Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. There are plenty of people who don't have children by choice. Then there are people who do have children and soldier on despite not being particularly happy with that decision. Circumstances can also change and affect opinions over time. Having a special-needs child, for instance, is remarkably challenging––and society doesn't necessarily prepare you for that reality because the image of the "perfect family" is so idealized.
After Redditor BriquitteLait1 asked the online community, "Parents who regret having kids: why?" people shared their stories.
"While I don't regret rescuing her..."
We adopted a four-year-old who turned out to have severe issues. While I don't regret rescuing her from what could have been a bad life, the first 20 years were rough, especially the first 7 years. Her overwhelming needs blew up my marriage and left my slightly older son saying, "I want my childhood back." She's a lovely 28-year-old, and I love her, but man those years were rough.
"I was never abusive..."
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.
"My mom wouldn't consent..."
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 broke. It has ruined my life and I'm only in my early 20s.
"But the big one..."
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.
"We romanticize families way too much..."
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 though 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.
This is true.
I am constantly in awe of my friends with special needs children. They are strong people. They are also unflinchingly honest about their struggles while striving to do the best they can for their kids.
"I miss the ability..."
I don't regret having my son, but sometimes I miss my life before I had him. I miss the ability to just do whatever I want whenever I want. Now I have to do it based on his schedule. I know one day it won't be as hard, but right now I miss my freedom.
This is a big one.
It's probably one of the major reasons why I wouldn't want to deal with children. I actually really like children––they're awesome and it's great to see them learn and grow. But I also know that I'm selfish with my time. I like to give children back.
"If I had known..."
I have two kids and they're an endless series of PTSD triggers. If I had known the extent and nature of my mental health situation I would have never had children. I love my kids but it is what it is.
"My oldest son..."
I caved when my wife got baby fever entirely too soon after our first. My oldest son had just been diagnosed with autism and I just kind of thought that everyone with very young children were miserable until they were 4 or 5 years old. I repeatedly told her that not at all ready to have another child but gave in. We weren't doing well financially or personally but I just wanted to make her happy.
She asked for a divorce soon after our youngest turned 1. It's becoming more and more obvious just how self-centered and selfish my ex-wife has always been.
I'm trying not to be bitter but I hate a lot of being a single dad of two young children without any help. I eat what I'd like to say often because I realize it wouldn't be productive. I grew up with parents who had a terrible divorce and I'm trying to make sure my kids don't live the same fate.
I'm lonely and terribly depressed, it feels like my life consists entirely of working and being a dad. It feels like no one will ever love me again and everything about dating sucks.
I don't blame my children. I love them more than they might ever know. My life would be infinitely easier without kids but I hope they'll never know how I feel.
"The only reason..."
I adore my children. The only reason that I regret having them is that I'm not very optimistic about the future in general. I don't want them to suffer through the decline of our nation/world.
More and more parents...
...are expressing concern about climate change and the impact it will have on their children and their futures. News outlets have reported for some time that climate change is shaping family planning.
"I still love him to death..."
My son has autism and I sometimes regret having him. I still love him to death but when I see that he's not like other kids and doesn't really socially interact, it breaks my heart. I worry about his future and what would happen when my husband and I die. Will he be independent and take care of himself? I worry a lot.
More and more people––particularly mothers, who bear much of the work that comes with child-raising––are speaking out.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below.
"Thoughts and prayers." Those are the two main things doled out immediately in the wake of a mass shooting in the United States.
Let's face it. While platitudes are all well and good, they are merely a contrivance to fill the silence that has stunned devastated communities.
As many American citizens call for stricter gun legislation, there are just as many who advocate for their right to the Second Amendment.
How has this become the polarizing issue in the country while many other parts of the world maintain peace–presumably due to citizens not having the right to bear arms?
Genuinely curious to hear from a specific demographic, Redditor Wonderful-Wash-2145 asked:
"To the Americans who don’t agree with changing the gun laws? Why?"
People shared their informed opinions in great detail.
