A 40-year-old distressed dad went on a tirade this week, in a now-viral Reddit post titled, “I can’t remember why I ever wanted to be a parent and it’s insane that anyone would ever want to be one.”
The burnt-out father bemoans how all his “time, energy and money” goes to his four kids: a 13-year-old girl, a nine-year-old boy, and 21-month-old twin girls (who, as one commenter pointed out, “would wear out anybody”).
He’s drained by days spent “mopping up puke” and listening to “nothing but whining.”
“I’m left with a house that gets destroyed on a daily basis, exhaustion, and zero fulfillment. I thought parenting was supposed to be rewarding?”
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“I don’t even want to interact with any of them,” he wrote. “I daydream about tossing my phone in the toilet, cashing out my bank account and just moving thousands of miles away.”
“This is the worst hobby that anyone would ever think to have.”
One parent on the thread was quick to jump on that, saying parenting isn’t “meant to be a hobby.” A second one disagreed, arguing it’s “a huge, life-defining hobby” that’s similar but “a lot more interesting” than other hobbies she’s had.
“I love it most of the time, get frustrated and need a break sometimes, am ambivalent at other times, but always come back around to it,” she said.
Many offered suggestions for better balance, like weekly date nights and “me time.” The father-of-four answered he already does both. As for concerns he may be depressed, he replied: “I wish I had time to be depressed.”
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He’s not alone in being overwhelmed by parenthood.
“Most parents I know have felt this way from time to time,” wrote one parent. “It’s hard to imagine when you are knee deep in diapers, but someday your kids will leave you and you might even find you miss the chaos and purpose that children bring.”
That sentiment might be lost on those with a long and hard road still ahead of them.
Another father-of-two had to take a break from reading his fellow dad’s Reddit rant to clean up vomit and urine-soaked sheets. Then he got started on cleaning the huge mess his kids had made of the house.
“They drive me crazy sometimes,” he wrote, “but I wouldn’t want life any other way.”