Do parents ever regret having children? You love them of course, but if you could go back in time, would you rather choose to remain childless?
Answered by: Mary Lees
Lately, yes I do. This is really sad. I am blessed with four beautiful children. They are stunning, clever, well brought up, polite and will go far in life. I am so proud of them and I love them with all my heart.
But life is so hard financially and emotionally it’s a huge burden. I have four girls aged 17,14,6 and 1 and two step children. Before I had children I used to travel a lot, I was well dressed and liked to spoil myself. I loved reading books and eating out. I can’t remember when I last read a book. My husband and I get our clothes from the supermarket and we rarely eat out. A holiday is a far away dream. We are heavily in debt as although we both work 50 plus hours a week there just isn’t enough money for our outgoings. Children always need something. There’s either a birthday or a school trip,school meals, haircuts, clothing. Even if you give them everything they ask for they complain it’s not as good as their friends or you didn’t get the right thing. That’s just how kids are.
Emotionally and physically I’m drained and I am miserable most days. My day starts at 5am every day as that’s when my daughter gets up and I have to start work not long after that. I work from home so there’s no respite. It’s an endless round of cooking, cleaning, tidying and providing reassurance and support for them. I can’t even go to the toilet or eat in peace.
I get a constant barrage of text messages telling me what they need. Books, food, where’s my jumper? Endless Bizarre questions I can’t answer but they expect me to know the answer to. The last one was can cats get herpes? How do they expect me to know these things? I have to keep booking doctors and Dentist appointments. I am expected to know all their schedules as well as my own and cook, clean and tidy for them. I feel like Cinderella although at least she only had 3 people to skivvy for. I have 4 kids and a husband. He tries his best when he is at home but he is exhausted as well. He often works 18 hour days and has a stressful job.
my first child has always been an angel, no trouble at all and I often wonder what my life would be like if I had stopped when I had her. Would I be well rested? Be getting my hair and nails done like my friends? Would I be thinner? Happier? Would I have a better job where I get to go out to work and dress up and talk to adults all day instead of toddlers? Would my brain be able to think in peace without being talked to constantly by a very adorable but chatty 6 year old?
I know I am ungrateful and there’s the guilt. As if there wasn’t always enough guilt anyway. Guilt that I spilt with my first two Children’s dad when they were young. Guilt we aren’t rich. Guilt we live in a flat and have no garden. Guilt that I had to rehome the family dog because I was having a baby and wouldn’t be able to take it down two flights of stairs to go to the toilet when I had a baby. Guilt that I have so many things to do and so many thoughts in my head I’m never fully listening as I’m always doing or thinking something else at the same time.
I try, I try so hard to be available for chats, I read to them each night,help with homework, boy trouble, career advice and hand out every penny that we both work so hard for to try and give them the best life possible. I pay for their mobile phones, their social lives, swimming lessons, football training and their hair dye and fake nails.
It is never enough. And the worst part is it’s my fault. Why did you keep having children everyone says? I can’t really explain. I love them and I wanted another baby each time like a yearning I just couldn’t stop. Finally though I am done and I wonder why I didn’t stop before.