Regret is a widespread feeling in life. Many of us have regrets.
Not many of us have a regret quite as large as regretting fatherhood.
I can only imagine the feeling. It is certainly not something I thought about in the build-up to fatherhood!
There is no doubt, fatherhood is tough. If you regret it, then it is even tougher!
But why do men regret fatherhood?
Let’s take a look at the 7 most common reasons.
7 Common Reasons Why You Regret Fatherhood
This list is not exhaustive, I am sure there are more reasons for regret, but there are the most common.
You No Longer Have Time Do Do Anything
Your life now revolves around kids.
- You get up when they get up
- You sleep when they sleep
- You eat when you can get 2 minutes to eat
- You can’t leave them alone to get things done
You used to be able to do what you wanted when you wanted. Now, you are at the mercy of your child, which is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome when raising a child.
Your Partner Gets Shut Down Time when You Finish Work
I’ve been there before. I’ve had a tough day, and as soon as I step through the door, the baby/toddler/child is handed to me.
Then mom goes and spends a bit of time on her own so she can re-group.
Dad also needs that. He hasn’t been at work taking it easy. Dad has been full-on at work and is now full-on at home.
Then, when the kids are asleep, poor dad is too tired to stay awake and do what he needs. The next day, it starts again.
Life seems like a continual merry-go-round.
Social Life Is Ruined
Friday night, Saturday night… these used to be the big nights of the week!
Since you’ve had a child, you are either too tired, don’t have the cash, or just busy being a dad and raising the kids.
It is one of the ways that fatherhood changes a man.
You feel like you will never go out and enjoy yourself again! Even if you did, you would feel anchored down with feelings like:
I can’t drink too much, I’ve got to be a dad again tomorrow.
Life Is Chaotic
It is non-stop.
The house is a mess.
There is no adult food in the house because you haven’t been grocery shopping.
There is no downtime, or at least it feels that way.
Your whole life feels chaotic, and you don’t have time to think and declutter your mind. That feeling builds up and will one day explode!
Children Are Irrational
I get sick of dealing with the irrationality of children, especially when they are younger!
Then they get older and more rational. In some cases, that is worse.
Personally, I loved it when my firstborn was able to argue back using logic and rationality. I like a challenge, and it was a call for me to step up!
Money hemorrhages from your bank account.
You have to buy things you never know existed until you had a child. It’s expensive, and it doesn’t stop either.
As your child gets older, the things you need to buy are more expensive, and this money used to be yours. You could open up your browser and order whatever you wanted.
Those days are gone.
Lack Of Sleep
The big one!
Sleep deprivation causes all kinds of emotional issues, and new babies don’t sleep much.
That results in a much grumpier person who is having some issues keeping hold of emotions.
Personally, I really struggled in the early weeks with my second son because he would only sleep for an hour, maximum. Life was thought, but it got easier!
How To Reduce Your Fatherhood Regret
Now we have been through the 7 most common reasons; it is time to address them.
Before we begin – this is a guide on dealing with fatherhood regret. Obviously, you may still have some regret after implementing these tips. I suggest you discuss this topic with your partner. In fact, I urge you to discuss it. If not with your partner, speak with a professional.
Raising a child that you regret having could potentially have disastrous implications on their mental health, emotional state, and future.
Make Sure You Get Your Own Time
Everyone needs time on their own to shut down and declutter their thoughts.
Ensure that you get this time. Discuss it with your partner, and make it fair!
Work out a schedule that works for you all, and get the time you need to do what I like to do best – sit in silence and let my brain relax for 30 minutes.
I come out of that state invigorated and ready for battle!
Look For The Good Bits
I know it is tough, but you should spend time searing for the good bits of fatherhood.
- Is it when they smile?
- Is it playtime?
- Is it when they are eating?
- When they are progressing (walking, crawling, speaking, reading)?
Pick these bits and do more of them. Encourage development if that brings pride.
Find A Hobby
When you get a few hours off, it is nice to engage in a hobby.
My personal favorites are:
- Weight lifting
- Martial Arts
Get a hobby and ensure you spend some quality time doing it. Having a hobby is hugely beneficial to your mental health!
If you feel like your finances are slipping away from you, you need to budget and be meticulous!
Do not be tempted to overspend. Keep to the budget and reduce money-related concerns.
I have ‘shiny thing’ syndrome, where I have to buy something new because it is new. That is the biggest thing I need to cut out if I am to budget effectively.
Arrange regular date nights with your partner and invite friends along too! That way, you get to live as a couple for at least a couple of hours.
It is vital to step outside of fatherhood from time to time because it allows you to reset your brain.
Is It Normal To Regret Fatherhood?
Whilst it’s not something we hear many dads discussing, it doesn’t mean it is not normal.
After all, we guys are not renowned for speaking our feelings, are we?
The biggest thing you should do is try to combat it. You may because going through the daddy blues, and it might pass. Having said that, it might not pass without intervention, which is why you need to discuss it with your partner, or with a professional.
Raising a child that you regret having can have some serious consequences.
When you are a father, life can be tough. In fact, sometimes parenting is not fun and not easy either. On this page, we discussed 7 of the most common reasons you regret parenthood and 5 things you can do to help the situation.
You must seek support for the way you are feeling. As I said a couple of times above, seek help from your partner or a professional. Resist the temptation to pour your heart out over social media because that never works out well.