The old Anne Landers question

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    • #97674

      She asked this once back in, I believe, the late 70’s, and the results were astonishing. I’m curious what this group would say. If you had it to do over again, knowing what you know now, would you still have had children?

      I was aiming toward a very promising career when I got pregnant. I kept it on slow burner at all times to put my daughter first as much as I could while my childless or other-priority friends put career first. Now they’re doing just fine, thank you, very well off. I’m struggling, and have nothing.

    • #97702

      Only to teenage 13 or so, then they should leave the nest never to be heard from again.

    • #97704

      Hi Bicoastal Mom!
      I would do the same all over again.
      Cherishing the great memories give comfort when we are hurting.
      I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

    • #97705




      PS: F NO!

    • #97710

      Us too–the struggling part and going broke raising our kids. Still, we have a second child who makes the whole thing worthwhile, and if I had to give him up to not experience the pain of the other, I wouldn’t do it. If I could do it selectively, I wouldn’t have my ES. I know that sounds terrible and harsh. But he’s gone after me like it was his job and I’ve wasted a very good portion of my life hoping he’d grow up and be as he was when he was a boy–trying, when I could interact with him, to tell him how good I think he is, hoping his better angels would take over.

      But he’s nearly 50. I have to accept that it won’t ever happen.

    • #97712

      I’m on the fence about this – on one hand I know I grew as a person by becoming a mother, went in directions that brought me to meet my second husband, have a good career and became much closer to my father. A lot of positive things happened as a result of having her, but as for my experience mothering her it was extremely difficult and we had a very conflicted relationship since she was about 16. I did my best and loved my ED to distraction, but I wasn’t good enough for her. I don’t think I was cut out to be a mother to tell you the truth. When I was young I never dreamt of having kids, or even of getting married – I wasn’t interested. I wanted to travel and see the world and was lucky enough to do so for a few years – this is going to sound stupid, but it seems like all of a sudden there I was, married then pregnant and now I wonder how did I get there. Well, actually I know -her father was very good looking and swept me off my feet. Simple as that.
      I read somewhere that childless women who have a career are happier on the whole and more financially secure (boy can I see that!) but I think it depends on the individual’s character, inclinations and aspirations.
      In answer to your question in retrospect I would have to say no, I wouldn’t want children. The hurt and heartbreak has been too much – but we’ll never know about the roads not taken.
      Take care,

    • #97708

      I think I would do it exactly the same way. It is true that my daughter is like course sea salt that is rubbed in an open wound in a never ending loop, but I have another child who has grown up to be a strong, dignified, and loving person. The way I see things is that all the suffering is worth having him in our family.

      The thing I do at times regret is having stayed home with my children rather that continue to work. I now often feel that was a mistake.. My son tells me I was a good mother and that he is grateful for having me there at the end of the school day. Who knows. I never felt one way was more right than the other.

      When our choices are behind us, I know it is best to look ahead rather than back. At least that is what I strive to for.

    • #97716

      My answer is a resounding NO! I’m old enough that when I was a girl, we didn’t do math, (girls can’t do math) the boys didn’t do housework and if you were not a teacher or a nurse, you were a housewife. My parents were absolutely traditional, and so I was a housewife. About 10 years ago, I started school and it turns out I have a fine mathematical brain. If I had to do it over again today, I would be an engineer, no kids, no husband and a good job with a pension. Without this you have no options and are trapped. That is also my advice to young women who are feeling pressured to have children. It is a difficult and often thankless job which I would not wish on anyone unless they are TRULY disposed to do it. It might sound selfish, but its good to know one’s limitations before jumping in. Nobody warned me. Being a mother is an endless source of pain–when you have them, you care for them, they fledge, they love you, they hate you. It all hurts .

    • #97743

      MsExetential 🤣🤣🤣🤣 Only to 13, I so agree!
      I’m on the fence with this one as well. First, I love my boys more than life itself. My love for my ES has not, and will not change. For as long as I remember, all I ever wanted, was to be a wife, and a stay home mom. Feels like yesterday that our ES was born, and we brought him home. And then, his little brother. They’re 3 years apart. Both my boys were the best babies. Now? Our youngest, 20, still lives at home. He loves us to death. But he’s a difficult kid, and has his own issues. I’ve said so many times, why did we even have kids? To do it all over? I honestly don’t know. I do know, that I would go to Disneyland, right out of high school, and be a Princess! For real! 😆 So maybe wait a few years longer before marriage and kids, and maybe that would’ve made a difference? But playing the what if game never does any good. I’m happy and blessed where I’m at. We’re all going to have good days and bad days. The goal is to have more good than bad. Merry Christmas to you all! 💜💜💜

    • #97752


      I’m sorry for your experience! I wonder if we are close to the same age. First I’ll answer Bicostal Mom’s question. I do not regret having my children and grandchildren. In spite of the hurt and pain, yes I’d do it all over again.

