13 Mothers Share Why They Regret Having Children & How They’re Coping

Motherhood is one of the most beautiful and challenging parts of life. Being a mother is definitely not easy, but it comes bearing a lot of gifts. Needless to say, it’s not for everyone and it’s okay if someone doesn’t want to be a mother.

A Redditor, Outraged-babie, posted a question on AskWomen – asking mothers who regret having children what made them realize it and how they’re coping with it.

Here are 13 answers from mothers who are in the same boat.

1. Acceptable_Fan_9066 said:

“I love my daughter (7). She is the most precious thing in my life.”

“But in recent years I have started to regret having a child. Not because of her. She is the most easy going sweet little girl you could ever meet.”

“Actually I regret having children because of what’s going on in the world. I feel a SEVERE feeling of doom and anxiety when I think about her future. She will probably never be able to afford a house, will struggle with debt, climate change, scarce resources, growing inequality. I am truly terrified and I feel sooo sooo guilty. If I was childless today I would 100% for sure not have any child now. Despite loving being a mother, the growing despair I see everyday and knowledge things will only get worse on the next 30 years make me regret having children. I love her with all my heart, and I am sad this is the future she will have. I am sad I placed her in this situation. I know many many of my friends with children feel the same.”

“In terms of coping I try and do my bit, to make society better for her generation, but I know it won’t be. I try and prepare her, support her by saving as much as I can for her (less than 30 GBP per month but ok, it’s all I can afford) to help her in future. To teach her about fairness and self reliance. But it’s a major stress in the back of my mind.”

2. spandexcatsuit shared:

“When my daughter turned 17 and stopped speaking to me I regretted putting her first her entire life. I think if I was wealthy she’d pretend to care about me now (she’s early 20s). But I’m not, so I’m worthless to her. I derailed my entire life for her. Her dad wanted to abort her and I made her entire life possible. And I thought I made it as good as I could. But whatever it was she needed was not something I could give, which isn’t her fault but her behavior now is. I don’t feel like I even got a chance with her.”

“I cope by thinking about her in the past tense, making peace with her being gone. Whoever she is now is a stranger to me. I haven’t seen her in years.”

“It’s not a good feeling. I have a step kid who still visits and my son loves me so I guess that’s a lot more than most people get and I value them so much. I try to focus on them.”

3. Sad-Teacher-1170 wrote:

“My mental health, all my coping energy is spent on kids so my mh takes a back burner. I’m in therapy but I had them before I found out my struggles are asd/adhd related and will be lifelong. I still work every day to try to make life easier, but 1 one my boys is nonverbal autistic and one I’m sure has asd but on a similar level to me so it’s harder than I ever pictured motherhood”

4. simply_c explained her story:

“As much as I don’t like admitting this, I regret having my second child (she’s currently 9 months). I love her little face and she can be the cutest, but I was free (my oldest is 15). I got to the point where I didn’t have to do much. My teen is independent and we were slowly transitioning to a friends(ish) type of relationship. Now, I’m starting back at the beginning and I’m all alone again, because my partner works so much. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t say “I hate my life” at least once. The really sucky part is I’m about to go back to work, so on top of being the primary caregiver/homemaker, I’m going to work 40 hours a week. I’m 42 so I’ll be in my 50s before this one is truly independent. I’m trapped and there’s nothing I can do but grin and bear it, and hope I don’t have a nervous breakdown.”

5. Adventureous wrote about having severe health issues:

“I love my daughter so much.”

“But I’m not a good mother. I have so many of my own problems — fibromyalgia, C-PTSD, can barely work, no degree and certainly no real career — and she has so many of her own — ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder, and probably autism too — that raising her is so very difficult. I’m at my wit’s end just trying to do baseline stuff, like work and clean the house and cook, and then add on all of our appointments and the fact that just talking to her can be an ordeal, never mind parenting her.”

“I have no idea how I can raise her to be a functioning adult, and let alone survive raising her. This week itself has already been a nightmare, an utter, utter nightmare. My depression and anxiety have gotten severe again.”

“That’s not even counting the fact that it’s a terrible time in history to have kids. I don’t even know what her world is going to look like when she graduates from high school in ten years.”

“I love kids and babies, and I wanted a big family. I’m dying on the inside that my brother is having a baby with his wife and I shouldn’t/won’t/can’t have one with my fiance (not my daughter’s bio dad, which was an ab*sive POS). I’m grieving over what life has taken from me in so many ways, and I’m just struggling to survive at this point.”


6. Longjumping-Ask-2122 wrote about the major changes in lifestyle:

“I have a preschooler.”

“Things I don’t like: can’t go anywhere alone. Can’t have quiet time to myself unless they’re sleeping. Always being touched. Always being asked to do things that they can’t do on their own. Having to do daily care tasks for them like bathing & making meals. Always worried they’re going to do something bad when I’m not looking & get hurt. Not being able to move because I don’t have family or friends to help. I only have their dad & his family.”

“Things I do like: their laugh. Cuddles at bed time. Experiencing their imagination. Sharing funny things together. Hearing about their day. Hugs. Teaching them how to be a good person. Imagining how they’ll be as they get older.”

“I regret having a kid and I realized it once I became single and had to do these things on my own. I couldn’t leave them with the dad anymore. I’m just waiting it out and hoping it gets better once they’re able to be home alone for a couple hours.”

