‘I just hate being a mother’: Women who regret having children reveal how they feel trapped, count the hours until bedtime and have a ‘soul craving for a quiet life’
- Parents from around the world have spoken out about regretting their children
- They have shared anonymous posts on Facebook’s I Regret Having Children
- Among the regretful mothers, one spoke about her intense post natal depression
- Others say they never wanted to be parents, but were pressured into it by others
- Only weak-minded people have babies
- Women are tricked into having babies by their brain chemistry
Numerous women have spoken about their regrets over having children, with some saying the ‘hate’ motherhood, and others revealing they don’t like their kids.
Those who have posted in the group opened up about the social pressure to have children, as well as pressure from loved ones, the struggles in caring for kids with developmental disorders, and their own mental health battles.
Regretting having children is not uncommon, according to a 2021 YouGov poll which found that one in 12 Brits (some eight per cent of parents) wish they hadn’t had them.
Parents from around the world have opened up the regret they feel after having children in a Facebook group called I Regret Having Children (stock photo)
One poster from the US said: ‘My biggest regret. I don’t hate my son, but I hate being a mother.
‘I hate myself for making the decision to have a child. It’s so hard, I feel like I don’t have any freedom since I’m a mother. I’m just waiting for him to sleep, because I’ll finally be alone.
‘I have a partner, I can’t stand him anymore, but I can’t be a single mom, I can’t be alone with my son. It’s just hard.. thank you for reading.’
Meanwhile, another asked for advice, after revealing that she only had a baby because her husband wanted one, admitting that she never wanted to be a mother.
She is now suffering from postpartum depression, and feels anxious whenever she is around the baby.
She wrote: ‘I never wanted to have a child, but my husband did. I got pregnant right away and had the worst pregnancy and an emergency c section.
‘I was not ready to have a child and as soon as she was born I remember laying on the operating table knowing I didn’t love her and didn’t want her. I am now a year post partum and have extreme PPD.
‘I don’t want to be around my child. I don’t want to play with her, hold her, or be in the same room as her. I get so anxious just being around her or counting down the hours until she gets out of daycare. I am in therapy and on medication but nothing seems to get better. Not sure what to do.’
Anonymous parents have shared their stories online, revealing that they regret having children, and explaining why
Another spoke about the transient need children have for their parents, implying that her own offspring have little contact with her now.
They wrote: ‘They love you sooo much and then the teenage years. After that, they think you’re a pain in the ass and have no time for you. The teenage years are better than how they ignore you when they are in their 20s. Then, it’s like you never existed. Unless they need you to babysit.’
For another parent, it was having three children that had pushed her into ‘resenting’ her kids daily, which she said made her feel like ‘a piece of garbage’.
She explained: ‘I’m the mother of a 4.5 year old and two 5-year-old twins. I’m not sure a day has gone by that I don’t resent having three kids. I wanted two, but the second pregnancy was twins so that was that. I love them all and they’re all super smart. But I’m exhausted, and the littlest things set me off and make me wish I could be somewhere else.
‘Life would be so much easier and more manageable if there were only two. And I feel like a piece of garbage.’
Some of the parents who posted in the group revealed that they were exhausted by having children, and they missed their freedom
Intense dislike for their co-parent was what made one parent regret having a child.
‘After two years I realize the only reason I hate being a parent is because of my child’s father,’ the anonymous poster admitted.
‘I wish I would’ve never let him put his name on the birth certificate. He only shows up when it’s convenient for him or when his mommy makes him. He’s abusive and extremely childish but won’t leave permanently. He plays victim and in all honesty me and my child would be better off without him but I don’t know how to make that happen. I wish he would just disappear from our lives forever and I could just tell my child he died. ‘
Among the posters, were those whose children had developmental challenges, which had made parenting even more difficult.
One wrote: ‘I feel so trapped in my life. I have a 27-year-old daughter who will never be mentally over the age of about 16. I have my granddaughter who is three-years- old. I wish I could just raise my granddaughter and have my daughter go away, but I know that would be harmful to my granddaughter. So I feel I have no choice but to continue to struggle through this life.’
Some said they felt trapped – either with their co-parent, or with their offspring, leaving them struggling
Several parents lamented the lack of freedom they have had since having children, with one writing: ‘I have a one-year-old daughter. I love her with all my heart, but I wish I never had her.
‘Before having her, I had my freedom and could do anything I wanted to, could go out anytime, come home any time. I feel jealous of my husband; he doesn’t help with any parenting. He most of the time only comes home to sleep, f*** and have breakfast. If I ever ask him to take our daughter to the park so I can have quiet time, it turns into a big argument. I have breakdowns and just cry cause I miss my freedom. Please don’t have kids unless you want to lose yourself.’
Another parent admitted that their ‘soul just craves for a quiet, peaceful life’, adding that she felt ‘ashamed and full of guilt for feeling this way’.
She added: ‘No children that need me constantly, no husband to serve or wait upon. No one else’s laundry to wash but my own, making my own food that I want as opposed to what my children will eat and what my husband will eat.
Among the reasons cited by parents who regret having children is their loss of freedom, and their loss of a quiet, peaceful life
‘I crave to sit and read and write to my heart’s content, to create with no interruptions, to do anything for myself without the weight of mom guilt ruining it. To sleep all night with no one crying for me or someone needing my body.’
One poster questioned why society isn’t more honest about motherhood, and the sacrifices it requires.
The wrote: ‘Why are people not more honest about motherhood? The sacrifice? The humiliation if the child deviates from anything but normal? The expectation that the mom sacrifice EVERYTHING? Being held to higher standards than the fathers?
#Hearing negativity and being seen in a negative light if she speaks anything other than loving motherhood?? Especially how if the relationship doesn’t work how she will be shamed, judged, criticized when the father won’t have those problems???
‘Oh wait, are these the reasons why people keep reality on the low???’
Parents Explain What They Regret About Having Children
The first years of life, children need A LOT of attention. If you are lucky you get a spot in kindergarten, otherwise someone has to watch them 24/7. Even if they are asleep, someone has to be around “if anything happens”. You shouldn’t be drunk too. While this sounds easy, remember, this goes 24/7. No weekend off, no sick time, nothing. One of the two parents HAS to be there. It gets better over the years. First you can have someone babysit so you can get at least an evening out for movies, later a day at the grand parents will give you a full night of “whatever you wanna do”, etc.
Additionally you have to go to work, clean your house, wash your clothes (and even more of them because babies use lots of them), eat, cook, sleep, etc. etc. etc. and most of it is hard to do with a kid around. Folding your clothes? Hey look who has a lot of fun getting them all unfolded again… Cooking? All the sharp knives and hot pans and pots are just PERFECT with a kid running around… Mopping the floor? Hard to do with a kid running around (we have a small appartment)… And the kids have to be cleaned, dressed, fed, etc. too
Sleeping? Well expect to get woken up in the middle of the night. For a year straight. Every night. Maybe multiple times. Sleeping in on the weekends? Who are you kidding? You better not come home drunk at 5 in the morning if your child is getting up at 6 or 7…
I’d like to have hiked the Appalachian Trail. As a father, it would be sort of a dick move to leave for such a long time, even if I could afford to do so.
Not for myself, but for him a little bit. I realized a few years back that my son is repeating my life. My life has been ordinary and hardly bares repeating by anyone. There’s always hope that he’ll make different choices and have a better life. But that’s the same hope that brought me into the world probably.
As you get older your mind will make up more and more reasons why it makes sense to have a kid. Don’t be fooled, it’s just evolution tricking you into reproducing–no sane, thinking beast would take on the burden of raising a child if the mind didn’t fool us into it.
So, does the world need another one of you? Or are you just being fooled into making a baby because if that’s not how it worked, then none of us would be here–a species would not exist without the drive to reproduce, yet the burden is not one we’d choose willingly.
I became a father when I was 19. The kid ruined my professional life. I am now 25, stuck in a dead end job, live in a small apartment with her mother, who is now my wife.
I had a plan, I was in the army when my girlfriend got pregnant, after that I got a job with a travel agent as a guide, I was going to take a few years off school to travel the world, then I was going to get back to study.
I still love the child, and I have made two more. Figured when I started so early I should just go with it and get finished early.
Only on my darkest days. I had a picture perfect pregnancy with my first child, and have subsequently lost 4 babies as we try to give her a sibling. Sometimes I think losing them would hurt less if I didn’t have her as proof of how wonderful having a child is. Maybe I could give up trying and have life instead of spending it wishing and grieving.
I don’t regret having my kids but they sure make it difficult to leave my wife.
If it wasn’t for them I would have left a long time ago…
Sex. No sex whatsoever.
A child will completely destroy your life…to replace it with a different, but beautiful one.
The only thing I regret about having kids is not doing some of the things you would never have thought about…
going on a vacation. Now it costs twice as much, and you can’t do half of the stuff you probably want to do.
going to the bar. It’s not like I quit drinking… I still drink… oh.. I still drink. just not at the bars.
I used to want a motorcycle, now all I can think about is how unsafe they are, and how impractical.
Over all, I don’t regret having kids, it’s been great. But I think I’m definitely primed and ready for a kick-ass mid-life crisis…
In some odd sense, I regret that I biologically produced my children. I wish I had adopted them.
So many children in the world need parents, and I was clearly being selfish in trying to pass on my genetics (that wasn’t what I consciously had in mind at the time, but I think that is the instinct/root cause of it) when I could have adopted instead.
I love my children. I’m so happy to be a parent. I went about becoming a parent in the wrong way. It would have been morally superior, in my view, to help those who already exist and are in need than to do what I’ve done.
I did, when they were little, it’s just soooo hard. I had prolonged post-partum depression; I don’t know how relevant that is. Now that they are school-age, things are infinitely better and I am glad to be a parent.
Do you know how much formula costs? We spend about $30/week on it. Jar food is only about $0.70/jar, but he’s a chow hound, so he’ll easily go through one a meal AND oatmeal, so food costs probably close to $80/month beyond formula if we find good sales and stock up. Diapers? A $40 economy size box might last a month unless he’s sick or drinks a lot of liquid. Wipes about $20 per month. We’re lucky he has two grandparents who love to spoil him with clothes, so we’ve been able to limit our clothes purchases.
Now that I’ve said that, think about holding a 15 lb box. Not bad, right? How about holding that box for 10 minutes? Now your arms are a little tired. Now assume you have to hold that box for several times a day, and it now has arms and legs, and wants to squirm and wiggle when you’ve held it too long. Caring for a baby is a work-out, except it doesn’t keep you in shape, and give you the worst back aches & strains.
I say all this, but want to clarify that I NEVER regretted having my son. He’s all these things, plus a lot of unique challenges that have came from his existence, but the joy he brings my wife and I more than makes up for all of it. His smiles, laughs, babbling, and watching him grow have been some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, and something I will cherish until I die.
Have a job with awesome insurance and great pay? You still can’t afford to have kids. I know that now. Don’t regret having my child, but damn sure regret not saving more before I blew that final load.
My kids are grown; our son won’t talk to us (not even to say why), our older daughter has psychotic rages and will call us just to scream, and our younger daughter is an alcoholic in an abusive relationship with a schizophrenic who won’t take his meds.
But do I regret them? No. I’ve had more love from them then any regrets they may have given us, and without having them I wouldn’t have my Gran’daughter.
Well, I mainly regret having kids because I’m in a relationship with someone I care very little for. I don’t leave because I don’t want my kids to be a burden on society. I don’t want two little maladjusted devils let loose on society, I made the mistake so its my responsibility to deal with it.
I also don’t leave because I know that if I do, then their quality of life will go down greatly. My wench of a mrs comes from a fairly whitetrash / chav / bogan family. Yes, Uncle dad and Aunty mom are in there, the father married the sister of her mother, so she’s got brother/sister-cousins as well. Anyway, I know if I leave the old habits will return and the kids will end up suffering.
So I wait. I deal with the endless screeching from her, the illogical arguments (“I don’t want you to waste money for a root canal! but I’m fine with you going on a holiday by yourself”) the filthy house (throws rubbish on the floors, drives me up the wall.) and the disgusting weight gain. I sit and study, I study my university subjects, I keep going with my language lessons, I plan my escape for when I feel the time is right and it won’t be costly to the children.
Oh and I did discuss with my parents quite a while ago that I wanted to leave her. Did I get support? Oh no, I figuratively got thrown under a bus. They rang her and repeated what I told them while saying they’d support her over any decision that I made. I felt such a betrayal over that.
If you’re thinking about having a large family, you may want to consider these items:
- It can get chaotic fast.
- It can be very expensive.
- You might be in the diaper stage for a long time.
- You need a larger vehicle or two.
- It can be very loud.
- Your house will seem like it has less space.
- You get asked a lot of questions, including if you know how pregnancy happens.
- Pregnancies can be difficult, especially after the first few babies are born.
- It can be hard to get one-on-one time with kids.
- It is difficult to get all kids looking at the camera nicely at the same time for a photo.
- Parents might not call kids by their right names the first, or even second time.
- Parents may not get alone time in the bathroom.
- Oldest kids sometimes can feel resentful of youngest kids.
- Kids don’t always want to play with each other.
- It can get messy fast.
- Stuff accumulates quickly. So.much.stuff.
- It takes a lot of planning to go almost anywhere.
- Going out to eat or planning a vacation can be challenging.
- You might get a lot of stares in public.
- When friends or family visit, it can be even more chaotic.
- You run out of food fast.
- It’s hard to find a babysitter who can positively handle more than a few kids.
- There might be less time for romance between the parents.
- Extracurricular activities can be expensive with multiple kids participating.
- School mornings can be very chaotic.
- There is a lot of homework.
- It can be physically and emotionally draining some days.
- Laundry never ends.
- It might be impossible to pay for daycare, especially in one income households.
- One bathroom houses are a challenge.
- Parents may not get a restful night’s sleep for a while.