It should be OK for parents to express regret about having kids

It should be OK for parents to express regret about having kids, Parenthood is revered all throughout the world. It is viewed as the most gratifying act a person can ever accomplish, as well as the fundamental goal of existence. This is particularly true for women, who have traditionally been forced to choose between having children and being socially ostracised.

Because of the glorification of motherhood, it has long been taboo to discuss one’s regrets about having children. Yet, according to a recent Gallup study, 7% of parents in the United States said they would choose not to have children if they could do it all over again. At the time of this study, 86 percent of Americans over 45 had children, making the 7 percent a significant minority.

Professors Moore and Abetz discovered what? Parental regret may be divided into two categories: 1) regretting conditions related to having children, and 2) regretting having children.

It should be OK for parents to express regret about having kids

This type of parental remorse related to parents who had favourable sentiments about their children but bad thoughts about external situations. As a result, this expression of regret provided users with the opportunity to confirm their role as parents, loving their children but lamenting situational aspects connected to their parenting experience.

These were socially acceptable expressions to share with other users, according to the study, because these parents did not regret having children.


Looking back, users said they wished they had children sooner or later than they did. Those who had planned and unexpected pregnancies both shared this emotion.

This regret was mostly about wasted possibilities, but it also included financial and educational issues. “My only regret is having my children while I was so young,” one commentator said. I wish I’d had them ten or twenty years ago. I adore kids, but I wasn’t prepared for them in terms of my schooling or job, and I didn’t have time to organise my life.

Now that I’ve been working at the same job for ten years, I’m hesitant to attempt new positions that don’t offer decent benefits or job stability. I want to be a good father, therefore I spend as much time as possible with my children.”


Some people expressed their desire for more or fewer children. “Sometimes I regretted having so many, four overall, two of them were twins,” one user reminisced, “but I felt that more while they were young.” I have no regrets now that all of my children are adults.”

This statement, the authors point out, is an illustration of how remorse may evolve with time. Furthermore, they claim that it is socially acceptable because the remorse has faded and is no longer relevant.


This sort of regret has been defined by one parent as “the loss of selfish things,” such as time, money, and education.

Parents also mentioned the loss of sleep and closeness that comes with having kids. Furthermore, users noted how much simpler life was before they had children, when they could sleep late, travel more freely, pursue hobbies, and relax on weekends—all of which contrasts with the constant responsibilities and obligations of motherhood. “As one father expressed it,” he said.

I’ll never regret having a child, but I do miss the freedom (and money!) I had before he arrived. I barely have a few friends, so hearing about how much fun they had at a music festival or even simply being at the bar makes me envious.”


Many parents wished they hadn’t had children with the people they did.

The reasons were varied, including the physical effects of motherhood (e.g., weight increase), poor libido, and a desire to avoid contact with their child’s other parent.

Fathers were more likely to regret the psychological and emotional implications of not living with their children or having the “bitch” mother in their life, while mothers were more likely to regret their choice of partner due to the father’s personality and little parental engagement. “As one mother put it,” she said.

I don’t regret her, but I do regret the circumstances. Apart from me, my daughter has no relatives. She’ll be without a father for the rest of her life… I despise my ex-husband for abandoning her.”

The outside world. 

Some people expressed sorrow that the world had become a less safe and good place since they were young, and that their children will inherit this environment.

The September 11, 2001 terrorist events in the United States were a turning point for one parent: “I have no regrets about my children.” My one regret about having children was realising after September 11 that my children would grow up in a world far more terrible than I could have imagined.


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