More and more people are opting for life without kids for a variety of reasons. The societal pressure to have babies is still going strong, but women as mothers have been more vocal about their life choices.

We don’t hear much about the other side of being a mother. More women are willing to talk about not being satisfied with being a mother in a way that society expects them to. This doesn’t mean it’s easy. Women who dare to challenge this taboo and express their regrets are often called “selfish,” “whining,” and even “bad moms.

“Mothers who regret having children, what made you realize it? And how are you coping?” someone recently asked a daring question on the Ask Women subreddit. It hit a nerve for many women, who saw it as an opportunity to share their feelings about being a mom. The thread gives a perspective from women who question the decision that is often taken for granted in our society.




 

1.

I love my daughter. She is the most important thing in my life.

I have started to regret having a child. Not because of her. She’s the sweetest little girl you could ever meet.

I regret having children because of what is happening in the world. When I think about her future, I feel doom and anxiety. She won’t be able to afford a house and will struggle with debt, climate change, and growing inequality. I feel so guilty that I am terrified.

I would not have a child now if I were childless. Despite loving being a mother, the growing despair I see every day and the knowledge things will only get worse in the next 30 years make me regret having children. I am sad that this is the future she will have, I love her with all my heart. I’m sad I put her in this situation. Many of my friends with children feel the same.

I try to make society better for her generation, but I know it won’t be. I save as much as I can for her so that I can help her in the future. She needs to be taught about fairness and self-reliance. It is a major stress in the back of my mind.

 

2.

I am not a good mother. I don’t know how to raise them. They are raising themselves with me. Generational trauma, insane pedophile dad. I was young and groomed.

I can learn and grow even though I traumatized my kids. Help them. The damage has been done. I wish I could fix myself so I could help them, but I can’t. When they want to shut me out in 10 years, I will always support them. I will get it. Yes. F**k man. I’ll keep trying and I’ve had them in therapy. I am learning while I am in therapy. But yeah. I was too young to know. I didn’t choose their sperm contributions well.

 

3.

I have two kids who are 2 years old but are legally adults. They have a number of mental disorders. Trying to navigate this world is a nightmare and I have gotten no help from the state. It doesn’t help that the world isn’t prepared for an aging population or a disabled population.

I regretted having them because they wouldn’t be able to care for themselves. I will have to put them in a home of some sort because the likelihood of being sexually abused goes up 7x. They don’t understand why they can’t be at home more. I wouldn’t have had kids if I could go back in time.

None of us have friends. Every day we stay at home and watch the internet until we pass out and the next day starts again. It’s terrible.

 

4.

I don’t know what made me regret it. It’s either a lie or completely glossed over that our society tells women about the challenges of having children, or it’s a lie to discourage women from having children.

I was surprised to see how many people were involved. Doctors, nurses, older women, and men around me. “Sshh, don’t tell them, they might change their mind.” Every step of the way has had some heavy challenges associated with it. Even though the same parents’ experience of it will affect the child, there are no full disclosures to potential parents.

When I reached out to others for advice, the typical response was “Welcome to my world.” What?! Really? You say you love me but didn’t actually warn me how much damage my body and life would take? “Oh, that’s normal.” Really? I have never seen that discussed in-depth in a documentary, informational video, or woman’s magazine. There is only one small story, surrounded by lots of messages about how great it will be. This makes me angry to no end.

I wouldn’t do it if I could go back. This is coming from a mother. A child whom I ***have*** warned: “Having a child might ruin your life. Don’t do it!”

 

5.

My mental health takes a back burner because I spend a lot of time with kids. I had therapy before I found out my struggles are related to the disorder. I still work to make life easier, but one of my boys is not normal, and I think it’s harder than I thought it would be.

 

6.

My kids would save me. I love the stories where your kids give you a reason to love. I wake up every morning wishing I didn’t. My desire to no longer exist has not been changed by any therapy or medicine.

 

“Women are supposed to be delighted to give birth and take care of a small child, even if it is very boring, especially for educated and emancipated women who are used to doing interesting things in their lives (friends, culture, meaningful work…),” the psychoanalyst (Maier) explained.