Not everyone is suited to raise children.
But that doesn’t stop some people from having them, anyway. Which can be a shame because no kid deserves to be deprived of a solid upbringing because of bad or uninterested parents.
But maybe it’s a little more complicated than that…
Why do you regret having kids?
Here’s what people said on AskReddit.
1. Knew it…
“The worst thing is I knew it wasn’t a good idea at the time.
e both had unstable, low-paying jobs, and she had a history of not being able to hold a job due to her mental illness.”
2. Wasn’t ready.
“I don’t think I was ready at the time for kids, I was still figuring out how to be an adult and a husband.
So my kids formative years I wasn’t a very good father to them.
I was never abusive or mean but I was very very career driven and spent almost all my time working instead of playing with my kids who desperately wanted my attention.”
“Kids are a lot of work.
I was never really excited about parenthood, but agreed to adopt with my spouse. I miss sleeping in, not worrying about dinner plans. Freedom to do whatever I want, etc.
But the big one is my AM. We have a 1 and 3 year old so diapers potty time and getting them dressed has ruined the morning for me. No more leisurely shower and grooming time.
Oh and I’m introverted and generally hate most conversations. Talking with children is brutal and leaves me drained.”
“I often regret having children. There are several reasons…
I really never felt the urge to have children, but my husband really wanted them. He never pushed the issue nor made a big fuss about it, but I could tell he really wanted kids.
But I never really sorted out how I felt about having children, and just did what was expected. We both had graduate degrees and it was just the next step. Looking back now, I should have listened to my hesitancy. I really wanted a career but gave into what I thought my husband wanted.
Two kids later, one is a sweet 9 year-old girl with dyslexia and ADHD. The other is a 4 year-old boy with moderate/severe autism. I do genuinely love them and give everything to parenting them, but it’s hard. So d*mn hard.
My husband is Active Duty US Military, and moving and reestablishing care for a special needs child is insanely difficult. Throw in the fact that he leaves constantly for weeks and months at a time, I’m essentially a single parent to two difficult to parent kids. They’re cute and sweet, but it’s just so hard. I’m tired and at my wits end all the time. I try not to to let the kids see that, but it’s hard.
Instead of having a serious discussion about what his military career would look like with parenting, I just thought it would be fine. Definitely did not think it through as I assumed all of the other military families made it look easy.
Hindsight is 20/20 though. While I can’t imagine life without them, there are days where I wish I had really considered what single parenting would really be like. Because that’s basically what I’m doing. While still trying to juggle a career of sorts.”
5. No more freedom.
“Loss of freedom is sometimes hard for me.
Inability to sleep in or just do what I want. Especially feel this feeling has been exasperated with Covid. No play dates etc. allowed where I am. No baby sitters etc.
I don’t regret having kids most of the time but sometimes I feel pretty worn out and reminisce about simpler times.
It’s a big sacrifice and something hard to even put into perspective until you do it. I was 30+ and thought about it a lot before making the jump and it was still surprising how hard it is.
I think the pro is just that it’s such a wonder in a similar way that’s hard to really explain until you do it. I liken it to a vacation where you’re roughing it somewhere new, you’re always tired, money’s tight, shared accommodations, but also so many amazing new experiences.
If you’ve ever spent several months backpacking in hostels you probably have a lot of amazing memories but also that feeling of exhaustion and longing for a home to yourself and a week of good sleep. It’s the best comparison to me.”
6. Not sure…
“I’m just not sure I wanted to be a parent at all.
I think I saw it as some kind of required duty as a woman.”
7. Ruined my life.
“I didn’t get to make the choice for myself due to my age and state law.
My mom wouldn’t consent to an abortion after I was assaulted. I love my son dearly, but I never asked for this and I never wanted kids to begin with. I haven’t gone to college, I have severe depression, no friends or support system to lean on, and I’m f*cking broke. It has ruined my life and I’m only in my early 20’s.
Since I’m getting sh*t on ETA: I have not once told my child any of this, nor will he ever know from my actions or words. I had to give up academic scholarships and am further behind in life than many people my age, but that is not his fault whatsoever.
He is such a brilliant little guy and despite how difficult it is, I keep it together for him and do the best I am capable of with the limited resources I have available where I live. No, your tax dollars don’t go to another teenage drop out. I graduated. I’m not even on state-aid. I work. The pandemic is rough on everyone, it’s not a surprise a single-mother would be struggling financially right now.
Yes, my life I had planned was ruined by this, but it doesn’t mean I cannot create a new amazing life.”
8. Roll of the dice.
“Because no one prepares you for those situations that are not perfect: special needs children, mentally ill children.
We romanticize families way too much and downplay the difficulties and emotional pain that come with them. And no one talks about this before you have them— I was totally unprepared even tho I was married and stable with a college degree.
Yeah you might get great kids that do really well, and you might not. I did not have the temperament to be a good parent and should have been encouraged to explore that before I had them.”
9. Should have been more stable.
“I regret not being more stable/established for my first child and she’s had to go through a lot with me in her short life.
A lot of moving and having to be a little more self sufficiant than other kids her age (single mom for a while working 3+ jobs). It’s made us extremly close and we have an amazing relationship but I regret her having to experience it.
She’s always been well taken care of and never has gone without but…yeah. I love her and wish I could have done better for us from the get go.”
“I have children that were conceived during nonconsensual s*xual encounters.
My “partner” was extremely abusive and I was scared to leave. Having children only made that worse. Having no choice about having children had it horrific. I have a difficult time talking about it publicly because well if you have children with your abuser, you never really escape. I know people really think you can “just leave” those situations but, sometimes you really can’t.
Both my parents are dead, I lived two states away from any living family that are all too old to do anything. I’m indigenous so my relationship with cops can sometimes be complicated, and honestly my relationship with myself was bad at that point too. Maybe I felt like I deserved this, or it was “love”. It was f*cked was what it was. The hardest part was my oldest was involved at times in my abuse.
They were taught to spy on me and degrade me. I would get hurt over things my 3 year old would say I did. I got out but, the damage is hard to undo. My oldest has zero respect for me and seems to enjoy pushing me to the point of tears.
Therapy isn’t a safe option (trust me it’s been discussed, it’s especially a no go on group therapy which is what is offered mostly at their age) because they make up the most terrible things. Things that could get them taken from me, it terrifying wondering what I’m going to have to deal with next. School has been a nightmare but they have seen the manipulative tactics that are being used and dig deeper before reporting to CPS, whom I have already had to deal with.
Between my child, my abuser, and their family it’s like a nightmare that never ends. One I didn’t ask for. I love my children. I have done everything to try to keep them safe and provide a better life but it’s extremely hard to escape your abuser to never really escape. I know I wrote this robotically, it’s on purpose.
No identifiable descriptions keeps us safe. I’m sorry if that makes me seem cold, I assure you I’m not.”
Do you regret having children?
If so, tell us why in the comments.
We’d love to hear from you!