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If I Had to Do it Again, I Wouldn't Have Kids

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Sometimes I wish I didn't have my daughter. Not because I don't love her, but because I love her so much.

mother and daughter
Momlogic's Momstrosity: A new study, from people who study these kind of things, says that  "parents often report statistically significantly lower levels of happiness, life satisfaction, marital satisfaction, and mental well-being compared with non-parents." I'm sorry but I have to agree.

OK before you throw me to the "Mommy Blogger" wolves, hear me out. 

When it comes to raising children, I believe the reason for all the discontent is this: Dual income families Simply. Don't. Work.

Most working parents -- myself included -- barely get to see their kids in the morning before they're rushing off to their jobs. I don't know anyone who has sit down breakfast with their family before starting their day. Leaving my 3-year-old every morning kills me -- when she's following me out the door asking me to have a tea party. It's like everyday "Cat's in the Cradle" is my morning theme music. "Thanks for the ball Mom, come on let's play, Can you teach me to throw," I said. "Not today I got a lot to do" She said. "That's OK." Yeah, I changed the lyrics a bit.

By the time we get home and make dinner (again because of our schedules it's rare that we all eat together), and do bath and story time, there's little time for anything else. So, most  parents try to rack up some quality time on the weekend -- AFTER they've got all the cleaning, laundry and errands done in preparation for the new week.

Speaking for myself, this relentless schedule often makes my family, each in our own way, stressed, tired, guilt-ridden, resentful or simply put: unhappy. For me personally, it makes me sad that due to my present circumstances (both my husband and I must work to make ends meet) I am not able to meet my child's needs or my own.

But how would I know any of this before I had kids? I couldn't. So don't tell me I should've thought of all of this before I got myself preggo.

Case in point: When I was pregnant, friends explained to me about childcare. It sounded good to me. My husband and I would still be able to work on our careers and our baby would be taken care of by others during the day. In theory, it sounded fine. Because to me, my unborn daughter was a stranger and I had no problem with putting a stranger in day care. But the moment I met my daughter that all changed. As my love for my daughter continues to grow  my heart aches every day for all the things I wish she and I could be doing together. And sometimes the pain is just too great.

Now when friends who are debating whether to have kids ask me if I am content with my decision, I tell them this:

1) If both you and your partner must have dual full time careers: Don't have kids.

2) If neither of you want to be the stay-at-home dad or the stay-at-home mom:  Don't have kids.

Life simply runs smoother with the traditional family -- even if mom's the one with the briefcase and dad's in the apron. 

It's just my opinion of course - what's yours?

To discuss this topic visit the momlogic community.


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40 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen April 7, 2009, 12:50 PM

This article makes me sad for the author. I agree 100% with this article and I am extremely thankful that I have always been able to stay home with our girls. We love it so much that we even homeschool them because we want our family to be together.

MarMar April 7, 2009, 1:11 PM

I agree with her schedule issues - I have the same problems. I’m a working divorced mom and her working father sees her on weekends. But the truth of the matter is, in today’s world, it seems like her scenario would only result in the fairly wealthy having children. Because I will tell you now, if you are lower-to-middle class, you need both of those jobs, and neither spouse has the luxury of supporting even just the other, much less alone an extra mouth to feed. So only the wealthy could afford to do this - and probably end up in poverty themselves once they tried. Solutions anybody? Because I’d love to be able to have more time and energy for my little girl, too.

anonymous April 7, 2009, 1:14 PM

I can feel your pain. I wish every day that I could stay home with my son, but it’s just not feasible.

TriniG. April 7, 2009, 1:30 PM

I can’t believe you are saying you wish you never had kids just because motherhood is hard work.
I have never, ever thought for one minute that I wish I never my kids.
I feel sorry for yours.

v April 7, 2009, 1:31 PM

I totally understand the readers point of view. I am a single mom and I work really hard to provide a good life for my son and myself. Between the 10 hours (minimum) i spend at work, cooking, cleaning and the running around for school supplies or groceries or whatever else we may need I am tired!!! I feel like a horrible person when I want to take a nap on Sundays and my son wants to go to the park. I just can’t do it all!!!! I wouldn’t trade my son for all the money in the world- but I would trade all that money for the quality time I have in my dreams. You know what i’m talking about- making the same amount of money while only working 9-3 so I can pick up and drop my son at school and still be home in time to watch tv and play a board game!

Jen April 7, 2009, 1:32 PM

Andrea, you were brave to write this because many people will be offended by it, but you have offered very good advice. This is advice more people need to hear. If both parents are full-time working parents, their babysitters will spend more quality time with them than the parents will. It’s hard on the parents and the children. The traditional situation is the best one, where one parent is a full-time at home parent, and often times that’s the best sacrifice even if you think you can’t afford it. Often times that means less luxuries and a smaller home, but it’s worth it for a happy family.

For those of you looking to find more time, my suggestion is to keep up with the chores throughout the week. Maybe do a load of laundry before you go to sleep. Maybe you could also prioritize the kids over the chores and let the house be a little messy. Not dirty, but not perfect. Many kids like helping do chores, also. You can make fun games out of it.

Alice April 7, 2009, 1:42 PM

I could have written this article. Leaving my children in the morning crushes me. I have a great career, and I leave my kids with my mother during the day. They could not be getting better care. But still, if we could afford it, I would give up everything that I have worked for career-wise in an instant.

