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Men who were luke warm on having children but had them anyway to please their SO, how are you feeling now that you’re a father?

Do you have any regrets? I’ve never had a burning desire to have a child and have thought many times that I don’t want kids but I’m still holding out hope that I might meet a great lady one day that might make me reconsider.

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  1. I had a shit childhood, no father, drunk mother who went through boyfriends, no money, lived in the car more than once, changed schools constantly, more than once had to steal food for my brother and sister and I, way more than a few hundred times had to go to the neighbors and hope they’d ask us to stay for dinner.

    I left home at about 16 but I stayed with friends as often as I could starting at about 12.

    I was deathly afraid of having children. I thought I’d never be able to be a remotely good father so I didn’t want kids.

    After I got married and after a few years our friends were having kids and the more I spent time around these other kids I started to open up to the idea of having my own.

    I suffered panic attacks and my wife actually took me to the hospital a few weeks before our first was born due to my chest pains.

    Fast forward to the day I got to see my first child come crawling towards me as I laid on the couch recovering from a lung biopsy and she just stopped, stood up, and with the biggest smile ever and her arms stretched out towards me took her first stumbling steps towards me, this was and still is the most memorable moment of my life and I have zero regrets, zero.

    I simply couldn’t imagine my life without my daughters, now 14 and almost 17, and who I’ve had sole custody of now for going on 11 years.

    My youngest is my shooting, hunting and garage buddy and the oldest is my girly girl who just started driving.

    They both do far better than I did in school being honor roll students and have a much brighter demeanor.

    It’s a tough job, but imo the rewards are more than worth it.

  2. I love my kid to death, i never think twice about putting his needs before mine, but if i could turn the clock back ten years i wouldn’t do it again.

    I did it because she wanted a kid and because i thought that was what everyone expected from me, i got stuck in the mindset that to live a good adult life you need to find a partner, a well paying job, find your own place to live together and get children.

    In hindsight i should’ve put my own needs before what i thought people expected from me.

  3. I had just come out of a divorce after five years and after two months we were dating my girlfriend got pregnant. She was very happy about it and we were good together so I went along. It was 2003. Seventeen years and three more kids later I could not be happier. The whole fatherhood experience made me wholesale a better person.

  4. Love my kids. Hate my wife. Crazy to think if I never got married, I’d never have my boys. I am so happy to be a father even though I am filing for divorce. No regrets here. My boys are my world.

  5. I always figured I would end up having kids one day, but nothing about it really appealed to me until it got closer to becoming a reality. My wife wanted kids a lot, and I wasn’t OPPOSED to the notion. I now have a 5 year old daughter and a nearly 1yo son.

    Kids are incredible. You get back what you put in.

    The first year can be tough, but it’s always made out like having a newborn baby is just this relentless slog of misery. It’s not. Do they need a lot of attention? For a month or two, yeah.

    But then they smile at you for the first time. Then they laugh for the first time. Then they sit up, and they figure out how to hold things and do these little things. One day they respond to you, you see the things you’ve tried to teach them take hold. They turn into a person right in front of your eyes.

    I don’t remember the hard parts of my daughter or my son’s first year. I only remember the milestones.

    I can’t promise you’ll feel the same way, but the odds are that you will. And there is literally nothing in life that feels like being a parent, for better or worse. It will be a major defining factor in your life, but unless you compare it to living a crazy life full of thrill-a-minute adventure, you still have plenty of freedom when you’re a parent.

    I don’t think a lady will change your mind, but if you find yourself not totally unopposed to the idea, I think there’s a very good chance you’ll come out being glad you had them.

  6. My ex got pregnant and kept our baby. I didn’t mind at all and I don’t mind at all even now. We’re not together, but our child was the best thing to happen for her and I get joy out of knowing that I helped. The time I spend with my baby is precious and I love every minute even if the relationship didn’t work out.

  7. Same feeling, no regrets. I grew up with a bad father figure, so I felt like I didn’t know what to do when it happened. Having kids had been a very rewarding experience for myself, my SO, and my children.

  8. Honestly, having a kid wasn’t something I really wanted. I imagined having to put my wants and hobbies on the back burner. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Having her (now 4) say “I love you, daddy” is the greatest feeling in the world. Sure, there have been plenty of times when I wanted more sleep, or plenty of times when I just wanted to be able to chill after work. But seeing her smile is the best thing on the planet. I love my wife, but my daughter is everything to me.

