One Mom Says Her Kids Are the Biggest Regret in Her Life



A mother, Isabella Dutton, has written a first person account of how she believes that how having her two children is the biggest regret of her life.   Her son, Stuart, and daughter, Jo, were born out of duty to her husband. She says that she never wanted children because they would be parasites to her freedom. She openly stated that she hated the thought of motherhood, yet she had not one, but two planned children.

As I read the article, I found myself wanting to punch this woman in the throat. Yes, we all know that children are takers. They take our time, our energy, our sleep, our money, and even our youth. But what they give in return, if Isabella Dutton would have only stopped for one moment to consider them anything other than a parasite, is unconditional love and the opportunity to change the world – to be a part of the miracle of life.

My children turned my life upside down. My life is nothing like I had planned it to be. There are days when I want to quit. Motherhood is hard. It is hard work to raise a decent human being; to be constantly with this person and, worse, to always put their wants and needs before yours, but my children are my greatest purpose in this world. I love them so much that I can hardly breathe. The thought of anything bad every happening to them terrifies me. I would gladly give my life for theirs at any given moment.

I do not begrudge Isabella Dutton for wanting her peace and quiet but I think she is an awfully selfish person. She should have never had the children in the first place if her only reaction to them was to mother them with indifference – as if it were a jail sentence and she was a martyr for keeping them alive.

What is the purpose of writing this piece and telling the world that she never wanted her children, and how much better her life would have been without them? This is for her to pay a penance for the guilt she feels for being a horribly detached mother. She is not helping them by doing this. Of course, I guess she doesn’t care about this and never has.

This is like the cheating husband who tells his wife that he has cheated; it is to relieve him of guilt. It stands no purpose to tell her. It will never be beneficial for his wife to know. He should have never done it and if he did, then he should live with the guilt and spare his wife the pain. Isabella Dutton should have taken her dissatisfaction and unhappiness to her grave. I am sure her children felt her animosity and indifference towards them, growing up with a mother who was wishing them away. To rehash it by writing an article only serves to hurt them further and embarrass them as adults. Does she really dislike them so much as to punish them so?

She says she had the children out of duty and promise to her husband, and she did her best despite having no real connection to the children and even, at some points, wishing them away (i.e. strapping her 3-week old baby and her setter to a pole while she ran into a bakery, only to go home and forget the baby and the setter but only feel concerned that someone might take her dog).


The world would be a better place if this woman never had been allowed to have children. The damage that she has done to her son and daughter is unforgivable. No one is applauding her for being brutally honest because the entire thing is all about her, as it ever was and probably ever will be. She disgusts me as a human being. Thankfully, these children had a father who loved them unconditionally because their mother obviously did not.

The sad thing is that her daughter, now 31, was diagnosed with MS when she was 23 and now is bedridden and lives once again with her doting father and indifferent mother, who will be her caretakers for the rest of her life.

What are your thoughts on Isabella Dutton saying that having her children are the two biggest regrets of her life?

Image via Flickr / Rumple Teaser

What do you think?

One Mom Says Her Kids Are the Biggest Regret in Her Life

Deborah Cruz, @TruthfulMommy, is the creator of The TRUTH about Motherhood, an often humorous and brutally honest look at motherhood. She's a writer, a wife, and a work-at-home Mommy who's trying to do it all well. She live in the Midwest with her 2 little girls and her husband. She has a lot of degrees from a bunch of schools but mostly spends her days shuttling people under the age of 7, while trying to maintain her sanity and she wouldn't have it any other way. She talks a lot. She ... More

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  1. I wonder if her mom isn’t feeling the same way about her. Maybe the kegel exercise should have done the trick during labour and we wouldn’t be reading this bulldust.

  2. Paul says:

    I resisted the strong pressure to marry & have chidren from idiots who could not understand me from the start. I’ve always regarded this as the greatest achievment of my life. Now with a world that is doomed due to already being over populated by billions and the inevitable & disastrerous consequences of what the zeitgeist movement call "natural law" my responsible and unwavering decision has proved to be of benefit to all. I’m now 59 years old.

