One morning you come to find out you or your significant other is pregnant. For most people, this is a moment of pure bliss and joy but for others, it’s a scary scenario of uncertainty and fear. You might think an abortion is an option but if you’re the guy and the girl decides to keep it, or you live in a country where an abortion is illegal, well, then you’re done. Most of the times these parents regret having these children… But what kind of creatures does parental regret create? How does this influence our youth? And most important of all; is it for the worse?
Since mothers have opened up about the repentance of their motherhood, you never know which “happy family” isn’t that happy behind closed doors. In one study administered between 2002 and 2003 by the US-health department of Health and Human Services, 97% of 7000 women agreed with the statement: “The rewards of being a parent is worth it despite the cost and the work it takes.” But this raised the question; What about the other 3% of mothers that quarreled. Digging deeper into the darker corners of the internet, I discovered a Facebook Page which is a place for parents to discuss their parental regret of having children.
Parental Regret is a Real Issue
An anonymous woman shared her story on the Facebook page. The newly espoused 25-year-old claimed she “never even wanted kids.” But unfortunately lives in a country where abortion is illegal.
She only got married because she loved her husband. Everything they agreed upon before getting married was never met. After taking a pregnancy test she found out there is an embryo in gestation inside of her. She acted happy in front of her family and friends but behind their backs did everything in her power to remove the fetus. Yes, she was trying to get a miscarriage.
“My parents really wanted to have grandkids. He wanted this baby so bad. I didn’t” She did feel remorse for not wanting the baby, but she wasn’t ready to be tied up at home. She didn’t want 3AM screams and sleepless nights. She wanted to live and experience LIFE!
Thus, she tried everything to miscarry the baby. “Vit. C megadose, parsley, ginger, black cohosh, and dong. Nothing worked.” She’s now 4 months pregnant and doesn’t know what to do. And this is just one of the many stories in the social media group.
Stressed Out and Depressed Parents
In one Quora post, someone else wrote about his parental regret having kids. Basically, he didn’t want kids and his wife didn’t want them either, but when she neared 40, she started to crave having one. Because it’s more difficult to get pregnant at an older age, it took them awhile. Eventually, after trying for a long time, they finally had success!
“After a huge time, financial, and emotional costs. Our son came along and was healthy and quite adorable. Major success story from the outside, right? I was immediately plunged into a seemingly endless spiral of resentment and depression (the real kind, clinical, requiring seeing a psychiatrist and going on medication). ”
He knew he didn’t want this. He claimed it destroyed all flexibility and spontaneity. This changed his life for the worse as work and other obligations were put on hold as soon as his kid caught the sniffles. Putting friendships on hold plus the fact that the kid had to be watched 24/7 which definitely had a correlation with his disappearance of wanting to be a parent.
“The therapist told me that this was much more common than I’d guess, but there was a huge taboo about saying you simply hated being a parent. So, I googled ‘I hate being a parent’ and it was all over the place. People overcome by tedium and regret.”
What does Parental Regret Mean for Children?
Most parents that never wanted kids aren’t doing that great of a job parenting. This is detrimental to our youths mental health. Some common effects of bad parenting include:
Depression and Low Self-Esteem
This happens when a child is constantly scrutinized, deprecated, and is never allowed to make decisions. They’re likely to have a low self-esteem. There is also a correlation between children suffering from physical and physiological abuse and depression.
Correlation between Bad Parenting and Psychological Disorders
When a child is neglected or grows up in a household where there is a lot of physical and or emotional abuse, they might suffer from severe trust issues. They’re also more likely to undergo delusions, post-traumatic stress disorder, and more.
Abused Children Prone to Criminal Behavior
Common consequences of bad parenting include poor physical and mental development, failure to thrive, lack of motivation, and poor performance at school because they’re exposed to poor parenting which can make them more stressed which negatively impacts their performance. They’re also more likely to be prosecuted for juvenile delinquency. Other children may turn to drugs in order to fill the empty void.
And these are just some of the things that may occur when a parent regrets having children. They’re more likely to neglect and abuse it. We should definitely break this parental regret taboo so parents all around the world can open up more and can look for solutions so we can have a healthier youth in the future.