7. Responsible-Draft268 wrote:

“I’m a mother to a 9yo M. And i have regretted having him since he was just weeks old. I really hoped that I would grow out of this as he got older. But I haven’t. I’ve just found new things to dread or worry about as a parent. The best way I deal with it is having a friend or two that I go to coffee with a couple times a week. And spending a day or two at home alone while he’s at school.”

8. WayTooWavyRider shared:

“I am struggling with constant anxiety and stress from work spilling over into my few hours at home and making us all miserable. My boys are at the age where they are ruining EVERYTHING in the house I rent. It’s going to cost me thousands to repair it before we move. We don’t struggle for money, but only because I work constantly. I put way to much responsibility on my oldest daughter despite having a full time nanny. I feel like I’m losing control of everything, and a deep depression is setting in. Constantly fighting thoughts of just giving up.”

9. fibrepirate shared about giving up on art:

“Gave up my everything for the child/ren. Had a horror show up when the youngest was about 7 and there was a judgement against a father for leaving his kids home alone and they were under 12. I remember being a latchkey from 7 on and was left for hours. I was planning on going looking for work when the oldest turned 12. When that came in, I realized that of the two of us, I was the one responsible for being there at home for the kids, not him, because children’s services was on a rampage to get parents to comply to their insane demands. I had to stay at home because the eldest was not reliable and I couldn’t leave the younger ones alone for 20 minutes.”

“I regret because I stopped doing art. Crafting, sure. Art was put behind me. The worst part about it is that I know my ex husband threw out my big black sketchbook that I started when I was 17.”

10. DogDrJones said:

“I regret having my son more than I don’t. I love him. I want to not regret having him. However, I have anxiety, depression and ADHD. I cannot multitask, I don’t deal well with loud noises or lots of different noises at once, I’ve always struggled if I get less than 8 hours sleep, and I constantly second guess my decisions as a parent. I’m an exclusively single mother, so no back-up/second parent. I’m exhausted most days.”

“So how I cope- I’m in therapy weekly, I try to raise my son to be independent (instead of always reliant on me), I tell my son when I need quiet time and I try to take it maybe an hour a day on weekends. I have a babysitter come once a week so i have a night to myself. (I’m an introvert so I don’t need to always go out with others, but need time to myself.) My therapist mentioned focusing on little positive things. I struggle to understand the phrase “children are a blessing” so my therapist works with me on finding little moments that are positive and celebrating those instead of focusing on the overarching big negative things. I also try not to worry about the future (mine, my sons, how he will do in life) because focusing on this isn’t helpful. It isn’t perfect and every day is still hard, but I think I’m moving towards a happier place.”

11. Asleep-District2625 wrote:

“I just had my fist child 3 weeks ago and I got pregnant for not taking my birth control right. I could’ve went to get the abortion pill but I decided not to I couldn’t do it and now I feel so bad for my son for bringing him Into this world knowing I can’t even afford him a good doctor or his own room. On top of that I had my son with someone that I don’t even think wants to be with me my boyfriend has been supportive and done his part for our son but I feel like he is just with me because we have. A baby now not because he loves me. We have been together for 3 years and not once has he talked about marriage and I don’t think he will be the person I spend my whole life with he acts so different with me now compared to when we first started dating. I honestly just regret having my son because of my bad decisions now I have to work extra hard for him and who knows if I’ll ever get to go back to college because it so expensive having a babysitter too”

12. Ellizabeth33 shared:

“I do regret having my first kid on ny first relationship. I had one with my ex boyfriend when I was I college. I didn’t want to be a mother so young. When she got born I gave up all of my right to my ex boyfriend and I leave. My ex is a good guy with a wonderful family, but I knew that we wouldn’t be together forever.”

“I’m older now, married and with two teenage kids and I love them. I never got in touch with my first daughter and honestly I never will. She should be around 19.”

13. MasterCoach3192 wrote about change:

“I have two children, 21 & 17, and I genuinely regret having kids. They are becoming selfish and entitled the older they get, and I’m not sure why because I was a single struggling parent most of their lives. I’m counting down the days for my youngest to turn 18. I cope with prayer.”

This post has over 260 responses, read them on Reddit here.

Share Your Thoughts

Mothers, do you regret having children? If yes, what made you realize and how do you manage? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Source: Reddit

  1. If I knew then what I know now I would have not had a child. My ex was useless and my daughter and I left when she was 8. Our divorce was messy and he threatened to take her away from me, wanted me to pay him child support and alimony. Thank god I had a good lawyer and none of that happened. When my daughter started having tantrums when she was around 10, I was ready to drop her off with my ex. It was horrible being a single parent and dealing with her during that time. Eventually she grew out of that phase but the teenage years were horrible also. Some of her friends were a bad influence, and it’s a miracle that she graduated high school. She’s 20 now, still lives with me and some days it seems like I have an alien in my house. She has a full time job, smokes pot and does very little to help me. There are times that I wish I let my ex have her live with him then I feel guilty. Being a mother is not easy. It’s great if you are self sacrificing and putting yourself last. I’m not like that though. I value my independence and disliked being a full time care giver. This is not for everyone.

  2. I personally think that having children is the biggest farce possible on earth. I would never advise women to have kids, but to discover creativity in themselves and go for developing it as much as possible. I myself paint a lot, it brings me far more joy than having to change nappies and to be always available for the never-ending demands of a growing child. I had a son, he died at 33, so I know what being a mother is like. Thank God for not having grandchildren, I couldn’t cope with that. But I understand that having kid(s) is the easiest way to know oneself through the disappointments that a child will inevitably bring into a mother’s life.

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