  3. Janice says:

    Megan, most birth controls out their r 99% accurate and if you use it with a condom I would say fail proof. Also Essure is a permanent birth control that requires no surgery and can be done in a doctors office. It is an soft, flexible inserts that are placed in your fallopian tubes through the natural pathways of your vagina and cervix, so no incision is necessary. Over the next three months, your body works with the Essure inserts to form a natural barrier within the fallopian tubes that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. For future reference. And you could have gotten your tubes tied, there is no law that says you can’t you just need to find a doctor who would do it. It depends more on your age then how many children you have. So, if you didn’t want kids you should have been more careful or more determined not to. Just saying. And if you decide the your son is a burden you would like to forget about while running into a store while leaving unattended with a dog. And once you remember worrying about the dog. Then reply back and I will take him off your hands before you become one of those moms that say I didn’t want him in the first place so I killed him.

  4. Janice says:

    Elizabeth if you know anyone who Quote don’t believes there kids r blessings they can send them to me. Sign the adoption papers I will love them and tell them they r special and yes a blessing.

  5. Janice says:

    I am so sorry your mother treated you that way. But to say Tony was the villain I do not agree. You can’t make someone do something they don’t really want to. Did he rape her? I don’t think so. If she had children out of love for him she should only blame herself. Not take it out on the children. Like you said not everyone should be mothers and once they know this they should stay strong to their convictions. Like you wrote "I will NEVER reproduce".

  6. MamaDeeDee says:

    At least 99% of doctors refuse to provide a childless woman with permanent birth control. They seem to think that she will change her mind miraculously some day.

  7. Megan says:

    I’m one of those women who never wanted children. I’m due to deliver in a week. My husband wanted children and he knew from the get-go that I didn’t, yet we always agreed to keep discussing the issue each year to see what the other person was thinking. This baby wasn’t planned. And if I could’ve gotten my tubes tied or anything like that, I would’ve and my husband probably wouldn’t have minded. But if there is a doctor out there who will give permanent birth control to a lady without children, I have yet to hear of one. I wanted to be the aunt who spoiled who niece and nephews rotten, but so many people frowned upon that. "You’re so good with kids, why don’t you want any?" I feel very little connection with kids below the age of 5. This world places so much emphasis upon motherhood that those of us who don’t want kids are called selfish. If we have kids and say we didn’t want any, we are told we never should have had any then…no matter the circumstances. You can’t have it both ways world. Will I love my son? I do already. Will I do my best to give him the world? Yep. Does that mean that I’ve changed my mind about kids? Nope, not one bit. Does that make me a bad person? Not in my mind or my husband’s. So TruthfulMommy, you need to stop judging. I appreciated Dutton’s article and I’m sure her children are very well-balanced, if not more so than most out there.

  8. GenaMiller says:

    This article (the original one by Isabella Dutton) should be read…no, MEMORIZED…by every woman who is thinking of bearing offspring. It is the most honest thing I have ever read. I have nothing but respect for Mrs. Dutton. Motherhood is NOT a woman’s purpose in life and marriage is NOT a means to an end for childbirth. The real villain in this story is Tony, the man who forced this woman to produce children. He obviously had no regard whatsoever for her love of independence and solitude. She told him from the start that she had no desire for children, yet he pressured her into surrendering her life and peace for his happiness. For Mrs. Dutton to sacrifice the serenity of her own life to make her husband happy, THAT is love, people. Motherhood does not instantly make one a saint. And please remember: not all women SHOULD become mothers, regardless of how much they may want to. I can speak upon this fact first-hand because MY mother did not want or particularly like children. I was a mistake. however, unlike Mrs. Dutton, my mother made it very clear that she resented me and that I ruined all of her great plans for her life. Every sacrifice was loudly reported, every inconvenience stated over and over. So I can tell every one of you, children are not the wonderful "blessing" the mainstream mothers blather about. I wish Mrs. Dutton contentment in her life and mourn her freedoms with her. I find it a cruel twist of fate that her daughter has MS and is again burdening her aging parents. I will NEVER reproduce.

