Lifestyle

Women reveal: Why I regret having children

MOTHERHOOD is a tough gig. An unrelenting role that changes a woman's life forever. But discussing the struggles of motherhood is still considered a taboo topic by many, so admitting you regret having children altogether seems unthinkable.

An initial study by a sociologist at Ben-Gurion University in Israel ignited a furious debate recently after findings suggested all mothers regret giving birth to some extent.

But validating the study's claims are the myriad declarations of regret made by women who have taken refuge in the anonymity of the internet.

The "I Regret Having Children" Facebook page reveals several mothers' stories of parenting despair.

One stay-at-home mum to a 7-year-old shared that she has "big regrets" about having children and misses her life before them.

"I love them but I'm not happy. They have taken all my freedom, I can't get a job, my husband barely makes enough for holidays. I was a flight stewardess, free as a bird before having kids.

"Now I'm just doing never ending house duties."

Another mother discussed her sleep battles with her 3-year-old and how she vomited from the stress induced by her daughter's refusal to sleep.

"We have no life. My husband helps so much, but even he is close to collapsing. We have no family and friends. No support network. What do I do?"

Over on parenting site Mumsnet, one woman shared how the arrival of a child turned her "wonderful life" upside down.

She wrote: "I loved my old life. My husband really wanted a child and I put it off for so long, just knowing that it's not my calling. I gave in after so many rows thinking I would adjust.

"I feel like my wonderful life has turned upside down. I still do not feel like a mother. I miss my old life so much I just feel like walking out and leaving my husband and son."

Another person vented similar sentiments, but signed off, "Please don't hate me, is what I'm really trying to say. I actually consider myself quite a loving person."

For some mothers, they believed the regret really sat with the father of their child. On question and answer site Quora, one woman wrote that she "desparately" wanted to have a baby. But it was a wish she lived to regret after her husband revealed himself as a "compulsive liar, abusive and controlling."

"I still feel loads of guilt because I regret being a parent. Not because I failed but because I don't want to be a parent. I can't really explain why I feel that way, I just do."

Robin Simon, Professor of Sociology at Wake Forest University, specialises in the mental health effects of parenthood. Simon told the Independent that the difficulty in admitting such emotions about parenting stems from the fact that it "defies social norms about the sanctity of motherhood."

And according to Arabella Russell, a counsellor at relationship advice charity Relate, the common view is that the arrival of a child will be wonderful, but in fact, it "can be a real shock to the system," she told the Independent.

Russell says while it may look like other women take to motherhood "like a duck to water", this can be deceiving, and often people feel guilty about admitting their true feelings.

She encourages women to share their experiences on parenting forums as well as telling your partner or a family member about it.

Topics:  children, hey mumma, parenting



Ballina's 'leaning tower' set for demolition

GOODBYE TO OLD, HELLO TO NEW: Ballina Marine Rescue's Commander John Donoghue with the old and new towers in the background.

And the Marine Rescue volunteers can't wait to see it go

Better, faster, more powerful: Look at our new cop cars

Highway patrol Sergeant Dave Carter with the new XR8 Falcons which have been delivered to the area. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

"We won't be hiding behind the bushes"

Beer: The big winner at the business awards

WELL DONE: Winners on stage at the Business of the Year announcements at the Lismore Workers Club.

Full list of winners from the Northern Rivers' night of nights

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Storks delivers family fun

A scene from the movie Storks.

ANIMATION can be hit or miss but when it hits, it hits hard.

Nick 'the snake' to call the shots on Survivor jury

Australian Survivor contestant Nick Iadanza.

LATEST evictee is out of the game but will still have a say.

From purr to a roar, Meow Meow is not kitten

ANYTHING IS PAWSIBLE: Acclaimed cabaret star Meow Meow returns to Lismore.

Anything can happen during her local shows this week

Break strings, ho hearts

Ukulele player A. J. Leonard and cellist Jenny Rowling.

Master ukulelist visits this week

More Northern River schools needed to be counted in

John Foreman and Jay Laga'aia at a songwriting workshop earlier this year.

Music - Count Us In will be held in November

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Buyers forking out millions

Owners benefiting from undersupplied Northern Rivers market

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Sunshine Beach property breaks real estate record

The property overlooks Sunshine Beach, as the backyard lawn meets the sand.

Sunshine Beach mansion sale smashes real estate record

New $33 million development planned for Ballina Shire

The site of a proposed seniors living development at Skennars Head.

Plans include 211 homes, clubhouse and recreational facilities

SOLD: Historic hotel finds new owner

Post Office Hotel Grafton

Photo Adam Hourigan / The Daily Examiner

Pub in new hands and heading in a brand new direction