  9. Not exactly the same situation. I always knew I wanted to have kids. After having the first one though, I was very lukewarm on having a second. Being a parent was *far* more stressful than I thought it was going to be. My wife absolutely wanted a second and maybe a third. I didn’t agree to a second to make my wife happy, but my wife accidentally got knocked up right around our older daughter’s first birthday. Abortion was never a discussion.

    My youngest is 4.5 now and I don’t regret it. My younger daughter is a little spitfire and a really awesome kid, and I’m glad my older daughter has a sibling.

  10. I was never “staunchly anti-kids” but had a rich and fulfilling life without them so wasn’t sure I would want them. Wife and I now have 2 and they are the highlight of my world. I never knew what absolute unconditional love was until I had kids. I love my wife and will do a lot for her, but I will crawl on broken glass into a burning building to fight a grizzly bear for my kids without hesitation. (Fortunately this situation has not come up, but I totally would.)

    Caveat: My wife and I are financially and [as much as regular folks can be] emotionally stable. I don’t think kids to “fix” a relationship or having kids if you struggle to support yourself are a great idea.

  11. I was unsure about kids. Met my OH who had a 4 yr old when we met and she was cool too. Had 2 more kids since and it’s been by far the best decade of my life. Genuinely loved the entirety of parenting but have been lucky that the kids all slept well. That 4 yr old is now 15 and I’m starting to dread the start of empty nest syndrome. Will be simultaneously gutted and proud when they’re all off being brilliant somewhere else.

  12. No kids myself, but my BIL couldn’t be happier. He was on the fence, and like many thought having kids was just the next step. The first was a surprise, the next three were planned. BIL felt like he was directionless, just getting by, but his children woke him up and became his calling.

  13. Yo, I’m a happily (37f) childfree person.
    And I have NO regrets.

    1. If you are “not sure” don’t have them.

    A woman shouldn’t have to convince you. Please do not have a child to appease someone. It sounds to me like you don’t want kids.. it’s a full on job/commitment. Don’t go in blind.

    They are not accessories they are humans that will rely on you (potentially if problems) their entire LIFE. Not just until age 18.

    2. And get your (both of you) genes tested if you are sure you want to.

    I wasn’t diagnosed with bipolar and EUPD until a few years ago (destroyed my teens/20’s and early 30’s).
    I am also diagnosed with auto immune disease etc etc. Ironically triggered by an unwanted pregnancy. (Be mindful pregnancy can also lead to complications)… if I had that kid, then they would be caring for me right now.

    My cousins have various issues. Mental health, physical, life long issues. All different dependant on which side of the tree you look at. But all not visible at child bearing age…

    My cousin has two boys. She was pregnant with the second when she found out the first child had Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. She is now disabled herself after years of lifting them without a hoist/lack of help. Both boys are deteriorating quickly now and will die early (mid 30s if they’re lucky).

    My partner and I both don’t want kids. Yes, we fantasise and joke about what our kids would look like/be like etc.

    But the reality is different. I know this from life experience and being one of almost 30 cousins (big Irish family). I was changing nappies, burping and feeding babies at a young age.

    Hearing the traumatising stories put me off. I would rather adopt or foster (you also get paid well to foster).
    And witnessing friends become parents when they should have never in my view; I have had too many friends ADMIT they regret it, they can’t cope and the kids suffer. The relationships breakdown.

    I am the adult child of a couple who should not have and regret having kids. This fucked me and my brother up big time.

    3. You can be PATERNAL/maternal WITHOUT having kids… I have kids in my life. I enjoy teaching them, playing, cooking and reading with them etc, going out for the day… and then I give them back.

    I also managed to pay my mortgage off early without kids, I have seen the world a bit and enjoy the peace of my quiet house most days.

    So… some food for thought I guess.

    If you’re still not sure, perhaps watch David Attenborough’s A life on our planet.

  14. Sometimes it’s really hard in every way… Stressful, financially draining, sleep deprivation.

    Even with all that it’s worth it.. oldest is 3 and youngest is 1.. always arguing with Mr 3 but it’s part of it.

    I was definitely on the fence and I miss my old life sometimes but then I think what would I be doing anyway?

    Drinking, smoking, gambling and playing video games most likely.. now I am doing everything I can to be fit and healthy for these lads.

    This is what life’s about.

  15. After my college girlfriend got pregnant I was honestly so scared of parenthood. I was not a responsible guy, nor was I financially stable or married. In short, I was a parent my child could never look up to. I was not feeling very confident about it, this is when my parents put their foot down and advised me to take up the responsibility.

