What If? What if we didn’t have kids?

What if? What if you made a different decision? What would your life be like? Would you want to know? Is it good to ask these questions for mental well being or is it not? What if we didn't have kids?

Life can pass us by in what come sometimes seem like a serious of unconnected events. Some we have full control over and some happen (seemingly) by chance. Personally I believe in the butterfly effect. Not literally. I don’t literally believe that a butterfly flapping its wings in America can cause a tsunami in Japan. What I believe is the metaphor that this represents. That something as innocuous as a butterfly flapping its wings can have a domino effect that causes something much larger to happen. In essence every decision we make, no matter how seemingly small can continue to cause ripples in our life long after we have made it. So what if we could see our ‘What if’s’? What if we could look at a part of our life and see how different it would be if we didn’t make that decision? Would you really want to know?


Perhaps I am just being a bit too reflective but in the interest of trying to live a more positive life I find myself wanting to ask these questions. Perhaps because I am a Mum, I am tired and currently finding myself in desperate need of a holiday (which I can’t have but need to fit in before the confines of school!) that I find myself asking these questions.

Looking back I have had some very pivotal moments that have led me this point in my life. I know the exact conversation that stopped me in my tracks and made me want to go to University to train as a nurse. Ordinarily this may seem like an average conversation of a 21 year old girl struggling with direction but it has directly led to here. At the time I had a small amount of debt. Nothing massive but enough for me to want to pay it all off before I started Uni. I didn’t have long to achieve this so I got right to it. I left the full time job I had because the hours weren’t ideal for fitting in other paid work. Instead I got myself 3 jobs. A Saturday receptionist, a part time waitress and a full time telemarketer.

It was at this latter job that I met my husband. The father of my children. I only worked there for a month and I hated it. He arrived 2 weeks after I started. For those that believe in fate I guess it was fate. This is the one ‘What if’? I don’t like asking. I don’t want to know ‘What if we hadn’t met?’ ‘What if I didn’t choose to go to Uni?’  But here is the big one I do ask and I’m not sure I should or I really want to know.

‘What if we didn’t have kids?’

I thought I would dive right in! Not many people would admit they think about this but I bet a lot of people do. Just to clarify because I feel that I should; I love my children and I couldn’t live without them. This question doesn’t often get asked in my head and I always feel bad when it does. So, what if?

I would be working that is for sure. I’d likely still be a nurse but I would have worked up the ranks quickly and without distraction. We would go on expensive holidays. I don’t doubt this for a second. The hardest part Hubby and I would find is fitting in the annual leave around our work.

We would have moved. The chances are extremely high that we would have moved into London. It would have been beneficial for both our jobs. Truth is the city still holds a big pull for me but at the same time I don’t want to bring the girls up there so we would never actually go. Plus, you know…. ££££££.

Does it Matter?

Does it matter that life isn’t like this? No of course not and I wouldn’t want it to be. That said I don’t think my life would be any less full. I believe as humans we make the most of the hand we have been dealt. The part the kids are filling now I didn’t even know needed filling until they arrived. I didn’t miss them before I had them. I only know that sensation now they exist. Too philosophical? Perhaps.

Why ask?

Life is crazy. The girls are beyond exhausting and incredibly trying on my patience. I believe most mothers feel like this on a regular basis. Over the years I have felt an intense flood of Mum Guilt each time I have thought ‘What if?’ Now I ask it to keep myself sane. I think about all the ways my life would be different without them. It gives me some time away from them in my own head. A beautiful daydream.

Every single time the dream ends I have a wave of relief. Relief that my reality is very different. A relief that despite the tantrums, shouting and fighting. The lack of sleep and messy house. The ingrained dirt and snotty sleeves this is my true reality. I may not feel it all the time but I am blessed.

Do I really want to know ‘What if?’


But I like to imagine every now and then.

This post originally appeared on Meet Other Mums where I am a regular blogger.
meet other mums

What if? What if you made a different decision? What would your life be like? Would you want to know? Is it good to ask these questions for mental well being or is it not? What if we didn't have kids?


  1. Ahhh Kirsty, what if indeed? I often think this too. But I’m the opposite of you in that I had kids later (at 38 and 40) so, in theory, your ‘what if’ life is what I had before they came along. We worked on our careers, were able to save some money, went on nice holidays. But life was empty. I filled my time going to the gym, making nice food, sleeping in (?) We should have moved house, but instead didn’t as we weren’t home much and I couldn’t bear the idea of a bigger empty house if kids couldn’t happen. Now of course we’re skint, for no time for ourselves, are moving and I’m facing the prospect of going back to work but not knowing where I am in my career any more. I’m torn between doing what I love and being with who I love. I’m taking the long term view and just taking. Leap of faith that everything will work out in the wash. I often think about what if. I’d love to go back to my former life for about 2 weeks. On a nice holiday. But I bet by day 2 I’d be wanting to come right back to where I am today. It’s tough when they are so little. We’ll get there! Sorry I’ve neglected your blog for a little bit – I realised I needed to take time back to just relax and get stuff done for the house and family rather than do my blog. You’re doing an amazing job at keeping it up!

    1. Thank you lovely! Firstly I think we all need to take a step back. I actually wrote and scheduled this a few weeks back. I have had some time away from it all too.
      I think you are right and in all realism I could never live a life without the girls. I can see why you would have felt like there was an empty hole before. Now I find my little what if day dreams just help keep me sane on my bad days. Plus I now have some amazing holidays well planned so when the time comes I will just have to go to the travel agents 😉

    1. That’s sweet! I wouldn’t change a thing but I do wonder, especially as it is impossible to actually imagine life without them, it seems so empty.

  2. Disposable income. lie-ins, holidays out of term time, body bits that weren’t slightly busted … um … Wouldn’t trade her for any of those things!

    1. Nope wouldn’t trade a thing! I think I may have avoided certain body parts sagging a little longer but I think that comes to us all anyway 😉

  3. If we didn’t have kids I’d still be working as a press officer, probably at a more senior level, and we’d still be going on long haul holidays, probably would have visited my friends in New Zealand and LA… ahhh some days I do wish for a decent holiday! But like you I wouldn’t change anything for the world. #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I wouldn’t change it but on dull, wet, grey mornings where I have been moaned at more times than I can count (oh… like today!) then LA and New Zealand does have a dreamy appeal to it 😉

  4. It’s unavoidable that your mind wanders in that direction sometimes! I know that we would still be living in London – it was only making the decision to have children that forced us to make the decision to move out. I’m sure we’d be living it up, having expensive holidays, and eating out a lot more often and having a great time. But I love the slower pace of life outside the city, and I love having the countryside on our doorstep, so there are so many positives that’s it’s brought, even without thinking about all the amazing things that having a child has brought directly. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I love that you find Surrey a slower pace, I often find it so manic but I am not used to London for living. Having children was absolutely the best decision I ever made…. But sometimes I do wonder what that Caribbean beach really looks like 😉

  5. I think this is natural, just like people who sadly can’t have children probably wonder what it would be like to have them. It’s how how brain works. I know that we would definitely be exploring the world more with holidays, eating out every weekend and going to the cinema. All things that we loved before and miss now. But I love our life now, I love having quiet chilled out nights at home at the weekend. There are so many parts that I am pleased are in my past. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. This is so true! I am very guilty of wondering ‘what if’ about so many things. It does help me reflect on decision I have made so I guess it can be productive. There is so much from the past I am glad I don’t have to revisit that is for sure. X

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