10 Times You Will Regret Having Kids

Saying that you regret having your children is not exactly the kind of sentiment that can be blurted out in your weekly knitting circle. At least not sober. A few glasses of wine and maybe it blubbers up in some of your weaker, more intimate moments between damn good friends. And that’s okay! Raising tiny humans is tough, tough business and fleeting moments of utter and all-consuming frustration are normal, despite what the mythologies of motherhood will have you believe. Here are 10 scenarios in which your regret is likely to pop up:

1. When you can’t go on that amazing vacation because you have to buy dumb things like groceries. And diapers.

grocery bill

(photo:  Mrs Amanda Davis)

2. When your kids start counting OUTLOUD all the people of different races in the room

3. When you have the stomach flu


(photo:  Gerard Stolk (vers l’automne))

4. When everyone in the Target line is looking at you during an epic tantrum-a-thon

5. When you’re hungover and have no sitter

6. When they’re with you in the DMV line

dmv line

(photo: obkimmer)

7. When they ask not pregnant strangers when their baby is coming

8. The first time they say, “I hate you”

9. Every time you read an article about how much less money you will make as a working mom

10. When they’re all grown up and stick you in a nursing home

How many times do you regret having kids (not necessarily your kids specifically, but just in general)?

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  • Paul White

    When you and your kid have norovirus at the same time and you’re busy dealing with him while running to throw up and/or have the explosive shits every 40 minutes or less.

    • meteor_echo

      GAH. You had the humility of a saint :I

    • AugustW


  • meteor_echo

    I’d add the thing my mother stated once when she was drunk: “when you were born”. I could only reply with “so do I” for that.
    But seriously, Koa, look at the crazy amount of stuff that pops up if you google “I hate being a mother”. I did once and was, well, really damn surprised.

    • Koa_Beck

      Before Jessica Valenti wrote her book, “Why Have Kids” was a google gold mine. Going to check out that one for sure though!

  • LiteBrite

    I can’t say I’ve ever truly regretted having children. Usually I take the attitude that all these scenarios are part of having kids blah blah blah, but sometimes being a parent just plain sucks.

    Oh, and in regards to #5, if you’re ever thinking that it would be a good idea to take your kid to an indoor playground while you’re hungover, don’t. Trust me: not a good idea.

  • Blueathena623

    Not quite the same thing, but I have at least one pang of regret about being a SAHM every day. Mostly I love staying home, but there are times I miss kinda-sick days (also known as mental-health days in the working world) and there also seems to be an article somewhere every damn day about how much income and job opportunity I’ll lose by staying home and how I’ve pretty much doomed my husband and I to a retirement of eating cat food and living in a box.

    • Koa_Beck

      I hear you on this. Big time.

    • Angela

      Yep. Right now I can barely stagger out of bed but get to spend the day caring for my 2 and 4 year olds. Today this consists of unlimited TV and junk food and whatever else it take to shut them the hell up. To be fair though I found that when I was working I still didn’t really get to take sick days for myself because I’d use them all up from when my kids were sick. Even if they just had the sniffles then daycare won’t take them.

    • Blueathena623

      Very true re. using your sick days for kid sick days. So, me missing kinda-sick days fall under “parental regrets” instead of “stay at home parent” regrets.

    • Paul White

      the number of days I’ve missed because my kid was sick is depressing.

    • AugustW

      We have a “sick kid daycare” here in town, for kids with colds and stuff like that. Obviously it’s not an everyday thing, but I always thought it was funny that they were cheaper than regular daycare ($5 an hour).

    • Paul White

      See, that’s when it pays to know how to coupon. If you’re good at it, you can get Friskies kibble for 1/2 off!

    • Blueathena623

      At least it will cut down on our dental bills by keeping tartar off our teeth. (Do cat foods even advertise tartar control anymore?)

    • Kiers Kay

      Sometimes I would like to miss my kids and vice versa. I’m a SAHM and somedays we just give each other the evil eye.

