Gransnet forums


Do you ever regret having children?

(146 Posts)
Kandinsky Wed 24-Apr-19 11:16:25

This subject comes up from time to time on Mumsnet ( even though it’s a taboo subject ) & the responses are overwhelming ‘no’ - although a few are very honest and say despite loving their children to bits, if they had their time again they wouldn’t have children.

I’m just interested in older women’s views, perhaps spurred on by the ‘estrangement’ threads & reading all the desperately sad stories of adult children causing much heartache.
I wonder if any of us, if we had our time again, would choose a different path?

kittylester Wed 24-Apr-19 11:41:42


We have 5 - 2 boys and 3 girls. We didn't set out with a size of family in mind but decided to stop when DD3 was born.

We have had great joys and deep sadnesses, we have had them move back home (sometimes with children, sometimes not) we have had lots of disagreements but we have had (and give) lots of love and support.

I was 70 in January and, at my lunch party, I was surrounded by the love and laughter of my whole family - all 20 0f us.

mumofmadboys Wed 24-Apr-19 11:44:44

I have 5 too and have no regrets. We have had our ups and downs and I have had my fair share of sleepless nights worrying about them. But we love them all so much and they give us a lot of joy.

KatyK Wed 24-Apr-19 11:45:18

Never. We only had one. I wish we'd had more. Like kitty and most of us I'm sure, we have had many highs and lows but in the main, I wouldn't change it. And now we have a beautiful granddaughter.

Sara65 Wed 24-Apr-19 11:47:36

Again, never, although like Kitty, we have had upsets and disappointments over the years, things we would never have anticipated. And there are certainly things we would do differently, but not to have had them? Unimaginable!

Daddima Wed 24-Apr-19 11:47:43

When we married ( in the olden days!), it was assumed that mothers would give up working when the babies arrived. I seem to remember my friend worked for the British Linen Bank, who didn’t employ married women!
As I’d always wanted to have a family, being ‘ child-free’ wasn’t something we considered, and I’m glad we have our family.

Gonegirl Wed 24-Apr-19 11:49:37

No. I had three. They added so much interest to life. And now their children are continuing to do so. Life would have been so much narrower without them. They make life like a book.

janeainsworth Wed 24-Apr-19 11:53:19

No. Bertrand Russell said they were the greatest source of joy in life, and he was right.

Greenfinch Wed 24-Apr-19 11:55:08

My only regret is that having had three we did not have more. My grandmother had twins as did my daughter and my cousin. If we had gone on to have more children we might have had twins(we might not of course) which would have been lovely.

gillybob Wed 24-Apr-19 11:58:42

I do not regret having my son one iota, but I just wish it could have been a better time,when I was in a loving relationship and had some support instead of being just 18 and alone. I know there was no-one to blame but me, but I did pay a very heavy price for my stupidity.

Moving on, my dear son has given me 3 of my 4 wonderful grandchildren so I guess it was all meant to be. smile

NanaandGrampy Wed 24-Apr-19 12:01:08

Not for a heartbeat .

Id sell my soul for my lot of 'erberts and without my daughters I wouldn't have the grandchildren.

Looking backwards I might have done some things differently but quite honestly , life's experience have made me who I am and put me where I am and I like that.

Charleygirl5 Wed 24-Apr-19 12:02:35

I deliberately put my career before children and as my ex did not really want children, I would have been the one lumbered.

The only thing I regret now is not having GC, reading so many happy stories on GN and looking at the superb photos of GC at times makes me nostalgic.

I would not have made a good mother but I think I would be a good GM because I would not have to look after them for weeks on end.

I still love animals and have endless patience with them, horses for courses.