BT April 7, 2009, 1:46 PM

Andrea, shut up and deal—and stop whining. You really don’t seem to have it so bad. If you (or your spouse) really want to stop working, then adjust your lifestyle so you can stop. Regretting your life as such is pointless and counterproductive, not to mention potentially harmful to your child. Buck up and look for the things you can be grateful for, such as a daughter you “love so much.”

cathy April 7, 2009, 1:47 PM

i’m not offended, but “if both paren’t have to work, DON’T HAVE KIDS????are you serious. we both work and have 2 boys are things are fine, yes our youngest is in daycare, but we get a long fine, it would be the same as if he was in school. i wish sometimes that i could stay home, but i want them to know its okay to be a strong woman and they can do whatever they want.

Jen April 7, 2009, 2:08 PM

Cathy, your kids don’t go to school 12 months out of the year, so they require babysitters when they’re on breaks from school. The years you have with them before they’re adults are only 18 years. It flies by quickly. Especially because once they’re teenagers they will be more interested in hanging out with their friends than their parents. Also, you can be a strong woman as a full time mother. A mother who works outside the home isn’t necessarily stronger.

90,000/year, 6 kids. April 7, 2009, 2:26 PM

Eh. Your just not living your stated priorities. Fix your life to reflect what you say you value and then you’ll be happy with your decision to have kids. Then, the advice you give your friends will read more honestly.

Your points are true and correct, except that there *is* something you can do to line up your reality with your dreams.

If you need the income, you can take in laundry, clean others’ houses, etc. These are rather unglamorous jobs, but they bring in a paycheck and can be done with kids in tow.

Refreshing to see someone actually say that a parent needs to be at home with the kids.

Kristen April 7, 2009, 2:32 PM

I guess what I don’t understand is why the author can’t stay home. If she is paying for childcare, eating out, clothes for work, gas to get there….that all adds up to A LOT of money that you wouldn’t have to spend if you stayed home.
I stay home with my kids we make under 60,000 a year and we still save almost 20% of our paycheck, so I guess I don’t understand what everyone spends their money on.

anymous April 7, 2009, 3:40 PM

I stay at home and it does mean sacrafices financially. We don’t eat out or travel, unless it is camping. I don’t shop. My husband takes a lunch to work. My kids get clothes a couple times a year and they are not fancy. Basically you make a budget and make it work. It’s funny how traditional is now exotic and scary where leaving your kids behind was once considered scary.The truth is if your dream was to stay at home you would.

cathy April 7, 2009, 4:17 PM

jen, i wasn’t saying that stay at home mom’s weren’t strong women. i think like all mom, people have different strengths. if i could stay at home i would, nothing would make me happier, you….luckily, can afford it. we can’t, BUT we can afford our children, the things the want, need, and we all have time together. and to anonymous…..even if we did budget i wouldn’t be able to stay home…..your situation may be tight, but if i ormy husband stayed home our bills wouldn’t get paid, not that we have alot of debt, but we have bills and a mortgage, and all that fun stuff. even though you have a budget consider yourself lucky to be able to stay home with your children. you don’t know other people’s money situations so how dare you say that if i really wanted to be a stay at home mom i would. you have no idea

Julie April 7, 2009, 4:51 PM

I agree…it really depends on where you live. Maybe you live in a place you can make it on one income but I don’t. I wish I did but the median home price here is $500,000. One income is not an option.

anonymous April 7, 2009, 5:48 PM

Then move. I actually live in Southern CA, however, and I dare to say you can do it, if you want to, because my husband is a teacher. So we do not make oodles of money.It is not as difficult as people want to make it out to be. They want the material comfort more then they want to stay home. Get a smaller house,rent, have one car…figure it out.

Jen April 7, 2009, 6:53 PM

Cathy, in your first comment you stated, “i wish sometimes that i could stay home, but i want them to know its okay to be a strong woman and they can do whatever they want.” I understood that to mean that you choose working outside the home because you want to set a example to your boys that women who work outside the home are strong and free - as though women who are full time, at home moms who aren’t(?). However, in your comment which followed you contradicted yourself claiming you only work outside the home because you don’t have the choice. I’m confused by your responses. Wouldn’t your sacrifice to commit yourself to the full time rearing of your children be the best example? Most full time mothers make sacrifices to do so because their children are their priorities above expensive fashions, expensive cars, and luxuries like weekly facials and pedicures, and weekly spa days. I honestly think less marriages would end in divorce if more people thought family first over luxuries. It seems like everyone wants to be rich and look rich, and that’s more important than being a committed parent and spouse. It’s sad.

SAHM April 7, 2009, 8:20 PM

Can’t make ends meet??? I stay home with my 3 children. My husband makes less thand $35k a year. WE have a hard time making ends meet…..and that’s without luxuries like cable/satellite tv, cars less than 10 years old, cell phones, etc.

FSS April 7, 2009, 9:58 PM

I think you need some therapy to work out some issues. It appears that you are depressed and do not know how to make the most of the time you have with your child. You certainly are not in touch with reality. Get a grip.

Anonymous April 8, 2009, 12:39 AM

Make it work. If you really want to stay home with your kids,you can do it. Get a smaller house, have only one car, etc.

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