Monday, 4 July 2016

Regret

The " Big Bundle of fun" that is Vanessa Feltz has turned out to be a rather insightful interviewer.
I listened to her this afternoon interviewing a 30 year old woman who demanded a sterilization on the nhs because she knew she didn't want children ever! 
The woman was articulate and unwavering in her beliefs, yet I thought it interesting that the woman's own mother had requested a sterilization which she had requested a reversal so that she could bare children from a second marriage.
Feltz explored the fact that the interviewee's upbringing was poorly parented .  The woman's father had also comitted suicide and it was incredibly sad to hear the woman admit that her own mother regretted having any children.
I wonder if the regret of having children is ever real? Ok if your son turned out to be Jeffrey Dahmer the seriel killer then you may furnish some disappointment in the decision , but then , it is widely thought that seriel killers are bred and not just happen.........
Oh dear I've opened a can of worms in my head.

How many people out there planned their kids?
How many are brave enough to say that they regretted that decision?

104 comments:

  1. Life without my son and then his family is quite unthinkable. But I would respect anyone who felt otherwise. It is easy to say that one doesn't want children - but the feeling of love one gets the moment after a child of yours is born and put into your arms is quite unlike any other feeling in the world.

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    1. I shall never know

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    2. When you take in a helpless animal into your home and nuture it and it thrives and you worry about its welfare and feelings, that is very close...

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    3. I disagree.. But i do have to accept that dogs are my babies

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  2. I only "planned" one of my four. The rest were surprises. The one I planned (or "consciously conceived" in hippie-speak) was the most difficult pregnancy and child of all. When I got pregnant accidentally after that one, I cried when I passed that pregnancy test. I never failed a pregnancy test. BUT- that surprise baby turned out to be the easiest joy ever. And the difficult child is now grown up and mother of three of my grandchildren. She is one of my best friends in the world and her children are my delight and joy. So- you never know. And no, I don't regret any of mine.

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    1. Consciously conceived? There's positive thinking!

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  3. My mother told me never to have children one afternoon. She was troubled. I was not very old. I was frightened. It effected me for the rest of my life. It still troubles me and I never had children. I had pregnancies, but I never had children. I will take it to my grave.

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    1. That statement was as sad as it is beautiful

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  4. I wanted the home the family the dog the cat (s) and I've had my wish come true.

    At one point it was looking bleak for me to have a second child - we lived in Spain then & I remember telling the Spanish consultant after he mentioned a hysterectomy " but I want another child ! " and I did have my lovely Joe.

    I have heard of many men having vasectomies reversed for a second marriage - can you reverse a sterilisation ?

    I have been blessed and appreciate it every single day xx

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    1. Apparantly they can be reversed but its incredibly dfficult

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  5. I had four, the first three carefully planned. The fourth was a surprise, and only 19 months after the third. At the time, I was not thrilled. Now, 32 years later, the view is very different. Much pain, many tears, but no regrets.

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    1. I'm perhaps now thinking regret is a rarity

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  6. I don't have any children, as planned. Friends of mine who have kids have never expressed regret at becoming mothers. They've, of course, admitted that the parental road is not all paved with gold, but that's certainly not an admission of regret.

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    1. Yes.......regret with a small r

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  7. We planned and wanted both of our children. I know of other couples who desperately want(ed) children and went through (and are still going through) many ordeals in order to have them. My children define so much of who I am. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, if done correctly. I am so enjoying watching them reach adulthood and journeying through their lives.
    Funnily enough, my eldest sibling was a "surprise" causing my parents to marry, and I (the youngest) was also a "surprise", something my parents revealed to me when I was in my late teens. I guess they only really wanted the middle two! (ha) -Jenn

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  8. I don't have any children, as planned. Friends of mine who have kids have never expressed regret at becoming mothers. They've, of course, admitted that the parental road is not all paved with gold, but that's certainly not an admission of regret.

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    1. What about you bea? Any regrets?

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    2. I regret that my comment posted twice for some odd reason. I have no regrets other than, perhaps, knowing 100% that I would have made a shit parent, and feeling I could have done nothing to change that fact.

