Friday, December 18, 2009

"Will I regret not having children?"

My friend, closing in on age 40, asked me that question shortly after marrying a divorced man with children.  She thought his children were a handful enough, but she wondered if she'd be missing out if she never had her own babies.

The answer is "Yes". 
Of course, you will regret it.

If you never have children, YES, you will wonder at several times in your life if you made a mistake.  You will believe with all your heart that life would be better and more fulfilling if you had given birth to your own children.


(Notice the size of the "but")

Even if you have your own children, you will at MANY times during your life, wonder if that was the smartest choice.
You will wish you didn't have the farting, drooling, whining, pouting, selfish, screaming, leave-their-crap-all-over-your-house-that-you-spent-hours-cleaning-and-not-feeling-sorry-for-it-ever little brats.
Their problems will be your problems.  Don't you have enough problems of your own?  Do you really need to feel down to your bones the pain of grade school friendship angst... again?  Your heart will break when that first girl/boyfriend breaks theirs.  It hurts.  It sucks.  And you're helpless.
And you know what?  Even after they grow up and move out, they will still bring you their problems and it will kill you slowly because you love them so much and hate to see them unhappy at any level.

There will be a time (or two) when you will think of leaving.  Seriously.  You'll actually plan how you'll take just enough money out of the family bank account to live in hotels for the first couple of months until you can get settled in another city where they won't find you.

So, yeah.  If you never have children of your own, you will regret it at some point.
But, if you do have your own children, you will regret that as well at some point.

Pick your poison.
Either one can eat your soul from the inside out.

(Yes, I realize this is rather harsh and quite negative for a happy holiday season, but I've had an especially rough week with these awful little beasts that I love with all my heart.  But, parents?  Am I wrong?)


leeann said...

If I had it to do over, I would never have children. This in no way reduces or demeans the love I have for my daughter. I just think my life and hers would have been improved by she being born to other, wiser people and me not falling into such a place.
Despite that, she's perfect... well, as perfect as she can be given what she has on the other side of the genetic lotto.
I know just what you mean.

Nikia, May and da kids said...

If I had to do it all over again, I would have had more children or adopted quite a few. Kids drive me crazy, but I have a bad temper. It is one of my scariest demons. Kids actually FORCE me to chill and be a calmer soul. Crazy, I know, but it's true.

The only thing I "somewhat" regret about having kids, I KNOW I could have been a more attentive and affectionate mom. I still kinda' struggle with that since my mom was NEVER like that with me, but I know I am a BETTER mom than she ever was. Now she shouldn't have had kids. seriously.


Stacy said...

Think this is the first time I have ever commented on your blog. I was not blessed to be able to have a child of my own, but I acquired one of the best son's ever and would not trade him for nothing in the world. As I have always told him that he is special cause I got to pick him out, and he will tell you real quick that I am the only mother he has ever had.

Yes there were days that I said to myself, why in the hell did I do this, but looking back, I would not trade one single day of being his mother. I spent many of sleepless night worrying about him, just as I am sure you do about yours.

Just wanted to put my two cents in.

P.S. Love your blog. Sorry I have only been a lurker for so dang long and not commenting.

Roses said...

Stacy: So that's who you are! :-)

Dani said...

Amen Sista! (waiving hands in the air) Hallelujah!

I love Fiona more than anything and (insanely) want to have more someday but there are those moment when I think, "What have I done?"

And good for you for having the guts to admit it.

Andy said...

Roses, I guess I'll be the Dad voice in this deal. It doesn't just go for mothers...Dad's have the same thoughts from time to time.

We have four wonderful sons (29, 27, 20, and 13). Plus, we have also almost completely raise three others (all boys). I wouldn't go back and change a thing...except...that we probably would have stopped after the third son. We tried again, because we wanted ONE girl...didn't happen.

The "running away" thing has crossed my mind a time or two (and my wife's, I'm sure), especially when they were younger.

I don't know if we would have regrets had we not had children. But somehow I think that we would.

Kids truly do teach us SO much about ourselves. They really do sharpen us, and take us "out of ourselves." I think for that single reason, I'm glad I had kids. I was sinfully selfish, & self-centered...and a tad lazy until someone depended on me for

Just my two cents.

Beast said...

Yes, I wanted to run away. I've thought wouldn't it be grand to not have anyone constantly ask me what's for dinner, mess up my dishes and leave them in the sink, take over ever single TV in the house, talk until I want to scream, annoy me just because, constantly ask for my money and worry me to death.

But, in that other universe where I did go to Duke, I became a psychologist, I'm svelte and athletic and single; I'm wishing I was still in my home state married to an every day guy with kids to annoy me and bills to worry about. So, as common and annoying as my life is, it's someone else's dream come true. Poor thing.

Harvey said...

Whenever I regret not having kids, I borrow someone else's until the feeling subsides.

Which, oddly, never seems to take very long.

Lemon Stand said...

Even knowing what I know now, I still would have had our daughters. That doesn't mean, however, that there are not times I feel like
Loretta Lou And The Logistics Of Selling Your Kids On Ebay

Roses said...

Klaatu: You know that's not what this post was about.

It's about choices, not mistakes.

And your "rutting" comment is still offensive no matter how you defend it.

Richmond said...

Oh you are dead on here... Big time! :)

Anonymous said...

I know some couples who don't want kids. I am a parent but I have never told them they were wrong, called them "selfish" or even asked them why they don't want kids. I leave it alone. But they, on the other hand, feel free to lecture me on how to raise my child, how many children I should have, and some who tell me how "selfish" I am for adding to the world's population.
So, child free people, respect is a two way street. I won't insult your choice, but leave my choices alone, please.