Parents have candidly revealed why they wouldn’t have children if they could go back in time.
Taking to the anonymous parenting platform Mumsnet, one curious person asked others whether, knowing what they knew now, they would get the same child, or decide to become parent.
They penned: ‘I feel like it can be a taboo topic and can often lead to unrealistic expectations of parenthood. As a fence sitter I’d be keen to hear everyone’s opinions.’
And the question sparked quite the debate – with some parents saying they regretted having children because they had ‘aged them’ and they are ‘super jealous’ of the lifestyle of their child-free friends, while others said they couldn’t imagine their lives without their little ones.
British parents have taken to Mumsnet and admitted they wouldn’t have children if they could go back in time. Pictured, stock image
Taking to the comments section, some exhausted parents across the nation were adamant they wouldn’t have children if they could go back in time.
‘No I wouldn’t. It’s only since becoming a mother that I’ve realised what an absolute s*** show of a life we live in. It was fine when DS was younger, but he’s nearly an adult now and it’s not pretty out there,’ wrote one.
A second commented: ‘I love my children so so so much – they bring so much love and joy into my life. However – if I was reincarnated I would absolutely choose to not have children because the child-free couples I know have amazing lifestyles that I’m super jealous of. I’d love to try out that way of living.’
Meanwhile, a third added: ‘No. Never. Of course the important bit is “knowing what I know now” – at the time the biological urge and longing for a baby was incredibly strong – probably nature’s way of getting women to have a child, and certainly to have more than one.’
A curious Mumsnet user commented: ‘I feel like it can be a taboo topic and can often lead to unrealistic expectations of parenthood. As a fence sitter I’d be keen to hear everyone’s opinions’ (pictured)
‘But if I had known even a fraction of how it felt (for me this is) to be a mother, I would never have had children.’
Elsewhere, some told how they felt a lot older since having children, while others admitted they would’ve waited a lot longer before falling pregnant.
‘I feel like having children has aged me,’ penned one. ‘You have to be a responsible grown-up when you have children, their needs have to come before your own, your days are planned around them, you can’t just be “you” anymore.’
‘I really, really miss having the freedom to live my life without having to always consider someone else. It’s not a huge hassle….but it’s always there.’
A second commented: ‘I have often thought this and dared to say it out loud but it wasn’t well received. Obviously I love them and they brighten every single day but I don’t think I would, at the very least I’d wait a lot longer to make sure it was what I wanted.’
Another wrote: ‘I don’t know. If it’s replacing my particular very loved children with any children, I’d definitely consider a fabulous child free life. Holidays, loads of free time, early retirement. Last night I dreamt I was peering into a childfree couples house and watching them just watching TV in the middle of the day without a care in the world.’
Some parents admitted they felt they’d be wealthier and happier without children, and some were adamant they wouldn’t go for children if they got a do-over
Meanwhile, others revealed they would still have children, but would have less than they actually did.
‘Was also on the fence,’ wrote one. ‘Had my son, love him to bits but most days are a grind. I would not ever have a second. Ever. And im lucky that he is relatively easy (now, he was a terrible sleeper until he was about 18 months).’
A second commented: ‘I would have children again but only one. I get broody but then i remember how long it has taken to get to this point, how grumpy I’ve felt most days and remind myself I’m a better mum to one than i ever would be to 2.’
However, some parents said they wouldn’t change their lives even if they were given an option, and were perfectly happy with their family.
Other parents said they wouldn’t change their children for anything, despite admitting it was hard work
‘I was a fence sitter for a long time, but i can earnestly say that nothing has brought me more joy and happiness than my daughter. So no, I wouldn’t change it,’ one wrote.
A second commented: ‘Yes, without hesitation. My eldest saved me from the darkest time of my life. Both have brought me great joy; my life without children would be meaningless.’
‘I do wish I’d had more time and money when they were younger, and family around us.’
A third added: ‘I find most of motherhood/parenthood absolutely soul destroying and incredibly draining and hard work but I could never ever be without my dc. So on balance I probably wouldn’t change it.
‘Though I may well be happier if we didn’t have kids. Sometimes it’s rose tinted specs though… because I have always been a pretty miserable person looking back haha,’ they ventured.