  9. salsashark88 says:

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with women who do not want to have children. I was one myself for a very long time. I still stand by the fact that I never wanted children, though I got quite a surprise when I found out I was pregnant. I reevaluated my life, and decided to take responsibility for the life I had created, and I love my daughter more than anything, but that doesn’t change the fact that I never wanted children. What is wrong is knowing you don’t want children and then having PLANNED children. Knowing you can never love them and that you never wanted them and making the informed decision to do it anyways. That is what is wrong, and selfish, and disgusting.

  10. MelissaD says:

    "The world would be a better place if this woman never had been allowed to have children." So what you’re saying, Ms. Cruz, is that you would completely support our government sterilizing men and women against their will just because society at large feels that they ‘might’ not be the perfect parents we all want them to be. How would they decide? Would every girl have to take a personality test as soon as they started menstruation? Or would we make this test mandatory during their senior year of high school? A new requirement for graduation, if you will. You, and many others, are obviously ignorant of our nations history, because there was a period where our government actually did this. They sterilized the mentally ill, mentally and physically disabled, African American men and women, single mothers, basically anyone who didn’t pass the white, middle-class majority’s idea of a ‘good’ parent. Should we round up every American who doesn’t like kids and thrown them in prison because we fear they might do harm to our children? My sister is one of the brave souls who has admitted that she does not want children. She likes them, she just doesn’t want any of her own. I fully support her and admire her for her honesty. But it’s not always easy for someone to make the same decision. We put sooooo much emphasis on motherhood in this country, that we vilify any woman who just doesn’t want to be a mother. We push it on people, honestly. Look at how the media, mainstream and social, treat childless women. They are rarely portrayed as the loving, giving human beings that they are and are instead shown as crass, selfish hags who would change their ways if they only knew the love of a child. How idiotic and selfish are we, as a nation, for seeing motherhood as the only road to fulfillment for women. It may be the 21st century, but many of us, women mostly, still behave as if it were the Victorian age, with marriage and motherhood the only true road to happiness. Well, many of those women chose not to marry and have families, and those women are the ones who fought tirelessly for our right to vote. They opened the first houses for the poor funded by a non-religious group. They made in-roads into education that allowed most of us to go to college. We should be admiring these women too, not just the mommies. These women worked as mommies to the world, and we should be thankful for it.

  11. Erica says:

    Wow, this article is ridiculous! Wish I had skipped Deborah Cruz’s judgmental views on someone being a "truthful mommy". Isabella Dutton, based on the article she wrote, is a very selfless mother. My impression was that she always put her family’s needs and happiness before her own desires, and still does. Not to mention the fact that she repeatedly stated that she loves her children and took her job as a mother seriously. That is more than I can say for some mothers who actually wanted children. Can you imagine having no emotional bond between you and your baby? That is the sad part and the fact that she is shunning Dutton for being open about her pain or even having it in the first place. Being someone who has always wanted children, I can still appreciate Dutton’s honesty. The only one who " disgusts me as a human being" is Cruz for over exaggerating her point to throw Dutton under the bus (" wishing them away (i.e. strapping her 3-week old baby and her setter to a pole while she ran into a bakery, only to go home and forget the baby and the setter but only feel concerned that someone might take her dog).") Go read the article again and quit acting so self righteous like you’ve never made a mistake as a new parent!!

    P.S. Thank you Elizabeth for your comment about a cheating husband! Every woman deserves to know if the person who promised to commit to them is a lying P.O.S.

  12. Anna says:

    If she never wanted to have kids, the she should have found someone else who felt the same way before marrying someone whom she knew did want to have kids. Also there is something called "Get your tubes tied" to insure that it doesn’t happen.

  13. Felicia says:

    @Elizabeth Bitter much? What do you have against kids or people who want to express their love for them and protect them? You seem like a hateful person who has nothing but negative, unoriginal comments. Yeah I guess there are some people who don’t want kids and marriages that don’t result in children, but seriously, what the hell are you doing on this site? You don’t seem to like children or those that do. I think you need to be on a different forum.