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  9. I never wanted children, I knew that right from when I was a child. And I've never regretted my decision. Have had a few people (all women) who couldn't understand how or why I could ever feel that way.

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    1. same here, dear. I come from an abusive home and KNOW I have those same tendencies. I never wanted the responsibility 24/7/365 of another person. I got "fixed" at age 35 due to cancer; no regrets, no apologies.

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    2. Understandable totally x

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  10. I (sort of knew) someone who probably wanted children but had cancer and lost that chance. So she adopted dogs. Of course, like some people do, she went overboard and had a houseful of dogs but at least she was able to indulge her maternal / care giving qualities on needy pups.
    I was surprised with my first child ( ran away , got married, who knew you could get pregnant too ?! lol) and wanted and hoped for the second one and both have turned out to be just what any parent would want.
    So you really never can figure these things out or even plan .. you know what they say, you plan and you plan then Life happens.

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  11. I knew as a 17 year old that I didn't want to have children. I haven't and I've never regretted it, ever (I'm 60 now). I'm a high school teacher, really love my job and don't dislike children - I just never wanted any of my own.

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    1. I am reminded of jennifer jones in GOOD MORNING MISS DOVE

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    2. I resent folk who assume that I dislike children because I chose not to parent. The two positions aren't mutually exclusive.

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    3. I pretty much resent anyone who gives an un asked for opinion on whether or not anyone has a child or not. There are some things that a person can keep to themselves.

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  12. The first - planned. Second - he planned. Third - he planned, I was furious. The fourth - complete accident. Fifth - planned. Never regretted any of them until their adulthood, just sayin'

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  13. Totally unplanned....only had the one but ever so glad i did... My mom.... had two sons totally planned... then me...her daughter came along as a complete surprise when she was 38.... and my brothers were all but raised... Was she happy about it ?? I don't know you'd have to ask her... we haven't spoken in over 20 years.....pssst... i'm 49 now

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    1. She may leave a post here!

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  14. I regret killing the egret.

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    1. You would! Did you bore it to death over a pint?

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  15. since i was a little girl - i wanted a husband and children. but i joined the military at 17 and had a good 10+yrs run in that career. got out of the military and got a really good gov paying job - people called me a feminist. i was NEVER a feminist. at 30 i met the love of my life, my husband...and i tried for the last 15 yrs to give him a baby. we won't get checked out to find out who is "screwy" because we both know it is me. for a few years we thought about fostering or adopting...but we take in every stray animal that crosses our paths...seems we are cat people and not dog people.

    if i was younger i would do anything to give my man a baby. but we have both decided that since i am already entering menopause (sorry for too much info) - that we probably just weren't meant for children. or something.

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    1. crap! i missed the whole point of what i was trying to say - and that is - that we would not have lived the life that we lived together this past 15 yrs if children were involved. we wanted them - oh yes - sooo much - but we never could have had the life that we have and enjoy so much now if we had children.

      we might have even divorced or something.

      but we are still together and love our lives. does any of this make sense in answer to your post?

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    2. Very much so........see below x

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  16. I never wanted children, never produced any, and have absolutely no regrets.

    Sterilization isn't the answer.....but there are times when I almost think it's a good idea.....

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    1. I have wondered in recent years jon what would have happened if we had had kids.....
      Divorce me thinks

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  17. As a tangent, I'm in OC staying with a friend who just lost a grandchild to suicide. Her grief is one of the most profound things I've ever witnessed.
    I doubt many parents regret having children, not sure 'brave' has anything to do with it.
    I know my three have brought much joy and occasional exasperation and rarely anger, but overall, like most parents, I'd do it again in a New York minute.
    Cheers John.
    PS did you get my email re professor US vs UK?

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    1. I did mike , apologies for not replying..it made me smile.......

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  18. Lou wasn't planned. I thought to myself that I wanted a different challenge from all the wilderness hiking that I was doing at that time in my life. I certainly got one.xx

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  19. Lou wasn't planned. I thought to myself that I wanted a different challenge from all the wilderness hiking that I was doing at that time in my life. I certainly got one.xx

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    1. I guess most people " give it a go" like most things in life... And why not eh?

