I’m sure you’ve seen the dozens of news stories about people who never want children, about how they are ostracised and told that they are selfish and will never know true love…
But there’s another side to this story. It’s so taboo most people don’t dare talk about it.
Parents who have children but now regret their decision.
You would think that anyone who has brought life into this world would now be yelling it from the highest mountain about how much they love parenthood.
But that’s not so. There’s now support groups and social media sites dedicated to parents who not only regret becoming parents but also resent their children.
One of those group is I Regret Having Children.
“I have 3 children and my and my husband’s life is all about them. While I love them and wouldn’t give them back, my life is not about me anymore and I miss that. How do you come to grips with grieving for your time, your sleep, your body, for you?
“How do you move on and just enjoy being a parent? I think constantly about what I lost and I feel so guilty. I didn’t want to be a parent and I don’t join in with a lot of other mothers because they are just 100% about their kids and nothing else.
“I think about books and travel and art and all kinds of other things.”
It’s not just mums feeling regret…
“I am the father of a beautiful 7 month old girl who I love dearly…. but am completely miserable,” one dad shared.
“The highlight of my days is when everyone else is asleep so I can play video games for an hour before I have to go to bed…”
It’s a huge taboo, admitting to this kind of thing, but there’s a growing and largely ignored group of parents from all over the world who are confessing their regret over having children. There’s even a book addressing the issue.
Corinne Maier, a French psychoanalyst, writer and mother-of-two in Brussels, wrote candidly about her own regret in No Kids: 40 Reasons Not to Have Children.
“Children are hell. This vicious dwarf, atrociously noisy and time consuming, will pump your energy, trample your potential for well-being, while blithely polluting an already overcrowded planet.” (translated from French).
Mothers who regret having children was the focus of a study conducted last year by Israeli sociologist, Orna Donath. As part of her research, Donath interviewed women aged from mid-twenties to mid-seventies – all of whom regret becoming mothers.