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Regretting having children? You're not alone.

‘I love my kid, but if I knew back then what I know now, I wouldn’t have had them’.

I first heard this 3 years ago. I was talking to my hairdresser about how I don’t want children, and she told me about how she had her child years ago, because she thought that was the path every woman goes down. She told me how hard it is, and how as much as she loves her child, if she could go back, she wouldn’t have had them. 

I thought it was very brave for her to admit this to me and I wondered how other parents would respond to it. I wondered if she had only told me this because I offered information about my choice of not wanting them. Since then, I’ve realised how many women feel that way. In fact, there is a whole Facebook page dedicated to people who share their regret about having children.

I’ve had clients tell me the same thing. It has very much been part of what they want to work on in therapy. I’ve had friends tell me the same thing and I always notice the other parents in the room are silent – like they are so uncomfortable and cant comprehend what the person is saying. I imagine it is a lonely feeling to have. 

I wanted to share this because I think there is a lot of stigma attached to people who share that they would not have had children if they could go back in time. That somehow, this makes them a bad parent. This isn’t true. In all the cases I have come across, they are brilliant parents and love their child. You can be a good, loving parent and still wish you had made different choices. 

I hope more people feel able to be honest about this in future, so they know they aren’t alone. There is a great deal of pressure in society for people to have children, yet there is also a great lack of support in our society when it comes to having and raising children, and not everyone has a village to lighten the load of being a parent. There are many reasons why you might feel the way you do. 

Therapy or Counselling can help you make peace with the choices you made, and learn how to renavigate living a life that brings you happiness and meaning, whilst taking into account that you are a parent now. If you are looking for a therapist, feel free to get in touch for a non-judgemental space to talk through this.

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