"While I love my two children very much, I feel today I should never have had them."
I don't get why people feel like everyone must feel like they do. I applaud those strong enough to admit that they don't enjoy parenthood. Not everyone wants kids. My wife and I don't. Funny thing is that most people, parents themselves, that ask us about it end up saying we made a wise choice. There are pros and cons to just about anything, including having or not having children. The culture elevates parenthood to near mythical god-like status. If parenthood appeals to you, enjoy the heck out of it, but don't expect everyone else to be like you. Having a child doesn't make a person naturally suited toward parenthood.
But look at the benefits - you get to park really close to the door at the supermarket !!
There's nothing sadder than the childless couple. It breaks your heart to see them stretched out, relaxing around swimming pools in Florida and California, suntanned and miserable on the decks of boats, trotting off to enjoy Europe like lonesome fools-with money to spend, time to enjoy themselves and nothing to worry about.
Childless couples become so selfish and wrapped up in their own concerns, you feel sorry for them. They don't fight over the kids' discipline. They miss all the fun of "doing without" for the child's sake. It's a pathetic sight.
Everyone should have children. No one should be allowed to escape the wonderful experiences attached to each stage in the development of the young. The happy memories of those early years-saturated mattresses, waiting for sitters who don't show, midnight asthma attacks, rushing to the emergency room of the hospital to get the kid's head stitched up.
Then comes the payoff-when the child grows from a little acorn into a real nut. What can equal the warm smile of a small lad with the sun glittering on $1,500 worth of braces-ruined by peanut brittle-or the frolicking, carefree voices of 20 hysterical savages running amok at a birthday party?
How sad not to have children to brighten your cocktail parties-massaging potato chips into the rug and wrestling with guests for the olives in their martinis.
How empty is the home without challenging problems that make for a well-rounded life-and an early breakdown: the end-of-day report from Mother, related like strategically placed blows to the temple; the tender, thoughtful discussions when the report card reveals that your senior son is a moron.
Children are worth every moment of anxiety, every sacrifice. You know it the first time you take your son hunting. He didn't mean to shoot you in the leg. Remember how he cried? How sorry he was? So disappointed you weren't a deer. Those are the memories a man treasures.
Think back to that night of romantic adventure, when your budding, beautiful daughter eloped with the village idiot. What childless couple ever shares in such a wonderful growing experience? Could a woman without children equal the strength and heroism of your wife when she tried to fling herself out of the bedroom window? Only a father could have the courage to stand by-ready to jump after her.
The childless couple lives in a vacuum. They try to fill their lonely lives with dinner dates, theater, golf, tennis, swimming, civic affairs and trips all over the world.
The emptiness of life without children is indescribable.
See what the years have done. He looks boyish, unlined and rested. She is slim, well-groomed and youthful. It isn't natural. If they had kids, they'd look like the rest of us-tired, gray, wrinkled and haggard. In other words, normal.
Pity The Lonely Lives Of Childless Couples
From the files of Ann Landers. May 26, 1993|
Parenthood is primarily not about enjoyment but the love and care for innocent lives who are ultimately the responsibility of the parents. Enjoyment of this experience of rearing children is only part of the emotions involved most of which is unselfish hard work which hopefully produces well balanced adults which brings its own rewards as well as a good helping of heartache sometimes. Those who do not wish to have children take a decision for many reasons which are understandable, but to produce children and have regrets is a different ballgame.
I'm glad my husband and I had 10 years together before we had our son.
It was rough going at first and I thought I had ruined my life.
Now I kind of like the little guy, well, not so little anymore; he's almost 6 feet tall!
The point is that I like the fun parts of parenting. I love playing with kids, reading books to them, even buying their clothing.
I like kids so much that I'm a teacher!
But, the unrelenting marathon of monitoring their food input (and output), monitoring their nightly sleep needs, monitoring their health, dealing with chronic and acute medical conditions, monitoring their schooling, providing transportation, the requirement to monitor his whereabouts every minute of every day. It's the Management of Every Facet of Another Person's Life that is wearing. I could only do it for one child. Thinking of having another was too exhausting.
However, the older they get, the more of this work transfers to the child himself. My teenager doesn't have to be supervised every minute. He is able to feed himself, wash his own clothes, get up on his own and get himself to school on time, and take his meds. I still have to monitor these things, but the 24/7 nature of parenting has lessened over time. This has reduced much of the stress of parenting and I have more emotional energy to bond with him than ever before. I love him more and more and more and now I am looking at letting him go in a couple more years. It's just heartbreaking.
I've come to realize that what I like most about parenting is meeting a new person and giving him the tools to be an independent person. It's a thankless job, and if you do it right, you work yourself out of a job. For me, it's about helping him grow up. I feel that way as a teacher, too. My job is to help them learn and grow, and at the end of the school year, to be one more year closer to independence.
