Monday, March 17, 2008


I was casually flipping through my March Parenting magazine last night when I came across a poll about having children.

The poll asked if you were able to go back and choose when you had your children would you:

A) Have them at the same time
B) Have them earlier in life
C) Have them later in life
D) I would not have children at all

2% of people choose option D.


Who the hell are these people and can I take their children away? My son is ornery. There are days he makes me want to pull my hair out and he's only 14 months. I'm sure by the time he is talking back or sneaking out of the house my hair may be all gone but to wish I had never had him??

There is not one moment of one day that I can imagine never having him. Without him our money situation would probably be better, I'd rather be poor. Without him our marriage would probably be less stressful, I'd rather have the stress. I would rather give up everything I own and walk to work twenty miles uphill both ways in the snow than miss out on one day with my wonderful little boy.

Who are these people??


Kbreints said...

yep. I am floored. to actually check "I would not have had them at all" is crazy! I cannot imagine life with out them. In fact I cannot remember life without them. logically I know that there was a time (ot htat long ago) that I was not blessed with them, however I no longer no how feel without thinking of them first. I cannot remember how I ever felt without thinking of them first.

I don't think that these people really knew what they were checking. the only logical thing in my mind is maybe the question to them was, "if you could have never had them, and never known the love that that came with them, would you?" --

I cannot imagine choosing to give them back after knowing them. It is infathomable.

DD said...

It'd be interesting to know the total number of respondents to the survey. Imagine if there were 2,000. That means that there are at least 40 kids who are not wanted.


darkship said...

I want to say that I love my son very much but he was VERY unplanned so IF I could go back I would coose not to have him at that time. I wonder if that's how some of the people were answering. Just a thought. But as it is I'm a fairly happy single dad with lots of stress and no money so like Heather said you make due.

Jessica said...

I'm afraid I would be part of that 2%; but how do you ever know?

Laura said...

Well, I'm just going to play devil's advocate here for a moment because I don't think saying "I wish I'd never had them at all" equates to saying "I don't love them and don't want them now." You never know what the circumstances are of the people who answered that question. Maybe they got pregnant with their partner at the time and then they subsequently broke up with their partner, and now they have brought children into a broken home and wish they could undo the damage. They're not necessarily saying they don't love their kids, they're just saying if they had known the outcome before they got pregnant, maybe they would have chosen not to get pregnant.

Maybe some women answered that question in the throes of post-partum depression, you know? That's not clear thinking.

I don't know if I'm right, but I just think it's not all black and white. There may be more to their answer than appears on the surface.

Heather said...

Choosing not to have your children at that time and choosing not to have them at ALL are two VERY different things.

As far as I'm concerned once you have met your children and know who they are there is no I would choose not to have children. How do you answer like that??

Broken home or not, single parent or not, saying that you would choose not to have these beautiful children that you now find yourself blessed with is just wrong.

And Jessica... you would NEVER be in that 2%. That's like saying you would choose for me to never have Spike. Never, ever, ever. Poor, rich, broken home, whatever I would NEVER choose not to have this wonderful little boy!!

Jessica said...

I don't know that I would say I never wanted them at all. I don't know what I would say or how I would feel.
Right now standing on the outside, I wonder if I would regret having children and expanding to our family.
Not that I wouldn't want them or love them.

Have you ever wondered Heather...How maybe this couldn't make sense to you because you have always wanted children? You have never not wanted them so you don't know how it feels to not have that urge or longing to be a mother.

These mothers may not be saying the extreme to which you are labeling them. They could simply be saying "If I had it to do all over again I would enjoy my life with my husband and opt not to have children". Does not mean they love their children any less.

darkship said...

Ok again going back....if I had the choice I would not have had a kid at that time at all and not even in the future. I didn't want a child and was not planning on one at any time. My view obviously has changed as I wouldn't trade him for anything. But I didn't want a child, I don't think this makes me a horrible person just a realist. I agree with what Jessica said it doesn't mean I love him any less

stella said...

I've never had my own children. I imagine my life would of been a whole lot different than what it has been. But I also have no regrets. I've had plenty of children in my life to reap the rewards and suffer the heartaches right along with them. Just not as intense as what a parent goes through. I wouldn't change a thing.

Bree said...

I think as a parent you will have days that you realize how different your life would have been without children. The things you may have done or may have accomplished. There are days when my children have me at wits end and I think remind me again why did I want children, and then of course one of them does something cute and I remember why. The people who answered could have been having a bad moment, I think we are all entitled to those bad moments, if the children do not suffer from it.

Jennifer said...

I believe that all mothers, at some point, think about, "What would my life be like if I had not had children?"

I would have more money, I would have my freedom, I would not be subject to the constant anxiety, worry and frustration that is part of being a parent, I would not be sleep deprived for going on 7 years, I would be in better shape, etc, etc.

Perhaps the 2% are interpreting these thoughts as, "I would not have had children" because they long for this freedom - even though they would never wish that their children never existed - maybe just that they would have made different choices in retrospect.

People have babies for all kinds of reasons - right or wrong.

And people choose not to have babies for all kinds of reasons - because they can't, because they are afraid, etc. And some of the childless surely regret their decision, just as some may regret their decision to have children.

All said, I think 2% is a lower number than I would have expected to see.

Being a parent is the hardest thing you'll ever do, and the most rewarding, and these emotions get all mixed up all the time.

I'll bet if they phrased the question, "If you could give your children away today, would you do it?", the number would be very small.

Just my $.02.

Anonymous said...

I agree, I think that the meaning of the answer is being taken entirely too literally here. There could be extremely outstanding circumstances out there and in some instances, it may have been better for the child if it hadn't been born.

Maybe the costs of having a child caused someone to lose their home, and being homeless possibly lose their child, forcing the child into foster care. Maybe the mother was a drug addict and the father is trying to get a child out of the system because it kills him to see the child jumping from foster home to foster home. Maybe there are people out there who never wanted children and their children honestly ruined their chances of their lifelong dreams coming true. There are just flat out situations that either adoption would've been a better answer, or not getting pregnant at all would be the answer.

What about those 16 year olds who get pregnant and keep the children. Yes, some go to college, still are able to follow their dreams, but for most, they have to work to keep their child healthy and happy. Maybe some of those people had to drop out of high school and now have to raise their child off a McDonald's income when they know that's not the life for a kid.

Just because in a survey someone marks that IF they could change the past that they wouldn't have had a child, doesn't mean they don't love their child. It doesn't mean they won't do what it takes to make their child happy and healthy. And to be honest, those people that do wish that probably either had an abortion before their child was born, or are one of those wacko's out there who end up harming their baby. Those are 2 far cries from being the same thing.

As a mother, I love my children with all my heart. While the timing wasn't right, I still wouldn't be in that 2% because my entire life all I wanted to do was be a mommy.

What if it had happened to Zack? I know this may hit a little hard, but what if that day child services came, and I don't know what Jake had done, but what it Zack tested positive for meth and he was ripped from your lives and your arms? What if you didn't have Zack with you day after day and instead you watched him go through foster homes in the system as you tried to fund the legal system to get him back? Yes, maybe you could've marked that the timing wasn't right, but maybe you would've marked in that 2%. Maybe in retrospect if Jake had not finished treatment and it was just you fighting to get him back, that you would've put yourself in that situation. That doesn't mean you don't love him, that you wouldn't continue to fight for him, or that you would harm him in any way, just that you simply put an x on a box that said going back, it may have been best not to have him.

I'm done rambling!