In most Latinx communities, family values are held in high esteem. Sure, having a successful career or earning good grades is important. But often, all of that goes overlooked if you’re not married with kids at a respectable age. In Latinx communities, having children is sometimes a no-brainer. After all, who’s going to look after you when you get old, right?

It can be easy to forget that being a parent is no simple job. It’s a grueling, 24/7 job that is often thankless. But usually, the love and joy you get from your children make up for all the hard work. However, that isn’t the case for everyone.

For some people, having children changes their lives for the worse. Often, they enter parenthood with certain expectations and are soon disillusioned by the stress, exhaustion, and lack of free time. But it’s still taboo to talk about regretting becoming a parent.

The question “What is it like to have children you don’t want?” was posted on Reddit. Surprisingly, the question went viral, racking up almost 55,000 upvotes and over 10,000 comments. Here is what people had to say.

The regret of having children by following social pressure

“I really thought I wanted kids because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do… be a wife and have kids. I love them, and I want the best for them. But I don’t have the same connection to them that other moms seem to have. I don’t miss them when I have to go on a long trip, I just feel relief… Even though I’m surrounded by family, it feels pretty damn lonely. I don’t feel like I belong in my own life.” —u/ChristiOnionstrings

When nothing is what it was supposed to be

“My child is severely special needs. She’s autistic but on the severe end with ‘global developmental delay,’ which is just a nice way of saying ‘mentally disabled’… She screams for hours off and on at a time every day, and when she isn’t screaming, she is making noises… I don’t feel like a mom, I feel like a caregiver. I get little joy in taking care of her, and I am constantly worn down. I’m exhausted. This pandemic has destroyed what little sanity I had left as I can’t even get a small break because there is no school.” u/floralsquid

“I love my son, I would die for him, I’d kill for him if I had to. Yet, if I could go back in time and not have children, I would. I was not prepared for a child. Even though I worked, we planned this pregnancy. I was not prepared for how much I’d lose myself and my whole identity. I was not prepared for the sleep deprivation, the constant screaming, the colic.” – u/dontwantanaccount

When it comes to having children, the decisions are sometimes blind

“A very close friend has two children (6 and 2 1/2), but really because her husband wanted kids, and she knew he’d leave her if she stood her ground on not wanting kids. She loves her kids with all her heart but misses the life she could’ve had without them. Aside from work (just started her residency), all she does is being a mom; she has little to no time for her own hobbies anymore and misses that a lot.” – u/Vaiara

“My ex-husband was emotionally abusive and, if I’m being completely honest with myself, forced me into getting pregnant 3 months after going into labor and losing our daughter at 20 weeks. I wasn’t ready and I hadn’t really had a chance to grieve — he quit his job 3 days into my required maternity leave, so I had to go back to work as soon as physically possible… My son showed incredible strength to grow big enough to breathe on his own and come home, so I’ve made it my mission to give him a great life and make sure he never knows that I didn’t want to be a parent after my daughter died.” -u/MassiveConflict2465

Having children, for some, only brings complications in the long run

“My kid is special needs and has major developmental delays. He’s 2 and basically just lives in his own world. Doesn’t communicate, doesn’t respond to his name, and has basically missed every single milestone out there. So you feel regret, despair, and a whole bunch of other negative stuff. Especially guilt. It wasn’t his fault he came into the world this way. He didn’t ask to be here… However bad it makes me feel, though — I just kind of wish he didn’t exist… I just can’t connect with him, and it has me feeling like I’m just his caretaker rather than his dad.” u/redditingatwork23

“It’s like taking care of a drunk midget for 12 years, then a hungover guy for 6 more years, and (hopefully) he goes to rehab and gains independence.” – u/D0ng3r1nn0

“Ex-girlfriend baby trapped me. She stopped taking her birth control and didn’t tell me. Then cheated on me while pregnant. (She was, and still is, a shitty person). At that point, I wanted nothing to do with her and was not prepared to be a father.

I was young and dumb and still learning who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. She gave me the option to walk away and never see the kid again. I thought about it but couldn’t bring myself to. Knowing my kid was out there was going to weigh heavily on my conscience… My daughter is a driving force in my life. I need to be responsible, I need to be accountable, I need to be financially successful. It keeps me going forward and has really made me the man I am today. Having a kid when you’re barely 20 has ways of making or breaking someone. My daughter was the child I didn’t want but ended up being what I needed.” u/phantaxtic