A friend of mine sent me a Yahoo article where a mom opens up about all the reasons she regrets being a mother. The title alone will send some shockwaves through you, or, perhaps you are like the author and you will be privately or publicly agreeing with the mom before you even read it.
For those of you who haven’t read it, you can do so here.
But a quick summary is that this mother thinks if there is a God, but she doesn’t believe there is, she imagines He gave her an autistic son as punishment for wanting a child for “all the wrong reasons.” I’m pretty sure, He doesn’t work that way but I agree the reasons were probably not the best. Such as, because her husband had a child with another woman prior to her and because she wanted to fulfill the perfect Facebook family model.
I can’t even blame her for the reasons why she wanted a child even though at my age I can see the flaws in that line of thinking. I can tell you I’m relieved that she assures readers she loves her son now that he is here. Heaven knows there are enough parents out there who don’t. BUT, and there is a big but coming here, she wishes she didn’t have a child. And not because her son is autistic, thankfully. But because she wishes she could live in New York carefree whilst meeting men, writing, and being a Sex in the City-type single gal.
Part of me is judging this mom harshly and part of me is thinking she’s likely not alone. In fact, I know several grown women who don’t want to have children. The thing is, they decided that PRIOR to having a child and so there is no harm whatsoever in that line of thinking. But after you’ve had a child, it’s too late to say, “Hey, I think I just want to live a carefree, single lifestyle!”
There is also a part of me that looked deep inside myself and asked that question: Do I regret having children? Am I shocked and offended by this because I feel guilty in any way?
No. I absolutely do not regret having children.
As all moms know, motherhood is not easy. Go back through my posts or follow me on social media, or on Operation Innocence, and you’ll see just a handful of the difficulties I’ve been through as a mom. Having to give up my dream home, my desire to travel at whim, and two careers to be a mom are some of the more mild difficulties we’ve endured.
But the thing is, my initial reaction was to judge this mom when we have enough judgment in this world and I do feel terrible for that. Maybe what I’m more upset by is that the idea of wishing you didn’t have children AFTER THE FACT rather than deciding these things beforehand is becoming socially acceptable and that leads to all kinds of issues in our society with abuse and abortion being just two of them. But maybe there are other parents out there who are feeling the same way and wish they had an outlet to speak about it.
And maybe I’m just one of the lucky ones.
Maybe the fact that having children made me a significantly better person than I was before is not something every mom is able to say. Maybe that I have found ways to accomplish some of my dreams, albeit not all of them, now that I’m a mother is not the case for other women.
The thing is, and this is what I hope to impart on other moms who have made it this far into my blog post, is that being a mom doesn’t mean you have to give up on all of your dreams.
Okay, the part where you travel at whim, live carefree in the city and meet men probably has to go. But as a young mom, I used to believe people when they told me I had to drop out of college because being a parent and going to school was “selfish” of me. I gave up a dream job as a police officer because it was “selfish” of me. I left the military because someone told me that is what a mom should do. I married someone I shouldn’t have because I was told being a single mom was the worst thing I could do.
It took me years to realize that I can – and SHOULD – accomplish my dreams while showing my children to go after theirs. Is there is a line to be drawn? Of course. Will you sacrifice things you wanted desperately? Yes – like being a news anchor who worked evenings. Will you do things you don’t want to do because it’s what’s best for your children? All. The. Time.
But having children is the start of a wonderful life. Not the end of one.
For all the moms out there who regret having children, I hope that you are able to find your dreams and that they coincide with what I believe is the best calling in life.