the legs of a child between the legs of a parent
Unsplash | Daiga Ellaby

People Got Real About Having Kids They Never Wanted

Having a kid is an absolute joy, and one of the most rewarding things in many people's lives. But it's also a huge undertaking, and definitely isn't for everyone. Still, many people are pressured into having kids they may not want for a number of different reasons, and it's not always easy on the parent or the child.

These incredibly honest Reddit users got real when asked what it's like to be raising an unwanted child.

Kids definitely disrupt other routines.

A woman walking with a purse and notebook.
Unsplash | Marissa Grootes

"I girl I worked with had a five year plan. Get a designer man, have a massive wedding, travel to fancy hotels and have a baby. She managed it all except the baby.

"Two years of IVF later and still no baby."

"After a long adoption process they get a 6 month old. Three months later they give him back and divorce."

A woman holding a newborn baby.
Unsplash | Zach Lucero

"She realised that she had only wanted a baby because that what people did and that meant she was successful! She had never thought about what having a baby meant and what it would do to her ‘perfect’ life.

"The husband couldn’t live with what she had decided so left. At least the baby went to a couple who did want him eventually, instead of staying with her."

In many relationships, one wants kids more than the other.

A mom with her 3 children.
Unsplash | Georg Arthur Pflueger

"I was a nanny for a lady who really didn't want children but [ended] up having 5 because she loved her husband. Each of her pregnancies her medical condition got worse, with her youngest she had to be in the hospital for two months because she had so many kidney stones."

"Part of her condition is she produces kidney stones at a crazy rate, and they are rare stones that have a hook on them."

Several doctors and nurses prepped in an operating room.
Unsplash | Piron Guillaume

"Her kidneys are also more like a sponge looking organ than kidney, that aren't functioning over 25%. She would give her life for those kids even though she never wanted them. [Expletive] part, when the youngest was 2, her health was declining a lot."

"And her husband left her for a chick he just met because, and I quote, 'I'm sick of you being sick.'"

A mom and child walking during sunset.
Unsplash | Tim Mossholder

"I miss those kids so much and I miss her. She got full custody and has even better insurance now that her ex left her. And he pays huge in child support and alimony every month."

Some people need to have serious talks about kids before getting married.

A woman with her hands by her chin as if in prayer.
Unsplash | Ben White

"My mother point blank told us she didn’t want children and my father had begged and begged her for me. Then my younger sister was an accident. It’s always been an awkward, very strained and very tainted relationship."

"For a long time I held a ton of resentment and disgust for her."

A mom cooking with her two young kids.
Unsplash | Hillshire Farm

"It’s made me into what I consider to be a pretty great parent though- I wanted children and even knowing I’d be giving up sleep and freedoms I knew I wanted them to KNOW they were wanted, planned for, adored."

It feels likes something you might not want to tell your kids.

A pregnant person holding baby shoes next to her baby bump.
Unsplash | Sylwia Bartyzel

"My mom had told me, 'I wish not having kids was normalized back when I was younger. Back then it was just something you did.' While I know she loves me, I also know if she could go back and not have kids, she would."

Don't have a kid to "replace" another kid.

An adult hand holding a baby's hand.
Unsplash | Aditya Romansa

"I was conceived to replace a baby boy that died. My mom was so disappointed I was a girl, she forgot my name for a while, and now I have 2 middle names."

"I had a brother growing up who was favored by both my parents, but he really was amazing. He was my favorite too."

Two kids walking toward a beach in a black and white photo.
Unsplash | juan pablo rodriguez

"He died 5 years ago in a motorcycle wreck, and I’m the least favorite (my mom admitted this freely), also I am the last remaining child."

"Also, I don’t care that my parents are disappointed that I was the one that survived."

A woman sitting on outdoor steps with her head in her hands.
Unsplash | Zhivko Minkov

"I’ve made myself who I want to be. I only talk to my dad occasionally, and my mom became an alcoholic, because 2 of her kids died. I don’t talk to her. Shrug."

It must be especially hard for young parents.

A pregnant person holding her baby bump.
Unsplash | Anastasiia Chepinska

"I had my first child at 16, only a month prior to his birth I married my 15 year old boyfriend. I loved him more then life itself. I also grew up in abuse, poverty, and in the system for some background."

"I’m now 27 with two children from him, and divorced."

Two toddlers sitting on a deck.
Unsplash | Christian Bowen

"We didn’t make it for clear reasons. He moved on and remarried with children. He doesn’t have contact with our two. I reach out monthly (I don’t ask child support, I only reach out to check on him and ask about him talking to his kids) the answers always no. But I try."

"I remarried and my current husband who wanted children of his own. In all I have four kids now."

An adult and two toddlers playing with blocks.
Unsplash | Marisa Howenstine

"I see my oldest two as more of siblings more so than my own children. It’s an odd relationship but I do my best as their mother. My younger two I did not want to have, however I felt my husband was such a good father to my oldest two I needed to make the marriage work for them."

"I want to be filing for divorce this year."

An adult holding a newborn baby.
Unsplash | Jill Sauve

"I now have four children and the hardest choice to make. My youngest is only a few months old and I keep telling myself 'any day now the antidepressants will kick in and PPD will go away' but I know deep down that’s not true. I never stopped them to begin with."

"My children are wonderful little creatures. They are so smart and sensitive. My oldest especially is like me, cries over everything."

Four kids standing in a row, each wearing rainboots.
Unsplash | Ben Wicks

"I still today feel as if, if I had made the right choice of adoption they would be better off than with me. They would have more, more things, more love, more understanding.

"But every day is a new day. I won’t give up, I will keep trying. It’s to late to go back... adoption at this age would ruin their lives. I can’t do that to them."

The hardest thing must be when you don't bond with the child.

A mom holding her baby.
Unsplash | Hollie Santos

"It set the tone for the rest of my life, one of those hindsight is 20/20 things. I honestly believe if I'd never had a kid, particularly as young and alone as I was in a very socially backwards area, I'd have made a lot more of myself."

"I know that could be taken as self-rationalization for lack of trying and failures."

The feet of an adult and toddler, both outdoors.
Unsplash | Daiga Ellaby

"But I also know how I felt, how I have never bonded with my kid, and how both our lives could have been a lot better had I either waited to have her, or let another couple adopt her like I wanted but was forced out of the choice."

Sometimes, the kid you might not want isn't even your own.

A man walking outdoors with a small boy.
Unsplash | Jed Owen

"My girlfriend had a 2 year old when I met her. He’s 5 now. I didn’t plan to have kids, but I love her. I’m pretty much used to it, I teach him stuff and he’s attached to my hip when he’s here (joint custody with the father) but ideally I’d have preferred to not have a kid around."

"I can deal though. He can be a little [expletive] sometimes lmao."

A small boy playing with blocks.
Unsplash | Paige Cody

"Also it’s weird disciplining someone else’s kid so I’m just getting there, I can see the betrayal in his eyes, I’m supposed to be like the fun uncle, getting on to him is weird."