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Old 07-15-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 12,820,854 times
Reputation: 5985

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Yeh, I know, hot topic and people are going to get wound up. People feel so strongly about children. But please, try to keep it honest and not personal!

I've got 5 kids. The oldest was adopted when my husband and I got married. The other 4 I had at a really young age.

My mother told me when I was young that having kids was the only part of life worth living. She made it sound like a fantasy life. Leave it to Beaver.

So of course, all I could dream of was a huge turn of the century Victorian inspired farm house on a couple hundred acres, filled with kids and dogs.

I nearly filled the farm house, but by the time my oldest (by birth) started school, I realized it was nothing like my mom said it would be. No fantasy life by far.

My kids are older now, 16 to 24 years old. I love them immensely and wouldn't give them up for anything in the world.

BUT............

If I could go back in time and know then what I know now and not know what my kids would be like, I'd never, ever have had children.

There are some great things about being a parent. And I've had some wonderful times with my kids. And I think I've got some good children. They respect their elders, are polite and kind people. One is a fire fighter. One is running 2 restaurants. One is currently unemployed (he's my middle child, and my only problem child). The two youngest are in high school.

However, for me the good times do not outweigh the bad times. It doesn't outweigh the frustration, money, tears, struggles, etc.

Now, I'll be the first to tell you, I'm selfish as hell. I like to sleep in. I like a quiet clean home. I like to be able to hop in the car and go where I want, when I want, for how long I want. The years of diapers and nursing were hell for me. I'm sure my selfish nature had a massive part of that.

Because of all this, I've been very honest with my kids. They know how much I love them and I"d never give them up. But they also know that being a parent is an incredibly massive responsibility and for the most part very thankless. It's expensive and time consuming and you give up a lot of what you want to do for them. In those first years, everything has to revolve around them.

I want them to go into parenthood - if they choose to have children - with an honest knowledge of what it entails. I would never do to my kids what my mother did to me. And for the record, when my oldest started school and I was having a really bad day and talked to my mother, she admitted that she never enjoyed motherhood and just said that because she thought that's what she was supposed to say.

My kids all know that if the only grandkids I have are puppies, that I'm beyond thrilled with that decision. I won't be a typical grandma if they have kids, that's for sure. At least not now I won't. I don't like little kids. They're loud and cry all the time and they're always sticky and dirty. So I wouldn't be the type of grandma that says 'bring them over for the weekend'. Maybe someday, but it would definitely be a while.

Anyway, I guess the point was - do you regret having kids? Or not really regret it - well, maybe yes regret it too - or do you wish you'd done things different? Sooner, later, fewer kids, more kids? As I've gotten older and met more people and been totally honest about my feelings, I've actually met many mothers who feel the same way. And I've met many women who knew from the start they didn't want kids and have never regretted it. I've met some that didn't want kids and now wonder if they made the right decision. In other words I guess, did parenthood - or the lack of it - turn out as you expected and was it a good decision do you think?

 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Denver area
20,338 posts, read 20,350,827 times
Reputation: 31710
Honestly - not for a minute. Even when things were really hard. I guess I never thought any choice I made would be a "fantasy" but then I didn't get married or have kids at a young age and I only had 2. Were there tough times? Of course, changing diapers, cleaning up vomit in the car etc are not pleasant for anyone. Laying awake all night wondering about your teen and the choices he/she is making - miserable. But overall, for me it's been a wonderful part of my life and I can't imagine anything else. I would never ever tell my kids that anything is a bed of roses though - and I would certainly never ever encourage a person who doesn't want children to have them.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:49 AM
 
4,072 posts, read 7,331,383 times
Reputation: 4531
What a horrible post. Basically saying that the 4 people in front of you, you wouldn't care if they wouldn't have existed.

I'm an older parent and maybe I don't understand how young parents would feel, kids in the way of their life. More power to the older parents, who played all they could, before having kids. Your kids, probably, have experienced your frustration through their lives, and it didn't help them.

