83 Parents Confess Why They Regret Having Children

We at Bored Panda recently discovered a discussion on Reddit, started by user Hiircine, who asked: "Parents who regret having kids: why?"

After going through the 5,000 comments it has received so far, we started digging around the internet, to see if the popularity of this thread was a result of the platform's algorithm or if it's a topic that people find really important.

Now that we've done our research, we can confidently say that the latter is true. So we compiled some of the honest confessions and made this list in an attempt to give voice to those who often don't get the chance to explain their opinions

Just remember, you don't need to agree with them to empathize. These are just people who want to tell others how they feel.


I feel like it has destroyed my marriage. Both of us have changed since our child was born and I'm afraid the people we've become are not as compatible as the people we used to be. We never talk to each other, we never do anything together, and the very, very infrequent sex is basically her attempt to maintain her ability to claim she makes an effort in our relationship. Any communication that happens between us is about logistics regarding our child. I understand there is a brief period after birth where everyone needs to adjust but it has been over 4 years now.

I love my child more than anyone else on Earth, same for my wife. But I miss having a companion in life. If I had known it would be like this, I don't think I would have made the same decisions.

Image credits: LoveMyKidMissMyWife


I wasn't ready to stop being selfish. I'm only two years in so it's still the intense stage, but parenting so far has just been relentlessly exhausting. I feel like having a kid closed off a lot of possibilities for me, definitely [took out] any semblance of spontaneity in my life.

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All you need is a special needs kid to think something along the lines of "I wouldn't want him to die or anything, but if I could go back to before he was conceived I'd do things differently."

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Losing so much of yourself, your partner, and your freedom is what's worst in the beginning, but as my children get older, I'm realizing how fatherhood has revealed the worst parts of my character. Petty, angry, short-tempered, remote...I don't recognize the person I have become; I'm afraid I've been unequal to the task of parenthood, and in the process it turned me into less of a person.

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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.

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Some days it's hard not to regret it. I have a 6 year old with severe ADHD (brain trauma at birth), and an autistic 4 year old still in diapers. My wife is active military and I had to leave a very lucrative job to take care of them. I love them, but occasionally I have to chant that to remind myself that I do.

Image credits: Veloreyn


Destroyed marriage via:

* Forget passionate love make (it becomes a chore) when kids start walking
* The things you did together, you can no longer do, together, or very rarely
* The things you enjoyed individually, can not be replicated either
* Forget unwind time, personal space, etc...
* Over years people change, and nothing accelerates change as having another depend being (or three).

That's for the marriage bit.

Then there's work/life balance which goes out the f*****g door.
The stress at work, and the increasing stress of job market, you do not have the luxury of coming come to
dissipate. What happens is that you come home after a nasty, stressful day, and the stress is COMPOUNDED
with home/kids problems. Have that for years...

I love my kids, I'd STILL have them, but there are sacrifices people are not prepared for. I've seen marriages destroyed, homes destroyed, I've seen mental breakdowns, drugs usage, etc...

Image credits: ethics


I love my children more than anything else in this world. Words can not describe the type of love I feel for them. But at the same time, I do regret having them. I regret being the person that I have become as a parent. I was always carefree and spur of the moment.. now I'm careful and if plans aren't set in stone, they likely won't happen.

I always said I would never have children. I hate kids..I do. I am just not that type of nurturing person. I was always very careful to make sure protection was in use (condoms, birth control) but I am that .1% and apparently very fertile.

I do not have that natural motherly instinct that all women seem to have, you know..that one that kicks in the moment they know they're pregnant. I have to work really hard at it and it's exhausting. I miss my solitude and being able to "check out" of reality from time to time.

With all that being said, there is not a thing I wouldn't do for my children. They will always be my babies. They are amazing little creatures. My boys play travel baseball and I wouldn't trade long nights at the ball fields for anything. Watching them play is one of the greatest joys in my life. Still, I often find myself wondering what life would be like without them.

Image credits: vixiecat


When my kids were young, Columbine happened. I realized that I had brought kids into a terrible world. I regretted it for a long time.
Then they had heartbreak from young love, and I regretted it again.
I hated that me wanting kids of my own caused those kids to hurt in a way I couldn't protect them from.
But they've grown up to be happy, healthy independent adults and I'm very proud of who they have become.

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Three words: Pervasive developmental delay...

Those three words call my entire existence into question. I basically brought someone into this world to have a sh**ty time.

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My life turned into a living hell when my oldest son was a teenager.
He started using drugs at 14, he was arrested for breaking into cars at around the same age. Things continued to escalate and we had no control of him, we tried everything. He continued to use drugs, he sold drugs. The state of Florida has a law that the parents are responsible for the minor until the age of 18. He could not be emancipated because he was not financially independent and we couldn't afford to support him outside of our home. So we were forced to keep him in our home. It was 4 years of living hell, I had 2 breakdowns and our marriage was torn apart. He was a good kid until age 14, smart in school, and neither my husband nor I used drugs. There's no guarantee how your kid will turn out.

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I didn't realize that a maternal instinct is not universal. You know how you see parents in the delivery room and they are crying tears of joy? I felt nothing. Honestly, I could have left them at the hospital and it wouldn't have bothered me. I usually have no desire to spend time with them at all. I love them and have a strong sense of duty I just don't enjoy them or want to do any of the things they do. However I spent their whole lives going out of my way to care for them in every way a good mother should. My boys are well cared for and I am always here for them, but it feels very unnatural and fake and unenjoyable. It is a bit like a retail job you don't like where you put on a fake persona and slog through it the best you can. I don't get to leave this job, though. The worst is how I'm demonized for it. I've done eveverything I can for them for 16 years including all the extra curriculars (kids baseball is agonizing to fake enjoy I swear) and it has never been easy. Shouldn't I get more credit than those moms who love nothing more than spending time with their kids? That doesn't sound hard to me. Nope..I fail because I want my own life.

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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 potencially horrible, and if you mess up badly enough you're going to jail.

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I don't regret having my kids but they sure make it difficult to leave my wife.

If it wasn't for them I would have left a long time ago...

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I did, when they were little, it's just soooo hard. I had prolonged post-partum depression; I don't know how relevant that is. Now that they are school-age, things are infinitely better and I am glad to be a parent.

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Because kids aren't the life completer we believe they are. Actually they take away from your quality of life daily. My kids are 13 and 11 and they STILL mess up my daily life. Worst of all is I love them so much I couldn't do without them even though they disturb my peace all the time. I do not reccomend having children. Maybe one but not necessary. We perpetuate the species needlessly.

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My kids are grown; our son won't talk to us (not even to say why), our older daughter has psychotic rages and will call us just to scream, and our younger daughter is an alcoholic in an abusive relationship with a schizophrenic who won't take his meds.

But do I regret them? No. I've had more love from them then any regrets they may have given us, and without having them I wouldn't have my Gran'daughter.

Image credits: FreddieFreelance


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.

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My daughter is severely disabled, to the point where she will never live a normal life. She can’t walk or talk, has a feeding tube and a wheelchair, is legally blind (she can see lights/shapes/colors, but that’s it) and has seizures from an unknown cause, and she’s 6. I’d say her mental development isn’t much more than a few months/to a year old at most. If I’d known that she would be born this way (she starting having seizures at 3 weeks old) I would have had an abortion the moment I found out I was pregnant. She was planned and wanted, and I regret her every day. Not that she isn’t a beautiful person, she’s got so much spunk and personality and she’s got my attitude, but I don’t think for a second that she deserves to live the life that’s been laid out for her. I wish I could do more for her.

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I love both my sons but if I could do it all again I wouldn't. I got pregnant young and did not know that I would pass my bipolar onto them. They both suffer from really bad depression. Trying to raise them when I was in and out of hospitals was hard and did them a disservice.
Now they are grown and they rarely make time for me. Mother's Day and my birthday is a quick text or mention on Facebook. My youngest tells me I'm the only family member that accepts him when he has mental issues but that's the only time I ever hear from him. The oldest is even worse. I cry on a regular basis that I wish they would be closer to me.
Long story short I did my best but it didn't matter.

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Definitely don’t regret having mine, they’re awesome and they make my life wonderful.

That said, 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.

Image credits: screaming__argonaut


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.

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As a parent, i feel the urgency to get drunk much more often.

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I became a father when I was 19. The kid ruined my profesional life. I am now 25, stuck in a dead end job, live in a small appartment with her mother, who is now my wife.

I had a plan, I was in the army when my girlfriend got pregnant, after that I got a job with a travel agent as a guide, I was going to take a few years off school to travel the world, then I was going to get back to study.

I still love the child, and I have made two more. Figured when I started so early I should just go with it and get finnished early.

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I can pretty much echo everyone else's responses. It's even harder when you're a strong introvert. It's driven me into on again/off again depression. I've been on medication since our first one was born. The 2nd one was a stupid mistake (plan B also didn't work). I've since got a vasectomy, although I should've gotten one after the 1st was born. Stuck with an infant and a toddler now. I'm also a father who stays at home, so that comes with its own societal b******t. I've been shopping at Target with my kid by myself and gotten comments like "It's just weird seeing a dad doing the shopping." Go f**k yourself.

Image credits: anon


I regret it because I'm miserable. Absolutely miserable. I feel like I got pressured into it by my wife. She wouldn't take no for an answer. Well we got f****d on the first pregnancy and had twins. Had only been married a year ish. After that my marriage went way past the s**tter and just got worse. After a while it got better and then she wanted another kid. I still didn't want the first two but I gave in. Now we have three. I'm even more miserable. I feel stuck and I can't please everyone. I work a s**t ton so my wife has them most of the time. Whenever I discipline them she screams at me because I'm not doing it her way. I'm constantly belittled by her and always told I'm doing something wrong. I actually hate my life. I've contemplated offing myself a few times but would feel bad for doing that to my kids. NOT my wife, my kids. I wake up every day hating myself, my life, and every f*****g choice I've ever made. If I could go back in time I would beat the s**t out of myself with a crowbar for even contemplating getting married. Literally would do anything to start over and be single for ever. I'm only 25 but I never would have thought I would hate life this much when I was 18.

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Well, I mainly regret having kids because I'm in a relationship with someone I care very little for. I don't leave because I don't want my kids to be a burden on society. I don't want two little maladjusted devils let loose on society, I made the mistake so its my responsibility to deal with it.

I also don't leave because I know that if I do, then their quality of life will go down greatly. My wench of a mrs comes from a fairly whitetrash / chav / bogan family. Yes, Uncle dad and Aunty mom are in there, the father married the sister of her mother, so she's got brother/sister-cousins as well. Anyway, I know if I leave the old habits will return and the kids will end up suffering.

So I wait. I deal with the endless screeching from her, the illogical arguments ("I don't want you to waste money for a root canal! but I'm fine with you going on a holiday by yourself") the filthy house (throws rubbish on the floors, drives me up the wall.) and the disgusting weight gain. I sit and study, I study my university subjects, I keep going with my language lessons, I plan my escape for when I feel the time is right and it won't be costly to the children.

