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Parents Who Regret Having Kids Explain What They Wish They Knew Beforehand

Not everyone is meant to be a parent. The societal pressure to have kids is something that leads a lot of people to reproduce, whether or not they like it. It may seem impossible to some to full-on regret having kids, but these Redditors do. Here are there stories.

u/Lemonlemongo asked: Parents who regretted having kids, what do you wish you had known before?

Lots of good advice.

I regret not doing/knowing the following before I had kids:

1.) Travel, a lot. Everywhere, the farther the better. Spend your money on it, use your time.

2.) Don't brush off school districts and schools when you buy a house, it may not matter now but it may be the things that changes your entire world in a few years, don't be selfish because it's a great price and you love the location now, but the schools are sh! t, Don't. Don't do that. You will be in a bad place later.

3.) Make sure your spouse will really, truly, co-parent with you. My cousins husband would change her sons diapers but not their daughters because "ew, that's weird" ... Figure it out before you're like 10 years into marriage and decide it's the right time.

4.) Consider your family dynamic - maybe you're just fine on your own with little help as an adult, but when you have kids, you need a village more than you'd like. Working with kids that constantly get sent home sick and need to go to the doctor, special half days at school and long school breaks. If it is just up to you and your spouse to take time away for all of that, you better have an understanding job that provides ample time and/or very close family and friends that are willing to take kids, pick them up, do overnights, the whole deal. My parents are in florida half the year and my in laws work full time. It's way more tough than I thought. I constantly feel like I'm going to get fired because I'm taking another unexpected day off because my kid can't go to daycare because they're sick.

5.) If you really want to have kids you better consider the fact that even though you feel pretty rich as a single person, or a maybe a two income household, that your area better have good, affordable daycare, or you or your spouse better be planning to stay home, in order to afford a kid or more. I know lots of people who make good money who were shocked to figure out that basically they can only afford to have one kid because the cost of childcare or the cost of staying home was so great that they could barely afford it. I live in a place where daycare is very affordable, I have three kids and we pay over $30,000 a year for daycare, and that's just the tuition. This is not your parents time - it's different out there now.

6.) This one got me the most - how independent/selfish/lazy are you... really. I'm what I considered to be a relatively well adjusted only child. I'm used to my space, my own time, being independent. I'm also pretty lazy. When I come home on a weekday, I like to rest, watch a lot of tv, hang out. When I had kids, it was a HUGE change. Someone needs you all the damn time, it is UNRELENTING. You never have your own anything anymore. You spend almost all of your waking time that your children are there tending to your childrens' needs. You beat yourself up for not being good enough at it, for being pissed about how miserable it is sometimes. For hating it. You will hate it sometimes. You need to very very very seriously consider your stamina for caring for others and putting everyone else before yourself. All the time.


Don't make these jokes.


My mother made it clear to my sister and I that she hadn't wanted us, that I was the product of my dad's unrelenting badgering and that my sister had been an ooops. She wasn't a good mom, at all. She screamed about everything, you never knew what would set her off, my parents divorced and we went on to be raised by my stepmom (not without her faults but she's a saint)- this woman didn't technically want us either, she hadn't chosen to get pregnant with us but she treated us just like her own. She planned (and paid for, with my dad) my wedding.

Things got better and my real mom is a good grandma now but let me tell you- hearing you're not wanted as a child, even in passing, even "as a joke" can shape someone's entire life and self worth. If this is you parents, don't you dare ever say it where they can hear you.


That's a messed-up family.

I always knew from a young age that I didn't want children. My family is all very strict Catholic Hispanics and basically picked who I was going to marry from a young age. Fortunately I liked the guy so we did end up married at 19.

I was very honest about not wanting kids. He was okay with that. Our families were not. I ended up pregnant even though I was taking birth control (more on that in a minute). Didn't noticed the missed periods because the type of birth control I took let you skip periods.

By the time I knew I was pregnant I was 5 months along which is too late for an abortion.

Had the baby, found out while in the hospital I ended up pregnant because our families ordered fake birth control online and replaced my pills with the fakes.

Needless to say my husband and I were pissed. I also had horrific postpartum depression but did the best I could. My husband took up drinking heavily to deal with the stress and one day he just never came home. Haven't heard from him since.

The baby was still an infant at that point (4 months) and I made the decision to put her up for adoption and move away.

