Mother Regrets Having Children, Braces For Online Backlash

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For many women, having a child is a joyous experience.

Isabella Dutton of England is not one of those women.

The 57-year-old raised eyebrows with a commentary she penned in the UK’s Daily Mail in which she details her regrets about having her two kids, Stuart and Jo.

Woman, Kids

Candidly, she describes thoughts that fly directly in the face of what most mothers say about their children - or at least what they think they should say.

“My son Stuart was five days old when the realization hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life,” she wrote.

“I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and who had changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.”

Dutton said that despite her indifference, she was not a "bad" mother, investing all of her time, energy and resources into caring for the two children.

But she still came to resent their neediness and the time spent doting on them that could have been used to “reflect, read and enjoy her own company.”

“I know there are millions who will consider me heinously cold-blooded and unnatural, but I believe there will also be those who secretly feel the same,” Dutton wrote.

She said she was not emotionally scarred by her own upbringing, describing her family life as “happy” and “conventional” as one of five siblings.

Universally, it’s more common to hear of women who regret the decision not to have kids, and according to recent surveys, it’s the same for most men.

Men are just as likely as women to regret not having kids, and that half of men felt jealous of those who do, compared to under half of the women.

But Dutton is not most people, she reiterates. She never got over the peace and simplicity that she loved about her life before her kids came along.

“It’s just that I have been honest - some may contend brutally so - and admitted my feelings,” she wrote. “In doing so I have broken a supposedly inviolable law of nature."

"What kind of mother, after all, wishes she hadn’t had children?”

What do you think of her take? Vote and comment below!


I also don't get where these "See people, this is why you shouldn't have kids. They're horrible and are like parasites!" comments are coming from. How is that any better than a mother forcing the idea of children up your ass? Everyone has a different mentality about kids. If you're going to sit there and whine about people forcing the idea of motherhood on you, then whine about how no one should consider having kids, you are a massive hypocrite.


Children are not for everyone. I personally would not mind having a kid, but I would also not mind not being able to bare any. Even though this woman's words shocked me, I don't condem her to hell for her opinion. If anything, I applaud her for expressing her opinion. All I'm confused about is that if she hated the idea of motherhood so much, why in the fuck would you marry someone who would force you into motherhood and pop out 2 babies? I do not see why she would focus on hating her offspring when she should be angry that this "wonderful man" she likes to put on a pedestal was the one who shoved her in a position she did not obviously like. MESSAGE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT CHILDREN OR THOSE WHO REALLY DO WANT CHILDREN:
Don't fucking marry someone if they are 100% sure about wanting kids when you are 100% sure that you do not want kids. Quit believing this "You'll change your mind later" bullshit. If you have second thoughts on children then don't have them. Jesus...


I applaud her for being honest and not being afraid to speak her mind, even though it goes against the societal grain! I like how people can be so hypocritical by verbally eating someone up for being honest and then have the nerve to call her evil. Why do people get so butt hurt about someone saying they really dont feel a natural bond to children? Everyone does not have baby bliss constantly. People in this comment section act as if she's saying she doesn't like YOUR children or Geez.

The two of cups

This biased article is posting only select pieces from the whole interview. The part that brought me to tears is when she says her son was born blue, with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck and she didn’t even care if he would live or die: “Stuart was born, blue in the face as the cord was wrapped round his neck. While other mothers would be frantic with worry, I remained calm when the doctor whisked him away. I sent Tony back to work and for the next four hours I waited without any apprehension. I did not really think about Stuart at all, until Tony returned after work and asked where he was.” That’s mental illness or just plain evil.


