Just read an article in Marie-Claire magazine about moms who wish they’d never had kids. I’m not surprised that many mothers feel this way, I’m surprised that we think it matters. The world is filled with people who regret big life decisions (where they live, what they do for a living, who they married), and it probably doesn’t amount to much. Your life is shaped primarily by what you do, not by what you intend to do or regret doing. And my guess is that when it comes to doing, the vast majority of these regretful moms are doing fine. I’ll bet they’re great moms. History will, I suspect, laugh at our culture’s obsession with the inner life. My God, we’re hard on ourselves! It’s like you’ve gotta have your heart in everything you do or it doesn’t count. We need to get comfortable, again, with the idea of people doing the right thing, and fulfilling their familial duties, even when they don’t feel like it. Maybe then we could give a regretful mom a hug, and buy her a drink, rather than judging the fuck out of her.
—John Faithful Hamer, The Goldfish (2016)