Parents Confess Why They Regret Having Kids
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

If there's one thing that parents won't admit, it's the fact that they may have regretted having children. Whether it was for personal preference, financial reasons, or anything in between, they finally were able to confess to Reddit their true thoughts.

One Redditor jaytoles asked:

People who regret having kids: why?

Protecting them from trauma.

"It fills me with fear and worry about their future. It's like having your heart outside of your body. I don't want to live but I have to for their sake, and I know there's so much out there I can't protect them from."


"I don't personally regret having a kid at all, but I completely understand that first sentiment."

"I was mercilessly bullied in grade school, and when she started school it didn't even cross my mind that it would happen to her because she's so sweet and happy and fun and friendly."

"Then I went to my first father daughter dance with her, she was in KINDERGARTEN and I watched a few of the slightly older girls (same grade) just absolutely treat her awful. On a night that was so much fun I had my heart break in two.

"Since then she'll come home every so often and tell me something, we'll try to work with her or her teacher to get it fixed but every day as I kiss her on the forehead before she goes to school I silently pray that she won't get the same treatment I got.


Can't just chill out anymore.


"Life is much easier without them. I love my kids...but there are definitely days I question our decision to have them. Mine are both around age 5 (boys), and they're just so hyper - as I type this, they're arguing in the backseat because one of them wants quiet time and the other wants to sing (don't worry, I'm not the driver.) You're constantly either correcting someone, listening to shrieking (sometimes happy, sometimes not), whining, arguing, needing to get up to get them stuff or play with them or teach them, etc."

"It just requires constant attention, and that wears me down more than I had anticipated. Your downtime to watch TV and just chill out and not think about anything? Gone for many years, along with the ability to be spontaneous. Want to eat out? Have to find a kid appropriate place, make sure you have some crayons or something to keep them quietly occupied, and you'll spend most of dinner working on building their restaurant manners. Life is just a whole lot more tiring."

"(I realize this response sounds like I hate my kids. I don't. Like all parts of life, there are ups and downs. But I do feel like society, especially people deciding if they want kids, would benefit from more people being willing to talk about the hard parts.)"


It can be draining.

"I can't say I "regret" having had kids, but I often think my life would be better had I not. Parenting is difficult under the best circumstances, but it's a roll of the dice. If you have a child with medical or developmental problems it is a tremendous drain. I feel like I've aged about 20 years in the last 5, like I'm just a ghost of my former self."


This is a tough one.

"I don´t have kids yet, but I know someone who regrets having kids; my mother."

"They (my mom and my father) wanted two daughters, but after multiple failed attempts, they settled with having just one daughter. They were all fine with having just one kid. Dad´s condom got broken, I was born as a male, not as female, dad started feeling overwhelmed, started dating his current wife when I was 4, my parents got divorced, 14 years passed, and here we are."

"My parents care only about my sister. Dad only talks to her. My mom told me on multiple occasions, ever since I was 6, that she hates me. I was hugged by my dad only once in my entire life. My mom hugged me only three of four times in my entire life. I was the reason my parents got divorced. Ever since I was born my dad was cheating on my mom with multiple women (one of them got kicked out of his work due to their relationship interfering with their work). She keeps telling me that she regrets having me and that she should have went for an abortion. Even during the divorce process, they were haggling over my sister, but when I was discussed in court, not one of them wanted me, so the court assigned me to my mom´s custody, along with my sister."

"She even suggested joint custody, which worked for about a year, until my father couldn´t bear having me every other week and watching me (he truly didn´t care a single bit about me and hated me). My sister rarely went to visit my father, only about once or twice for one night every month. This worked for about a year until my mother was able to ask for higher alimonies, which required her to have full custody of me and my sister. And, since my father had the short end of the stick and only one lawyer, my mom won."

"As for my sister; After all of this, my sister turned out to be a pretty awful person. Selfish, spoiled brat that went to study for a lawyer. Without our grandma´s connections and friends, she wouldn't get a single thing she has in her life. On top of that, she committed some crimes, which forced her ex-boyfriend to escape the country. She emotionally manipulates everyone so that they do what she wants. So yes, she is possibly the worst person in our family."

"Now I´m living with my mom. I´m 19 and in university, studying to become teacher of English language and ethics. I want to move away from this town and be a teacher somewhere else where me and my girlfriend can get a decent job. I want to be a good father to my children and good teacher for my future students."

"I don´t want anyone to go through what I went through. When I will have the means to do so, I will be cutting ties with my family, and possibly even changing my last name. I don´t want my children to know anyone from my family, because I don´t want them to be influenced by their toxic personalities."


Don't have kids if you like to sleep.


"I don't regret the kids I have, but I do regret not waiting until we were a little older and more settled to start having kids. I feel we struggle much more financially that we might have if we had waited."

"Our youngest is 3 and we haven't slept more than a dozen nights in his life. So if you are particularly invested in sleeping through the night, don't have kids."


Nothing but worry.

"I'm a parent that mostly doesn't regret, but there's a constant stress. Money concerns are not fun, but there's a lot of other stuff too. Toddlers can choke or get kidnapped New drivers can die in a crash (happened a couple times at my high school). Teenage pregnancies. Seems like there's always something to worry about."


Is it immoral?

"I sometimes feel guilty about the world I have brought them into, and wonder about whether having kids in general (bringing innocents into a world where they will definitely suffer) isn't immoral."


Again, DON'T have kids if you like sleep.


"It's just easier without them. On the rare occasions my kids are on sleep overs a single evening can seem like a six week summer break due to not having issues with dinner, getting ready for bed and going to bed."

"My youngest has night terrors so I think in the last decade or so, even after the baby crying in the night stage, we've had maybe twenty or thirty nights of unbroken sleep. It's just crazy the amount of time, money and energy you put into raising kids."



"Extreme poverty. And not very much hope of escaping the poverty. Child support can be a real b*tch."



"Not me but my Mom once told me she considered aborting her first child (my older brother) and not having me or my younger sisters after that. She says that her life would have been WAY different, she could've graduated college and got a good job. But she still loves us and can't imagine her life without us now."


That's a good idea.


"I regret my mother having kids - not only because I wish I didn't exist but because she wasn't ready. I'm not sure she ever would have been. Don't get me wrong, I love her and I know she loves us with all her heart, but she just had us because she got pregnant and she just got lucky that none of us have any expensive physical needs that she would have been entirely too poor to deal with as a single mother. She also has never been aware of things like depression or anger issues and so she can't recognise them at all, particularly in my horribly spoiled and violent younger sister."

"I think a lot of eldest daughters feel this was but I feel like the second parent or her emotional support daughter or something. I'm always dragged in to help mother the others and play the bad cop because she can't be strict. As much as I love her, she's the reason I think there should be a course every parent should have to take before having a child. Some people just are not emotionally intelligent enough and just winging it can have some serious side effects on your kid."

"Also just a side note because I sound very judgemental for someone without kids - I'd be a terrible mother so my tubes are getting tied."


Ups and downs.

"I don't regret it per se, however I was pregnant with my first child when I was 19 (36 now) so I've lived my entire adult life being a parent. I've missed out on a lot and they've missed out on a lot with me not being ready and wise enough to be a good parent. It's very exhausting and tiring. I used to spend a lot of time regretting having children, but I feel like I'm on the home stretch now. Almost."

"Having said all of this, I adore my kids with my all my heart and I have a super special relationship with my youngest. All in all I say parenting is like an elevator. It has its ups and downs."


Fair point.

"It's like having a pet."

"Except you have to feed, cloth, nurture, medicate, educate, enlighten, entertain, and always be there for them."

"In short, it's a full time job that requires zero qualifications, the pay is potentially amazing and potentially horrible, and if you f**k up badly enough you're going to jail."


Say goodbye to sleep.


"Parenting is a pain in the a**."

"Anybody would tell you that I am a great dad and I love and care for my kid to no end."

"But I absolutely am not having another one. They have a way of making your life about them. There are no days off."

"I remember a time my wife and I could just leave at 3 in the morning to grab a snack. Not anymore."

"We could fly to a different country without having to stay up on the whole plane ride with the kid. Have you ever had jetlag? That is some serious sleep and imagine not being able to get that sleep because your toddler is up and ready to go."

"They are demanding. They need all your attention. They are expensive."

"They are also cute and show you love and affection like nobody else. They are forgiving and often easily happy."

"But I just know that I am not cut out for it. The one I have, I'll give him the world. But I am not having any more."


That's so sad.

"There was a comment down below that reminded me of this story, but I feel it was inappropriate to respond directly to that comment because it would come across as insensitive. So here it is."

"There was a guy in the neighborhood growing up. Nice neighborhood, probably a nice family. I didn't know them personally. But their house was on one of two main ways out of the neighborhood so we were always driving past. Apparently this guy really, really, really wanted a son. He didn't get one, he got three daughters instead. And apparently they were really girly daughters, as in none of them wanted to play basketball, softball, or any other sports. So this guy put up a basketball goal anyway. He was always out there shooting hoops by himself. It seems kind of sad."


This is more than a valid decision. Kids are a lot of work and not for everyone.

Do you have similar experiences to share? Let us know in the comments below.

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