I Never Wanted Children

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family-in-sunset

I’m a mom who never wanted the job.

Did you know there are others like us? There are fellow moms in the world who are wiping noses and crunching Cheerios with their bare feet who never envisioned their life turning out this way. We are the moms who struggle every day with this thought: This is why I never wanted children.

Have you ever thought that? I did just today. My children were clinging to me, pulling on my shirt, whining and crying because I wouldn’t pick them up, while I fought a frying pan full of bacon. I clenched my jaw, tightened my grip on the spatula, and with every tense muscle in my body I thought, “This wasn’t my plan. This wasn’t the life I wanted. This is why I didn’t want kids.”

Every day is a struggle.

We have mom friends who always wanted children. They speak of the joys of motherhood as though they find rainbows in their children’s diapers instead of beans and corn from yesterday’s Mexican casserole. We read countless mommy blogs about how one’s life is now complete because they’re raising little boys or girls. We are told over and over again how blessed we are to have kids and we should enjoy every minute of it.

These are not our people, though. We are the black sheep. The outcasts. We are the moms who saw our flaws so clearly that we knew—we just knew—that motherhood was not a good choice for us. The moms who sit on the floor and cry at night with fear that, because our children weren’t planned, we’re screwing them up.

And yet here we are.

Maybe it was birth control gone bad. Maybe it was the heat of the moment. Whatever your story is, it happened, and now we find ourselves doing 2 a.m. feedings, holding screaming toddlers, and scrubbing poop out of the carpet all while that voice in our head constantly reminds us, “This is why I didn’t want children.”

I’m not going to give you ten ways to delight in your children on bad days. I’m not going to admonish you for having what some see as a horrifyingly selfish thought.

I’m going to tell you it’s okay.

It’s okay that you never wanted kids in the first place. It doesn’t make you mean or selfish or less of a woman. It just makes you honest.

It’s okay that you can’t identify with other moms who tell the story of how they and their spouses had their family plan all worked out and it came to fruition exactly as they jotted it down on paper. You shouldn’t feel ashamed that your child wasn’t expected or plotted out on the journey of your life.

It’s okay that you feel unprepared and find yourself Googling, “My child does ‘x.’ Is that normal?” when you’re certain your mommy friends who envisioned their child’s nursery since they were a kid themselves would instinctively know the answer.

It’s okay to ask for help. No mom is Super Mom and every mom needs a break. Some of us may just need more breaks, and perhaps longer breaks, to make it through the days and weeks and months of a life we never wanted.

Most importantly, it’s okay to tell your story. There are more of us moms that never wanted the job than you realize. We need you to tell your story of fears and tears to help us feel like we have a friend in this alternate universe called motherhood. We need to know someone understands the struggle. We need to know someone else hears the voice in their head say, “This is why I never wanted kids.” We need you to tell us we aren’t alone. We need you.

Regardless of how you arrived on Planet Parenthood, you are here. You don’t have to feel bad for admitting it’s hard. We know. You don’t have to hide from your story of how you got here. We know. And you don’t have to follow up your woes or complaints with, “But I love my kids.”

We know.

And your children know, too.

Related post: I Don’t Like Being A Mother

Comments

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  1. 6

    RunBek says

    Thank you! I’m due at any moment with my one and only child. I made my husband get fixed but we are only having one. And I honestly ask myself every single day why I am having a baby. I’m scared and selfishly already miss everything I’m giving up to be a mom. I feel so relieved knowing I’m not alone and that it’s ok.

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    • 8

      says

      I felt the same way when I became pregnant with my daughter. We’d been trying for a few months but it never really felt right. I decided that I wasn’t ready for kids and discussed things with my hubby. He supported my decision to stop trying but, figures, I was already pregnant. When I saw the BFP I was like, “FUCK!!!” The months following were filled with a lot of anger, anxiety, and depression that lasted most of my pregnancy. Now my daughter is 3.5 and I am due with #2 in less than a week. Obviously I love my daughter (and have enjoyed being a mom enough to have a second) but I STILL think about how things would be so much easier without kids, how I’d be able to travel so much more, how I’d be more rested, etc. But given the choice I wouldn’t change anything. And that my friends is why I think being a mom (or dad) is the biggest mind fuck of them all.

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    • 9

      Inna says

      It’s ok to feel that way. I had the same fears when I was pregnant with my first. I told myself I would never have another ever again. And then my son came and everything changed. I was so surprised at how much I actually loved being a mom. And here I am pregnant with my second (planned).
      I do worry that you jumped the gun on making your husband get fixed. Wishing you the best of luck!