When Gun Advocates Lack Common Sense Or Knowledge
"I live in a state, California, which has all of the gun laws that people are asking for and then some. While our gun violence isn't as high as a lot of other states, it was already rapidly trending downward before our biggest laws, like our 'Assault Weapons' ban passed. And we've still had our share of mass shootings. With the laws in place it's easy to see why they're ineffective."
"Assault Weapons ban? Because the only thing separating an AR-15 from any other semi-automatic rifle are ergonomic features like the stock and grip, AR-15s and similar rifles are still sold here, just with those features swapped out for less comfortable alternatives."
"'Universal' Background Checks? What people don't realize is that every gun store around the country has to run background checks on buyers already, 'Universal' means that private sellers have to do that too. How is that accomplished? The buyer and seller have to meet at a gun shop so the gun shop can run the background check. The problem is, there's nothing to stop someone from just NOT doing that. If you want to sell a gun to your best friend, there's nothing stopping you from doing it in the comfort of your own home, no paperwork required. So universal background checks aren't universal, they're voluntary but if people called them voluntary background checks, it would be too self-evident that they're not much of a solution."
"Before people say 'Well one state having those laws is ineffective because people can just buy from another state.' No, that's not legal. You can only legally buy a gun in the state in which you reside. Do people still do it? Yes, people break the law by buying from private sellers, which more laws wouldn't prevent."
"Americans buy 15 Million guns a year from dealers, who knows how many are purchased from private sellers. Countries like Australia where gun control has been effective only had a few million guns in their whole country, much less the hundreds of millions that the US has."
"The reason gun nuts oppose 'common sense' gun control is that a prerequisite for common sense is common knowledge, and it's rare for gun control advocates to have knowledge of both firearms and the laws that currently regulate them in pro gun control states like California."
In The Absence Of Enforcement
"And, a lot of the existing laws aren't enforced. Domestic abusers are supposed to surrender their arms are rarely do and the police rarely follow up, for example. I saw a thread yesterday where someone cited 27,000 known firearms holders that were illegal that law enforcement didn't do anything about."
Weak arguments were also presented.
"So why not make guns have to be registered the way cars are? If I want to sell my car to my friend, I have to fill out paperwork to tell the state that the title for that car is being transferred to my friend. Can’t we do the same for guns?"
A Salesman's Statistic
"I sell auto insurance. Do you know how often someone comes in to insure a vehicle they purchased but never put into their name? Literally like 5 times a weeks if not more."
"A big problem with anything regulatory is how ripe it is to be exploited for the person doing the regulations. A lot of gun control measures have to be enforced by someone and if that person is racist, guess who gets the regulations enforced against them more often? It's still a policing issue when at the core a large group of people simply can't trust the police, and now this is putting both parties in an even more dangerous position."
The thread continued sparking a lengthy discussion about gun culture.
A Slippery Slope
"I think one of the concerns that people are thinking about is that the 'gun reform' movement is a stomach that can't ever be satisfied, meaning, they are always going to ask for more ways to reform guns until eventually people won't get to have any. And I think people who are against gun reform know that 'gun reform' is a slippy slope to banning guns outright and overturning the 2nd Amendment."
What's The Point?
"Governments do not care about their people. Look at selling drugs to the black community, poisoning alcohol during prohibition, anti-privacy laws, I could go on but there's no need to fill paragraphs of these things. And we're supposed to hand over our tools of self-defense and expect the government to protect us? The same government that just sat there outside the Uvalde school?"
"And how are they going to get guns out of the hands of criminals anyway? A good chunk of these shooters are already using guns they can't legally own. If they try to completely get rid of firearms through a 'war on guns' in the same way they've waged a 'war on drugs' for decades, then the amount of illegal, untraceable firearms is only going to go up with every passing decade."
The Challenge Of Regulating Culture
"I think people are dancing around a core point here as well: you cannot legislate culture."
"Say we do implement just the most severe of gun laws and, miracle beyond miracles, they are 100% effective. Alright, so if I want to hurt a bunch of people en masse and guns are out of the question what do I do? What about just running a van through a crowd? What about some improvised explosive devices? Knives?"
"People think guns are the problem, but they are just a very convenient tool by which the problem expresses itself. I’ve lived in many of the so-called 'safe countries' with strong gun laws. In some respects, they are indeed safer, but it’s because the laws reflect a pre-existing cultural sentiment. This also doesn’t mean random mass violence doesn’t happen. I’m going to use Japan here because that’s a country I spent a long time in: there were the famous sarin gas attacks in 1994, also a murderer who drove a vehicle through a crowd in Akihabara (early 2000’s, I believe), and a lot more public stabbing sprees than you’d expect. One even happened a few stations down from me while living there and three little girls on their way to school died. It’s more of historical crime now, but there was also an early 1900’s mass shooting where a man, rejected by local women, decided to cut off power in his local village and systematically execute everyone in their sleep before blowing his own head off at dawn."
"The effort needs to be put into why we seem to have so many disaffected people who are so far gone that mass shootings seem like a reasonable consideration. Gun laws are ultimately just a bandaid fix and, because a good portion of the U.S. is culturally attuned to firearms in a positive way, it’s a bandaid fix that one would have to fight tooth and nail for."
"It would be an inefficient fight and even absolute victory would just result in a half measure. I oppose gun laws for precisely the same reason I oppose the war on drugs; it’s a fight that will never end just by slapping on new policies. Generations of legislators and activists will commit to it and unfathomable amounts of tax dollars will be dumped into it and in 30 years we will still be asking ourselves the same fundamental questions about our safety."
"The uncomfortable reality, at least from where I sit, is that a lasting solution is going to have to be proactive, play the long game, and be willing to figure out what has gone so wrong in our social makeup as to push people to random acts of mass violence."
"And even then, there will still just be psychopaths beyond salvaging and reincorporating into functional society."
"I also know people will want to just say 'no, more just gun laws' or 'this is all the fault of capitalism' etc. etc. but I think those who hold these simplistic, one-note positions are fooling themselves into thinking that this is as easy as identifying the sole 'big bad thing' and then destroying it. As a historian, I can guarantee you that it’s never just one factor at play.'
"I couldn’t agree more that Americans need a more proactive and preventative approach to this issue. But I think guns are just the patsy boogeyman that is simple and comfortable to place blame on. If Americans choose to fight that fight, then so be it, but I maintain that it will be long and ineffectual. In the mean time, more will die and we can all happily believe we are doing something about it."
What Is It About America?
"I get 'gun culture'. But why is the US more violent?"
I think madmen and people that commit acts of random violence are basically the same % in every country. Difference is that if a mad men in my country comes at a supermarket with a knife, he might kill one or two people but he will get tackled."
"Taking a car trough a crowd, been there. That's a different animal, is terrorism."
The thread was full of debates with pro-gun activists presenting their case and anti-gun advocates responding with arguments.
It's an endless discussion that has no resolve in sight.
So now what? What are your thoughts and suggestions that would promote a compromise or solution about gun control?
In society, the word sociopath is sometimes tossed out as an insult. Other times, it's used to describe a person in a non-malicious way but is used incorrectly.
What is a sociopath, really? Sociopaths are people who suffer from a personality disorder that leads to a lack of empathy and a conscience. These people are generally self-aware, and can mimic human emotions, but don't have any of their own.
A sociopath convention would be groups of people in which there are many sociopaths or groups of people that are entirely comprised of sociopaths.
Statistically, 1 in 25 people is a sociopath, meaning any large group could count as a sociopath convention. However, there are groups that are generally considered full of sociopaths.
Those groups were identified when Redditor GoGetEmTiger131 asked:
"What place might as well be a “sociopath convention?"
"A child pageant — the parents"
"Came here to say this exact thing, I'm so surprised this doesn't have more up votes."
"I mean statistically some of those kids must be sociopaths too, right?"
You're The Top
"sociopaths surround themselves with less powerful people, in my experience. you might find them at the top of nearly any organization, though."
"Supposedly they make up the majority of CEOs"
"I stayed at an airport hotel and the conference room was booked for "How to create a submissive Christian wife" or something like that. There was a low tooth-to-head ratio and a distinct lack of chins."
"I've read a lot of weird stuff, but this made my jaw drop a little."
We Voted Them In
"Any place where politicians gather."
"How is this so far down the list?"