  14. AndreaThomas says:

    Just curious – When did she write this? Can you post a link to it? I’m wondering how she feels now.

  15. Elizabeth says:

    Not everyone believes in "blessings" or feels that children are one.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    “This is like the cheating husband who tells his wife that he has cheated; it is to relieve him of guilt. It stands no purpose to tell her. It will never be beneficial for his wife to know. He should have never done it and if he did, then he should live with the guilt and spare his wife the pain.”

    Uh no. It’s not like that at all. What the hell… If a man cheats the RIGHT thing to do is to tell his wife.

  17. Amber says:

    "It may seem perverse that I had a second child in view of my aversion to them, but I believe it is utterly selfish to have an only one."

    So, having two children that you resent is somehow less selfish than having one child that you love and desire with your whole heart? I think this woman is a bit cracker-jacks. At least she cared for them. I’m not sure (having not grown up in the same situation) which would be worse; having a mother who is absolutely indifferent to you, or a mother who loves you but doesn’t take care of you.

  18. we all still need to take care of self, or else what are we teaching our children, that self-preservation is not important when you have children? That you no longer matter? No! YOU STILL MATTER, YOU SHOULD STILL MATTER TO AND FOR YOURSELF!!! We think running around with a hectic schedule makes you a productive mother, not necessarily true. sometimes the schedule is a distraction for real quality time. But just because you take some time out for you, doesn’t make you a bad mommy. you children can’t rest for you. your body and mind and spirit needs rest to be your best self.<3

  19. Makayla says:

    Exactly, this is the stuff for psychiatry’s offices, not public articles. Her kids probably feel like crap about themselves right now…

  20. as you call yourself Truthfulmommy, you refuse to let this woman live her truth. she expressed it, so what, she wasn’t talking bad about her children, and (to you "holier-than-thou readers)she said she grew to love her children and was still a devoted parent. plus she is from "across the pond" they have always seemed dry to me, personality wise. Just think of all the truths we hide everyday, and believe it or not, the suppressed feelings turn into physical ailments(no wonder we lead in heart disease). We should be more honest with ourselves. `

  21. Makayla says:

    Yes, we shouldn’t judge her, but use your own words and don’t judge us for our opinion of her. She is not the greatest parent because she publicly displayed her distaste for her own children and now they have to hurt the rest of their lives. The very person that is supposed to build them up has torn them down to meaning nothing, maybe worse than nothing… a mistake…. Pretty pathetic if you ask me. She may have had her kids out of obligation to her husband and that is a pretty typical thing to happen in the 70’s but it does not give her license to act like this. It is inexcusable, those children did not choose her, yet her decision to have them was still a choice, regardless of the pressures of society in that day and age, and she needs to own up to the responsibilities of that choice. And yes, mothers have moments where they long for the days before children, and have the sweet freedom of a book, or a silent walk, but they don’t go tying their children to poles with their dogs, or saying she regrets them, she never wanted them in the first place, that is child abuse physical, emotional, & psychological. No matter which way you slice it, this is so so sad for the children. I can only hope they suffered no major issues. So sad.

  22. Allison says:

    I wonder more why her resentment is leveled at her children. She made the conscious decision to have not one but two children "for her husband;" yet she sings his praises while continuing to bash the children SHE chose to have. He strikes me as selfish and rather idiotic to have just allowed this to happen in the first place. Sounds to me that they should have just agreed to have the dog and left children out of the equation.

  23. Nicole says:

    I now lots of marriages that do not involve children. Marriage is about making a commitment to one another. Period. By your reckoning all those women who have fertility problems should get divorced as should all elderly people who married after child rearing age. You are a VERY narrow minded woman and should keep your nose out of other people’s business.

  24. AshleyHall says:

    I believe people that should have their kids taken away by the state if they openly say they do not like kids or that they do not want their kids. It is their duty to love their kids. It is not a duty to have them. She could have chose not to marry. Marriage is about making a family with someone. A family involves children.

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