Oh and I did discuss with my parents quite a while ago that I wanted to leave her. Did I get support? Oh no, I figuratively got thrown under a bus. They rang her and repeated what I told them while saying they'd support her over any decision that I made. I felt such a betrayal over that.

Edit: No, she doesn't work. Quoteth the jabba, "Too much hassle"

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I had kids because it was expected in the religion I was raised in. Now I’m 31 with 4 kids ages 10, 9, 7, and 4. Left the religion but my 9 year old is disabled, completely nonverbal and in diapers. Will never be able to live independently. My youngest 2 have big speech delays. Honestly I’m just exhausted. I didn’t start dealing with my mental health issues until a few years ago and now I’m in a better place but with the realization that I mentally probably shouldn’t have had kids. Or at least not so many. On my bad days I really wish I would’ve left the church after marrying my husband but before having kids. It’s just so hard. I can’t ever let my guard down. Our house has multiple locks on every door, window, cabinet, fridge, you name it. My 9 year old has no concept of danger and will run off given any opportunity. One time the front door was left unlocked. I went pee and he had left the house and gone to the neighbors house. And there’s no end in sight. This is my life now. Until I die. I will never ever let my kids see this side of me, they will always be loved and provided for. This is my s**t to deal with not theirs. Just a hard pill to swallow.

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Because I feel like I'm in a continuous loop of servitude, wherein I can't even be myself. I feel like I'm working off a brutal student loan debt that the interest rate keeps increasing, and if I don't make prompt payments people's lives are at stake.


It's not that I regret having her, but if I could wrap her in cotton wool and bubble wrap, put her in a cupboard for ten years with the guarantee that I'll get the same child then I without a doubt would.

Parenthood is just not what I expected it to be. I mean people told me that you have to make sacrifices when you become a parent but because I had never really made any sacrifices before having her, I had no idea what that might entail or feel like. I also thought I wouldn't mind missing out on all the partying and holidays because I would have the ultimate gift, a child but I have found that also to be untrue. I do mind missing out on the partying and holidays, and therefore I try to cram as much as that in as I can still, which makes my quality time with my child few and far between. Yes I have her 5 nights a week, I feed her, bathe her, teach her, discipline her, put her to bed but I mean proper quality time I feel she misses out on because sometimes I have no desire as I'd rather be elsewhere.

I feel constantly guilty because I'm not putting my all in to be the best Mummy I could be, how I imagined myself to be and I feel she is missing out. Before I had her I always wanted 3 children, now 1 is enough for me, I don't want anymore.

Like I said I wouldn't use the word regret but if I could have taken a glimpse into what parenthood really, really is like before I fell pregnant, I would have been a lot more careful. People can tell you but nothing can really prepare you for what it is really like. It is a 24/7 hands down the toughest most exhausting job ever.

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My daughter was born mentally disabled. I alway tell myself it could be worse, that there are kids who just shake back and forth in wheelchairs... thing is she is happy now but has no concept of death and I can only imagine what it will be like when her mother and I are gone. She will be institutialized and abused probably.

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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.


I don't want to say I regret having kids but in a way, I do regret it. Our boys are wonderful but I don't get the help or support my husband promised. I wanted the husband, the kids, the works and my husband insisted he wanted the same thing. He was the one who initiated the child conversation and said he wanted a big family. He insisted he wanted to be hands on. Now, we have our 2 and I hardly see him and he barely participates in their upbringing. I honestly don't know how we're going to get them potty trained because I work full time and I don't know that my husband will step up. I feel horrible for our kids because I'm doing the best I can but they're not getting the life they were supposed to. My mental health is garbage and my husband doesn't care. I love our boys but knowing what I know now, I don't know that I would choose to do it again. I have no intention of discontinuing my birth control until menopause.


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 cant imagine her life without us now.


Not regret, just it's easy 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.


Children are a challenge. My wife and I have a one year old son, and he's just big enough to scotch to places he shouldn't be (my wife caught him eating cat food a week ago). He's loud, and loves to yell at us if we dont pay attention to him. He will throw a fit if we dont change his diaper at the faintest Sign of wetness, and with daylight savings, he now has trouble going to sleep at 7:00. We're just on the verge of being done with formula.

Do you know how much formula costs? We spend about $30/week on it. Jar food is only about $0.70/jar, but he's a chow hound, so he'll easily go through one a meal AND oatmeal, so food costs probably close to $80/month beyond formula if we find good sales and stock up. Diapers? A $40 economy size box might last a month unless he's sick or drinks a lot of liquid. Wipes about $20 per month. We're lucky he has two grandparents who love to spoil him with clothes, so we've been able to limit our clothes purchases.

Now that I've said that, think about holding a 15 lb box. Not bad, right? How about holding that box for 10 minutes? Now your arms are a little tired. Now assume you have to hold that box for several times a day, and it now has arms and legs, and wants to squirm and wiggle when you've held it too long. Caring for a baby is a work-out, except it doesn't keep you in shape, and give you the worst back aches & strains.

I say all this, but want to clarify that I NEVER regretted having my son. He's all these things, plus a lot of unique challenges that have came from his existence, but the joy he brings my wife and I more than makes up for all of it. His smiles, laughs, babbling, and watching him grow have been some of the most rewarding experiences of our lives, and something I will cherish until I die.


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. Older children can get molested. 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.


They suck the best years of my life. When I am in my prime; old enough to know better, young enough to still have the fire, well enough established in my career to afford, and mature enough to manage responsibly... Kids are like VACATION? No, FAMILY vacation! 4x the cost, 10% the fun!

Weekends? Lol.

Nights? Please.

And then there's wife becomes mom, husband becomes dad. Sex becomes a memory.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have had ONE kid, early, and be done with it.

But you know, ymmv. Hope it works out better than my shitty life.


Although I've always loved being around kids (I was the guy playing with all the kids at any party) and they seemed to take to me, I knew I never wanted to have any of my own. Fortunately, my wife felt similarly... until she neared 40, and then went kind of crazy with this newfound unquenchable desire for motherhood. We had trouble getting pregnant at that age, and rounds of IVF ensued; following several, one was successful, after huge time, financial, and emotional costs. Our son came along, and was healthy and quite adorable. Major success story from the outside, right?

I was immediately plunged into a seemingly endless spiral of resentment and depression (the real kind, clinical, requiring seeing a psychiatrist and going on medication). I knew at a profound level that I Did Not Want This. It completely destroyed spontaneity and flexibility; everything needed planning, and our son like all very small children needed to be watched pretty much 24/7. All our friendships were put on hold, since getting out of the house even for planned things was difficult. Work and other obligations were missed whenever he got the sniffles. As he grew, things got better, somewhat. There were all manner of pointless activities that he didn't care much about (karate, swimming, 20 other things), constant trips to school, play date planning, things that, as far as I can tell, nearly every parent dislikes, and only few are vocally honest about.

The therapist told me that this was much more common than I'd guess, but there was a huge taboo about saying you simply hated being a parent. So, I googled "I hate being a parent" and, Lo: it was all over the place. People overcome by tedium and regret.


I was trapped via pregnancy. Was dating a girl at the time and we had been on / off for awhile and things weren't looking good for us long term. Mostly because she was a compulsive liar but that's not the point here. She stopped taking her birth control on purpose in order to try to have a baby with me and it worked.
So now here I am almost 4 years later now single (she cheated on me with everyone, Eskimo brothers in here?) with an amazing son who I love dearly but I dream of my old life every day. Now I only get to see him on the weekends (I get him every weekend) so I get to work all week and then be a single dad on the weekends. I still get to do things during the week but I'm often depressed and stay home during that time because I miss my son.
I've never felt more alone


I really don't like kids. I love my kids, but God damn they are hard to deal with. My oldest is hitting puberty, and he is moody all the time. My middle is still in a verbal diarrhea stage where he feels the need to comment on everything trying to be funny. And my 4 year old... I hate dealing with spoiled irrational bull s**t, and that is what you get from 4 year olds.

What sucks is that I love them all. They are pretty good kids. I just have so little in common and share no interests. Add in that all I want is time to myself and all my wife wants is more time "as a family" and I am pretty sure I'm heading for an early grave.


I love my boys more than I ever thought I could. However... it's Saturday night and I'm covered in baby vomit with the baby refusing to sleep anywhere else but on me. He will wake about 3 times between now and when the toddler wakes at 6am. I'm carrying 20kg more than I'm comfortable with and have no clothes that fit. I feel guilt for so many choices I make.

There are times I regret having my second baby because it's so hard to juggle the needs of two and still find time for my needs. People tell me it will get easier but for now, I'm hating it.


Throwaway for obvious reasons.

I don't care about my son.

I got my then gf pregnant by accident, and her being her Christian self didn't want to abort it. Our relationship was always off the wall, she always had plans for our "future", but I didn't even want to marry her, but I never told her.

Boom comes baby, I loved him to death since I first laid eyes on him. I bought him everything I could, everything was for him. GF has post partum depression and tells me she doesn't love me anymore, I tell her it's the depression talking, so we try to mend it. A year later she cheats and leaves me, moves to 7 different states and takes baby. I try to track her down but in the end it was futile. I was heartbroken from her, and especially my son.

7 years later she goes back to live in my hometown and says she wants me to see my son (in the end it was only because she wanted child support). I had already moved on, made my career in engineering, got married, and we have a beautiful baby girl on the way. She takes my son and we finally meet, it was really awkward and I didn't know what to say. He spends every other week with me, but it's like having a stranger in the house. It's been 2 years of this and I don't feel any connection to him. He's a good kid, doesn't pull any tantrums, is respectful, loves his sister, but I just don't love him. It makes me feel guilty. I don't really regret him, per se, but to me, he just feels like an outsider from a life I tried to move on from.


...got two kids... both teenagers now. The eldest has anxiety and depression... sometimes I wonder how my wife and I have managed to stay married through it all. We love both our kids more than anything, but having one with mental health issues is just exhausting. You start to anticipate the crazy as you're driving home from work. Almost nothing gets her out of her moods, and it weighs heavy on all the relationships in the household. She does therapy and meds, and they help some, but it's like she's just hell bent on seeing the worst possible view of everything. So then you imagine the life that this person you love is likely to lead, given this tendency, and it's just depressing. It gets hard to maintain hope.

"Regret" is a strong word, but if we could go back to when she was little and happy, and just stay there, it would be a lot better.


I come from a broken up family and never wanted that for my kids. I wanted a full family with no step parents or split visitation. I'm now a single father of two who have different moms. I really wanted things to work but they just never did. My one kid has a mom who has now went three weeks without seeing him because she has refused to do an 8 hour drug class I paid for. My other son's mom is great though and we do 50/50 outside of court so that's nice, but I still wish things weren't this way. My regret isn't exactly having kids, it's having them with people I mistakingly thought were who I would be with the rest of my life.


Mother of a 19 month old here... I so get this... I'm worn out and beat down by my life. I'm a single mother. If it weren't for my mom footing almost every bill in my life, my daughter and I would be homeless and starving. The basic facts: I can't work because child care is $400 a week and I can't find a job that will make 400 a week do able (working to put my kid in daycare and nothing else) getting a job would deem me ineligible for cash assistance and food stamps ($1200/mo income limit) and the state wouldn't pay my childcare so I couldn't continue going to college full time. The $569 in cash I get from welfare is immediately gone paying CC bills and regular bills (usually left with a negative balance my poor mother fills in the gaps) however I will say my food stamps are enough to get us through the month. I feel so stuck in my cycle I'm in. I try so hard to get a "good" job, but Despite experience and education nobody thinks I'm good enough to answer phones for more that $16 an hour. In the silicone valley that's the lowest livable wage.
TLDR: I'm f*****g broke!


I think every parent regrets it at some point whether it's a flitting thought that is there and gone or a long conversation you have with yourself. Because it's f*****g hard work. I worked some shitty hard labor jobs when I was younger and none of them compare to being a parent, especially a full-time parent.

When you're up late cleaning puke out of the carpets for the fifth time in an hour; when you're running on 8 hours of sleep over the last three days and you feel like you just took acid to help with a hangover; when they're screaming bloody murder because you said they can't eat that cactus; when they purposely test the limits of your patience; when they're rude or ungrateful little shits despite living a life a thousand times better than you did.

It's as natural as the love you feel when they smile at you or laugh at something you did or cuddle up to you or do something for the first time and give you that feeling of "I did it, my human is humaning!"

You are a God to this tiny little person but you are also their Slave. It's easy to lose sight of yourself and/or your partner when you have this responsibility on your shoulders and it's easy to blame the kid for it.

Especially if you have kids too young. I was 26 when my son was born, and I had a lot of fun in those years of child-free adulthood. A lot of f*****g fun. And literally every person I know who had a kid before 21 has turned out to be a shitty parent, because they never get to experience being an adult.

Anyway, I got too high while writing this and forgot my point.


I will start by saying I never wanted kids. I was married at 20, had my first kid by 21, second kid by 22. First kid is out on his own.. And let me tell you his 18th birthday couldn't come fast enough so he could move out. Second kid is moderately to severely affected by autism. She will never hold a job or live on her own. I never got to enjoy my 20's or 30's. I never will be able to take the amazing vacations that my friends all plaster Facebook with. I will never have free time with my husband because no one wants to watch an autistic low functioning 20 year old. Hell, there's not even leaving her at home alone for a few hours to go shopping or watch a movie or anything. My husband had to quit his job to become a stay at home dad for her because there are no decent services for adults with autism. We had to move away from friends and family just to find a decent school for her. Kids take so much time and money and energy. Having a disabled one is even more physically and mentally draining. I love my children. More than I can ever express. They never asked to be brought into this world. I have an obligation to care for my daughter because no one else will. There will never be an end for us as far as "raising" our kid then having her leave home so we can live our lives. I do become sad about missing out on things. Adventures and trips and vacations. But we modify our plans to include her. We are lucky because our daughter is sweet and a lovely girl. I can't even imagine how hard life is for her. I at least am able to make my own choices, have friends, and work and love. These things are probably not going to be available to her. So I guess I don't really regret having kids, I regret having a child who has to live every day with autism. For her, not me.


Late to the party but hey ho.

I was a mother of three. The things that are often mentioned about lack of sleep, autonomy, money etc. are all valid. And they last much, much longer than you expect and they can drive you to near suicide at times. Especially when the second comes along and you're still not getting nearly enough sleep but now you have two on completely different schedules. But they do end, eventually.

But, and this is a big but, my biggest regret is my youngest, because she died at age 6. She had a brain tumour which made her blind and adversely affected her behaviour and she consumed my time and energy completely. Her loss nearly destroyed our family. I would not know the pain that I still feel if she had not been born, and I would not experience the guilt of feeling that things, on a practical level anyway, are now easier without her.


I got my girlfriend unexpectedly pregnant. When we found out I didn't want to keep it- we are young, working shitty jobs and not emotionally ready for kids. But for some reason I was foolish enough to allow myself to be dragged into it. Our daughter is 10 months old.

I recently graduated but still havent found a job, and my girlfriend just started school again. We're basically just living off of our parents and its pretty pathetic. I just started a new job and one of my coworkers asked me what my hobbies were, and I had to scramble to make something up- I have none now. Im just a boring person now. All I do is come home to crying and screaming and bitching. I have lost all but my closest friends. Basically, I feel like my life had all this great potential that has now been snuffed out. I really do love my kid though, shes beautiful and probably the only thing that brings me any intermittent joy anymore. But deep down I really do just feel like killing myself, because emotionally I am dead already.


I regret having my son because of my mental illness. Not only does it make parenting a hundred times harder, I have this overwhelming feeling of guilt that my kid may inherit it. It's something I would never wish upon anyone, yet I unknowingly did it to the person I love most in the world (I wasn't diagnosed until he was 3.)

There are days where I can hardly take care of myself, and sometimes I'm resentful that I have to take care of him first. Thankfully I've been on meds/in therapy for a few years now and those days don't happen often, but it was so much harder when he was younger and needed me more.

I love him more than words can express and he's my favorite person in the world. As backwards as it seems, that's exactly why I regret it sometimes.


I don't regret it completely. But it is not the glowing contentment some would lead you to believe. I don't look forward to tucking her in night cause by then I'm beyond exhausted and have already read her her favorite book 20 x today. Shes 2 now and it's more like wrangling a monkey 24-7. Even the happiest monkey wranglers need a day off. Dont get me wrong: I love and respect her. But kids are not rational and reasonable.

