Parents Who Actually Regret Having Kids Share Their Reasons
Benjamin Manley/Unsplash

Parenting is known to be one of the hardest jobs on earth. There's a major life shift from having freedom to do what you want to having to dedicate countless hours to raising your child and doing everything they need.

Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. There isn't a manual that comes with the baby that tells you exactly what the next 18 years is going to be like. Most people seem to make it up as they go.

We wanted to know if there were parents out there that regret having kids and why they felt that way so we went to Ask Reddit for answers.


Redditor BlessedAFx777 asked:

"Parents who regret having kids:, why?"

Here are some reasons that might surprise you.

She wanted babies, not children.

"Some people should NOT have children even when they desperately want them. My mother intensely regrets having a normal child that actually grew up. My mother wanted babies, NOT children. She spent the first 30 years of my life ceaselessly punishing me for growing older and taking her baby away from her. We haven't spoken in over 20 years and I STILL have to hide from her online and IRL to avoid continued punishment."

- Limitless_Throwaway

"Gosh I know a woman like this and it's been very sad to watch. She bad two boys in quick succession into a marriage that was already bad. Once the boys got past baby and toddler age she lost interest. She then spent 8 years badgering her husband for another baby because she had to have a baby girl. She got what she wanted, baby girl, who she will lose interest in once she's past toddler age."

"The parents are both jerks and all three kids have lost out because of their selfish behaviour. Kids are not accessories to fix things in your life. If your marriage is bad, kids will make it worse,and they will also pay for it. It's so wrong. Needless to say said couple is currently divorcing."

- stuckwitharmor

Her daughter's life will be difficult.

"My daughter is severely disabled, to the point where she will never live a normal life. She can’t walk or talk, has a feeding tube and a wheelchair, is legally blind (she can see lights/shapes/colors, but that’s it) and has seizures from an unknown cause, and she’s 6. I’d say her mental development isn’t much more than a few months/to a year old at most. If I’d known that she would be born this way (she starting having seizures at 3 weeks old) I would have had an abortion the moment I found out I was pregnant."

"She was planned and wanted, and I regret her every day. Not that she isn’t a beautiful person, she’s got so much spunk and personality and she’s got my attitude, but I don’t think for a second that she deserves to live the life that’s been laid out for her. I wish I could do more for her."

- Kitteneater1996

"My sister is in the exact same position with her second. Severe physical defects due to unknown reasons. Constant trips to children’s hospital and no real answers."

"She has an older daughter who unfortunately is neglected for attention, and that’s causing it’s own problems. Her husband simply doesn’t get involved with any of it. Works hard to support them financially, but is disconnected emotionally."

"She loves her daughter, but also has the feelings sometimes that it would have been better for her to not have been born…or not to have lived."

- Crakkerz79

The social pressure.

"I had friends who regretted having kids. They told me it was the social expectation to get married and have kids, relatives pressured them into it and I guess they didn't have the strength to do what they wanted. They resented the loss of freedom, the work it takes, the cost. Their kids were horrible, too, due to bad parenting. Some people just shouldn't have kids and they knew they didn't want to, but felt obligated. Everyone loses."

- Redditor

"I'm the kid. My mom was pressured to have kids and was also made to feel like she shouldn't ask for help. She still openly resents us and holds grudges for things we had no control over. Every single time she complains about how much I cried as a baby from colic, she treats me as if I chose to be terrible to her personally. Childhood was toxic and she said and did some very damaging things to us. All we want is for her to own up to her choices and understand that as children we looked to as the example for how to behave. It will never happen but a girl can dream."

- sleepyonetwothree

They'll drain your bank account.

"My coworker has 3 kids, she is constantly telling me not to have kids because they are a drain on her bank account. She also never has free time after work or on weekends."

- strawberry-bubble

"Someone I know, entire time raising her kids: 'Do not have kids it is a huuuuuuge burden. seriously it will F*CK up your life.'"

"Now the kids are approaching middle age, 'Why did you not have kids? when will you marry? I want grand-kids!'
Kids are like NOPE lol."