    • Blueathena623

      Thst reminded me of another one — I miss people asking me questions about me. I don’t know if its a parent vs. non parent, or mom vs. dad or SAH vs. working thing, but I never get an invitation to talk about myself. Even with an open-ended “what did you do today”, it becomes pretty clear the asker wants to know what I did in relation to the kid, not what I personally did. And to be fair, I’ve gotten into the pattern of answering in a kid way, not a personal way. So I talk about what the kid ate, not what I read while he napped.

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Umm….. Yeah!!!

      So, I’ve had a migraine for 5 days now. I went to see a neurologist today and the quack gave me a lidocaine and cortisol shot in the nerve in the BACK OF MY HEAD, which was excruciating in itself and caused so much pain that i had to go back to the ER for some real pain killers this evening. My mom calls when I get home and I tell her I had a NEEDLE IN MY SKULL and she says, “Well. So how’s Conner? Is his nose any better?” Because he had a runny nose for a couple of days, the fact that MOM GOT A SHOT IN HER HEAD is no big deal. Heaven forbid the baby’s nose leaks something. Never mind a 5 day migraine. Geez.

    • Blueathena623

      So my dear, how are YOU feeling today? Is the migraine still there, or did the ER meds do the trick?

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      I am feeling much better today. The ER meds took the migraine away and they gave me some Vicodin to last until I can see another neurologist who doesn’t wanna stick a needle in my head while wearing purple shoes. For now, it is at least a dull roar. Thank you so much for asking!!! And how is your day? Do anything interesting while baby napped?

    • Blueathena623

      Yay for a dull roar! My day is pretty shitty because I hurt some muscles in my back 1.5 months ago, and despite buckets of muscle relaxers and steroids and trips to drs and chiros, my back still really hurts. And the adorable little monster is going through a sleep regression/nap strike, so there was no nap! Just 24 lbs of cranky, wriggling toddler than wants to be picked up and put down 30 million times a day. And my husband is all “I wonder why your back isn’t getting any better?” And when I called my mom and asked if she could please, please come spend a day with us soon because the kiddo ain’t sleeping and I’m tempted to cut my back muscles out, her response was to worry if the kiddo has an ear infection. So not the point mom. And no he doesn’t. So tonight I’m going to find out what happens when you mix muscle relaxers with vodka.
      And that felt REALLY good to type out, so thank you!

    • http://www.facebook.com/valerisexton.jones Valeri Jones

      Oh my gosh, I feel your pain on both the back problems and the no-sleeping thing. Have you tried ultram for your back? I got an epidural when I had my son and it messed me up. Apparently, it gave me arthritis in my lower back and hips and ultram is the only thing that makes it go away. I am slowly weaning off of it right now because it is a Class C medication and I am pregnant, but it helps sooooooo much. But pregnancy is why I’ve had so much trouble with these headaches, too. Aspirin isn’t safe, and neither is ibuprofen, but Vicodin and Demerol are. Hmmm…. Anyway. I sincerely hope that both your baby starts napping again soon and that you get your back straightened up. I know how miserable it can be! Trust me!!!!

      P.S. Find me on FB. It is attached to my Disqus profile. We can be buds and chat about the things that irritate us that have nothing to do with our children.

  • Kate

    I’m not sure if I would say I “regret” having children, but there are definitely some things that I miss about not having kids:

    (1) Not having to worry as much about money. Currently spending over $1k a month in childcare.
    (2) Being able to just veg in front of the TV sometimes.
    (3) Running errands or just going shopping because I “feel” like it.
    (4) Not having to hide while I eat a cookie.
    (5) Spending a whole day reading a book.
    (6) Having nights when I can say “screw it” and eat a cheese log for dinner. Now I have to like, make sure dinner is always healthy and shit.
    (7) Having time to pursue other interests besides work. Hopefully this will get better once my kids are no longer toddlers.

    What would you guys add?

    • ksu_artist1

      Ditto to this whole list. Also would add sleeping in.

