A poll for parents: if you could go back, would you still choose to have kids?

Inspired by this thread. If you, a parent, could go back and decide not to have kids, would you? I am sure it’s a decision that almost nobody regrets, but surely there is someone out there who wishes he/she didn’t have them in first place. Maybe more hims than hers. Poll is sorted by gender to figure it out!

I couldn’t articulate myself well enough to post in the other thread. It’s difficult to qualify and quantify the changes that having children has brought about.

This is a much easier poll. I would sign up for these kids anytime. I actually wanted a third but it’s too late now.

My kids are grown and married now, and I describe them as my favorite people.

Hubster and I are both falling apart now, and both kids have stepped up to help us out, and never begrudged anything they’ve provided to us.

I cannot imagine doing this whole “Golden Years” business without the love and support of my grown kids. They were definitely my delight and my joy and my heartache when they were growing up, but they have been precious to us as adults.

By the way, I’m definitely interested to hear from people who would change their decision to have kids if they could. If you don’t feel comfortable posting that publicly, though, I understand.

I think I would choose not to have kids if I could make the choice knowing what I know now.

Maybe I should have started by saying that I was born to be a parent and I wanted kids from a very early age and if you asked my kids they’d say I was a really good mom. My fondest life memories include my children and I think they’re all strong smart lovely people…but…

I was blindsided when my husband decided (with three very young children and a brand new mortgage) that marriage and family were not for him. I raised them by myself but that required a huge amount of self sacrifice that I wish I hadn’t had to make.

In retrospect and at least on paper my life would have been better if I hadn’t had children. Maybe I would have been sad and unfulfilled, but the lives of my child free friends make me think not. As much as I love my children, if I had the opportunity to get back those 20 years of struggle and worry and bone deep exhaustion I’d definitely take it.

My only regret is that I didn’t have more children. I know it’s not technically too late but I doubt it will happen unless I am able to adopt one day.

Or if you’d had them with someone else. That’s one of the problems of The What If game, every if takes you to a whole kaboodle of other ifs.

I’d have them again, I’d have an additional one and I’d have them a couple of years earlier.

I don’t regret it and I know I would have never been satisfied with not having any kids, but I do feel guilty about it because I wasn’t in a good position to have a kid when I did. So I don’t know.

I was 31 when my daughter was born, and for medical reasons, I couldn’t have any more kids. In an ideal situation, I’d have married younger and had kids younger, but then I wouldn’t have the life I have now. I admit to great relief when my baby graduated from college and got her first adult job. I was thinking: thank goodness we’re not like my sister. Her kids were 4 year apart, so she had 8 consecutive years of college expenses and both of her kids had to take out loans. Our daughter got a scholarship, plus we’d enrolled her in a prepaid tuition program, so all we had to deal with were books and living expenses. She’s employed and debt-free, except for her car payment.

So in my fantasy world, I’d have had at least one more child, but in reality, I think things worked out just fine.

I wouldn’t have them. It’s hard to explain why. I like 'em fine and it’s not like I’d be doing anything more interesting without them (in fact I’d probably be dead somewhere in the Middle East by now), but I’m keenly aware of my shortcomings and failings as a human. And while self-awareness can be a source of strength, in my case it’s just an awareness that I lack the ability to teach them how to be vicious and resourceful enough to survive in this world. I’ve spawned prey and I hope they can forgive me.

I wish I’d had more kids. I could still have more, I’m only 34 – but there would be a huge age difference. Plus I’m on track to have PandaKid out of the house in another 6-8 years which will give me time to enjoy my 40s. I’m too tired to start all over again with a new baby.

But yeah. I wish I’d had more :frowning:

Never would want to change. We had the right number at the right time, which was under our control pretty much, and we hit it lucky in the genetics jackpot which wasn’t. I won’t say that I’ve never been frustrated by them, but I’ve never regretted having them for a second.

I have two “only” children and love the age difference. My kids are 11 years apart and I had time for both of them. They never fought and my daughter looks up to her older brother like a father and he is so protective of her it amazes me. I see the age difference as a benefit.

As for the poll, I would do it all again. They are the two people I love and admire most in this world. My life would be sorely lacking without having met them.

My only regret is not putting every spare dime in a 529 account!

Not necessarily - it’s one of those things that are almost impossible to get accurate statistics on, but it is far from rare for parents to regret having kids.

If I could do things over, I would definitely still have kids, but I would have them at a younger age. I’m old to be a father. But that’s just the way life turned out.

I absolutely would, and it was not a decision we took lightly. We were childless by choice for almost 10 years. Now the issue is whether to have a second one, which right now I can’t imagine but at the same time we’re not getting any younger so I feel like the longer we wait, the less of a chance there is of it happening. I’m definitely happy with our choice to at least have one, though.

And probably most parents who ever regret it don’t always regret it. There can be a lot of ups and downs over the course of raising a kid, and I would guess it’s very common to have some regrets sometimes.

I have no regrets. I only have two, but they’re 17 months apart and the first few years were tough.

They’re getting into the teen years now and things are easier in some ways, but tougher in other ways. Their independence is great, but sometimes I miss cuddling on the couch watching a movie with them. Or the way I could make them shriek with laughter when they were little.

Now they basically ignore me unless they want something, it seems. But it’s all phases, and before I know it they’ll be adults living their separate lives, and then hopefully I can cuddle with the grand-kids and make them shriek.

The circle of life.