I think she has a martyr complex. She knew she didn't want kids and knew her husband did, but she married him anyway then had kids because she couldn't deny him that experience. Then instead of finding balance between her own needs and those of her kids, she condemns those women who had kids then put them in daycare to go to work. Now she's ready to play the martyr again and be a good grandma even though she doesn't want grandchildren. Hey, if you don't want to babysit your grandkids, you don't have to. Grandparents don't have any responsibilities. I'm sure many people regret having kids - but they don't admit it to the world with accompanying photos! I think her article was the biggest passive aggressive payback to her kids. It's pretty convenient for her to say she wasn't a bad mom. Maybe her kids would like to weigh in? She doens't know how her life would have turned out. Her husband may have divorced her and she could have ended up stuck in deadend jobs a paycheck away from homelessness. Or actually homeless. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. Just maybe her kids brought her more joy than she realizes.

@ kate

I actually meant to respond to "two of cups." Then I proceeded to reply to my own reply trying to explain that, so none of what I've written makes any sense now. Perhaps I should just stick to rotary phones. Yikes.

@ kate

Given her other remarks, this woman may indeed have some kind of personality disorder, but the lack of concern she felt for her son following his birth doesn't necessarily indicate evil or pathology. She simply didn't know the child and felt no bond. According to my grandfather, my mother was in bad shape when she was born, and my grandmother had some fairly serious complications during labor and delivery. My grandpa has said that he "wouldn't have given two cents for" my mom's life at the time. He was only concerned for my grandma's well-being, as he already knew and loved her. While some of the statements in the article are provocative, I got the feeling that was by design. The holier-than-thou tone of it didn't sit well with me, but I do relate to this woman on a certain level. I am in my early 30's, unmarried, childless, and perfectly content in my own company. The child-bearing ship will soon sail on by, and the prospect of living out my years on earth husbandless and childless doesn't bother me in the least. I work with children every day and enjoy them (for the most part). I certainly don't cringe at the thought of motherhood -- as this lady apparently did -- but I wouldn't be at all upset if I were told that I couldn't bear a child. I enjoy my autonomy, and am not certain that I could be as selfless as a parent ought to be. I find it interesting that no one has pointed out the ironic twist in he story: she probably thought that her long nightmare was over when her two "parasites" turned 18, only to have one stricken with M.S. and require continuous care for who knows how many years. This lady can't catch a break.

@ Shadow

I actually meant to respond to "two of cups." My remarks make no sense in response to your comment. Sorry. : /


I feel like this was more of an attack on her children. If she's looking for people who feel the same as her about having children she would've found it if she approached it differently. For one - anonymously. Because I'll admit there are times that I wonder what my life would've been like without children, or if I had had children later or earlier. We all wonder the whatifs whether we choose to admit it out loud or not. But to post your picture and pictures of your children when you are assentially admitting that you wish they weren't alive. I'm just glad that heartless bitch isn't my mother.


You missed the point Ana. I believe people have a right to say they do not want kids. However, it IS very self centered to make the decision, a very serious one at that, and take it for granted when you have children. Moreover, she announced publicly that she regretted the decision which is incredibly selfish and insensitive. A lot of people can't see that since we live in a notoriously egocentric society. I'm sorry, I totally disagree with you and believe that children are a gift for those wanting to have children. Maybe it is just more obvious to those who struggled significantly in doing so or those who have in fact lost their child.

Angie devalcourt wagner

Seriously, if you have one kid and decide you are miserable, why have another? You are a lousy excuse of a human being. Imagine what her kids must feel like hearing this. Talk to a family member or therapist in private but don't announce to the world you wish you never had your kids.


Having 2 adult kids, I must say I love them more than anything, however, if I could turn back time, I think my life would have been a lot happier if I had chosen the childfree path and that's because my kids are very accomplished and successful. Parenthood is NOT for everyone.


I commend her honesty. I wanted a child so badly and finally got pregnant by a dead beat dad about three years ago. I love my daughter and can't imagine life without her so keeping her was the only decision for me. However, there are women who decide to give birth to a child that they really don't want. More women should talk about their true feelings about having kids cuz it's definitely a full-time commitment.
P.S. Her kids may need therapy.

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