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  2. 10

    Annon says

    Thank you! I need this so much , I might even print it out to remind myself that I’m not alone, that I’m not the only one who feels this way . I can’t say this to anyone I know as they are all ‘born mothers’ or planned their children.
    Being a good mom is hard enough let alone being one when it was the last thing you ever wanted.

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    • 11

      Karen says

      “Being a good mom is hard enough let alone being one when it was the last thing you ever wanted.”

      This is by far the best thing I have ever read. Alongside this article, of course :-)

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  3. 12

    BerJ says

    Congrats on being brave to say it out loud. It definetely helped me… Mine is now a teen. It gets better, promise! I only have one though….. :)

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  4. 13

    gina says

    Thank you for having the guts to be honest and forthcoming. I wanted my kids but it was very selfish and now I wish I had though longer about living my own life first about having a more stable relationship…better father material. Whe are all imperfect beings doing the best we can.

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  5. 14

    nicole says

    Thank you. I needed this. I feel this every day. I felt this way years and years before i had kids. No its not post partum. I never wanted kids. I’m getting my tubes tied in a few months ds3 and ds18 months are enough. My life doesn’t feel complete, it feels like a mess. I love them but i am not overwhelmed with love for them. When i was getting a sono the techician sensed my disinterest. She said “u know i have 1 kid, a son, and i didnt LOVE him until he turned 5. Before that i thought he was awful. You will eventually embrace it, motherhood isnt for everyone so dont feel badly about it.

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    • 15

      A says

      Thank you for posting your story, and especially for sharing what the technician told you. I am a teacher, for goodness sake, and someone who always liked being around kids, and I always thought I’d wanted a bunch of kids of my own. I have one dd3, and like you, while I love her, “I am not overwhelmed with love” for her. I see little glimmers of who she is going to be someday, and in those moments, we’re in sync, but the tantrums and the dawdling and the sheer exhaustion of it all often makes me look forward to her bedtime more than anything else. I totally get what the technician was saying, and I hope that it is the same case for me. My husband and I talked a great deal about having two kids, but I think I’ll be happier with just the one, unless we adopt an older child someday. I don’t know that I want to do this all over again!

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  6. 16

    kel says

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I love my daughter fiercely, but I am definitely not a “born mother”. I wish that it was more socially accepted to admit this. Seriously, not every baby ever born was planned, why do we act like they were?! It was so refreshing to see that I’m not the only one out there that didn’t plan for kids, but loves and gives them my best every day.

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  7. 17

    Ashley says

    This made my day so much better. I’m pregnant with unplanned baby number two, never wanted kids in the first place. Birth control is a joke lol or else it just doesn’t work my body. I have often thought of just walking away and putting this baby and it’s sister up for adoption. Society and my circle at large make me feel like a heartless person for these thoughts, but i never wanted the job. Thank you so much for validating my feelings and showing I’m not the only one.

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  8. 18

    Jess says

    I’m sorry but I’m not sure what’s brave about this. I spent my whole life being told by my mother that she didn’t want children, that my father ,who passed when I was five, was the one that wanted children not her. Nothing good came from being told that she didn’t want me, nothing good will come from the nonverbal cues that say “I didn’t want children” either. Aren’t you afraid your children will come across this post one day and wonder, then why did you have me? While my mother and I have an okay relationship, I still wonder if she ever loved me, when I grab my boys and shower them with kisses – I can’t remember if my mother ever kissed all over me, and I have a hard time finding those memories over the “I never wanted kids” ones. Admitting you had a baby you didn’t want in public, isn’t brave, it isn’t something to be proud of, it is just a sad admission and I hope in time you find the good in having kids.

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    • 19

      Alyssa says

      i agree with Jess; while i’m sure a lot of mothers feel this way – even those who always wanted to be mothers – it seems like it would be destructive not only to the relationship but also to the children to ever hear (or read) that they weren’t wanted. the reality is that – planned or not – when you opted to keep your child, you gave up the right to publicly proclaim that you didn’t want to be a mom…

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      • 20

        Casey says

        When we have children, we lose our right to free speech? Who knew. You obviously still have the ability to verbalize a thought, congratulations! It is brave to say something out loud that you are ashamed/afraid of. I love my son, I’m aware that I created a beautiful person… but not every day is sunshine, not every moment is cooing and kissing. You have the right to your opinion, and so does the author.