    • Kate

      Yes. Remember the good ol’ days of rolling out of bed at like 10 and then getting to leisurely sip your coffee while you perk up gently and peacefully?

    • Bethany Ramos

      Not waking up 100 times to check or think about the baby monitor.

    • Blueathena623

      I hate how I have a major adrenaline rush whenever I hear a noise on the baby monitor. And its not even always a cry — his breathing will change or he will shift, and suddenly I’m wide awake and feeling like I just saw a tiger.

    • Paul White

      Evolution is a harsh mistress.

    • Sara610

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one who has this….

    • Kate

      I remember the first time my son slept all the way through the night. I was convinced he was dead.

    • Bethany Ramos

      The greatest irony in STTN!!

    • AugustW

      Ugh. I really thought I would get over this with time! My kiddo is nearly 3, and now she’s in her own bed and I’ll lay awake at night…the sane part of my head reminding me that she’s a toddler with no health problems and no reason to stop breathing…and then the crazy part speaks up and says, yeah, but what if you could help her right now and you don’t and you find her in the morning and it’s too late?


    • Bethany Ramos

      You described how I feel perfectly, so you’re not alone! But it still sucks :(

    • Thalia

      That’s your brain being a lazy ass. For some reason it has been refusing for over ten thousand years to get off the damn sofa, open Wikipedia and realize that vicious baby-eating sabretooth tigers are pretty much extinct by now.

      For that same reason, most people really REALLY hate sitting with their back facing the door. ;)

    • msenesac

      Love your list! I miss last minute plans. Like going out to dinner or going to see a movie. Nowadays, I need many days of advance notice.

    • Kate

      Oh my gosh, totally! We have to plan weeks in advance it seems like.

    • Paul White

      Being able to go hiking after work and having 3-4 drinks after I get home

    • Kate

      Yeah, I would add, “Not being responsible for another human.” My husband and I always have to make sure that one of us is stone-cold sober. It was nice when you could just cut loose with no worries.

      I agree about the happy hour/hiking/anything after work, too. It’s nice when you don’t have to rush to get to day care on time.

    • LiteBrite

      This. And yes to sleeping in.

      I would also add being able to take a damn nap when I’m hungover.

  • Angela

    I’ve never really regretted having kids but I think that’s mostly because I know that no matter how I feel they’re here to stay. I tend to be a fairly pragmatic person and tend to focus on things I can change so it never really occurs to me to consider whether I regret having kids even though sometimes parenting can be downright miserable.

    But I feel like if I claim never to have regrets then I’m getting all sanctimommy and giving the impression that if everything’s not always unicorns and rainbows then it’s because you’re doing it wrong.

  • Dorothy Petrillo Zbornak

    When you have severe morning sickness with baby #2 and all your kiddo wants to do is play. No serious regrets but wish I could clone myself (non-pregnant clone, of course) to take her to the park.

  • NicknamesAreDull

    I find myself regretting having kids less and less as my daughter gets older. I don’t know if it’s because I’m not a baby/toddler fan, or if that’s a common feeling.

    • BubbleyToes

      That’s interesting. I would be interested to know if that’s a common feeling too! It makes sense. Older children can be, in some ways (like mess-wise), less work. Maybe that has something to do with it? Also as they start to talk and do things for themselves, you can see more of their personalities and start to like them as people, maybe? My guesses.

    • NicknamesAreDull

      For me, it’s because my daughter is a lot more human. While she is still a child, and acts like a child, I don’t have to play “Guess what’s wrong with me!”, and I feel like my husband and I can go more places with her, because she knows how to act, she understands consequences better and she’ll have more fun. I don’t have to worry about naps, food etc. I can talk to her about her day, reason with her (most of the time). When my daughter was a toddler, or infant I would always try to reason with her even though I knew she didn’t understand. I also like that she gets stuff. She gets excited for her birthday, Christmas, Halloween and any other little thing.

