/2009 00:37

I am scared that I may be developing a schizo kind of a personality. When my DS is fighting to eat cereal instead of his dinner....I try a few times to coax him into eating his meal ...when he refuses I just can't seem to control my temper.I blow up into a huge out of control rage!shouting and screaming at him and dragging him to make him eat ...god...I say the worst things like I never wanted him and he has ruined my life:*( I hate saying these things and feel so awful. (I hope he doesn't understand and I want to never say these things.) Then when DS is upset and holds me with terror saying mummy? I say in my usual soft voice...yes darling? and then he tries to make me smile. I didn't ever want to be this kind of a mother. I have turned into the worst version of myself. It's made more frustrating that he doesn't speak or understand and is so clingy. I just wish I could give him back. But I must be causing him so much grief because he doesn't even cry and seems to have accepted that mummy is a schizo. Oh and I give in anyway and give him cereal. I feel so bad. I'm not on the edge right now, but quite often...I just withdraw and let him draw all over the walls while I think of packing my suitcase and leaving him. There are some mothers that leave their children right? Am I one of them? What makes you different to a mother who leaves and a mother who comes out of the darkness? What gets you through?

OP posts:
wrinklytum · 02/07/2009 00:49

When I first realised dd had ssevere learning disablities I admit I regretted having her.For the first year I felt she was horrible,she screeched,she did not sleep.Now she is a bit older,and more settled,and we have her statemented,and things seem more settled,I can't look back on the me I was without guilt.I think I am now coming to terms with the dd as she is.tonight she smiled at me and put her arms round e and said "Mumma" (one of her few words) and I welled up.Then I cried.It was the grief of not loving her properly for a while.But I got there.Toight when she said that I had a fierce overwhelmng love for her,because Ithought suddenly,I fI don't love her as much as my heart can take who will/She will never be normal but she is my dd and she is loving and cuddly and she deserves someone to love her totally..

OP you sound like you are depressed,please seek help,it WILL get better.Hugs,Wrinkly xxx

Zahora · 02/07/2009 00:56

Oh I don't think I could go back to work...ever :-( I had such a lovely job. I actually loved my job. My DS is the clingiest toddler in the entire world. I can't even pee without him holding onto me. The situation is worse. DS sleeps in my bed, DH has moved to the spare room. (I can't remember why this happened, somethiimng to do with the breastfeeding time and lack of sleep...) There is not even a vestige of an intimate relationship between me and my dh anymore. (After 10 years of nothing but that...i miss it I am purely some kind of a childbreeder. Oh argghhhhhhh how did i let this happen??? We had cots and a nursery and we had Health vistors round to help me move him into his own room. but it's just all such a mess. I just want him to grow up and run away from home ASAP!

OP posts:
Zahora · 02/07/2009 01:06

In the past it's been worse. I had been to the doc and said I am depressed. The doctor said I wasn't. maybe v.mild I got some citalopram or something which seems to numb me a little. But I find myself withdrawn more with them.

OP posts:
nooka · 02/07/2009 01:16

I'm not a baby person and I found the time when the children were very dependent on me very difficult. So I went back to work as soon as I could and found someone to look after the children who did enjoy babies and dependency and thought it was lovely. I have loved my children more and more as they have grown up, and now enjoy spending time with them, but I recently had a SAHP period again, and found it almost as depressing. So I'm back to work again and enjoying it, and dh is the SAHP and loving it.

It really is OK to say I'm not cut out for this, and if you are turning into a screaming banshee then you probably should.

So, why can't you go back to work? What could help that happen? Can you get the help back again to sort out the sleeping (I would so hate that - no independence even in your own bed - poor you)

Could you get extra help in for a little bit to sort out the sleeping issue, or just to give you a break. Toddlers are clingy I think, but unless he has some more people in his life that may not improve. If you are losing your temper and screaming at him then he may be feeling insecure and therefore more clingy, so I think that even if at first he finds it difficult to be separate from you in the longer term it is probably what you all need.

Work wise are there jobs you can apply for? Would your family finances be OK if you worked and your dh didn't? Or if you both worked part time, could you afford a childminder or nanny (or nanny share)? Could you do something part time and your son go to a creche or nursery (if you put his clinginess on one side - the right carer could overcome that).

To me the important thing is that you don't think that somehow you deserve this, and that things can't change. They can, and I think they need to. But please don't think that you are a bad person or even a bad mother for not enjoying babyhood. Maybe you will be fantastic with teenagers!

nooka · 02/07/2009 01:18

Oh, and bear in mind that you might not be depressed, 'just' very unhappy. dh thought I was depressed after I had ds. I wasn't I just wanted to go back to work and not have a small person attached to me all the time! Personally I think that is quite a reasonable thing to be unhappy about.

foofi · 02/07/2009 06:50

Hi Zahora - YES other people do feel that way! Admittedly not that many of us. My children are much older than yours but I still struggle every day with being a parent. It certainly does help when they're at school and you get some time apart from them.

Maninadirndl · 02/07/2009 11:39

Hi there. I am a SAHD in conservative Bavaria. I love my kids but I find them wearing. I am extremely isolated here from Britain. I find cleaning up Mess One dispiriting as I know I have go on to Mess Two then when that is okay its on to Mess Three. And in between there are interruptions when one is crying or arguing. My wife never listens to me that I am stressed she hates her job and always tells me she'd swap places but I know she couldn't do this because an hour after arriving home from the office she is screaming at them over a small mess they've made.

therealthing · 05/07/2009 22:17

Hi Zahora.

I hope you are feeling ok today. I've just read your post and just wanted to say that I can totally identify with what you are saying. I posted something similar myself recently ("I don't enjoy being a SAHM...")

Please try not to give yourself such a hard time. It really is the hardest job in the world. I've screeched, grabbed, bribed,screamed like a loony and cried so many times.

My son is five now and I still miss my old life like mad. I fantasise constantly about doing whatever I want and all the things we used to do befor we had DS. I have often felt I could just drive to Heathrow and jump on a plane and just disappear. I love my DS so I wouldn't but it's so tempting and I hate everything to do with parenthood. The sheer relentless, mind numbing boredom. I feel like my brain has shrivelled. I don't know how people have more than one child, I seriously don't.

I really think that you need more time to yourself. Does your child go to nursery or do you have anyone to help out? Grab some time to yourself anyway you can. Get a babysitter and try and go out with your husband. Try and reconnect.

The early years are the hardest. I HATED it. It will get easier. I love the 4-5 age. Especially as they start school but I miss him too!!

I just want you to know that you're not alone. Be kind to yourself. Could you see a different doctor-maybe get some counselling?

Sorry if I've repeated anything anyone has already said.

Keep posting on here. I always find it helps to just type it all out if I'm feeling down.

Thinking of you. Let us know how you are doing!!

bigchris · 05/07/2009 22:24

some excellent advice on this thread

just to add : have you told dh how u feel
u need to get him on board so you cam sort sleeping issue out together, ds needs to go in his own bed and you and dh need to reconnect - try date nights, pizza and dvd, just snuggle up togethef , you sound like u could use a hug

how ru financially? could you afford playgroup a couple of times a week? then you would get some time to yourself

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