- redditsavedmyagain

The sacrifices are huge.

"I love my son. He's 1.5 years old and currently sleeping in my arms, still knackered from Christmas eve."

"I wanted kids, I just grossly underestimated how relentlessly f*cking hard it is. It never stops. The sacrifice is absurd. If I want him to grow up right, I need to keep up those sacrifices for many years to come."

"We will not have another, on that we agree."

- Lamoron

"For what it's worth, my mother felt the same way with me at that age. But as I grew up and gained independence, she felt the sacrifice and time loss was greatly lessened. Obviously financially not much changes, but emotionally it grew easier. I hope it does for you, and wish your family all the best."

- caffeineshampoo

Had a kid too young.

"Had a son when I was 19. No condoms, no brain. Me and her were some promising teens, met in high school, top of the class, kept dating in college. When we found out she was pregnant I got jobs, started failing classes, eventually dropped out. She got her degree, got a job, had to quit, couldn't get another one."

"She was living with her parents, still does. Two brothers, three sisters, all of them judging me all the time, it wasn't easy for her either. It was hell, absolute hell. I deeply regret having a kid at that age."

"I constantly think about the life I wanted, the youth I will never have. It's all gone. I could read entire books in hours, debate with my professors, my English is crap but I learned all of it on my own. Had friends, quirky projects, silly goals and obsessions. And then I had to wash vomit and sh*t just to buy diapers."

"I hate my life so much. He's happy though, my son, a really warm kid, hugs me every time he sees me, even pulls jokes on me, the little. I do love him. I just wanted to be...me, for a while, just a little bit."

- MaeSolug

"I think you nailed why protection is so important. Young adulthood is arguably the freest period of your whole life. Having a kid early skips that entire chapter and forces you into full-blown adulthood early on."

"You can still love the kid deeply, but there’s no denying it sucks to be robbed of your remaining youth."

- thomthehipposlayer

"I'm sorry, friend. You've sacrificed a good portion of your life for someone else. The positive side is that you will still be young as your son gains more and more independence. It's not over for you."

- Impressive_Till_7549

The regret of losing her child.

"I had a daughter in 1985, she was my sunshine. Her dad and I had problems but who didn't, and they weren't bad problems, just 'getting married a bit too young' problems (he was 24 and I was 22 when she was born). And we had a good life, all that. And then when she was 7 she was diagnosed with AML, fought it for two years, and then passed away."

"After that, we split, got back together, developed addictions, fought, there was DV, on both sides, all of it. I got pregnant twice more but opted for abortions because I didn't want to ever lose a child that I loved again. He finally passed away ten years ago, so he's at peace now."

"But yeah, I regret every day having her. It was so good, it was like, I had it all, good kid, good husband, good life. And then it all went away in a minute. I'd rather have never had her than only been allowed to keep her a few years."

- Ok_Stargazer_333

There is no freedom.

"My life feels like it’s no longer mine. I feel as though I’m constantly under someone’s thumb now and the freedom I once had to say f*ck this, this isn’t making me happy, isn’t available to me anymore. Because what feels best for me isn’t necessarily what’s best for my family. It’s tough and I’ve had a hard time reconciling with that. Some days I feel like I’ve got this and everything will work out in time, but more often I find myself feeling pretty hopeless and that this life I’ve been trying to build and maintain for the good of my family is nothing but a ticking time bomb…"

"I do, however, want to make it clear that I love my family, and my struggles are in no way a reflection of them. I plan to speak to counselor about my feelings at the start of the new year, in the hope of finding new, healthy ways to cope. Parenting is not for everyone, and I wish I would’ve known this about myself before diving in head first, but I truly thought I would feel differently. Despite my feelings, I know that I have a responsibility to my child first and foremost. To give her a life that equips her for the road ahead, that allows her to be happy and know that despite my shortcomings, I love her very much."

- jsjames9590

Parenting isn't for everyone, and it sounds like the feeling of regret is pretty common. What we hope readers can glean from this is that the duality of regret and love for your child is okay, as long as you're still taking care of them the best that you can.

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