I Wanted A Baby My Whole Life — And Now I Regret Having One

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Having a baby became such an obsession that I couldn’t see anything else.

It wasn’t long after I got married that baby fever kicked in. I was 26 years old and a lot of my high school friends already had toddlers. In my mind, I was way behind. 

Every movie or show I grew up watching instilled in me the family values that would become the motivation for how to manage my life: Marriage, babies, house, drinking tea on my wrap-around porch in the summer while watching my kids play in the front yard.

I begged my husband for a baby. I cried, I screamed, I even left the house one time in a fit of rage after punching a wall (thus ruining our security deposit on that apartment).

He felt we just weren’t ready financially to bring another life in this world.

In retrospect, he was right. But having a baby became such an obsession that I couldn’t see anything else but that.

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At the time, we lived in an attic apartment; the kitchen shared space with the living room and our bedroom had a very deep roof slope that caused many a bruise when waking up in a panic. As my husband pointed out, our home was no place to start a family. 

When we finally moved into an apartment that was spacious, albeit a one-bedroom, my husband finally gave in and said we could try for a baby. Before he finished his sentence, I was already downloading ovulation apps on my phone and looking at baby registries. 

But if I’m being honest, all this need for a baby was entirely superficial. I wanted to post pictures on Facebook. I wanted to dress up my child in gorgeous dresses or fancy little infant suits. Why? Because that’s what I felt was the next step in the Game of Life. I felt an insatiable drive to be normal and follow in everyone else’s footsteps. I never took into account that maybe having a baby wasn’t for me.

Month after month, my period showed up and I started to believe maybe it wasn’t meant to be. I began to think not having a child wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, and that’s when we stopped trying. We had unprotected sex because we felt that I couldn’t get pregnant.

And then I did.

My son is now almost six years old, and let me go ahead and get the clichés out of the way: I love him more than life. I would die for him. He’s my world.

OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty: My life is sh*tty. I had always been a selfish person (forcing a child on my husband ranks pretty high on the selfish scale, no?) and I love sleep. I love going to the city and seeing Broadway shows. I love spending money on me. I love writing, whenever I want, without having to make sure my son is happily playing with his trucks first. And did I mention I love sleep?

I wouldn’t EVER admit this to anyone in my real life, but I regret having my son. I’ve lost years of my life to a child that I wanted for all the wrong reasons.

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There are people who will say that every child is a blessing, and that’s great if you believe in God. But I don’t. I believe that I really f*cked up my life by being a follower and wanting to fit in with what I thought was the right way to do life.

And that’s no one’s fault but my own.

At almost 35 years old, and despite my baby regrets, I still tend to think about what’s "normal" before I do something. It’s an unhealthy way to live. But I’m trying to learn to go against the grain, follow my heart and not my Facebook feed, and to live life how it’s best for me.

In the meantime, I have an adorable kid who I love dearly. And if that’s the "worst" thing that came out of my life, I guess I’m not doing as bad as I thought.

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