"There probably isn't a larger gathering of sociopathic narcissists than a joint session of the US Congress."
"I was gonna say the DNC and RNC."
"I knew this would be at the top but honestly I think there would be more sociopaths at social media influencer convention. That or “life coaches.”"
"I knew two diagnosed sociopaths at my high school. Both became life coaches. I get heavy Manson vibes from their content."
"When a group of MLM huns get together in any location on the planet."
"Now let's talk about ways to manipulate family and friends to increase sales and even recruit your own worker bees!"
Reddit, Of Course!
"Damn roasted an entire platform"
The Whole State
"That place is so unbelievably vapid and just odd as hell. It makes Vegas seem reasonable"
"I was just gonna say Florida."
"Florida. All of it."
Become An Alpha
"We had a local "Alpha Con" here recently. I swear the promo poster was the biggest group of tools I've ever seen.
Edit : turns out it wasn't local. I am even more disgusted. Clearly I didn't do a lot of research into it."
"Literally any gathering of men where the word “Alpha” is used unironically at any point."
Learning Who You Are
"That’s, it just school."
Well, statistically, that tracks.
Believe it or not, many household items can be hazardous. Some household products, like oven cleaner, contain hazardous chemicals that could really harm you–or even kill you–if used incorrectly.
Oven cleaners often have a high pH, making them alkaline corrosives.
Oven cleaner can cause burns or irritation of any exposed tissue, whether that is the mouth, skin, eyes, or airway. And if swallowed, as the National Capital Poison Center points out, "oven cleaners can cause vomiting and burns to the lips, mouth, throat, and further down in the digestive tract, like the food pipe and stomach."
That will make you think twice, huh?
But oven cleaners are far from the only potentially hazardous objects in your home. People told us more when Redditor Cool_Kid_Lit_Fam asked the online community,
"What household object do most people not realize, that if used incorrectly, could easily kill them?"
"The two most common types of accidental death in the home are falls in bathtubs and from ladders."
Are you telling me that I should stop showering on top of a ladder?
"Dryers when you don’t clean the lint trap."
Dryer lint is great for starting campfires! Throw some wads in your kindling and you've got an easy fire... which should be a big clue!
"If it falls..."
"Car jack. If it fails and you didn't use jack stands, and you can't bench press a couple thousand pounds..... you gonna die."
To say the least!
Safety is cool, friends. Don't take it for granted.
"I feel like..."
"I feel like it’s surprising that most people don’t know that you can’t put out a grease fire with water."
Many fires start this way – and get worse because people don't know what they should do.
"When my dad was a kid..."
"When my dad was a kid, one of his good friends died by inhaling Pam cooking spray. The boy was a good, smart kid and just thought inhaling Pam would get you a little high, like sniffing a Sharpie or whatever."
"But Pam coats your lungs and very quickly suffocates you if you breathe it in. He had no idea how dangerous it was and he was dead in minutes. It was absolutely devastating for everyone who knew him."
Very important. A tragedy for everyone involved. Sorry for your dad's loss.
"Bleach and other cleaners accidentally mixed together."
This is a big one. Never mix – the consequences can be deadly.
"Had a friend of the family..."
"Oven cleaner. Had a friend of the family use it on a warm oven and breathed it in. Messed up her lungs and died in hospital."
That's a genuinely useful piece of information. This sounds like something I'd have done without even considering it...
"Unsecured free-standing shelves are pretty dangerous, especially for kids who might try to climb on them."
Kids get hurt or die in accidents involving free-standing shelves all the time. You don't want your child to be one of them.
"My brother's father in law died falling off a ladder. He wasn’t even high up, just fell badly. His wife (a nurse) tried CPR, but he didn’t make it. He had no other health problems."
Condolences. This is so tragic. A warning to us all.
"Anything that can..."
"Wet floors, usually bathrooms. Anything that can make hitting your head easier can kill."
Falling in the bathroom is a big fear of mine. Thanks for the reminder.
You're probably going to be much more careful now than you were before, aren't you?
Good – now get out there and warn all your friends. You can't be too careful.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us more in the comments below!
We all know a person or two or fifty who can leave us with our jaws on the floor; with the words that fall from their mouths.