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  20. Funny. I was just wondering yesterday that if I had planned my kids (well, actually the 2nd was planned), would I ever have gotten around to having any? What's prompting this is the fact that we've been pet-less for the past year and can't seem to decide whether to take on the responsibility again.

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    1. Humm pets..... Ive had 109 kids in 10 years then

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  21. I went from "I'm a feminist and I'll have more important plans for my life" to "I must have a child, now" in one single day. I cannot really explain what happened, I just 'knew' it. It was quite a job to convince the unsuspecting future father, though. The child is now wonderfully grown up and a delight to all, we all truly enjoyed the parenting years, they have defined us and made us grow into the people we are now.
    But only the one, I never felt that urge again.

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    1. Sabine, this is the arguement the medics reflected on the woman in the interview
      Things can change drastically

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  22. None of my Catholic parents ten children were planned. (I'm number 6).

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    1. Bet you were glad... I would have loved 9 siblings.....

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    2. We're actually all very close and get on well together (age range 46 - 66).

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    3. Have you a photo of you all..it would be great to see one

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  23. Both of ours were planned. As an only child i hated the thought of only having one child myself, and happily we have two amazing daughters. I regard being a mum as the best job in the world and love the fact that we decided that I would stay at home and look after them (husband earns loads more than I ever could). We may not live in the biggest house or have the most flash car but we have got two sensational young ladies, with good social consciences and excellent manners. Oh, and they both have their parents ability to rip the piss out of anybody! No regrets.

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    1. Yes if i ever had a child i would want two!
      Thats because i was and am a twin

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    2. I would have loved twins, we have loads in our family, but it must have skipped my generation. Do you and your twin ever have any of those strange "feelings" when the other one is in pain or danger etc?

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  24. Having a child never entered my mind; it was only in the last few years, of course, that one could hope to create a safe and predictable legal framework for two dads to have one, after all. Even so, I'm not terribly paternal (although I've had some success being avuncular).

    I suppose my parents also shaped my thinking. My mother's adult life, I believe, was a careful exercise in managing her overwhelming regret, not that she had children, but that she married (and to my less-than-sparkling father). It's not even so much married as that - unlike with her mother and her grandmother - he didn't then promptly die. She was raised in an all female and quite matriarchal environment, and my father's stubborn longevity I think came as something of a surprise.

    She was mostly quite fond of us four children, but it's hard for that kind of marital regret not to spill over into family life in general. In those days divorce was simply not a possibility, so she soldiered on until the end. They were married 57 years, and he announced his engagement at her funeral (and therein lies a tale or seven).

    But, as others have noted, we do have dogs, and dote upon them.

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    1. I understand totally...totally
      Dogs mean that you have cheerful 6 year olds for ten years

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  25. My only child, a daughter was considered a "honeymoon baby". I think it had something to do with that soft Welsh water :)
    She has been the greatest blessing, I couldn't imagine life without her beauty. I didn't consider having more children until later in life, and then it seemed too much of an age gap.
    ~Jo

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    1. Inwondered if you would comment jo
      Glad you did x

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  26. I wanted children and had 4, best thing I ever did.

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  27. As soon as I had my son I knew I did not want any more children and if I could have my life over I would choose not to have children. Made my husband have the snip, that was in the early 70's. In those days they would only do it if you had two children but after talking to me for less then 10 minutes the consultant agreed to do the op.

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    1. Interesting veronica can you explain why?

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    2. Yes I realised, too late, I really don't like children and my 45yr old son doesn't like them either so thank whoever I will never be a Grandmother.

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    3. I can understand totally...i have to liken it to dog owning...i hate puppies x

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  28. I never wanted children, I loved my single life. But my little accident is 30 years old now and I wouldn't have missed those years for anything. We don't always know what's best for us when we plan our lives.

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  29. I think your final sentence underlines the entire entry
    Thank you

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  30. I'm 51 and never wanted kids. I have no regrets and have loved the life I've had so far.