I might feel better about it if our society recognized raising a child as worthwhile use of time. I choose to stay at home rather than let a daycare raise my child. I'm frequently asked when I'm going to "look for work". I know some of my friends look down on me because I'm putting family ahead of a slightly higher income. Some people think it's funny to joke with me how I don't have to "go to work" and how I enjoy "so much free time".

if you go out in public, expect someone to have a rude comment or sneer no matter what parenting style you use to solve a problem. Be prepared to hear that no matter what you do, you're not parenting right.

expect not to be promoted or hired if you're female with a pregnancy or young children. Maybe it's not legal but labor laws being what they are, employers don't care. Miss too many of work due to a sick child and you may end up unemployed.

We are a lot worse off financially than some would have you believe. And this is a planned healthy pregnancy and us having money in the bank first. I wish the stupid parenting blogs would stop saying kids aren't that expensive. Do you know that daycare costs more than state college tuition in many parts of the country?

So, having kids is great -- if you want to work 7 days a week, be short on sleep, not be appreciated, be BROKE, and have strangers making judgments.


Because I'm incapable of loving him more than I love myself. He deserves better. He's a sweet boy who got a shitty hand of cards. He's innocent.


I don't regret my son but the whole cookie cutter "my child is my world" posts on Facebook, are lies. Having a child is like having another job, it's work. The pay is in love, not dollars, but like any job there are days where you wake up and you don't wanna go, but you go anyway. Of course there are days that are great, but a job is a job.

If your family and spouse help out; than you'll be happy and everything will be a breeze. If your alone, and your spouse plays video games all day instead of helping out, than your going to be resentful. Nobody can stand to work long hours with no breaks. It takes a village to raise a child. And if you are mad that your doing all of the childcare, slowly you'll stop loving your spouse.

The one thing that I resent but doesn't make me a bad mother is my thought pattern changed. Before kids every 6 seconds it was a thought of sex, now every 6 seconds I think about my son instead. My brain changed it priorities I guess. But this can get distracting when I'm at work, with friend, at school.

Also; certain ages can get annoying. 9month olds are the worst. They can't be held 24/7 like newborns but they want to be, and aren't smart enough to avoid eating whatever on the ground.


Not for myself, but for him a little bit. I realized a few years back that my son is repeating my life. My life has been ordinary and hardly bares repeating by anyone. There's always hope that he'll make different choices and have a better life. But that's the same hope that brought me into the world probably.

As you get older your mind will make up more and more reasons why it makes sense to have a kid. Don't be fooled, it's just evolution tricking you into reproducing--no sane, thinking beast would take on the burden of raising a child if the mind didn't fool us into it.

So, does the world need another one of you? Or are you just being fooled into making a baby because if that's not how it worked, then none of us would be here--a species would not exist without the drive to reproduce, yet the burden is not one we'd choose willingly.


I regret the *2nd* child, but not the 1st.

Adding our 1st was just like adding a best friend into the relationship for both of us. The challenges and changes of parenthood were crazy and wild and very welcome - we got to return to our childhoods, re-evaluate ourselves and grow as people, and we got third amazing person in our lives.

Adding our 2nd was like becoming managers. Nothing is personal, it's about getting s**t done - even with our 1st now. So that intense personal relationship, that best friend relationship with our 1st? It's waning because we have a 2nd and their combined demands are just too much to manage healthily.

After having the first if you had asked me if I would go back in time and do something differently I would have said no - because it would have meant not having that child.

Now, I would love to go back in time and get a vasectomy before having the second child - I love him, but I don't love having him, and I regret the deterioration of the relationship with my 1st, and the deterioration of parenting from this *amazing* thing to just survival.


I feel this on a spiritual level. If anyone ever asks (they wouldn't) I'd tell them I love the people but I hate the job. I think it's partly that I'm an introverted person who likes "me time" and rest, but I can't ever get enough of that when the kids are awake. There's a lot of little moments like that I didn't realize I'd miss.

That, and I feel like I can't ever get enough time with my spouse because by the time the kids are asleep we're emotionally done for the day and ready for bed ourselves. Even with a weekly date night to keep us connected, I still miss the days when we could just go to a restaurant in the evening and not worry about how long it will take and whether or not they have Mac and cheese or milk.

And road trips. Those used to be a lot faster and more fun.


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.)


When we did the family history to see the chances of any defects, not only did he lie to me, his whole family did. All the ultrasounds were normal, so imagine my surprise when I hear "Are her feet supposed to look like that?". She has clubfeet and its not easy. She needed full leg casts, and is still on braces. She is 1 and can't walk, on top of that I was just informed she will be needing tendon surgery on her left foot. Only after this ordeal do I find out that his family has a history of disorders. Imagine blaming yourself for months, thinking you could have done something different but it was not your fault. Dealing with her feet is a huge strain Financially and emtionally. If you are planning on having a baby always be truthful to your partner.


Throwaway. Having a child ended my marriage. I never wanted kids, ever, and was very clear about this with my (now ex) wife from the day we met. We initially met each other on a dating site, on which it even said on my profile "doesn't want kids." She noticed this and brought it up early in dating, and I confirmed exactly my opinion. We talked about it many times from dating, through engagement, and when we were married. It was always non-negotiable with me.

A few years into marriage she caught the baby bug from somewhere, and started badgering me about it almost constantly, trying to change my mind. "It'll be different when it's ours," "you don't like other kids but you would love your own," "you'll change your mind when you see it," the usual clichéd c**p. At some point she mentioned the issue to my parents as well, and desperate for a grandchild they started putting the pressure on me too.