      I am 60 years old, grew up in an old fashioned small town with a very domineering chauvinistic father. Nobody ever told me that I could not do math though, back in the 60s and 70’s, not even my father, who was a high school dropout himself. (He never said I could either, it just was not talked about). I don’t recall anybody in my school implying boys were supposed to be better at math. I have 4 older brothers and they were not presumed to be better at math than me.

      I learned that I was better at math than most early in my school years; other kids copied my papers and even stole my homework out of my locker to copy at times. I was good at all subjects, but I guess math was my favorite.

      Even so, I had no desire to continue schooling after I graduated from high school so I got married at age 19 and subsequently had 3 children with him. I was a SAHM most of those 13 years but then in my early 30s it became apparent we were not going to stay married. Before we made the final split, I started college for the very first time at almost 30, and with 3 kids, two under two. This was before the days of Internet and online classes so I had to really search for a program that would work with my schedule and responsibilities, and that I could find a way to pay for.

      When I earned my degree at age 35, I got two jobs, one as a waitress and the other as a substitute teacher (the waitress job paid more (including tips of course), in spite of the fact that one required no degree).

      Well, not to tell my whole life story, after marrying my current H, I got a Master’s degree and then a Ph.D, and found work that suits me very well and I make a reasonably good living. In spite of it all, my work hours are flexible and I have always been able to help a lot with my grandkids.

      The most important part of my life has always been the family thing and I love children so much. I cannot tell you how much I have enjoyed having my son’s children in my life.

    • #97773

      If I could go back in time, I would never have children. My oldest son died 7 years ago and my other two children I’m estranged from.

    • #97787

      Yes, I would have had my children. But if I could have saw into the future I would have placed my ES up for adoption to give him a better life. In his words he did not have a good home life because he had to put up w/ me for a mother & all my bullsh*t. If I could have known that he would grow up to hate me & throw me away like the trash, I would not have kept him. He had a very good home life & he knows it. The love of his life convinced him that he grew up in a lousy home. My other 2 kids are always telling me how good they had it growing up. He did tell me that he regretted saying that to me. It made him sick to his stomach that he could say such a thing & how bad he felt. He felt bad for himself, not for hurting me w/ those words & he has never apologized for it. If I could have known 33 yrs ago the pain he would bring me, I would have gave him up in a heartbeat & spared myself this agony now.

    • #97791
      Rose PetalsRose Petals

      Not all children are created equal even if they are of the same blood. It’s an unpredicable outcome on what you’re going to get. I would say throw the dice and prepare/plan for the worse. Then be surprised when it all turns out good (like with my other four children.)

      Would I have my daughter again? Yes, but I would have turned her over to her father at 15. Then I could play Disney-mom while she takes her wrath out on him. lol

      Rose Petals 💚

    • #97824

      “Would I have my daughter again? Yes, but I would have turned her over to her father at 15. Then I could play Disney-mom while she takes her wrath out on him. lol”

      This is a great idea! Make it age 13 in my case. Funny how the custodial parent ends up being so hated and the one who left ends up being the golden hero.

    • #97793
      AvatarNancy K

      No. The short, wonderful baby years were not worth the misery that came after.

      Many years ago, I had a friend who was seeing a therapist to help her deal with her problems with infertility. My friend was angry when the therapist told her that having kids wasn’t really all that great in the end.

      My friend and I both have estranged children. In our cases, her therapist from long ago was right.

    • #97978

      If I knew then what I know now I still would have had my son he came along after I had been going through the deaths of both my parents and my brother I felt he was a gift from God to replace all those who I had lost. I remember the love that I felt when I was handed that beautiful baby and that was 44 years ago. I choose today to remember the good years and for my own good I will focus on the thrill and joy I have of being a grandma . What he does and says from now on is on him not me !!! I will not allow myself to be hurt or overwhelmed by anything he does or says .

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