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  31. We definitely planned for our two sons who are now adults. I adore being a mom, and we see them often since both guys live in our city. Yay.

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  32. Just wiping banana off my patio window but wouldn,t have it any other way. Children are in their 6o's, grandchildren rising 4O, gt.grandchildren near-adults and all doing their best to make me proud. I did at one time wish I had gone in for cream carpets instead of children but things improved and, looking back, the outcome has been wonderful. (Gt.gt.grandchildren are my extra blessing)

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    1. Bananas on the window
      The title of a great blog

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  33. No children here. And plenty of regrets. Despite knowing that I would not have been a good mother. The right decision, but the regrets linger.

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  34. Planned for all of ours and I'd love to keep going (but not allowed to!).
    There are simpler methods of birth control that aren't that hard to implement surely, and less risky than an operation like that. The man having the snip for one, I know many that have had that done and the risks are far lower.

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  35. Deep post by the way. Made me think.

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  36. Me too kev.....been thinging about this for an age

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  37. I have four children and have never regretted having them. But sometimes when I travel to the city I feel guilty for having four children when I am faced with the picture of over crowding and what that must be doing for our planet.

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  38. Thats just questioning !
    We all do that

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  39. We have one, now 36 y.o. son, declared by the obstretitian to be "impossible" as I was seriously infertile. A great joy, and never repeated miracle, and now his 14 monther is another delight. Must admit being a grandparent is way more fun than parenting... You have time to enjoy it. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, and a huge responsibility.

    Moreover, if I could be God for a day, I'd put birth control in the water, and no one would get pregnant until I was satisfied they'd cope... Stories of abused, or unloved children bring me to tears all to frequently.

    Thanks for making me think, John!

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    1. Thank you for making this comment

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  40. I have 2 children from separate relationships both planned both loved but if I had my time again then the answer would be no; however in all honesty I'm not sure I would be the same person that I've become if I hadn't been a parent

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  41. Mid 40s, no kids, never wanted any. I'm the youngest of three, and my parents have no grandkids to show for it. No regrets, but I do sometimes wonder who's going to pick out my nursing home.

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  42. My mother had two children, planned and within wedlock. I know that my mother loves me as much as a person can love another, and thinks I'm just really an awesome person, apart from being her daughter. But I have serious health problems, likely inherited on my father's side, and have suffered a lot through my life. I wanted very much to have children when I was younger, but I realised that I could not risk passing my unhealthy genes on to another person, and watch them suffer. My mother has admitted to me that if she knew then what she knows now, she would not have had children. Even though she loves me so much, she would rather have spared my suffering as well as the good things in my life. She finds herself very glad that she does not have grandchildren to worry about in the state of the world these days.

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  43. I planned my four and my only regret is that I didn't space them out more. The first three were born with two years between, then the fourth was born after #3 turned four. I think the longer gap is far better. Even three years instead of two.

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  44. One child, serious post natal depression bordering on psychosis so decide to have tubes tied. I had to see a shrink first because I was 23 and he asked what happens if your child dies. I said a child can never be replaced, they are unique, he said, sanest person I've seen all day and signed the papers. 24 years later beautiful son was killed in a work accident but I was right, he could never be replaced.

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    1. I worked on a mother and baby unit when i was a psychiatric nurse

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  45. Sadly, my experience was very similar to Rachel's. So troubling to hear one's mum say such a thing to you as a young girl. Discovered in my late 30's I could have never conceived even if I had wanted to do so. In a strange twist of fate I ended up with three grown up step-children who can be both wonderful and God awful by degree. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it. X

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  46. Our two were planned and no regrets. And I wouldn't be who I am without the experience of parenting.

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  47. I would have liked five, but ended up with just three.

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  48. I fell in love with and married a man 17 years older than me who had never wanted kids. And then, a couple of years in and happily married (when I was hitting my mid 30s) it occurred to me that we ought to talk about it at least once just to make sure before it was too late....I never got around to it because around that time he was diagnosed with cancer and my only concern was getting him well. Five years later I'm just grateful he's healthy and cancer free. I'm 41 now, and he's 57, so I think it's safe to say that for us, that ship has sailed. And I'm ok with that. It makes me a tiny bit sad sometimes, and of course you wonder about the road not taken, but doesn't everyone? That's just life.

