People Admit Why They Regret Having Children

Do you ever wonder if your parents regret having you?

I guess we’ve probably all had those thoughts, right?

But have you ever heard someone actually say that they regret having children? I definitely haven’t…until now…

Check out what AskReddit users had to say about this.

1. If I knew then…

“I ALWAYS wanted kids. From the time I was little I knew I wanted to be a mother.

When I was pregnant with my son, my moms breast cancer metastasized to her brain. She d**d when he was 4 months old. I had post partum depression for 2 years. My father has never been the same. All the support we thought we’d have evaporated.

Also, kids are Waaaaaaaaaay harder than anyone prepared me for, and I knew they were hard. We were the first of our friends to have kids (by YEARS). Imagine being invited for years to dinners at 6:30pm having to explain that your kid can’t do that.

“Why don’t you ever want to meet up for brunch?” Um…. Cause my kid can’t sit in at a restaurant for 2 hours while I drink mimosas?

I don’t want anything to happen to my children, I love them to pieces. But if I went back knowing what I know now, I might make a different choice.”

2. The world’s a mess.

“Because this world that I brought them into seems to be collapsing all around us.

Covid, Climate Change, a backsliding democracy, and skyrocketing cost of living.

I h**e to think I only brought them here to suffer.”

3. It ain’t cheap.

“Expenses. Children are expensive. SO MUCH.

The American average to raise a child from birth to 18 years old (barring disabilities, medical conditions or special needs) is $250k. You are LITERALLY playing the genetic lottery. You might have had no issues growing up, but you might carry a debilitating recessive trait that’s passed on to your child.

Side note, the average cost for the hospital birth is $9k to $15k if you’re uninsured. Don’t get me started on child care. It’s more expensive than most in state tuitions for college. Things ease up as they are older but money is shifted around in different ways that it doesn’t make much of a difference.”

4. Yikes.


Your independence is gone. You have to find a sitter or hope your partner, friends or family can step in for a bit.

You can’t take a s**t without your kid spilling his milk on the carpet for 5 minutes and crying.”

5. Exhausted.

“Exhaustion. Parents are tired.

Parenting takes a monumental sacrifice of your life in ways I can’t explain. You’re next move in life will always involve your child and your carefree living isn’t there for a good while.

I underestimated the involvement and sacrifice it takes to raise a child. Had I have known this before, I would have been childfree.”

6. Same thing every day.

“I’m tired of being stuck in the house all day every day doing the same things. I’m tired of not having adult interactions.

I’m tired of being touched every f**king minute from even before I open my eyes in the morning to the moment they go to sleep. I’m tired of being stuck in a house that’s a mess but I can’t deal with the mess because the kids are always around me and if I try to tidy they get under my feet or undo everything I just cleaned.

I’m tired of asking for help and being told ‘you wanted this’ ‘you asked for this when you had kids’. No I didn’t ask to be trapped in a house with a toddler who cries when I put it on the wrong puppy show or who throws a fit because I won’t let him eat marshmallows all day.

I love my kids, I do. I miss them when I’m away from them and I worry about them every moment of my day. But I’m tired.”

7. The intensity of raising children.

“Time away from husband to be a couple.

If we didn’t have kids, my ex and I would probably still be together.

Not exaggerating, but the intensity of raising children will test any marriage.”

8. This is my life?

“If I had my time again I don’t know that I would have kids.

I was really on the fence for #2 but eventually gave in. Same with #3.

Don’t get me wrong, I love them all, but it’s unending. There isn’t a moment where I just don’t have to make a decision. I was saying to someone recently that it would be amazing to have a weekend of absolutely no responsibility.

A couple of days where all I had to worry about was myself. That could mean sitting in a hotel room with Netflix and Ubereats. Unfortunately that’s not realistic.

I’m sure for some people it’s easy, but it’s so hard for me.

I’ve learnt (I feel bad saying ‘the hard way’) that if I’m unsure of something I need to be more assertive.

I didn’t think this is how my life would be.”

9. Wasn’t ready.

“I was too young, too damaged and not at all ready to bring anyone into the world. They have had a hard life because awful things have happened to us.

I wish I hadn’t brought them here, just to experience the worst of humanity. But they are thriving now, and I hope that the life they have going forward will be worth all the suffering somehow. But if I could go back, with this knowledge, I would not have had them and I think I’d be child free for life. This world can be harsh.

I don’t have the emotional energy to spend my life worried and struggling to protect another being from the s**t I’ve been through. I feel guilty sometimes that I brought them here. I will never tell them of course.”

10. Don’t enjoy it.

“I regret having my son. He is now 13. Hubby and I had been together for 10 years before I fell pregnant- we were only trying for three months before I fell pregnant, I was content for years just to look after myself. If you had asked me on my wedding day I would have told you I was never having kids.

