“Inside the Growing Movement of Women Who Wish They’d Never Had Kids”

Dear Readers,

Really curious to hear your thoughts on this article…

http://www.marieclaire.com/culture/a22189/i-regret-having-kids/

 

 

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12 Comments

  1. BreezyLA

     /  September 29, 2016

    Is this anonymous lol!!? I understand the sentiment. But I think it’s even HARDER for those of us who have gone to great lengths to have children only to realize…. ummm, maybe this isn’t for me!?!?! I find it difficult to discuss my struggles with other moms because I LITERALLY signed up for this. Having twins, I just wasn’t sure exactly what I was signing up for. I expected to be a great mother. And I’m not. That’s my regret. And there are certainly days I wonder “what if…”.

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  2. I really feel for people who make a huge life decision and regret it. I have plenty of friends who know they don’t want kids, and I support them in that. Kids cost a ton of time and money, and you shouldn’t do it unless you really want them.
    At the same time, this article makes me incredibly sad. Because even though I don’t always have as much patience as I would like, and even though the newborn days were so hard that I sometimes wondered if I’d get through them, overall I love being a mom. And it hurts so much that I can’t have another kid, when some people don’t even want them and have them, or have them and don’t find it as rewarding and enriching as I do.
    Life isn’t fair. But that is a whole ‘nother topic.
    What did you think of the article?

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  3. It is so hard to understand this mindset after and in the midst of infertility. I wonder if they really mean it. I am sure this feels real and hard to them, but it doesn’t make much sense to me. Although I know how I want others to understand the infertile plight, so I guess I should try to understand theirs…

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  4. I guess I’d say that I understand the sentiment, but can’t relate to it being a constant feeling. I mean, I’ve definitely had moments (for instance, husband is working late and friends from work decide to spontaneously go out to a really nice place for dinner and I have no sitter so I can’t go, and have to have a meal where I’m fighting a toddler to not throw food on the floor as I simultaneously try to get something in my own mouth) and in those moments it’s easy to think “wow, if I didn’t have a kid I could just do whatever I want”. But it’s a MOMENT, and then it’s gone the next second when he does something adorable or gives me a huge hug. I feel sorry if someone can’t find a balance of the moments you wish you hadn’t had kids versus the (hopefully many more) moments where you are so glad you did. A lot of women have this blissful idea of parenthood and I like to think that since we went into it so much later in life we a) had a better idea of what we were getting into and b) had our chances to travel and do fun non-parent stuff and were ready for the next step. Then you add in infertility and the soul-searching that entails, and I can only imagine how much harder it would be to find out you don’t like it. Tl;dr – I get the idea but I’m awfully glad I don’t have that issue.

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  5. jonsie13

     /  September 30, 2016

    This makes me sad for the kids they’re raising. If you spend time resenting and regretting, can you really go all in and be what your kids need? Do they know their mother literally regrets the choice to have them? How does that affect a person long term? This article actually just makes me very sad.

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  6. Personally, I think that’s terrible. I think it’s selfish to live thinking those thoughts day after day, not just “having a moment”. That child didn’t ask to be here and it deserves all the love. That said, I’m sure every parent has a moment where they feel that way. And I wouldn’t blame them for that. But for that to be your mantra – that upsets me. Maybe because I feel sorry for the kids or maybe because of infertility and knowing motherhood is not something to take for granted. I don’t know. It just makes me mad.

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  7. Caroline s.

     /  September 30, 2016

    I don’t regret having my daughter, I always wanted to be a mom and would have gone to great lengths to have a child. That being said being a mom is so much harder than I ever imagined it could possibly be. I do miss my old life, and I know I will enjoy so much about the time I have once my daughter is grown and off to college, but she was meant to be mine and this stretch of life is just hard. One day at a time, it takes a village and I have an amazing family and support system! But the hard aspects of it all is a reason I am one and done.

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  8. Yeah, I had a debate with a (now former) friend today, over a similar article after she declared this is how she feels. I am disgusted because she put this sentiment on facebook, and I thought how hurtful it could be for her children (oh yes, she had not one, but two) to find out she wished they weren’t born. I think it’s ok to feel this way but f*cked up to be public about it. And she is a communications and technology professor at a university so she knows better. But didn’t give a f*ck. And I called her out on that. Aaaaaaaand another one bites the dust…I should write the book “How to lose fb friends and alienate people” ;) XOXO

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  9. Right, but this is the crux of it: “For many countries, raising a family still constitutes a vast landscape of unpaid work that falls almost wholly on women’s shoulders. It’s a societal infrastructure that innately depends on women cheerfully embracing the experience, even if every impulse tells them otherwise.” It’s not that far from the treatise of Betty Friedan. When patriarchy and machismo deny women the necessary balance, these attitudes are bound to fester. A friend once told me – one of her conclusions after surviving the first year of motherhood – “There are three components, and you have to carve out time to nurture them all: family, marriage, and self.” This is nearly impossible if women are “wholly” (or nearly so) assuming responsibility for care of home and children. Even in the U.S., which is among the more progressive nations for women, we are most often doing double-duty by working full-time to survive in this duel-income economy, then coming home to do 70-something percent of what the 1950s housewife did all day long. Men have picked up a proportion of the slack, but not nearly their fair share, and the result has been that the prevalence of depression/anxiety among men is nearly as high as it’s has been for women all these years, but rates for women haven’t dropped because we are still run just as ragged, which starves the “self” in that trifecta I mentioned. Okay…maybe I should have written my own post (lol!) This got a little long.

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    • It’s interesting because this is the same thought i had. It seems like a lot of these feelings could be more psychological because of depression and anxiety. I think a lot can be said about women carrying the brunt and responsibility of child rearing and when self-care goes out the window, a lot of feelings can come up, and the easiest thing to do is blame and resent the people that you spend the most time with (children and spouses). It’s a hard situation to be in. Feeling restricted by life (mainly children). I have felt overwhelmed by having a boatload of kids in such a short period of time (4 kids in 2 years, and 3 under 2!), but i’ve never regretted having children. Have I regretted having them so close together? Sure. Have i regretted transferring 2 embryos versus 1? Not often, but i have. But actually regretting my children? No, but I get it, the same way I get that fine line between shaking the hell out of your baby when they have been crying for 8 incessant hours and not. It’s a physiological thing and different people have different breaking points. I just feel terrible for them….

      Reply
  10. I’m so appreciative of these fascinating comments and looking forward to responding in full!

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  11. My thinking falls in line with Aramis’. I adore my children and love them with my entire being. I can’t imagine going back to a life without them. That being said, it is so incredibly hard sometimes that I wish I could take a break for a day or two. The weight of the responsibility I shoulder is almost unbearable sometimes and I wish I had someone to take care of ME, but instead I’m taking care of everyone else. I suspect that if I had a partner who was much more actively involved in raising our kids, I would have a lot less of these moments, and I have to wonder how many of the women who regret motherhood had less than equal partners in parenting.

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