At this point my wife and I had a very serious conversation, in which I made it clear that I wanted nothing more than for her to be happy, and if that meant she needed to have a child the only option was for us to end our marriage so she could find someone else who could give her what I couldn't. I didn't want this to be an ultimatum or a threat or anything like that, I just knew in my heart that I didn't want a child, couldn't love a child and didn't want the change in lifestyle a child would bring to our marriage. She said that us being together was more important than anything else and I thought that was the end of it.

Some time later, my wife unexpectedly fell pregnant. She's always said it was a surprise, and that it was the one in a million chance of our birth control failing. I'm not convinced, but I've never been able to prove anything. She told me the fact it happened was sheer fate, and showed that it was meant to be even though I "thought" I never wanted it. This was her justification for not having an abortion. Our relationship, particularly trust, was basically already dead from this point onwards. She gave the same reasoning as always, I'd love it when I saw it etc. but I didn't. Not on day 1, not after year 1, year 2, year 3...

I tried to stick at it for just under 4 years, but it was awful. I felt nothing for the child, it was like an object to me. A very inconvenient, demanding object that meant my wife and I never did anything together anymore. No dates, no holidays, no trips, no adventures, no sex. We barely spoke and when we did it always seemed to be child-related. In the end, I couldn't take it anymore and filed for divorce. I happily granted full custody to my wife, and moved away to seek employment elsewhere. That was 6 years ago and I haven't seen her or the child since. I think my parents still visit it, but after what happened I don't really talk to them anymore either. I've never met another woman with the spark and chemistry I had with my wife in the child-free years of our relationship, and the few women I've dated disappear quickly when they find out I'm not going to give them a baby. I'm not sure where I go from here.


I don't regret having my kids so much as keeping them. I feel badly that I'm their mother and my husband is their father, because we've made some serious mistakes and they have had to deal with that. I was 17 when I had my oldest two (twins) and I genuinely did not understand how much my brain was still changing and how unprepared I was and how unprepared I *would remain*. The first few years I felt like I really did pretty well --- not even "pretty well for a teen mom", I thought I was a pretty excellent mom overall. As I've gotten older and more self aware that has changed.

This isn't a constant crushing feeling or anything, just something that hurts from time to time and I try and deal. And again, I don't regret having them; I understand that I'm biased but I truly believe that all four of them are wonderful people and the world is a much better place with them in it. But I regret not handing them over to someone who would've done a better job.


I never wanted kids to begin with, what I mean by this was I told my wife a hundreds times "it's the most depressing thing I could ever think of doing". Well after about 10 years she wore me down and now we have an 18 month daughter. As I write this I can hear her crying again upstairs. Honestly it sucks, my wife does 95% of the child care and I find my entire day ruined by the knowledge that I will have to pick her up from daycare and watch her for 30 minutes until my wife gets home from work. For me watching her is literally an unpleasant chore that I count down the minutes until I can be rid of her. I feel bad because it's not her fault and she is definitely a better behaved kid than 90% of the other ones I know. I just feel almost nothing for her, as terrible as it is I basically view her as a pet that is kind of a pain in the a*s. I'm hoping that as she gets older it will change, but I am not getting my hopes up.


The only thing I regret about having kids is not doing some of the things you would never have thought about...

going on a vacation. Now it costs twice as much, and you can't do half of the stuff you probably want to do.

going to the bar. It's not like I quit drinking... I still drink... oh.. I still drink. just not at the bars.

I used to want a motorcycle, now all I can think about is how unsafe they are, and how impractical.

Over all, I don't regret having kids, it's been great. But I think I'm definitely primed and ready for a kick-ass mid-life crisis...


Sex. No sex whatsoever.


I have 3 kids and quite frequently wish I had 0. I never wanted kids and knew I wanted more from my life than dirty diapers and minivans. I was ok with the first 2 but the 3rd really made me question everything again. This is not what I want to be doing with my life. I had my kids at such a young age (15, 19, 24 ) that I don't stand a chance at doing anything significant with my life other than saying hey I raised 3 more humans. Your welcome. What an accomplishment.


50 years old, father of two. If I had it all to do over again, I would not. I was told it would be rewarding and worth it. Not worth it. Not rewarding. Just anxiety inducing, expensive, frustrating, worrisome, time consuming... all to make more people. Love my kids, but I have learned after going through the whole process that 9/10 people should never become parents. We are poorly suited to supporting and raising others. There should be a test for a license or something.


I just miss the ability to go anywhere, anytime without the need to plan to take the kid or get a sitter. If you do plan to take the kid, there are many considerations to be made and many bags to pack before you can even consider heading out.

I can not tell you the number of times that we have had to change where we were going to eat based on how the boy was behaving or whether he would eat something there. We could always pack him something different, but that is just another bag to carry and more work for us.

Something else to consider. If you have a hobby that requires your attention, be prepared to not do that anymore. Television and tablets are not babysitters. You have to pay attention and interact with your kids. That means you have to put anything that you want to do on hold until he goes to bed or maybe goes to spend some time with Nana.

I know this sounds selfish, and that's because it is. I just miss my life.


They spend all your resources. Eat all your food. Loud as f**k all the time. Having a child costs a lot of money. You can't just do what you want anymore, you need permission from who ever is going to watch your child.


Extreme poverty. And not very much hope of escaping the poverty. Child support can be a real bitch.


I feel like I can't do many of the things I want to do. And I'm now tied to this relative area bc I'm not going to have a child and not be around. Also, I cannot stand my child's mother. We can't get along at all and she has no issues with lying to get what she wants and we have a horrible relationship.


