Some people regret having children

When children are stressful - Do children make them unhappy?

The confession is not easy for him. His name? He would never call it. But if he is supposed to be completely honest, then his conclusion after almost five years of paternity is extremely clear. "No matter how well prepared I thought I was," writes the man who is supposed to be called Thomas here, "I was definitely not prepared for the huge number of changes in my life."

To be the career type who spontaneously goes on a business trip for three days at any time? Past. Do you study for your master’s degree in the evening? Past. Play basketball? Train for the marathon? Past. Celebrating cocktail parties in a perfectly tidy attic apartment in the middle of the city? Also over. Instead, he now lives in a house in the country and commutes 45 minutes to work every morning.

Thomas has two children, the older four, the smaller one year old. It's clear, he writes, that these are all very selfish reasons. "But if I had known earlier what I know today, then I would have only one child. Or none at all."

Are parents allowed to admit such a thing?

So it's out. But is that allowed? Admit that you might have preferred never to have your own children? Say that in the end you found life with undisturbed sleeping in, going out and being always ready at work better than living between a playground and a changing table? Are parents allowed to admit such a thing? And are fathers allowed to do that more than mothers?

It was the Israeli sociologist Orna Dornath who started a few months ago. She published interviews with 23 women who all said: Well, if we had the choice again, we'd rather leave it. They loved their children, they say, wonderful little beings. Only the price seems too high to them, the pressure too great and their own suitability doubtful. A taboo was broken, the debate went around the world, keyword: "Regretting Motherhood", regret motherhood.

The mother myth is cultivated

Now the sociologist Christina Mundlos has brought the debate to Germany. In her book "If Motherhood Doesn't Make You Happy", she lets women have their say who would like to turn back the clock - and then decide differently. Cold-hearted beings? Raven mothers? Not at all.

Being a mother makes you happy per se? An error that is well cared for and upheld as a mother myth. "That is the basic requirement for women to have children and then to be unhappy," says Mundlos. Ultimately, it is their own claims that wear down mothers. So what about the fathers now? Regretting fatherhood? It would only be logical.

The times are definitely over when fathers could be content with strolling through the zoo with the little ones on Saturdays, bored as an alibi, and otherwise pushing the end of the day as far back as possible so that the little ones are guaranteed to be in bed when they come home . Oh, the little one can already say three more words? Very nice. But it might be enough if the mother shows it to you in the video on the smartphone in the evening.

Fathers want everything at the same time