I happened to read this post right after watching my most beautiful kids (I can keep looking at them endlessly) and telling them, that I still couldn't believe that I am a parent, and that they are the most beautiful things in the world.

And then this post. Ugh.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:52 AM
 
Location: England
1,169 posts, read 2,080,348 times
Reputation: 986
I really feel for the OP, having these really big expectations - of a huge happy family, all smiling and joyful!! Real life is of course, never simple. To have 5 children is hard anyway - a full time job in itself. I have 2 children - I didn't have them till I was 30 and 32, I was put off having children for a while because I am one of five children and I saw the tough time my mum had. So, I entered motherhood - more wary, but pleasantly surprised! I loved being a mum, it is hard. But, I have NO regrets! Being a mum is so hard, so all encompassing energy sapping - mind blowingly exhausting sometimes...often! But the only thing you can take to heaven with you are your children. Material possessions all fade and pass away. But your children are precious, and being a parent is not a totally thankless task....I still remember all my mum and dad did for me. I am so thankful to them and always will be.

So dear OP - I would say, you have done THE most important job in the world, being a Mum. Pat yourself on the back, give yourself a bit of adjusting time - then go and do somethings that YOU want to do. Maybe, a new hobby, job. Travel.....have some time back for you.
But don't ever put yourself and your choice to be a mother down. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world!! Mums are worth more than diamons. Godbless.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,757 posts, read 31,025,827 times
Reputation: 11780
I have never, and will never, regret having kids. I do sometimes regret getting married though.......
 
Old 07-15-2009, 12:00 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,023,601 times
Reputation: 4464
I don't feel the same way that you do, but I think that some of the other posters have been a bit rough on you. I applaud your ability to be honest with yourself. I would just caution you against being too honest with your children. Some thoughts are best not shared.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 07-15-2009 at 12:29 PM..
 
Old 07-15-2009, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Denver area
20,338 posts, read 20,350,827 times
Reputation: 31710
Quote:
What a horrible post. Basically saying that the 4 people in front of you, you wouldn't care if they wouldn't have existed.
I don't think that's what she said at all.....she said she loved her kids but being a mom wasn't what she thought it would be and if she knew then what she knew now.....Her experience hasn't been mine but I think she was being honest not hateful.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 12:22 PM
 
Location: Mountains of middle TN
5,232 posts, read 12,820,854 times
Reputation: 5985
LOL. Well, I'm glad most of you understood what I was posting!!

I love my kids. However, my expectations - what I thought being a parent would be - is totally not what it is. I would never abandon them. But at the same time I'd never set them up for such feelings of failure as was done to me.

If I went back and knew then what I know now, no, I'd not have had kids. It's had it's ups and downs, but for me the downs were more than the ups. Doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ups. Just that the ups weren't worth everything else. And that's just me. I'm not saying children aren't worth it for other people. I know plenty people who couldn't imagine not having their kids and I"m thrilled for them. It's just not for me!
 
Old 07-15-2009, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Right Here
296 posts, read 559,117 times
Reputation: 190
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
LOL. Well, I'm glad most of you understood what I was posting!!

I love my kids. However, my expectations - what I thought being a parent would be - is totally not what it is. I would never abandon them. But at the same time I'd never set them up for such feelings of failure as was done to me.

If I went back and knew then what I know now, no, I'd not have had kids. It's had it's ups and downs, but for me the downs were more than the ups. Doesn't mean I didn't enjoy the ups. Just that the ups weren't worth everything else. And that's just me. I'm not saying children aren't worth it for other people. I know plenty people who couldn't imagine not having their kids and I"m thrilled for them. It's just not for me!
I so appreciate your honesty!
 
Old 07-15-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
17,536 posts, read 18,603,851 times
Reputation: 18657
There have been times I regreted having kids. Mine are grown now and still putting gray hairs in my head, but overall I cant say I wish I hadnt had them. I often wonder how my life would have been had I not. I may be financially more stable or happier or they could have been what prevented me from doing really stupid things.
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