There's a new person in the world. He looks like me. He looks like my husband. But, he's his own person.
And I'm unleashing him on the world in 2 years!
A lot of parents need to chill out, and just enjoy their children. I have such a close bond with my son he is like part of me, so there is no stress having him around, just the joy of his companionship. With children there is not much that food, sleep and lots of cuddles don't solve. Parents scream at and hit their children, then wonder why the children are difficult. Try being kind and understanding and they react very differently. (Of course, there are some children that may have certain illnesses that this does not apply to, but comments on the link are more from parents that have little excuse for their attitude.)
There is no reason to "party" before you have a child, with some sort of attitude that life ends with parenthood. Ever since my son was an infant we have traveled the world together. If you are relaxed, so is the child. There is little I have not been able to do without taking Zac along. I still go to parties with my son, where he is the only child, because all my other friends that became parents just seemed to give up. My son loves my single friends and they love him. The main thing you cannot take a child to is a bar late at night, but there are grandparents, other parents and babysitters to help.
Children add so much to life, and it is a pity when some parents lose focus that they are the issue, not the children, for not being able arrange their lives to be better for having had them.
I respectfully enjoy the comments of those here who are all "gung ho parenting", but, I'm sure they will even have to admit that it's not easy sailing, like I said in my first post, one of the most truest sayings of all time is "wait till you have children of your own". I don't have kids of my own (never wanted any and have no regrets), but have observed that to be true in my fifty plus year of life, the parenthood job just ain't that easy.
I have quite a few friends who have visited me at my home and the first they say is "wow, it's so quiet here". One couple who visit me frequently who have three grown children, walk in sit down and take a nap, no joke, they notice how quiet it is and just sit down and fall asleep for a quick nap every time they visit, notice I said there kids are grown, so they're in grandparent mode, but still enjoy a quiet home front and no, I'm not offended when they fall asleep and take a nap, I understand.
Another friend who is a divorced mom of two kids has said about my apt, "this is what I need, a place just for weekends to get some rest", sound familiar parents out there?
I think there is a disconnect on this thread.
Parenting is tough and it's perfectly understandable if someone would rather not. My daughters are all grown and frankly, I don't miss diapers, colic, teething, ear infections, vaccinations, trips to the doctor, braces, music lessons, the emotional storm of puberty, broken hearts, college tuitions, etc., etc., etc. If that's not your cup of tea, believe me, I understand.
That's not the issue here.
The problem that I and several others have expressed on this thread is with the idea that its okay to say you regret the whole thing after the fact. ---Especially in a format the child / young adult could easily stumble across some day.
'They didn't ask t come in to the world'.......Oh my! How many times have I heard that?
My mum would often play the 'I carried you' for nine months line.....ad nausium.
One day my sister replied: 'You mean I had a choice?'.......Actually no one does.
We dont get to choose our kids either. They are not and we should not want copies of us.
Single parent here ( mum liked to 'entertain' in my absence and was rather too fond of the bottle ).
To achieve this heady goal was a rather easy matter of convincing a judge who, on looking at the evidence, not only gave me custody of my two but banned her from access without supervision....Enough said I think.
It still took a year and it cost me my 100K a year career. That was five years ago. My autistic son could not do hiis shoelaces back then....he now makes stop-motion films with my DSLR. My other son went from a poor performer at school to top level and now speaks French, English and German.
I think I might be doing something right here though I admit that I miss the money.
Do I love my children? You tell me.
Do I like my sons? No, not always. Sometimes they can be obnoxious monsters and I cant wait for them to become adults ( Actually Louis wont ever be leaving home unless to go into a home and that wont happen for as long as I can help it )
Please be honest about your own feelings : Yes your kids will absolutely will say and do things you dont like. They will rip your heart out and play football with it...then give it back with a request for sweets.
Its why they need parents. Empathy does not come easy and some never get it.
If you deny the hurt or the occasional dislike of what they are at the moment then you can come to resent them. That resentment absolutely will creep up on you and bite you where it hurts.
If your kids hurt you then let them know. You are not and can never be invincible.
Yes you can call me 'hard' and 'unfeeling' but I dont get called 'gentille maman' for nothing. ( gentle mum )
Im working on it : Been ages since I burned the salad.
Note how Vincent, a lawyer, describes that the pointlessness of life includes providing for one's children:
Vincent, a lawyer, says: “A good secular career can provide a measure of satisfaction. However, I have found that much more is needed to gain happiness and contentment. Before becoming aware of the Bible’s teaching on the subject, I recall being struck by the sheer pointlessness of life—being born, growing up, getting married, working at a job to provide what is needed materially to raise one’s children, training them to follow the exact same life cycle, and finally getting old and dying.