children yelling at mother
Jade Small
Jade Small
December 26, 2023 ·  4 min read

Parents Who Regret Having Children Are Anonymously Sharing What It’s Like, And It’s Taboo But Important

As a mother, and a very proud one at that. It’s hard for me to relate to how any parent could regret having children. But, I do understand it. Especially when my child drives me insane some days! Different situations, especially external ones, can obviously greatly influence how you feel about your kids, or why you had them in the first place.

A recent thread on Reddit had parents opening up about how they really feel about their children and how they feel about being parents.

These parents regret having children

Obviously, a taboo topic, as no parent wants to admit regretting having their children. It’s tough and a complicated subject to breach, but an important one, nonetheless.

User u/SniperGlizzy started the thread on Reddit for other parents who, too, regret having children. They asked, “What is it like to have children you don’t want?”

Some of the highest upvoted responses included:

“I love my kids, and I’m told I’m a pretty good dad, and sometimes I enjoy it, but most of the time it’s just draining. … I understand that there are people out there who enjoy spending time with kids, just like there are people who enjoy talking to strangers — and suffice it to say I’m just not one of them.


It’s like having some guests at your house that never, never get around to leaving for years, but you must take care of them to avoid getting into trouble and judged by others.”


I have custody of my brother’s kids. I didn’t want them. I already have one of my own. My brother’s kids are not as well-behaved as my children. It is very frustrating. I love them. I will protect them and take care of them. I find myself very upset by the fact that I just can’t seem to love them as much as my children. It’s depressing. I hate myself because I feel this way. … I try so hard to not let my nieces and nephews see that I struggle with this. But kids are smart, and I know they pick up on it.


More and more parents came out of the woodwork to express how they too regret having children

“It set the tone for the rest of my life, one of those ‘hindsight is 20/20’ things. I honestly believe that if I’d never had a kid, particularly when I was as young and alone as I was in a very socially backward area, I’d have made a lot more of myself. Both of our lives could have been a lot better had I either waited to have her or let another couple adopt her, like I wanted, but I was forced out of the choice.


“I have three. I really thought I wanted kids because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do: be a wife and have kids. I love them, and I want the best for them. But I don’t have the same connection to them that other moms seem to have. I don’t miss them when I have to go on a long trip. I just feel relief. Having them home because of the pandemic has been really hard for me. I have a lot of guilt about it. … Even though I’m surrounded by family, it feels pretty damn lonely.”


It would seem there are many parents who regret having children

My husband and I have been raising my niece for three and a half years. … My niece is almost 16 now. I’m 29 and I feel like I gave up my fun and carefree years to raise my sister’s kids. I’ve always dreamed of having my own children, and now that I’m struggling to conceive, I can’t help but feel resentful that I’m raising one of my junkie sister’s six healthy children. Overall, my niece is a good kid. I love her and I want her to do well in life, but she doesn’t feel like she’s our kid, and she doesn’t think of us when she thinks about who her parents are.


My ex-girlfriend baby-trapped me. She stopped taking her birth control and didn’t tell me. Then cheated on me while pregnant. At that point, I wanted nothing to do with her and was not prepared to be a father. I was young and dumb and still learning who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. She gave me the option to walk away and never see the kid again. I thought about it but couldn’t bring myself to; knowing my kid was out there was going to weigh heavily on my conscience.


What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. [Serious] What is it like to have children you don’t want?Reddit. Feb 28th, 2021