This entire thread should be taught in high school sex ed. Most people don't realize what having a child is actually like. It is hard. It will change your life and relationships. It is not bad, people just need to have a more realistic understanding of what's involved.
I had son that was born when I was 18, he is now 11. I was a kid, I did not do well with parenting and correctly sacrificing to work with his mother. We lasted about a year after he was born. I still get to hang out with him every-other weekend and talk to him on the phone when I can. I am 30 now and have a 7 mo with a woman I love. I was prepared this time. I learned everything I could about the birth process and newborns. I continue to learn every day. It is just amazing. Don't get me wrong, my wife and I are tired all the time, we don't have sex as often, or see our friends often enough but I was prepared for that. Life is a wonderful f****d up journey, educate yourself the best you can and do the best you can with the rest.


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.


I am an unfit parent. I have aspergers along with several other issues so if something happened to my wife I would have to find someone else to take care of them


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 like shit. 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.


Step dad here. Came into mines life at 9 months. She's 6 now. I hate being responsible for the training of a future adult. I hate so much about parenting. I'm very fond of the kiddo but it makes me unhappy. I had to change my life and my career goals. Before entering into this relationship I was intending to work as a private security contractor once I left the army. Because it's a high risk job I've had to adjust my sights and am an accountant. I'm a very violent person at heart and I know my life's calling. I've had to sacrifice my life goals to be a steady parent, it's hard to look at this kid and blame on them, she didn't ask me to change my life but I saw that I was needed in the child's life and I can't disregard that need. It f*****g sucks and it's not worth it but this is the decision I made. No more late nights out drinking, no more sleeping during the day, no more just taking off for a few days, every thing I do I have to think of the kiddos welfare.


Aside from the exhaustion, the hard work, the lack of time, etc., the thing that I was not prepared for at all as a parent was having to watch my kids in pain and not being able to do anything about it. That broken bone, or severe illness, or heartbreak from being bullied. It is so emotionally painful that I can't take their pain away, I cannot always protect them. If I had known that before having them, I would have chosen to be childless.


I might sound selfish posting this. But after having children my now ex wife left me took them and left me in a lot of debt plus child support payments. I am working a full time job paying off the debt and child support. I do not begrudge paying for them. But my life has just been one constant struggle since then. I guess i don't regret having my children. I regret having them with her.


I love my son, but I'm just not cut out for the single mom life. I had kind of a nervous breakdown a few weeks ago and now my family is finally helping out with him. Before that it was 10 months with him, by myself, for 24 hours a day. I begged my family for help. Got nothing. So I lost it and tried to off myself. I just barely lived, and now they help with my son.

I hate myself for all this. I just hate myself so much.


Yeah as a 40 year old male I look back at my self when I was 18 and swore I'd never have children. That me was correct. I did t want children. I've had three all girls. They are 18,19 and 20 now. I spent countless hours with them playing vacationing spent nearly all our money on them. Now only one partially shows any love toward me. This is what I get? For busting my a*s? For pouring my heart and soul out to have children? I love my children very much. But it truly was not worth all that I sacrificed. There were some fun times and I do have memories and I guess at the end of your life that's really all its about. Yeah I could die with out those memories.


I feel like I had my son with my ex partner under false pretences so to speak and now that we're not together I sometimes feel like life would just be easier if we hadn't had a child together.
Back story: I found out when my son was only a few months old that his father had been cheating on me basically our entire relationship, lying, manipulating and basically being a horrible human being and we split. We didn't have the most amicable break up and had to sort out court agreements, visitation etc. He now basically nit-picks everything and anything he can and makes life difficult.
I wouldn't take back my son for the world but sometimes I just feel like this isn't exactly what I signed up for and if I'd know about everything before I became pregnant things would be so much different.
Naturally I'm not the biggest fan of my fathers son (due to the cheating etc) so having to be in constant contact and being tied together like this for life isn't much fun.


I'm pretty sure I'm a bad mother. I mean, I'm bad with kids in general, but sometimes I just don't understand how my son's mind works. I'm trying my best but I'm terribly afraid that I'm raising an a*****e who's never going to get along with people and it will basically be my fault.

I also regret having him (even though I love him so much it physically hurts sometimes) because if I'd never had him, I never would have needed to answer the question "Why doesn't my dad ever come to visit" or the accompanying "what is my dad's name/what does he look like/what does he do". Or hear the stories he makes up about his dad. You know the ones I mean if you've ever had or known or been a child with an absent father.


Late but I'll post anyway. I had my son 3 months after I graduated high school and started a full time job. He is now 4 and I also have a 6 month old boy. I love my sons more than anyone on earth, and there are lots of good moments. But it has been extremely painful giving up my youth. I rarely speak to any of my close friends from highschool. They all slowly stopped coming around/inviting me to things. I have watched them travel, go to college, party, form successful Rock bands, do amazing things. All while me and my wife, broke as f**k, desperately try to make ends meet while not killing eachother. Making friends has never been easy for me. And I'm 99% I will never have that brotherhood and camaraderie again. I have no other friends, my relationships with my sister (who I was always very close with) and parents have become awkward and stagnant. I make decent money now. But by the time the bills are paid and everything else is taken care of, there isn't much to have fun with, so I never get to spend money on my hobbies or anything else I want. And to top it off, my marriage is a sham, but there's no way I will ever end it because I can't bear the thought of doing that to my sons. Also I'm pretty sure she would f**k me over when it comes to custody. So yeah. I spend quite a lot of time fantasizing about going back and doing things diffently. Being a young, single, Ambitious 22 year old that lives at home with a good job and a s**t ton of disposable income sounds pretty f*****g good right about now. F**k.


I never wanted kids. I knew nothing about how to raise them and did most of it myself (ex worked and almost never helped me). I was pushed into having them by my now ex husband. And while he will never see or understand that he was abusive, he is happy that I left the kids with him.