    And dogs are pretty nice to have, too. :)

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  49. i was very unwanted child , sprung upon my mother by my crafty dad taking advantage of her when she had the flu . A tale she always told very loudly whenever she got the chance. I managed 2 children who im afraid ive mothered to death , plus a grandchild produced on my daughters 16th birthday because she didnt want to be 35 and desperate ...lifes a funny old thing

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  50. Am perfectly happy that my genes have not been passed on. Mind you I have 11 gorgeous nieces and nephews so perhaps they have in an indirect kind of way. My only regret is that some, and I emphasise the word 'some', folks who have children seem to think they are superior to those that have none. We're all human and we all make choices and/or live with the choices presented to us.

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  51. The only times I regretted it was during the 'sleepless nights' stage. My son hardly slept between the ages of 2-5. For me they were 'The Zombie Years'.

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  52. I used to wonder what I would have become if I had never had my 2 children. Then I decided it really didn't matter because I created and raised 2 wonderful people who are doing the same..talk about immortality!!!

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  53. I don't have kids and at 50 am very glad that people have stopped asking me about it. Don't have the urge. Got clucky for about five minutes when my middle niece was at the cute sitting up but not crawling stage, but it passed as quickly as it had arrived. Truly was for a few minutes on one day. My dogs aren't my kids, they are my dogs, as essential to me as life. I can guess that is how people see their kids too but for me it is an incomprehensible emotion. I feel weird even seeing people coo over other people's babies, though I will coo over a puppy or lamb with the best of them. :) My mum too said if she could have her life over she wouldn't have kids, but have no idea what she'd do without me now. I see my sister have a lot of heartache over hers but presume she wouldn't wish them away now they are here. Hubby says he believes in the matriarchal line and his sister has kids so he's off the hook. :D

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  54. My husband and I planned ours to the nth degree and battled to have our kids against infertility odds.There is absolutely no way I regret having had my children. My husband committed suicide. I don't think a parent's suicide is evidence of poor parenting .

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  55. No children, neither of us ever wanted them, so no regrets, and never have had.
    We were both only children born to our mothers late in life. My husband was smothered by his unbelievably possessive snobbish mother, who only allowed him to marry so that she could have grandchildren to boast about. I had a distant, controlling father, a mother who was always out socialising, and played at being a good mother when she felt like it. She had emotional problems, and I never knew what mood she'd be in. Materially I wanted for nothing, but there was little love, understanding or freedom, and I would never have wished that on any child.

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  56. Didn't plan my two at all, and if I had my time over I would most definitely would NOT have children. But I loved them from the minute I held them and bringing them up was a fun filled time. And I love and admire the men they have grown into.

    Me and LH would definitely NOT have children together ... hell we can't even agree on how to bring up the dogs!! ;-)

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  57. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  58. We didn't plan our only one and went on to adopt another. Natural daughter is sooo much like her dad and, it turns out, our chosen son is very much like me. How perfect is that! They are treated equally. My blood line ends with my daughter as she has chosen not to have children which is a decision we respect even though it makes me sad at times. We are so very proud of them both.

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  59. I am sure that Vanessa is lovely but I absolutely cannot stand her false chirpy chippy voice. I switch the radio off as soon as I hear her.

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  60. I have 2 children, only ever wanted 2, I wanted a boy first and then a girl and that is what I got... however, now looking back I wish I had 5 or 6 more.. I miss my kids not being at home but I am happy they are great kids living their own lives. Ironically though I don't really like other peoples kids.

    Jo in Auckland, NZ

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  61. My first was planned, my second was a surprise, with a few panicked moments, but not a second of regret. We decided to try for another with a few slight reservations, but time was a marching. Unfortunately the next pregnancy resulted in a relatively late miscarriage, but solidified the idea that the only thing I will ever regret about having children is not having another. I am now 30 weeks pregnant and very happy about it. Well, I regret the heartburn, lack of sleep and a little nudger drop kicking my bladder...

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