  • Ptownsteveschick

    Time I regret having a child most=when I step on a fucking lego

    • Emmali Lucia

      I think getting shot hurts less. D:

    • AugustW

      Barbie has this new thing, she comes with a plastic stroller and a dog and…fuck that thing is worse than any Lego. I haaaaate it. (Damn Grandma purchases)

      This: http://www.amazon.com/Mattel-T7197-Barbie-Strollin-Playset/dp/B0042ESFU2

    • Ptownsteveschick

      Oh yeah, barbie and her little hands and feet and accessories are right up there with fucking legos.

  • http://wtfihaveakid.blogspot.ca/ jendra_berri

    My son has started teething and a part of me wonders what the hell have I done?

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    I don’t regret having kids because any financial woes I have are my fault and my fault only. If anything, becoming a mom has motivated me to stop procrastinating, over analyzing and just DO. Get myself together, be more responsible, work harder and grow up.

  • Karin

    When you go on an awesome vacation to an amazing foodie city but can’t eat anywhere interesting because the only thing the kid will eat is pizza.
    (Shut up. He has Sensory Processing Disorder.)

  • Edify

    Oh today when I can barely move my neck and everyone wants to be picked up. Once I used to be able to book an appointment same day to fix things and now I need to almost plan to injure myself a month out for when my husband is home from working away

    • Blueathena623

      You too? I feel your pain!

    • Wendy

      Why do they always hang on the sore arm? Or whack you in the face when you wear your glasses for the first time in a month? Or step on the 1 of 10 toes that might be broken! It’s a skill!

    • Edify

      It’s the same skill that makes them wake up at night when you’ve only been asleep for 20 minutes.

  • BubbleyToes

    I’m one of those “on-the-fence, not trying but not not trying and it’s not working so I don’t know if it’s worth it to try harder” people. Articles like this one make me laugh and also lean toward the childfree side of the fence haha…

    • Shannon Jones

      If you don’t have a strong passion for it don’t have them. Seriously, do your research first. Read books and think of ALL the ways your life will truly change. Not just what society “expects” of you.

  • BubbleyToes

    ALSO- I am SUPER impressed that the woman with the receipt got 74 items for under $200!!! Teach me your ways!!

  • Melissa

    When you’re pregnant with your second child and you realize that you can’t just come home from work and go directly to bed.

  • Harriet Meadow

    So far, I’ve LOVED being a mom, but sometimes I JUST WANT TO SLEEP IN DAMMIT. My husband and I decided to have a drinking/movie-watching night the other night (after five days of dealing with the flooding in our house because we live in Colorado). Of course, the baby still woke up at 7 am… But I haven’t had to deal with most of the situations you listed yet, so I’m sure further down the road there will be other times when I miss being child-free!

  • JulesInNC

    Does bath time really have to be EVERY night? At the end of a long day, sometimes it’s like.. .damn… how dirty did you really get today?

    • AugustW

      I have been known to put the kid in a quick shower instead of a bath, when maybe they need a hosing off but I don’t want to spend 45 minutes in the bathroom doing the whole ritual. We do baths mostly in the morning before leaving for the day, because kiddo is a night sweater.

  • ginnby

    I miss having a shred of privacy. My 8 year old thinks he can watch my every move on the computer and ask who I’m talking to/ texting on the phone and my 2 year old wants to cheer for my when I go to the bathroom!

  • AugustW

    When I have a pharmacology test in 2 hours and the toddler insists she’s helping me by hiding my textbooks in the dryer. (this was yesterday. but hey, I passed!)

  • catlover

    When I read things like that I’m glad to be childfree. I would add some things to the list:
    11. You can’t sleep without being woken up by the baby’s bawling.
    12. You can’t eat what you like because you’re breastfeeding.
    13. You can’t go out because there’s no one to babysit your kid.

  • ab

    WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU HAVE KIDS????? People without any passion or talent have kids to fill a void. Finally they have something that is “theirs” their little artwork. People who already know what to contribute in life don’t feel that same void. Also, people who genuinely don’t know what to do with their free time. Those that were bored before having kids. Honestly. Or worse, those who had kids just because everyone else was.

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