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        • 21

          Brendan says

          I’m not sure you know what “free speech” means. People are allowed to judge you and criticize you for what you say. People can boycott your business, vote you off the board of directors, and kick you out of their club because of the views you express. The first amendment only protects you from the government suppressing your speech. The author can express her opinion on the internet and commenters can say whatever they want in the comment section. In fact, the author can delete the comments and that doesn’t violate free speech!

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    • 22

      Stefanie says

      My mother hated her kids, that has nothing to do with this story. Did you read each word to the bottom or jump to projecting your past onto the present? Saying anything that can be construed as negative about being a parent is taboo and that is why this is simply refreshing to hear. It is the truth, why hide from it? Why not put it on the table and acknowledge it? That is how communities work aid each other and find common ground and how exhausted moms can at the very least, know they are not alone sometimes in their desire to have some of their own time and space, instead of feeling like there is something wrong with them for not fitting the glowing mommy image of smiling lovingly as she rocks and nurses with no sleep and burning nipples. There are many days I have wanted to run for the hills. Never planned on getting married then divorced and raising two boys alone. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry, sometime I wonder if I am fucking them up, sometimes I do not care anymore. Thats life. Does not mean I do not love them or play with them or cherish being a mom even when I am in tears.

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    • 23

      KRisten says

      This. This a million times over. My heart goes out to those poor kids if they ever find this post or their mom’s blog, twitter, facebook, etc. chronicling how these sentiments. I get that we’re a community of Mom’s and it’s good to be honest, but why punish your children publicly in this way?

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      • 24

        Kelsey says

        This author is a very close friend of mine, and I can testify that she is a VERY loving and amazing mom! I’ve known her before kids and now, and I know she adores her kids, regardless of whether or not they were planned. I think it’s completely fine to tell your kids that they weren’t the original plan for your life, but that clearly God had other BETTER plans! It’s a testimony to how great God is. To say that you feel sorry for her kids makes me sad, because this mom is my friend – and EVERY time we get together (on a pretty weekly basis) we just talk about how awesome our kids are. She’s not saying she doesn’t love her kids, she’s just being honest. Please don’t kick a mom down like this. It’s not helpful and if you disagree with this post, you don’t have to respond. It seems that other moms are finding great comfort from this blog post, so maybe next time just bite your tongue, shake you head, and move on. No need to be negative.

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      • 25

        Jessie says

        KRisten says

        This. This a million times over. My heart goes out to those poor kids if they ever find this post or their mom’s blog, twitter, facebook, etc. chronicling how these sentiments. I get that we’re a community of Mom’s and it’s good to be honest, but why punish your children publicly in this way?

        - See more at: http://www.scarymommy.com/i-never-wanted-children/#comment-403717

        Whoa, think we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves, dontcha? You should really check out her other posts. Those “poor kids” don’t need your heart, as they are loved and cherished by a mother and a father who never planned on having them. How dare you assume that this one blog post must mean that these kids are being publicly punished because…. what? Mom is being honest? Again, you should read her other blogs before saying something so utterly cruel as, “My heart goes out to those poor kids”

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    • 26

      Erin says

      I fell so safe in saying that the author of this post will share this post with her children. She will be honest, and yea, brave. Because it is the truth, her truth. I am so sorry that you have troubled memories and I’m sorry that your circumstances were the way they are. Part of what makes mothers resentful and especially “back in the day” when it was taboo to utter the words…is the picture of what is “supposed” to be.

      It is clear that your life experiences with your mother made you choose to be different with your children and maybe that is part of the “plan.”

      I wrestled with this. A lot. I saw a therapist and said, “I just don’t think I was meant to be a mother.” Weeping…
      Her reply, “but you are, so suck it up and do the job.”

      And I did…. Now four kids later I adore the gig. Really. But it was not love at first positive pg test.

      So…I can see both sides but I hope that the author uses her words to teach her kids…who she clearly does love if you visit her blog…that even though it wasn’t the original plan, it can still be wonderful.
      Just my $.02–:)

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    • 28

      Victoria says

      It is absolutely possible to admit you never wanted children, without sending the message that you hate your children. It is possible to not project your resentment of opportunities lost. But in many cases, it is no different than any other life plan you had that circumstances prevented. Letting your kids know that you had to change plans because of them and lived a different life than you wanted shows them the truth of the world: things happen. Roll with it.

      Evidently, your mother sucked at it, and thats to bad. Did you ever stop to think she was actually expressing her resentment at your father for dying and so not being there to appreciate what she gave to him, nor there to do his side of the parenting plan?

      When my girl’s dad, who had talked me into continuing our unplanned and unwanted pregnancy, left, my grandmother wrote me the oddest letter, relating his behaviour to my grandfather, who had recently died. Being angry with him for leaving her alone was a step in the grieving process, maybe one your mother got stuck on. At any rate, my daughter (now 30) can understand what her existence did to my life and appreciate that i stepped up and did the job and loved her, despite what i lost.

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      • 29

        Maura says

        ^^^ THIS. I am the mother of *two* unplanned children. And both of them have a father that not only got to say “i’m not ready” and run, but suffered no societal repercussions when they did. I never wanted kids. But when I said the word adoption – suddenly I was this terrible person. Since when does being a woman mean I have to want to be a mother?
        And you know what, when my kids got older and started asking about my life, I told them the truth. Simply and clearly. No, I did not want to be a mother.
        But not wanting to be a mother, and not wanting my child are two different things. And I told them that too. No, not every moment or day or week or month is perfect. But we all try hard around here.
        In a way, this has made us a stronger family. They understand what I knew when I was younger, I am not necessarily the best mom, and so do I. Knowing that, I try harder, have more patience and understanding and am far more critical of myself than *anyone* else. And in turn they are more forgiving and able to see both sides of things.
        Ultimately they learned a few things wonderful things, including that life doesn’t always go the way you think it should, but that has no bearing on how great you make it. My kids *are* the best thing that ever happened to me. While they might not be “planned” in someways I want them more. I made a conscious choice to have them, keep them, and be the best mother I could for them, ALWAYS. And if my honest helps them later in life to really be happy and not think that life is like tv – everything is perfect or its screwed up, no in between – then I will always be honest with them.

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    • 30

      says

      My mom wanted kids, but was not mentally, financially or emotionally prepared for children when she had us back to back at 21. I grew up and knew that I was an accident and that when she became pregnant, she didn’t want kids at that time. I’ve always known this….I also know that my mom loved me unconditionally and raised me with so much love and provided me with everything possible and it means the world to me that she did that even though I wasn’t particularity wanted at the time.

      I’m pregnant with a child that I was no where near ready for. I had a lot of other plans before I wanted to bring a baby into the world. Really, until recently, I was one of these women who never wanted kids, period. But I will love this baby and provide for him even when the thought of never wanting kids crosses my mind.

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    • 31

      Jessie says

      I’m curious at what point in her blog she says she tells her children repeatedly that she never wanted kids? I suggest reading more of her blogs before judging her on this one. Her story has it’s ups but it also has it’s downs.

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  9. 32

    Emily says

    Oh thank you for this. Last night I stayed up with my screaming puking child who managed to wake the twins with his screams. I am glad to know that there are others out there that feel like this was not what we had planned but now we are stuck in it. Grin and bear it when those other mommies are like this is my dream come true I love being a mom and all I can think is REALLY? Even made the mistake once of saying really out loud lets say that mommy does not allow her kids to play with mine.

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  10. 39

    mindie says

    I think there is nothing wrong with being honest… However I feel you only told one side of your story? Are you void of having joyous moments with your children (they weren’t mentioned which is why I am asking)? Sure everyone has a bad day… But I’m really hoping you also have joy… Children are more than a full time job, I agree with you there completely… But my only concern is that you don’t make them feel (daily) like they are a burden or a mistake… I hope you are getting that I am not being judgy or condescending I’m just curious for more of your story.

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    • 40

      Elisa says

      There’s a link to her blog where you can go see more about her children and regular family life. I suspect (of course don’t know for sure) that she purposely omitted details about her life with her children here to focus on the thought process of someone who never saw herself being a parent. I thought it was an interesting perspective, but doesn’t completely define who she is.

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  11. 41

    says

    Thank you thank you!!! You make me feel supported and okay! I have struggled with not enjoying motherhood. I am not the mom that can say “it’s so worth it”. And it makes me feel awful. Your blog makes me feel less alone. Thank u. I wanted kids. But I fantasize now (having 2 18 months apart) of being a childless couple. So thank u

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      • 43

        oldenough says

        amen to that, sister! i did want/plan to be a parent. but i’ll tell you what: having her in daycare 5 days a week is the main reason i enjoy her as much as i do. can’t tell you how many weekends i’m counting down the minutes to monday. sometimes i think hubby may judge a bit because of it but screw it. he has no idea whata bitchonwheels i’d be if i had to be a full-time mom.

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