Friday, 4 November 2011

On wishing I'd never had kids

If I could go back in time, I'm not sure I'd have kids again.

That is SO hard to say "out loud".

I love my children more than anything! And if they were ever taken away from me, I seriously don't know how I'd survive.


I miss the life I had pre-kids.

I miss getting home from work, making myself a cup of coffee and putting my feet up in front of tv or with a good book, rather than being caught in the whirlwind of dinner, bath and bedtime routine.

I miss waking up on a Sunday morning and wondering what I'm going to do, rather than knowing exactly what my day is going to look like (mostly focused around the kids).

I miss going out for dinner (and having a cocktail or two) and coming home late and going to bed like everyone else (rather than doing another feed) and waking up when I'm ready rather than when the kids think it's reasonable (anytime from 5am onwards).

I miss grabbing my bag and my sunglasses on the way out, rather than nappies, bottles, dummies, change of clothes, wet wipes and toys (oh and kids too).

And above all, I miss me.
I miss who I was: a professional woman, respected for her opinion. I used to be full of energy. I used to cook fancy dishes. My legs were always smooth and my nails done.

Today, the new me is a half asleep, hairy legged, broken nailed, "para-professional" mum, who specialises in one pot meals.

Yes, if I ever found the elusive genie in a bottle and he offered to take me back in time, I'm not sure I'd have kids.

And I feel dreadful saying that. It's like I'm saying I don't want them, but it's not. I just miss how easy it used to be.

I am so in love with my kids. And if I could go back, it would have to be without the memories of the last few years, or the first thing I'd do, would be to have them again. I could never live withouth my kids. But if I am honest, I'd have to admit that sometimes I wish I had never had them.

I think that a lot of women admit to grieving for the life they used to have but I'm not sure many would admit to essentially feeling like they made the wrong choice. So you can all stop staring now and pick up your jaws off the floor.

I feel bad enough.


  1. I often feel exactly the same way... could have written this exact post myself word for word! I'm sure many woman secretly do too, they'd just never be brave enough to say it out loud!

    Only how many years to go until they grow up and move out ;)) (I feel so bad saying that too... my babies are my world too!)

  2. Love my kids but wonder about what my life would look like if I did not have them but instead did all the other things I feel I am capable of - and really desire (as deeply as I do my kids) but will now never get to do. I know right now my husband is thinking about life without kids. He is a good dad, but I'm not sure if he could do it again he would, not as young as we started anyhow.

  3. Wow! How very honest and very brave. I must say that whilst I don't ever wish I didn't have kids (not said to make anyone feel guilty - at all) but I definately sometimes miss the easiness of pre-kids. like you, I miss being able to just grab my bag and keys and head out the door. I miss being able to have a spew, snot, poop-free shirt all day. I miss the regular 'dates' hubby and I used to have.

    I do love the chaos now, but I frequently find myself praying for just a moment of peace so I can gather my thoughts. I love your post and I love your honesty. I'm your latest follower. Hi!
    Jac :)

  4. Yes, really brave. I am in both camps - I appreciate how you feel and can definitely relate to the wistful "life before" sentiments. I beg for a moment's rest from the incessant pull and expectation to be the ever-present, always-on-hand mother now. BUT.... I also know I went through so much hell and pain and had to learn to survive and live without my child in my life (our firstborn died) that I could never wish for my past life over my present. I'm not sure I'd even be here, frankly, if our next daughter had not come along.

    Despite this, please know I get it! I truly do. This is a tough gig, even for those who think they wanted it. Until they get it. I suppose it levels the playing field, though, when someone comes along and is willing to be frank and honest. From here, we're all just trying to figure out how to bring in whatever brings the peace, the joy, the sense of fulfillment back in (whether that's a balance of working/home life, trying to move forward after not being able to bear children, or blissed out with domesticity!).

  5. Thanks Ladies. I had butterflies in my stomach when I pushed that 'publish' button this morning. I wasn't sure what reception my post would have. Would I become the new 'most hated mum'?
    'Being Me', I am SOOOO sorry for your loss. I can't imagine anything worst. I really don't know how I'd survive if one of my kids were to die. I don't want anyone thinking I don't love them or would wish them away. They are my world.

    Both my kids were planned and wanted. But maybe I wish I'd chosen a life without kids. Having said that, I also think that if I'd been unable to conceive, I would have felt like my life was missing a big part - and I reckon I would've adopted.

    I'm not sure I can win this argument with myself...

