This is a hot topic of recent days. Apparently there have been many parents that, although they love their children, have said that they’ve regretted having them. This is something I struggle to understand. Over last week or so it’s been all over the radio with many people debating it. I was actually asked to take part in a couple of shows, but decided to decline, mainly because I didn’t think I could add anything of any value to the debate, but I thought via my blog, I would add my opinion.
It’s 2018 and 25 years ago I was an unmarried and childless man. All these years later I have had five children and have been married twice. It has been a rollercoaster ride, but also a very expensive one! Maybe if I hadn’t got married twice and had five children, I would be driving around in an Audi R8 and living half the year in my villa in Marbella! Or would I? Or would I have spent all that income on having holidays and enjoy the luxuries of life?
The chances are I would have lived my life to the maximum that my income could have afforded me. Would I have saved money? Well, maybe a little, but one thing I’m absolutely sure of, is that I would have become a selfish person who would have only had to look after number one. However, I would have missed out on so much in life that only being parent can give you.
Do I have regrets about having children? There have definitely been times over the last 22 years that I have wished for a few minutes, “Why, oh, why, did I have childre? Is this really what it’s about, being a dad?”
In my first marriage, and this particular night I was on my own with my three children, which actually wasn’t that unusual, but that’s another story for another time. At the time they were aged six, four and 18 months old.
This was one of those moments where everything went wrong. My son, who was about 18 months old, had a horrible ear infection and wouldn’t let me put him down for a second so I was constantly walking around with him. My eldest suffered from asthma as a child and was on the sofa consistently coughing without taking a breath, and to finish it off my other daughter showed her face and promptly vomited all over the floor! Now that’s a time I thought being a dad was not what I was expecting!
I never remember signing up for this! It was 3am and I had absolutely no sleep! I would have definitely been thinking I regret being a parent at that moment, but only for a split second. It passes quickly because sometimes you just have to get on with it.
On another occasion one of my six year old twin girls was very poorly and spent the night vomiting all over me. I spent the night covered in vomit, but got to the point where I didn’t even get up to change anymore because she was being sick that often. So be it! She was one poorly child and ended up being hospitalised for four days.
There are without doubt so many other frustrating moments that I wish I could have run away from, and been on my own and not be a parent. The secret is to balance it against those moments of pure joy and magic that only children can give you.
None of us are taught how to be a parent. It’s a massive learning curve that will without question take all of our lives to work out and let’s be honest, we all still still get it wrong no matter how long you have been doing it, because we are after all only human.
Do I regret having children? Not a chance! Do you?