PARENTING

8 Children, No “Me” Time for 30 Years — Do I Regret Having Kids?

Was all that sacrifice really worth it?

Diane Neill Tincher
5 min readJun 22, 2022

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Photos of eight happy babies surround a central photo of the author in her youth.
Me in 1978 and my 8 babies. (Author’s photos.)

I recently read an article from a woman who claims she would regret having children for all the fun she would have to give up. That gave me pause to reflect.

I do not regret motherhood

I have made many mistakes in my life, but one thing I do not regret is having 8 children.

Sure, I spent a good 30 years of my life with no “me” time. My children occupied all my waking hours and some nighttime hours as well.

The amazing magic of love meant that my concern for my children and their welfare overruled any personal desires. I gave up my own wants and wishes and dedicated myself fully to my kids.

Any thoughts of independence and freedom were far from my mind. My children had defined my life’s purpose.

It wasn’t all roses

Raising babies and little children is the easy part. Their days are full of happy giggles, problems that are easy to solve, and the simple joys of learning.

Teens are a different story altogether.

I look back at photos of myself from my late 40s and early 50s and see that I had more gray hair then than I do now at age 65. Those were stressful years.

I had difficult teenagers in the house. I was teaching classes until late in the evenings and getting up early to pack lunches before driving the older kids over 10 km to each of their schools. Rules dictated that the younger children walk to school.

One son would rant to me on the entire morning drive about how I had ruined his life by raising him in Japan. One daughter would feign illness and not budge from her bed, having lost all interest in school.

Somedays all I wanted was to run away. But I couldn’t. Those kids were my responsibility. I had to persevere.

At least I didn’t have to deal with drug problems. Japan’s no-tolerance laws made that issue nonexistent where we lived.

English education

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Diane Neill Tincher

Top writer in Travel. I’ve lived in Japan since 1987 & love learning, history, & the beauty of nature. Pls use my link to join Medium: https://bit.ly/3yqwppZ