Everyone says it's different when it's your own kid. Everyone says the first time you hold your baby you have an instant bond. Everyone says it's the most amazing/important thing a woman will ever do. None of that was true for me.

I'm in my mid 30s now and my daughter and her family made contact with me about 7 years ago. We talk regularly and I go visit for her birthday and some holidays. She knows the whole story and while I'm sure she doesn't really understand (she's only 13) she at least gets it a little.

If you know you don't want children, and have never wanted children, don't listen to people who tell you that you're wrong and will change your mind.

I'm trying to get my tubes tied to make sure it never happens again but haven't had luck finding a doctor whose willing to since I'm unmarried and under 40. Filled for divorce years ago and since nobody could find him it went through the same way it does for a missing person. We really need to stop acting like women don't understand their own bodies and wants.


It can ruin relationships.

This f*cking dilemma destroyed my relationship with what I considered to be "the one", she wanted kids, I didn't. I decided to break up with her. It's better than regretting having kids, but the last time I felt genuinely happy was 3 years ago and that also sucks a lot.


A good point.


Don't have kids when you struggle with mental illness.


I upvoted this, because my depression is one of the main reasons I choose to not have them. I don't think I can handle the stress while going through non functioning times nor would I want them to inherit the gene.


Maturity is everything.

My only regret about having kids is that I wasn't mature enough to handle that type of responsibility.

When my first came, I was determined that I can handle whatever comes our way, I was wrong, I was selfish and stressed my wife out a lot. I didn't want to spend any time with anyone else besides myself and became an alcoholic. I was really sad all the time, and was feeling a lot of negative emotions about my social group, my plans for the future, everything seemed to be out of reach. My wife and I argued a lot, but always worked things out for the sake that neither of us wanted our children in a separated family.

When the second one came, I had stopped drinking as much, and spent a lot of time working and saving money. I missed a lot of the milestones for both my children. It made me feel like I was alone and I felt like a terrible father, and felt a distance growing in my relationship with my wife. At some points I deeply resented the 3 of them, and I thought about leaving on more than one occasion for various situations we were in.

I eventually hit a point where I felt my soul being crushed, and I figured, "it's fine, whatever, I can be miserable as long as they're happy". And I stayed that way for a good 2 years.

Gradually I started to bond with my kids again, and just stuck around for them. Then I started bonding with my wife again. Now our family is functioning on all fronts.

It took 6 years for me to grow up and become a better father and husband...I regret that it took so long, and feel ashamed of how I screwed up at the beginning.

My first doesn't like me as much as my second, and my relationship with my wife is nothing like it was before having kids.

I wish I had known how kids not only change your perspective, they also change your future, and the relationships you have with others. If you try to fight it, you will lose in one way or another. Selfishness is a quality which only makes parenting harder than it has to be.


Strangest Things Seen In A Contract's Terms And Conditions | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

It's exhausting.

For anyone now childless and is on the fence about having kids... if you have doubts, having kids is not for you.

I have 3 kids. I've always wanted kids. I love my kids dearly and wouldn't change a thing... but they are a F*CK TON of work and as exhausting as you could ever imagine.

Parenting sucks the life out of you.. but it's also amazing and rewarding. IMO, you should only have them if you know for certain that you really, really want them.


This happens a lot.


I don't regret having them, but I'm not as great at being a mum as I thought I would be. My kids are still every bit as huge arseholes as all other kids. And I do all the lazy bad parenting things I swore I wouldn't do.

I think I just wished I had been more realistic so I didn't feel like such a let down.


The identity crisis is real.

Everything about babies and children and pregnancy. Last time I was near an infant I was 5 years old and it was my baby brother.

Also, other women don't warn you. The whole time I was pregnant they would just congratulate me and tell me how excited, happy, and fulfilled I must be.

Parenthood sucks. There's no you anymore, only mommy or daddy. You have a identity crisis because you literally lose yourself in taking care of the child and responsibilities. Three years later I'm still struggling with post partum depression, it's not like how they explain it on the internet. "Give it time for the hormones to regulate". No.


Always worried.

I feel awful saying I regret my kids. They're here and teens now. It's pure selfishness on my part. Now that they're nearly 17 and 15, I find myself super scared about their safety and future and the stress is hard on me. I worry about them driving, I worry about them dating, going off to college, living independently, etc. I just don't want them to be in danger or get hurt and the worry is weighing heavily on me.


People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.