Some people are just... well you know.
I've lost count of the amount of people I've encountered where I wondered... "What rock did you crawl out of?"
"Where have you been living?"
I once met a person who asked what a "Beyonce" was.
I had to walk away.
How does one respond to that?
When aliens land they're going ask for her first.
RedditorJoako_o47wanted to hear about the individuals we've met that have left us a bit stunned by their... naivete. They asked:
"What did someone say that made you think he/she lives under a rock?"
I've waited tables, so let me tell you... the under the rock people outnumber us. We're in trouble.
And Fruits?Hot Shots Idiot GIFGiphy
"In referring to travelling outside of the country--- 'Do they have vegetables there?"'
"I worked for a pizza delivery store. Had a lady call up, asked for delivery. I asked for her address, and she said she wasn’t going to tell me. So I asked, how are we supposed to deliver to you if we don’t know where you are? She says she doesn’t know what her address is. So I say, again, how do you expect us to deliver to you if we can’t find you? She says that if I won’t take her order, then she’ll just call someplace else. And I said, 'Sounds good!' and hung up."
Get a Map!
"'Isn't Mexico in Europe?' (this was in an higher education History class when we were learning about 1920's America). This was in a school in London, England."
"Alternatively, I knew someone who was a sophomore in high school and genuinely thought Mexico was a part of the US, and this was during the 2016 election. That fact could not have been made more clear."
“'France?! I thought you were going to Paris?!”'
"As a french person this is hilarious because we do, in fact, like to insist that Paris and France are two completely different places. LOL."
"This is because France tends to be too centralized in Paris. Paris is the economic capital, Paris is the legal capital, 1/7 of the popultation lives in Paris, an insane share of national news are just happening in Paris, etc French people out of Paris tend to jokingly say that Paris is not France because life in Paris can be very different from life anywhere else in France."
"It was lunch and I hear 2 girls talking, they were basically havin' a normal conversation until one of them said 'Can we talk about how useless gravity is like why did Isaac Newton even create it?' The girl she was talking to laughed and called her stupid while I chuckle."
What's really scary is that some of these people drive and operate heavy machinery.
Starbucks?Happy Good Morning GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
"My favorite was an American couple visiting my homeland Scotland and the guy asked 'Wow you have coffee here? How long have you had it? Have you tried it yet?' My answer 'Yeah it's been a few months at least, I have tried it but I don't like it, it's very bitter and gritty it gets stuck in my teeth. Like what..."
"Was talking about stuff with a close friend and we got onto the topic of money and growing up. This guy lived very comfortably, custom built pool and house w/add on. Had a nice car, good parental unit, etc etc... and he told me poverty didn’t exist straight to my face. After I told him I grew up in poverty, and he was very serious. his reasoning??"
'"No one can live comfortably on that little amount of cash. yeah, no shi* Sherlock.' I figured he was probably really sheltered so I tried to educate him about it and how it is very possible and how many people live it, but he refused to listen to me lol."
"Had an in-depth discussion with an Amish guy once, he didn’t know what the Holocaust was."
"Most people, even those that know of the Holocaust, don't know the whole story. The vast majority of the Nazi regime's victims were Jews, Sinti-Roma peoples, and Slavs but victims also encompassed people identified as social outsiders in the Nazi worldview, such as homosexuals, and political enemies."
"According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (USHMM), the Holocaust was 'the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jewish men, women and children by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.' In addition, 11 million members of other groups were murdered during the "era of the Holocaust. Learn More"
"I was telling a co-worker that I'm from Transylvania originally, and she brought up Dracula because of course. Somehow the mention of Vlad Tepes came up and another co-worker invited herself to the conversation, telling me that the real Frankenstein was also from there. The crap I learn about my homeland sometimes... Next time they'll tell me it's where the white walkers came from originally when Sauron waged a war against Aladdin."
Sure. Ok.Season 3 GIF by Parks and RecreationGiphy
"Roommate in university, shouting from the other room to ask for help on a paper she was writing with a completely sincere question:"
"'The Holocaust was in World War 3, right?'"
How do some people survive on their own out there?
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