Then hormones kicked in and I had a kid. The birth was hard, looking after a baby was hard. I miss my alone time. It has never been great being a parent, where I wanted to spend all day with him and life was full of joy and wonder. Instead he fights with me, is lazy like his dad. I am quite driven. Writing these comments here – they don’t seem strong enough to dislike parenting.

I don’t enjoy being a mum, I don’t think I am good mum, it doesn’t feel natural, I don’t think my son loves me. If I had my time again I would not have had him, just focussed on my career and rolling around in all my money (kids cost a lot in time off work amd expenses).

I wonder at families with 4 or more kids – they are clearly getting something more out of being a mum than I ever did. To make the decision to keep having kids is hard for me to comprehend. Is that honest enough for you?”

11. What was I thinking?

“I struggled with infertility. Now I have a 7 yo who has sensory problems, is v**lent towards me and in general makes life miserable a lot of days.

I ask myself a lot what the f**k was I thinking? I wanted this so bad. This s**t is not what it is cracked up to be. We even did ivf to try for a second. I am so THANKFUL it didn’t work. Because if I had two that argued I’d be in a psych ward. I grew up thinking you had to have kids. That was the way it was.

Now I realize that is not the case and while it’s not the norm; I do often wonder what it would be like to have all that extra money spent on me and traveling. If I could go back in time and do it again; I’d choose to be childless.”

12. Not my purpose in life.

“I never wanted to be a mother, and his father basically forced me to have him.

He was an accidental pregnancy. We were barely together for only 7 months when we found out, so we were no where near ready for a kid.

I personally never wanted to be a mom. I was 23 and wanted my independence, I didn’t want my body to change and was terrified of labor, had just started school for my career choice, had plans to full fill like travel (I’ve been in my home state all my life and wanted to see the world first) and was no where near emotionally/mentally ready to have a child and I knew it. His father, however, was more then ready for a kid.

Unlike me, his family moved him from state to state almost every year. He has literally been all over in his 22years of life. He also was already set in his career choice. He told me he felt happy with his life already so all he wanted now was to settle down with a family, including kids. I was ready for a committed relationship but not kids.

So when we unintentionally got pregnant, it wasn’t a happy night for us like it is for most couples. I was bawling my eyes out and he was trying so hard not to show his excitement. I made it clear from the beginning I didn’t want to keep this baby.** Like I said, I had just started school for my career choice a month earlier, and had also just started a VERY part time job that didn’t give many hours to the new person, even less when they found out I was pregnant.

So I didn’t have the income to get a procedure, and my fiance made some good money, so he would have had to help me pay for almost all of it. The problem was every time I brought up the conversation about what we were going to do, and I’d remind him this wasn’t what I wanted, in the moment, he’d tell me “ok. If you don’t want to become a mother, I won’t force it on you. We’ll figure something out”.

But then the very next day, he’d go on talking about this future baby we were going to have like my feelings didn’t matter. Eventually, it got to the point where I was too far in to be able to have the procedure safely, and my fiance fed off of my motherly instincts that eventually kicked in. I could no longer have the procedure, so I had the baby. And having him in my arms, I couldn’t bring myself to give him up for adoption even though this wasn’t what I wanted.

I have always cared for my son, I’m your typical paranoid first time mom that worries about everything, but deep down, I still feel like I don’t want this kind of life, and sometimes I want him to be 18 and grown already so I can relax and let him do his own thing(I know parenting doesn’t stop at 18 and I will always be there for him; all I’m saying is I’m not one of those parents who enjoys the newborn, and toddler years).

My son is 1.5 yrs old now and I love him to d**th, but it took me a long time to get over my resentment for my fiance for not considering my feelings and forcing me into this. I find it hard to enjoy time with my son sometimes because I’m the type that’s not used to having a human baby attached to me 24/7.

I’m a SAHM because we don’t have many people in our life who will help us with him., I had to make all the sacrifices to have a kid,( such as giving up 99% of my snake hobby because having a newborn in the same house as 10+ snakes posed some safety risks; or such as giving up on my purpose in life to rehabilitate animals because a kid takes up all my time) and my body has changed drastically in ways I wish it never did.

And as an added stresser, his father has a rare genetic disease that makes it highly possible he won’t live passed 40. And that disease has been passed down a few times through his family generations. So I hope and pray that my son has not inherited that disease from his father.

And at the same time, I also struggle with immense gulit for feeling this way, because I know a child deserves to have a parent who wanted them and enjoyed them.

He will never know I feel this way, that only stays between me and his dad, because despite my feelings, I am trying hard to be the kind of mother he deserves. I can’t say I “regret” having him, I have just always felt like this wasn’t my purpose in life.”

What do you think about this?

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Thanks a lot!