One of the most heartbreaking things that ever happened to me was hearing the honest truth about parenting from one of my dearest friends.
She broke down to me one night and confessed that she wished she never had her six-year-old daughter. It wasn’t that she didn’t love that bundle of joy, it was that she didn’t like who she was when she was around her. Her pregnancy was an accident, and her then-husband encouraged her to keep the child.
“She deserves someone better than me,” she said, while tears streamed down her face. For the first time I noticed that she had bags under her eyes and her skin was blotchy. I have known her for more than a decade and never noticed that about her.
I was completely shocked. I’ve never put much thought into having kids, but I never shot it down. For me, parenthood was something sacred. It was a special bond between a parent and their own flesh and blood. It was impossible to regret your children, right? It was something my wonderful mother reminded me all the time.
That being said, I do remember coming across articles that wrote about how the joy of parenting is all a farce.
For instance, researchers from the University of Waterloo in Canada, said, “The motivation to rationalize the costs of parenting apparently not only increases parents’s idealization of parenthood, but also leads them to believe that spending time with their children is more rewarding than other activities. This belief then motivates parents to want to spend more time with their children.”
As my candid conversation with my friend came to a close, she brought to my attention a Facebook group called “I Regret Having Children.” She told me she anonymously posted about how she’s felt depressed ever since she had her daughter, and all the things she regrets about motherhood.
When she left, I found that page, and the dozens of anonymous posts I read shook me to the core.