Regretting motherhood or regretting not having children

I am 33 years old. I am with the same man since 11 years and we are married almost 2 years. So, the big question: Where are the children??? I get that asked constantly by my friends, who seem to be all busy right now with producing babies.

When I was a teenager I thought I would have 5 children at some point. I was an idiot. Later I reduced it to three children. That seems to be a good number. I have two siblings and we had and have fun together. But back then as a teenager or when I was in my twenties, the thought that followed having so and so many children was also “someday”.

Well, I’m not getting any younger and if I do want to have three children I should start soon, right? But do I actually want children? Lately I am not so sure anymore.

“Regretting motherhood” is a study by Orna Donath in Israel, in which she talked to several women, who, even though they love their kids, also regret having children. They don’t enjoy being mothers and if they could do it all over again, they wouldn’t have children.

When I read about that I got curious. My sister has two children. My niece is three and my nephew one and half years old. I love them. I was never interested in other children before, but with them I love to play, read books, spend time with them. But just for a certain amount of time. Then I get tired or bored. Children that small are not that exciting yet. The games are boring. You can’t play Monopoly with them yet.

So, I started to wonder. Do I want to become a mother. There are certain aspects that sound intriguing, like teaching them horse-riding, baking cakes together, christmas. But there are also the other aspects. Like changing diapers, listening to the crying, worrying about school grades.

I sometimes have the feeling that you give yourself up when you become a parent. The children are then your first priority and nothing else, yourself, doesn’t matter anymore. Of course, I know that this is not entirely true. I see a lot of working moms, who travel, meet friends and have a life next to their children. In Denmark you also have a great supportive system. Fathers get also parent time and you can bring your children with 3 months to child care.

But still I am not sure. I believe that I will never be one of those women, who can say with 100% certainty that they want to become mothers. I will always have doubts. Sometimes I feel I haven’t lived my life enough yet. I haven’t traveled enough, I haven’t had the career yet that I would like to have, I haven’t fulfilled all my dreams yet. And having children would be a big obstacle on fulfilling those dream. I fear I will regret having children.

I also fear regret not having children. Not having a family and everything that comes with it. It’s a difficult decision and I haven’t made up my mind yet. Luckily I still have some time before the clock stops ticking.

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