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15 parents open up on why they regret having kids, and their reasons are valid and eye-opening

People had different reasons for wishing they could turn back time and decided against having kids, including money, effort, and lack of freedom.

15 parents open up on why they regret having kids, and their reasons are valid and eye-opening
A busy single Mum of 4 comforts a crying toddler while surrounded by older children - stock photo/Getty Images

Motherhood and parenting are way too romanticized and the reality is often far from that perfect picture we see in movies. Many parents are now being open about the time, effort, and money that goes into raising kids, and confirming that raising kids is not a walk in the park. In a Reddit thread, many parents opened up about their personal journeys and said why they regretted having kids and it's an eye-opener. Some said they loved their kids but wished they could go back and not have them, because they couldn't offer them the life they deserved. One of the recurring reasons why people regretted having kids was about not having them with the right person. Here are 15 parents who explained why they regretted having kids. 

Father resting with kids in sofa - stock photo/Getty Images


I regret having a kid. And it’s hard to say out loud. I love her to death, but everything is so much more difficult. She’s 7 and I’m 43. When my partner told me he wanted to try for a child, I never imagined I would be pregnant in 2 months after stopping bc. He’s a great father and I feel lost so often. I don’t know how to be silly and play with her. I wish I felt different. — u/kohns0


Four years in, all my old projects and hobbies still collecting dust. My new mediums are sidewalk chalk and watercolors. I definitely don’t like it, but gotta smile for the kids 😁. I’m sure this isn’t the answer you wanted to hear. I’m sure some folks adapt faster and better to their new lives. — u/AnotherSami


My daughter isn’t even a year old yet and I feel like we should have waited longer until having a baby (I’m 25, husband 28). I love her, don’t get me wrong, but I hate that my life is so one-dimensional. I used to want 4 kids but I’m pretty sure I won’t be having another. Although we have talked about adoption and I’m still open to do that. — u/spookedsolid13 


The worst part about having kids for me was having them with the wrong guy. They deserved a better father than the jerk they got and that is MY fault. They’re grown now and doing well, but I still regret the choice I made to have kids with a complete ass. — u/Ettoya

Kids are a lot of work. I was never really excited about parenthood but agreed to adopt with my spouse. I miss sleeping in, not worrying about dinner plans. Freedom to do whatever I want, etc. But the big one is my AM. We have a 1 and 3-year-old so diapers potty time and getting them dressed has ruined the morning for me. No more leisurely showers and grooming time. Oh and I'm introverted and generally hate most conversations. Talking with children is brutal and leaves me drained. — u/1stevehrowe2

I didn’t get to make the choice for myself due to my age and state law. My mom wouldn’t consent to abortion after I was assaulted. I love my son dearly, but I never asked for this and I never wanted kids to begin with. I haven’t gone to college, I have severe depression, no friends or support system to lean on, and I’m fucking broke. It has ruined my life and I’m only in my early 20’s. — u/Content_red.


Because no one prepares you for those situations that are not perfect: special needs children, mentally ill children. We romanticize families way too much and downplay the difficulties and emotional pain that come with them. And no one talks about this before you have them — I was totally unprepared even tho I was married and stable with a college degree. Yeah, you might get great kids that do really well, and you might not. I did not have the temperament to be a good parent and should have been encouraged to explore that before I had them. — Reddit



We adopted a four-year-old who turned out to have severe issues. While I don’t regret rescuing her from what could have been a bad life, the first 20 years were rough, especially the first 7 years. Her overwhelming needs blew up my marriage and left my slightly older son saying, “I want my childhood back.” She’s a lovely 28-year-old, and I love her, but man those years were rough. — u/SSSS_car_go 

Man doing telework and a little girl playing around - stock photo/Getty Images



I don’t regret having my son, but sometimes I miss my life before I had him. I miss the ability to just do whatever I want whenever I want. Now I have to do it based on his schedule. I know one day it won’t be as hard, but right now I miss my freedom. — u/graypumpkins


One friend of mine regrets having a child because she lost her entire life from it. No more college, always broke, stuck with the father who she hates more often than not. She says she should have waited. She should have had her kid with someone else. She just wishes she did things differently. It’s strange with these cases because none of this means she doesn’t love her kid, but at the same time if she could go back and change the past, she would. — u/BiryaniBabe 

Stressed and frustrated mother with two small children in pajamas working in home office, quarantine concept. - stock photo/Getty Images



I have two kids and they're an endless series of PTSD triggers. If I had known the extent and nature of my mental health situation I would have never had children. I love my kids but it is what it is. — u/abbxrdy


I knew in my very heart of hearts that if I never had children, it was something I would always look back and regret. I would always feel like I had failed to accomplish something I needed to accomplish. So I had them. But being a parent is unrelenting hard work and a lot of it is thankless. If I knew I could feel like my life was complete without children, then I would want to go back in time and not have them. — Reddit


I think parenting sucks a$$. It's exhausting. I was not cut out for this. My kids are now 5 & 3 and adorable beyond belief, but it's still a WAY different life than I was really cut out for.
I can't just live my life. It's all about them. What I do with every moment, what I watch on TV, what I cook, whether I sleep or not, etc. the kids dictate it all. Some days I just wanna drink tea and read a book, sleep, or go out with my pals. Can't. I wouldn't undo my kids if I could. Now I know them and who they are. But if I had experienced a couple of days of my "now" life before having kids, I wouldn't have done it. On the other hand, it can be fun. And silly. — u/lousymom


Yeah. I would reverse back time and not have kids, but it doesn't mean I haven't come to accept the fact that I am a parent and to love them. I just miss my freedom. I am a workaholic and it's a sort of therapy/addiction for me. And to have kids means I can't work as many hours as I want. You can't just get up in the middle of the night and go for a drive anymore. You have to find a babysitter in order to be able to go out and hang with friends. So you lose three very special things for eighteen years. -freedom -money -sanity. But you also earn -Undying love from another human being -the sense of being relied upon -milestones that will make your heart feel like it is bursting with pride. — Reddit

Sleeping father with baby son (2-3 months) on sofa - stock photo/Getty Images



So I love kids. Like REALLY love kids. And wow, lemme tell you, parenting hit me like a ton of bricks. It is so much harder than I could have ever imagined. It is impossible to explain what it is like, for your own happiness and well-being, not being a primary priority in your life anymore. In fact, you are no one's priority, really. Not for a couple of years anyway. Your spouse will be getting his ass kicked just as much as you so he isn't going to be constantly checking to make sure you're okay. — GingersUnited

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