30 Mothers Who Regret Giving Birth Share Why
by Rokas Laurinavičius and Ilona Baliūnaitė
Bringing a child into this world is one of the biggest decisions we can make. However, due to things like societal pressure and media romanticization, some people do it without fully understanding the effect it will have on their life.
So in an attempt to figure out what gets overlooked, Reddit user Baby_noodles4u made a post on the platform, inviting women who regret giving birth to share what causes them to feel this way.
Immediately, moms started sharing their personal stories, talking about everything from body changes to abusive relationships and money problems. Their genuine replies made this thread a must-read for everyone planning a family.
I wasn’t prepared to almost die, lose my uterus, or raise a disabled child. I love my son so much, but damn… I never would have chosen this life for him. For any of us. I feel naive and stupid for ever thinking I was ready for this. For convincing my husband we were ready for this.
…Research on the subject remains scarce but we have some data to give us a broader picture. In a 2013 survey conducted by Gallup, Americans above the age of 45 who had children were asked how many they would like to have had if they could do it once again. One of the possible answers was ‘0’, which turned out to be the answer selected by 7% of respondents.
But the situation might be very different depending on where we look. A 2021 study showed that in Poland, this frequency may be as much as 13% of parents between emerging and middle adulthood, that is, one in eight.
“The reality is you can’t fully plan for parenthood,” Vicki Broadbent said. “So whilst you can prepare yourself somewhat by reading books and blogs, speaking to experts, and watching video content, everyone’s experience will be unique to them and down to their own circumstances, just as every child is unique too.”
Vicki said you simply learn on the job. “The ambivalence starts on day 1 as birth plans usually go out of the window,” she explained.
“The first child is the biggest shock of all as it disrupts your usual way of life and suddenly, you have the weighty responsibility of caring from someone other than yourself. Their needs now come first. Yes, motherhood can be a life-affirming, joyful love-fest where you see the world anew through your child’s eyes but it can also be unrelenting, mentally and physically challenging, and exhausting, too. It’s a marathon most days when babies are small but you soon find your way.” Luckily for Vicki, motherhood is her greatest success of all.
I love both my sons but if I could do it all again I wouldn’t. I got pregnant young and did not know that I would pass my bipolar onto them. They both suffer from really bad depression.
Trying to raise them when I was in and out of hospitals was hard and did them a disservice. Now they are grown and they rarely make time for me. Mother’s Day and my birthday is a quick text or mention on Facebook.
My youngest tells me I’m the only family member that accepts him when he has mental issues but that’s the only time I ever hear from him.
The oldest is even worse. I cry on a regular basis that I wish they would be closer to me. Long story short I did my best but it didn’t matter.
My massive regret is not dealing with my mental health issues before becoming a parent. But I was really young. And much more immature for my age. I had absolutely no clue how hard it would be to raise a child completely alone whilst struggling with your demons. It didn’t even enter my mind. I had pretty bad post natal depression when he was born. And honestly it’s been hard for us both.
I am only just getting proper therapy. But it’ll take a while. I only have one child because I was too scared to think about having another.
Me and my son are close.
We talk openly. I apologise when I need too. And we say I love you constantly.
My advice for anyone who wants children is please if you have any thing in your head that needs healing, do that first.
I tore forward, ripped my urethra and clitoris. Permanent nerve damage.
Also developed a bunch of autoimmune diseases in my mid 30s, after 4 pregnancies. Leading theory is that micro-chimerism from the stem cells that stay in your body after a pregnancy is a big contributing cause.