    My then-girlfriend(mom to my son) and I had to break up because she cheated on me.

    Since then I have worked my ass off, got a stable well paying job, secured my son’s education (at least till high school), married, bought a home, am happy.

    my son has been the greatest achievement and biggest pride of my life. And I am so grateful to have him!

  16. I never had the desire to have children and didn’t until I was almost 40.

    My daughter is my greatest accomplishment and its not even close.

    She brings my wife and I a level of joy that I did not know existed.

    The caveat – we are older parents that could afford and dedicate time to our child. I can imagine this had an impact of how great our experience has been.

  17. Never wanted to be married, never wanted to have kids. I’ve now been married for over ten years at and have three boys. I still don’t like the idea of marriage or kids but if I were to say they weren’t the best things in my life I’d be lying.

    As you stated might happen, once you find someone that you can do both with it will make you reconsider it all and do both. Even on the hardest days with them laying in bed relieved they finally went to sleep I think about how much I love them and getting to spend the next day with them.
    To clarify my kids are 12, 3, and 3 (twins).

  18. I wasn’t sure I was ready, but then when are you ever really ready for huge life changing events?

    I have some regrets, but not that my kids are alive, I love them very dearly!

    The regrets are related to the relationship with their mother.

  19. I was in denial/stress, didn’t feel like I was to be a dad right until the moment I held her in my arms. It’s been a bit rough since I had just bought a house, I live in Puerto Rico and she wasn’t even a year old when Hurricane María came through. It’s impacted our (parents) relationship, privacy, free time. At first it was very rough financially which made me think several times “I wish we weren’t parents”.

    All that being said, I love her and I can’t see myself not having her in my life. Sure, sometimes I wish I could get away and have a week to rest, but what parent doesn’t? SO wanted to give her a brother/sister, but I got a vasectomy soon after since one is more than enough on mental health. 😅

  20. I feel great.

    I’ll try to be brief here, I had a normal childhood, both parents, good schooling, went to college, got my degree, etc. mostly uneventfull life.

    I did know that I wanted a GF, and eventually a wife and be an awesome couple and grow old together, maybe travel a lot. }

    Kids? dunno. never were really “on” the picture, but also never were “off” it either. I know for some fellow men, “having children” is an issue and a topic on itself. also for most of them, it’s relevant to have at leas ONE male child.

    So when asked, I always answered with “it’s all the same to me”

    BUT when the wife brought the issue, I sorta panicked. I wanted a larger house and bigger income if we were to have kids. I was applying for a residency program (I’m, an M.D), to get a medical specialization degree and have a better salary. how would a kid impact all that? having a kid is expensive also! I started thinking on the pros and cons about it, but the wife **really wanted** to have a kid. And I wasn’t about make a BIG argument, because, as I said, I never was fully against it (yet also not fully for it) I did feared how it will impact our “couple” relationship with the wife, how it will change and all that.

    Long story short, now we have a 1 year old baby girl and I love her. It’s awesome seeing her grow and develop skills, and walk around. all around, it makes all the sacrifices worthwhile; being a bit more tight with money, that most of the expenses are because of her, being there for her, so that my wife can have some time for herself too.


    I still say it’s not for everyone, and that it’s pretty valid to not want to have children, but if you’re on the lukewarm boat, and it seems to be an important issue to your SO, sit down, talk, plan; talk with other couples, get to know the good and the bad of it, because it’s tough, but certainly worthwhile. then make your choice and stick by it.

  21. Being a good dad is really hard. You sacrifice your needs , wants , desires and time for the sake of being a good parent.

    I wasn’t a teen dad but was fairly young (24). While my friends were out hanging out , progressing in their careers , traveling , sleeping in, enjoying their hobbies – I was stuck with my stable but boring job , staying home , hardly going out and missing out on a lot of things.

    The love and admiration your kid gives you is a great feeling but it fades as they get older (they still love you of course but they display it different ). And with all the sacrifices that you do – there’s never a guarantee that you won’t screw up in how you raise your kid .

    Being a dad forces you to become whole and “grow up”. Hindsight is 20/20 and I love my kid – but my feelings about being a parent remains the same. Ideally you have kids in your 30s , so that you can focus your 20s on yourself – allowing you to enjoy your time and gain experiences that make you a better parent.

  22. Bad. We are divorced largely because of this. I had / have a hard time engaging with my kid. I love him and feel like I’m letting him down. He has a great step dad, but that just makes me less willing / able to engage and feels worse.