Greyduster Wed 24-Apr-19 12:03:00

Absolutely not, and that coming from one who never saw herself as a mother. We have shared their joys and their woes and they have given me a few more grey hairs than I feel entitled to, but they are both lovely people and we are very proud of them.

aggie Wed 24-Apr-19 12:06:26

I had 4 fairly close together , then a gap of several years was back at work part time when a pale colleague grabbed me and told me she was pregnant and felt awfully ill , I commiserated and shared the news that I was the same , but I was not sick , I had just come to the same conclusion that morning , I never regretted any of mine , we had two "late" , they are all irreplaceable in different ways

Framilode Wed 24-Apr-19 12:09:58

I love my children dearly and would not be without them and we are a very close family. I also get a lot of fun and pleasure from my grandchildren.

However, I am not very good with babies and small children. When we got married having children was just the next step and we didn't give it much thought. If I was just getting married now I probably wouldn't have children as I much prefer the company of adults and would also want to concentrate more on a career.

No regrets though, life would be much emptier without them.

notentirelyallhere Wed 24-Apr-19 12:10:35

I love my three daughters to bits and I'd happily throw myself in front of a train to save them.

However, I always wanted a proper career and once children arrived we fell into the nuclear family/husband main earner stereotype and my career stalled. In the 1970s and 80s, there was little reliable childcare and paternity leave was laughed at, as were men staying at home to do the childcare while their wife earned. And it was a rare woman who earned enough to be the main earner.

What saddens me is that so little has changed and women still earn around 20 per cent less than men for the same level of work.

Each of my daughters has a brilliant job and a fascinating career ahead and they don't want children and I support them every inch of the way. As things are, so many children are now brought up in 24/7 childcare so that the parents can work (and often have to) and that's not ideal either. I am very pleased that authors like Rachel Cusk have made it possible for women to express some doubts about having children and I think it's positive that some women can now say publicly that they think motherhood isn't for them.

ninathenana Wed 24-Apr-19 12:12:24

No, no regrets about having our two, although I will confess I wasn't very maternal and I think it would have been a case of "what you've never had, you don't miss" but once they were here, I felt very differently.
However, like others, I wish they both hadn't had the troubled lives they have had/are having.

FlexibleFriend Wed 24-Apr-19 12:14:17

No I wouldn't change my two for the world and can't imagine life without them. They're both boys but seem to buck the trend as both are really close to me and involve me in their lives.

Hm999 Wed 24-Apr-19 12:15:18

Two lovely kids who I wouldn't change for the world, but maybe I wish the man I had them with had been a proper father to them. The economic issues of raising them fell on me (as well as all the other bits) while he went off and started another family.

(I was asked by CSA why his new wife should pay for my children, when he took early retirement and couldn't afford to pay me anything. Bitter, moi?)

MiniMoon Wed 24-Apr-19 12:17:07

I was 30 when we got married, and I wanted children, lots of children, and time was against us.
We had a daughter, then a son. We tried and tried for more, but none ever came. I love them both to bits. I wouldn't be without them, and my day has given us our for lovely grandchildren.

MiniMoon Wed 24-Apr-19 12:18:33

Daughter, why did my kindle change it to day?

Nannylovesshopping Wed 24-Apr-19 12:27:18

Never, not for one second, wish I could say the same
about their father☹️

shysal Wed 24-Apr-19 12:27:44

Being a mother and then a grandmother has been my greatest joy!

1inamillion Wed 24-Apr-19 12:31:54

We were married for 5 years before any children, partly financial reasons and partly because we were enjoying ourselves. We went on to have two and as yet no GC. Both DS and DD have good jobs, so does DiL, no talk of GC and I would never ask as it's up to them. We are both only children and my husband has never minded that but I wish I had siblings.
I worked full time when the children were small, I didn't have a choice with a mortgage to pay. I wish I could have had the extended leave available now. We waited until the time was right for us to have children and haven't regretted it. Many ups and downs along the way as previous posters have said. However as well as loving them both, I like them a hell of a lot.

Fennel Wed 24-Apr-19 12:31:56

I never regret it either. Thank God they're all great friends to eachother and to us, now that they're in their 50s.
We have 4.
What I do regret is not being a better mother from time to time. Motherhood is difficult, but none of us is perfect.