  6. Sometimes the choices we make are 'either' not 'and'. I know exactly how you feel, wanting some of that back. I've asked myself the same question - should I have had kids? If I hadn't I think the opposite question would be hovering there. Having become a parent, I can't shift back. I will never again not be a parent (even if the hell and pain experienced by 'being me' was to happen in my life). It's not that I don't whole-heartedly love and want my kids, it's that I want my life to be more about me... yes, there is a selfish part of me that really, really wants that. And I'm not using the 'selfish' word disparagingly or critically. It just seems like the best fit. One day, I will have older children and there will be more space for me. I will still be a parent, forevermore, but to children who perhaps don't need me at all. That will be a different life again. We grieve now for our previous lives, I wonder will we grieve then for our current one?

  7. I can so relate to this feeling, Anna. I just get it. Even if I went back, with no memories of my children , I would end up having them again - I'm stupid like that.
    You are not awful, or the worst mum ever, for admitting it. I struggle with similar feelings and I know I am not a bad mum. I'm an honest mum and sometimes that isn't very popular. xx

  8. I think you are right Daisy. Honesty is not always what is expected by society. I do think more mums should do it though. Maybe it would soften the blow for new mums.

  9. This is a very brave post but I am sure you are not alone. I recently read an article about a mother who I left her husband and young sons to pursue her own life leaving hubby as primary carer. No more of those "mundane" tasks for her. It was an emotive piece with many against her choice and her admission that she only had the children for hubby, but it highlights the sort of contrary feelings mothers can have.

    For me, I don't wish I never had kids, because we almost nearly couldn't, but I do miss being just responsible for me sometimes. I know it sounds selfish but that's how most of us get used to living as we grow up and move into adulthood. It makes sense the adjustment to parenthood could be challenging. After all, it all changes in one day, in a snap, the day your baby is born. There's no easing into it and most pre-natal classes don't prepare us for this on an emotional level, which they probably should. (It might help minimise some PND in some cases).

    I also have these type of feelings, longing, in other areas of my life about things I can't change, that I'm stuck with. I think that may be the key: we usually try and change what we don't like but some things can't be changed and it leaves us feeling trapped, helpless, out of control and therefore negative. I've reasoned with myself about trying to find a "new normal" in my life. I try to accept what needs to be done, though I'm not always joyfully tidying up or doing the laundry, but I'm doing it. I had to do it when I was single, and part of a couple. There's just more of it all now.

    Wouldn't it be nice if we could have it all at once, both the family, kids and personal freedom like it used to be?! But it is, what it is and I know way life would be less the richer without by two beautiful girls. They are changing me in unexpected ways and that's part of my new journey.

  10. Thank you so much for your comment Veronica. It's good to hear other mums have similar feelings. You are right. There is no way we could ever go back. This is the new normal. And there are amazing moments (can you tell I'm having a good day today?) and then some moments where we wish we could take a holiday from it all. There are positives and negatives with and without kids. Gotta cherish the good times and struggle through the bad I guess.

  11. Hooray!! I've finally found someone who feels exactly the same as me!! I'd say I would share the same thoughts as you at least once per day. I definitely think I could have written the same post. I also agree that If I were infertile I would have adopted, and hence will never win this argument with myself either.......

  12. Yes, definitely a post worth posting. I'd always thought I'd have children, had always wanted to know what it felt like, experience growing a baby and then popping it out. Well, I know now!!

    I can't remember ever looking forward to having a Giant Teenager in the house. Or demanding bairns who bicker and battle....

    When I say that I am so thrilled that they will all be at school next year, I'm deadly serious... I will be weeping tears , yes, of relief and gratitude... then swanning off for a coffee.

    Sorry kids, but you'll totally get it one day!!

  13. Well anonymous, I'm glad we've found each other! Somehow sharing this load definitely makes it lighter.

  14. Hahaha Seana! My kids are young still. I'm kind of looking forward to them growing up so they don't have to be quite so dependent on me, but I guess with teenagers comes a whole new set of frustrations! I look forward to daycare day every week!

  15. Good on you for being brave enough to admit this. I have these thoughts too. It is worth me saying here that I have had PND and severe sleep deprivation, but I often find myself thinking I really don't enjoy being a mother, there is no joy etc etc. I was a much happier person before we had kids there is no doubt about that. I am working on finding the joy, the fun and some lightness.
    Thanks for writing this post. I am so enjoying your blog.

  16. Oh Lee, you have made my day! It means so much to me that you can appreciate my post. I'm sorry that we have to feel that way, but I do think that it is extremely important and about time that women start talking honestly about this issue. I hope you find the joy. If not everyday, then enough to carry you through the not so joyous days.
    Take care.


Aaaah, you are leaving your opinion! I love it!