Parents all over the World, calm yourselves. This is not my statement because I don’t actually HAVE any kids.
Nor do I plan to in the future. Ever. I might as well use my womb for carrying around other things, like my phone or my keys as it is never to be an oven in which a bun will bake. Just born without that maternal urge I guess.
So much so it appears, that when I heard a friend say ‘I wish I had never had kids’, it got me thinking. Did they really mean that? So I pushed it a little further.
‘Yeah, but you don’t mean that, right?’ I asked waiting for the usual ‘No of course not, I’m just tired’ response. What I actually got back was:
‘Hell yeah I do! I love my kids, of course I do, but if I could go back in time and NOT have them….sure! NO ONE tells you how hard it is going to be and NO ONE would believe you if they did. I wasn’t prepared for how much I would have to REALLY give up to be a parent’.
They then looked at me, waiting for me to pass judgement, as I’m sure in parenting circles, this kind of statement is somewhat frowned upon. I had no response. Not having any emotional connection to a child (apart from my nephews, which I’m told by parents is not the same as your own), I had no strong reaction to their comment.
‘I mean, you MUST understand, you’ve chosen not to have kids so you must see what I mean’
And I do. You can harp on at me until you are blue in the face about the ‘joys’ of parenting and how rewarding it is and I will STILL be thinking ‘yeah but so is a mojito at the end of a hard day, and sure kids are a blessing, but silence is golden’ and being very happy to return to my toy free, tidy-as-I-left-it house and do whatever I want with my evening.
I 100% understand that just because you want a child doesn’t mean that once it actually happens to you, you are going to enjoy it or even be good at it.
But, I am starting to find that my opinion on children is not one that many others hold, so I went to Facebook and asked a question
“Is it ok to say I wish I had never had kids”
Well, I have since learnt that asking that question is never going to go down well, especially with people that have kids.
‘I dont think its acceptable for someone to say they never had their kids but obviously your guna wonder what life would be like it u hadnt’
‘But if you loved them why would you wish you never had them?‘
To say this was my most popular post would be an understatement, with well over 50 comments from different people. Only two people involved, one of them me, did not have kids however even she was not happy with this statement.
“Ooh no I definitely don’t think it’s acceptable. I understand you may wonder how life may have been different or maybe you wish you’d had them earlier or Later ..But If you actually wish you’d never had your kids then something’s not right! If you didn’t want kids shouldn’t have had them.. It’s easy enough to not get pregnant. That’s how I see it!”
None of the parents seemed able to separate the love from the situation, which is testament to how strong that love must be.
So, I asked another friend of mine who isn’t maternal either but has a baby none the less how she felt about it.
“Look Vik, the thing is, when you have a kid, you can’t stop the love, even if you want to. The worst thing and probably the reason that the parents in your chat were so defensive about it is you can’t imagine hurting your child and if they heard you say that, it would hurt them. But I totally get it. I love my son more than anything and if it was him or me I would give my life for him every time……but if I could push a button and not know any different, well, yeah I would push it”
It made me think about why I wasn’t shocked by it. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE I have asked about this has been shocked and said it is an awful thing to say, but I disagree. WHY is it?
Why is it so horrible to want a life that doesn’t involve being a parent?
I get told (and slightly patronised) by people all the time that say I will never understand parenting unless I have a child. And they are partly right.
So what happens if you bite the bullet, have a baby and then, when it is too late, realise that you can’t cope? You can’t handle it. It’s just not for you. I’ll admit that this is one thought that has come up again and again in my choice to not have children. it’s not a sweater I can return to the shop and ask for my life back if I don’t like it or it doesn’t fit right.
For the people out there that aren’t natural parents, it is a worry.
I think it is perfectly justified to have that emotion and to even say it. I wish I had never had kids. Maybe not to your kids directly, but you should not be chastised or accused of not loving your children just because what came naturally for most didn’t happen for you.
And I also think that fellow parents should be the ones that understand more than anyone. And I bet if you are honest, all parents have thought it at one point or another and not just as a fleeting thought either when their kids are naughty.
I am sure that I will not be a parent in my life and the older I get, the more sure I am that I was not made to be a mother. But if an accident did happen, and I was suddenly a parent, I’m sure that I will think back to a time before kids on a regular basis.
I don’t think that would make me a bad mother, I think it will prove that I am after all, only human and that parenting is hard.
I would like to thank every single person that contributed to the Facebook chat we had the other day regarding this post and I regret that I couldn’t use all of your comments! ❤