Parents Regret Having Children | Burnout Parental Psychology, Taboo But Real

Parents Regret Having Children | Burnout Parental Psychology, Taboo But Real

Parents Regret Having Children

They love their children, but they regret having children. In a society that values ​​motherhood, women who know these feelings find it difficult to acknowledge and be heard. But this reality does exist and the taboos that surround it say a lot about our views on the role of women in society. The psychological problem for parents regret having children can happen to any parent!

Many Moms and Dads cannot control their feelings, but this is a mere social stigma, which many people are required to be happy in the eyes of everyone.

Parents who regret having reproduced are characterized by higher levels of negative experiences in their childhood, poorer psychological and biological health, greater guilt in the face of other people’s judgments, absent “parental identity” and burnout. globaly.

Read also: Hypersensitivity (psychology) Sensory processing sensitivity | Types and Characteristics of Hypersensitive People

Regret being a parent has also been linked to financial difficulties and celibacy, as well as having children with more and more special needs.

Psychology reasons for parents regret having children

A study conducted by Konrad Piotrowski, a researcher at the Institute of Psychology at SWPS University in Pozna (Poland), explains that feelings of regret are more present in people who experience financial difficulties or have unstable relationships.

Another less obvious factor: the pursuit of perfectionism. “Parents with higher levels of perfectionism have difficulty forming a stable parental identity, they have more doubts about their suitability for parenting, are characterized by greater confusion about how to parent and, ultimately, suffer more from parenting. parental fatigue,” explained the researcher.

An observation shared by forum moderator Mother Blues: “Between the ideal of mothers and reality, there is a gap. Some women fall from above when they find themselves mothers.” For Marinette Ardouin, the latter is often not sufficiently informed. What are the baby blues? Baby blues are feelings of sadness that you may have in the first few days after having a baby.

Women who expressed regret were also explained by the sense of loss of identity that accompanies motherhood and by moving away from their personal and professional goals to raise their children.

So, despite the fear of judgment by people you don’t know it’s better to talk about it. On the other hand, to feel more relieved, you can write it on the internet to feel more relieved about your testimony, with the definite advantage of being able to remain anonymous or no one knows about your identity. Good luck writing!

Parental burnout is an intense stress syndrome associated with parenting and manifests itself in three ways: physical and emotional exhaustion, emotional detachment and loss of parental effectiveness.

Parallel to burnout

What is surprising is that this definition is exactly the one I used during my doctoral thesis. Just my thesis on burnout, not parental burnout. But actually, when you think about it, this new way of looking at the subject makes a lot of sense. We can draw a parallel between the two.

Burnout develops after exposure to chronic stress. This stress is caused by an imbalance between the demands made on a person at work and the resources provided to meet those demands.


So, as parents, we can draw the following equation: do I have sufficient resources (time, money, emotional stability, skills) to be able to achieve the goals I have set for myself? For example, taking my child to play sports or take music lessons so that they develop certain skills, do family activities every weekend, make my child more independent and responsible and expect them to do so, always act right with others, etc.

So is it possible that, among some parents, the demands far exceed the available resources? I sincerely believe so. Unfortunately, in our society, we often have a “need” and “must” attitude rather than a “want” or “is this realistic?” attitude.


Sometimes certain expectations that a person sets for himself as a parent will conflict with each other. The most famous of all are probably: “I want to be the best at work and, for that, I have to leave the office one last time” and “A good mother does not leave her children until the last day.” daycare center, he will pick them up as soon as possible”. However, this contradiction will cause significant stress to parents, stress that will slowly push them towards burnout.

We’re all balanced on a continuum, as the author of the book on parental burnout also points out. This is another parallel that can be drawn with professional exhaustion as it is one of the important discoveries in recent years on this subject. On the one hand, there is fatigue; and on the other hand, professional welfare. Likewise, for parents, there is parental fatigue on the one hand and parental well-being on the other. The secret to happiness is therefore staying in balance. In the book, we also give parents some interesting ideas to help them regain their balance.

How to reduce the impact of parental stress and regreting parents having children

One important way to reduce the impact of parenting stress is to adjust our expectations to our realities. I’ll give you a personal example.

When the baby was born, I decided that sports should be a part of a child’s life and he should have at least one gym class every weekend. That’s great with a child. It gets a little difficult with two kids. Finally, after two seasons of parallel baseball and ballet classes that took our summer to its fullest, I had to adjust my expectations about the sport. The stress became too much for me, my wife and children. We have to adjust and target the most important needs to free ourselves from the demands we impose on ourselves!

What we know now is that in our show society, burnout threatens all of us. Therefore, it is important to be aware of our over-expectations and be flexible in order to adapt and regain pleasure in our role as parents.

So, today I challenge you: try to find the parental expectations you had that you could relax or drop. Please use the comments section to do so; I am sure that this discussion between parents will lead to constructive reflection and perhaps useful questions…

Diseases | List of Diseases: dermatological, cardiovascular, respiratory, cancer, eye, genetic, infectious, mental illness, rare

Information: Cleverly Smart is not a substitute for a doctor. Always consult a doctor to treat your health condition.

Sources: PinterPandai, St. Joseph Communications (MacLean’s), Science Norway, BBC, Plos One

Photo credit: Piqsels (CC0 Public Domain)

Learn More →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *