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ASK MOM: Mom regrets having kids

Feb 02, 2024 12:05PM ● By by Mary Follin and Erika Guerrero

Drawing by Suzanne Johnson

THE PROBLEM: I’m disappointed in myself for feeling this way, but are there any other moms who regret having children? My husband and I used to have so much more fun before we had kids. (We have two, ages 1 and 3.) I feel torn. I love my children, but I’m not sure I love my life. My husband and I used to go dancing and hiking, and just hanging out was fun. Now it’s drudgery all the time. I’m home with the kids, so maybe I’m just bored, but I don’t know what to do about it. I also feel guilty, since I have a couple of friends who would love to have what I have. I know the obvious—meet other moms, go back to work, etc., but that won’t fix the big thing, which is not being sure I’m cut out for this mom thing. 

MARY SAYS: Oh my! You see yourself as a disappointment, and I see you as brave! You have spoken aloud what many other moms (and dads) are afraid to admit to others—and perhaps to themselves as well. 

And you’re right. This isn’t about engaging in something that will pull you out of your doldrums. (We’ll get to that in a minute.) Rather, it has to do with perspective.

So often, we think we’re making choices in our lives about what we do and whom we do it with. What if that’s simply not true? What if the experience you’re having right now has been handed to you? Somewhat like a meteor from outer space, you’ve landed in a chapter in your life that is asking you to be pay attention.

So please do pay attention. Notice. What’s trying hard to get you to look? What are you being called to learn at this moment? What experiences are you meant to be having? 

Life is a mosaic—colorful tiles of experiences that begin from the moment you’re born. Being a mom isn’t an achievement, nor does it define you. It’s simply what you’re doing right now

Perhaps you are meant to go back to work. But maybe you’re being called to share your old activities with an expanded group, rather than just with your husband. How can you include the family in the activities you used to love? Children love nature—and dancing—and I suspect many of the things the two of you used to share.

Dreaming up new ways to enjoy your former activities will only strengthen the bond between you and your husband. And the challenge of creating something new will help you grow, which is what I believe your ennui is telling you it’s time for.

You’ve got a 100-year mosaic to create—if you’re lucky. What color will it be today?

 Erika is out on maternity leave. 

ASK MOM offers parents two perspectives on today’s child-rearing issues—one from a mom with grown children (Mary), the other from a mom raising a small child (Erika). If you’re looking for creative solutions, or your mom isn’t around to ask, drop in! 

If you have a question for Mary and Erika, we’d love to hear from you! [email protected]

Read more ASK MOM advice.


Mary Follin is the author of Teach Your Child to Read™ and ETHYR, winner of the Moonbeam Children's Book Award and the Gertrude Warner Book Award. She is mom to two grown sons and enjoys sharing her more seasoned perspective  with parents of younger children. 

Erika Guerrero is a freelance hair and makeup artist, Erika K. Beauty, single-mama to one amazing boy, and author of She’s Not Shaken, a blog offering hope and encouragement to women in all walks of life.



Suzanne Johnson, mother of five children and grandmother of eight, is an illustrator, book cover designer, and author of the Realms of Edenocht series.

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