  23. not relavent or somewhqt relavent i am still 18…. but so scared to even the thought of having a kid….. just want a loving partner to spent time and sharw feelings with…

  24. I was luke-warm. Being a dad was not something I aspired to become, or knew my life wouldn’t be complete without a kid. I’m a nerd, I used to play a lot of videogames and still do, when there is time… I love my girlfriend, and I was more scared of going back to being alone and sad with my videogames, than having kids so agreed with myself it was the right course of action. I have two kids now. Oldest is 2.5, youngest is 4 month.

    I like to tell my friends in a joking matter that it’s the absolutely both the best and the worst thing in my life. I love my kids to death, I have fears and worries I never had before, taking care of them is exausting and draining every day, but I still miss the shit out of them if I’m away for more than a day, or their mother takes them to her parents for a get-away and I have to work. There is so my joy and pleasure to it, but also hairpulling moments of pure frustration and anger (oldest, just this morning, tossed his cup full of milk against the wall, without provocation).

    It will certainly enrich your life, and it puts all sorts of stress on your own well-being, so if you are generally in bad shape and low on energy, it might just kill you…

    I would probably do it again, but I can certainly understand and respect the people that chose not to. I’m a spineless scared man, that jumped into this because he felt the alternative was depressive solitude and early death of heart-attack and loneliness. If you do just fine by self, and don’t feel like splitting up over it, is the end of the world, please do reconsider.

  25. I will admit I wasn’t fond of having all my time taken up by a newborn which may be because I take a while to connect with someone. After some time I grew to love my daughter more and she’s 6 months old now. Now I don’t mind wiping her ass, getting vomit on me or her crying because she doesn’t want to sleep because when she makes happy noises when we play or looks at me and smiles, I’m happy.

  26. I did not want kids, but… Found out my girlfriend of 2 years was 4 months pregnant, freaked out for a week. Then stuck a ring on her finger and never looked back our kid is 6 now and i could not be happier!!

  27. Once I found out she was pregnant, I was very unhappy. For some reason when she mentioned abortion, I got sad and realized I wanted the kid. He’s almost a year old now and I love him so much.

    I had a shitty childhood, cold harsh parents, and I want nothing more than to give this kid the life I didnt have.

    But that doesn’t mean it’ll work the same way for you or other guys that never wanted kids.

  28. I dont have kids I’m also not keen on having kids and my entire family and friend circle tried to change that. Until my brother had kids (3 all within 1 year of each other) at first he was like when are you going to have kids and give my kids cousins now 5 years in he tells me any chance he gets dont do it. He loves his kids he wouldn’t have them again though.

    My best friend also has a child he always wanted kids he comes from a big family and wanted that for his kids. They didn’t even make it out the hospital without an argument they had been together for 4 years no issues at all genuinely a model couple then within days of the kid being born they were at each others throats. The kids 5 now they are still together (for the kid they dont want her growing up in a broken home) he stays either with me or his mother at least twice a month because she’s kicked him last time it was because he hadn’t cleaned the house on his day off ( he works as a mechanic she works part time at a hospital). He wishes hed never had his kid he loves her when she’s there but he’s been staying at work till 11pm some night just to get away.

  29. My kids are 20 and 17 now. Love the hell out of them and enjoy their company as great people. Have some great memories of being their Daddy when they were little. Like most things in life you get out of it what you put into it. If you have kids you weren’t really craving… Fuck that, do everything you can for them, love them, show them what it means to be a good person.

  30. I had a great relationship with almost a perfect match. We just were always really trying to live life to the fullest and we only had short-lived, extremely intense dalliances every 10 years. We were 20, then 30, and just had our latest experiment in our 40s. Before we had lives to get back to…we could be selfish. This time, though, we could settle down. But there wasn’t enough time for me to **come around** to the idea of kids. It was make or break time. She is 44. She wanted kids…not one kid, kids. She couldn’t wait any longer. I couldn’t commit that fast and I basically let her get away by convincing myself that it would somehow work out for her with someone else. Like they were going to meet, fall in love, and get pregnant immediately. I had my chance

  31. My wife didn’t want a kid. She promised to have one but then went back on it. It took her 5 years to agree to it again. Now that we have a daughter, she adores her to bits and doesn’t regret it.

    With children, it is one of those things. You will not know if you will regret it or not until you have them. I think the people who regret it are a very small minority.

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