Life is full of regret, no matter how much we may wish that it was not. No matter how hard we may try to avoid regret, many of us end up with regrets, especially when it comes to our kids.
Every person I know who has kids who are fully grown has a variety of regrets about what they should have done more of and what they should have done less. It is not easy being a parent, however, the one thing that we do have is each other. By knowing and understanding the regrets of other parents, maybe we can avoid at least a few regrets later on.
I stumbled upon an Ask Reddit post, in which one person posed the question: “What’s your biggest regret as a father?” Here are ten of those fathers.
1. Relinth says,
That I didn’t fight for custody sooner.
2. Rockeye says,
Not taking more pictures of us together, or recording audio of her singing nonsense when tiny.
3. snewton says,
Saying “maybe later” too often.
4. oscarjoserodrigo says,
Letting my son see me at my worst. When his mother died I did many things that I’m very ashamed of, I’m even more ashamed that he had to witness them.
5. redshred79 says,
Not having more than one child.
6. [deleted] says,
7. soft_becoming says,
That I didn’t heal myself more before I became a father. And honestly I shouldn’t have become one, I did it out of trying to satisfy my partner and keep her from leaving me. Which she did anyway when our daughter was 3. So now I’m fulfilling my own nightmare of repeating my parents’ mistakes of getting divorced, only 10 years before they did (relative to their child’s age).
Now all of my effort is going towards healing myself so I minimize the shit I pass down to my daughter.
8. Legaleye1 says,
Not spending enough time with my daughters from age 5-14. I spent a lot, but you can never get back the time that you chose to go off to do something else nowhere near as important.
9. SnglMltSctch says,
I have many regrets. One of my biggest regrets is believing college was good for my son. He was ok with it at first but then hated it but stuck with it because he knew that’s what we wanted for him. He never finished & is now an electrician, but happier. I’m hopeful he’ll return to finish he’s so close to getting a degree.
10. bigbluesy says,
Not having more to bring my kids into. I don’t mean financially, I mean my un-dealt with trauma made me such a bland, passionless person, that now that I’ve dealt with it and finally feel like I’m coming alive, I don’t feel like I have much to offer my kids in terms of how to live a fulfilling life. I can offer compassion and empathy, so that’s good, I just wasn’t ready to be a husband or a father when they happened.