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Mother: I regret having my kids

Isabella Dutton says her two children are 'like parasites.’

For many women, having a child is a joyous, albeit life-changing, occasion. But for 57-year-old Isabella Dutton of Britain, it was her biggest mistake.

Dutton, a typist, wrote a first-hand account for the U.K.’s Daily Mail in which she details her regrets about having her two children, Stuart and Jo.

“My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: Having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life,” she wrote. “I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.”

Photo: Mother confesses she regrets having her kids / Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images Dutton said that despite her indifference, she invested all of her time and energy into caring for her children. But she soon came to resent their neediness and the time spent doting on them that could have been used to “reflect, read and enjoy her own company.”

She described her own family life as “happy” and “conventional” as one of five siblings.

“I know there are millions who will consider me heinously cold-blooded and unnatural, but I believe there will also be those who secretly feel the same,” Dutton wrote.

Universally, it's more common to hear of women who regret the decision not to have children, and according to a recent U.K. survey, it’s the same for most men.

The small study, conducted at Keele University, found that men are as likely as women to regret not having children. More than half the men surveyed said they felt jealous of people with kids, compared with under half of the women.

But Dutton is not most women. She never got over the peace and simplicity that she loved about her life before her kids came along.

"It's just that I have been honest -- some may contend brutally so -- and admitted to my true feelings," she wrote. "In doing so I have broken a supposedly inviolable law of nature. What kind of mother, after all, wishes she hadn't had children?"

What do you think about Dutton’s point of view about her children? Tell us in the comments.

More from The Family Room:
Does having kids make you happy?
Are single-child families the new normal?
Spanking in public: Another great parenting debate

Bing: The cost of raising a child

Photo: Alexandra Grablewski/Getty Images


Aug 7, 2013 11:42PM
I think more people should honestly examine what kind of people they TRULY are and then decide if that will be the making of good parents. I for one knew a long time ago that children would not be in the equation. I do not like kids. They make me sick. I hate being around them. My spouse feels the same way. We enjoy each others company and we are financially well off. I would not trade the life I have with my spouse for a life as a mother for anything. Long live honesty and truth. If more people admitted that they would be terrible parents then no child would ever be abused or neglected.
Aug 3, 2013 7:53PM
You're certainly unnatural.  Procreation is a primal instinct that comes from our physical being, but caring for children and taking the steps to sacrifice to raise them is a godly instinct that comes from our spiritual being.  Controlling the urge to have sex until we are married and in a relationship where children can be properly cared for is a what makes us better people and helps us reach a higher plane of existence.  Yes,  you may have more opportunities to travel and own things, and I may have to put off that physical gratification for a time, but you won't ever be able to know what it's like to truly love something unconditionally more than yourself, and be willing to give all that you have for that beautiful child or children that you have been blessed with.  You will have to put off that spiritual gratification forever.  Regretting that you made the decision to have children is not something to be celebrated, it should be pitied.
Jul 11, 2013 1:49PM
I think she's brilliant for telling the truth and using her name, all the while knowing the mommy-and-me group was going to lynch her.

She's right.  Parenthood is not all Kodak moments and it can suck.  For life.  And there is no getting out of it.  Ever. 

Why jump on her for being one of the few verbally honest women saying it?   Friends and people mutter it under their breath all the time.  And it's not like she dropped kicked her kid into a vat of oil to get rid of it, or went all Casey on them.  She's taking care of them and their needs.  She doesn't think it's the end all and be all of her life, and she has regrets. 

And she's not selfish for stating her truth.  Grow up and tend to your own kids and stop being so judgmental. 

May 17, 2013 9:28AM
Oh please! Stop with the cheesy 'gift from God' and 'how selfish' statements, they're ridiculous. This lady feels like so many woman who choose to procreate in order to conform to society, and please their husbands. Do I have children? Absolutely not! I feel really sad for woman who are duped into the **** notion that their life will become complete once you have a child, it's bollocks. Good for her for speaking her mind, she is far from alone. Times are changing ladies! 
May 1, 2013 10:55PM
I think that she is simply selfish and self centered. I feel very sorry for her children. I am sure this is not a surprise to them Children know when they are unloved and unwanted. Of course it is a sacrifice to have children but it is also a sincere joy in serving others so completely. It is true that we loose a few years of our lives to give another a life but our reward far out-weighs the sacrifice. It is as simple as gratitude. instead of looking at what she has lost, she needs to see the blessings she gained from her children. She is just a glass half empty kind of person. .
May 1, 2013 8:57PM

Extremely selfish and self-centered, is what you are, lady.  Not only did your poor kids have to feel the rejection from you growing up, but now they get to read about it on the internet.  You do not know what love is, let alone know how to give it.  I suggest for your children's sake:  get therapy!  The world does not revolve around you.  From the moment those kids were conceived, a commitment was made by you to love and nurture those children forever.  Period.  No gray areas, that is how it is.  I feel sorry for you.  Going through life unable to really love anyone more than you love yourself, is a tragedy and very, very sad.


Prayers to your children. 

May 1, 2013 8:37PM
I love this. I never wanted kids, and I really don't like them. I have been told I'm selfish for not having them, but how can I be selfish over something that doesn't exsist? I love this woman for standing up and admitting it. Alot of women feel this way, and it's about time people realize kids are NOT blessings. They are the end of freedom, end of having realtionships, end of a life.
Apr 23, 2013 4:25PM
@mycorner just because they grow up am I supposed to love them any less NO, I dont care how old I will love them just as my mother did me and if she had any regrets guess what!!! I never knew which makes a great parent!
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