A momentary feeling of regret having children is normal and natural when a mom or dad is feeling overwhelmed, helpless or stressed.
While many may find it hard to admit, but it is perfectly natural for moms to feel an occasional tinge of momentary regret about having children, especially when she’s overwhelmed, exhausted, in a power-struggle with her child, or particularly if she’s a single mom. However, there is a smaller percentage of mothers who deep down inside knew that they would not be a good mother and honestly did not want children.
It is important to understand that a momentary feeling of regret having children is normal and natural when a mom or dad is feeling overwhelmed, helpless or stressed. I define moments of ‘stress’ as those times when you want your child do what you requested but they don’t, etc. These feelings of regret usually pass quickly and should never be spoken out loud to the child(ren).
Feelings of regret can diminish, shift, and even evolve into feelings of affection and deep love. The toughest phase for parents seems to be the toddler phase when the child must claim themself as a separate being from Mommy and Daddy through resistance, temper tantrums, saying no, and general disagreement. If the parent doesn’t feel rejected or get caught into an unresolved war with the youngster, they most often can move forward to a better place in the early elementary school years.
Here are a few steps parents can take when they are feeling a moment of regret.
1. Identify your personality type, then identify your child’s. A professional counselor can help you with this discovery.
2. Be brave. Admit to yourself if your chemistry doesn’t mix with your child’s.
3. Keep your expectations realistic. Don’t expect personalities to change, expect modifications and adjustments instead.
4. Know that just as you want to be acknowledged and fully accepted, so does your child.
5. Meet your child where they are. Inch yourself between your comfort zone and your child’s.
6. Find your child’s specialness and highlight it.
7. Remember, your child is not aggravating you on purpose.
8. Find you’re joining place in humor, sports, nature, music, art, et cetera.
9. Do not push your introverted child, but do rein in your extroverted child.
10. Manage your feelings of embarrassment.
11. Be kind to your child and yourself!
When a woman feels “regret” towards her children, the best things she can do is acknowledge those feelings ‘silently’ to herself, and then immediately reach out to a well-trained, trustworthy, professional child and parenting psychologist with whom she can talk about and process those important emotions so the family can live in harmony.
Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills family and relationship psychotherapist, and author of The Self-Aware Parent. She is a regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on Sex Box, WE tv.