Anonymous parents have shared their personal experiences and parenting regrets on Mumsnet sparking a debate among them.
Overall, polling company YouGov’s research found 83 per cent of parents said they had never regretted having children.
The remaining three per cent chose not to say or said they did not know, reported The Times.
Regret was more common among younger parents, with just over a fifth of 25 to 34-year-olds saying they regretted having children, according to the data.
But it appears the percentage of parents who regretted having children decreased with age, from 11 per cent of those aged 35-44, to eight per cent of those aged 45-54 and six per cent of those aged 55 and over.
The survey comes after parents got talking about the taboo issue online and one mother in particular shared her “deep regret” over having children on Mumsnet.
The single mum of four children - aged eight, seven, five and two - wrote on Mumsnet: “Does anyone else regret having children? I know [it] sounds awful and I will probably be flamed for this but I really can’t help the feeling of deep regret.
“I feel this way pretty much every day. I feel guilty for feeling this way and wondered if it’s normal or if anyone else feels the same?”
The thread sparked more than 250 replies from other parents on the social network.
Among the responses, one mother said: “I definitely feel this. I mean; I love my kids but it is so hard. Mine are almost 4 & 18 months.
“I’m currently really struggling with the behaviour of my eldest which definitely doesn’t help. I guess people always say that having young kids is hard but unless you’re living it no one else gets it.”
Another person wrote: “My friend has been a great mum, two wonderful boys (well, they’re young men now). She’s confided in me she wishes she’d never had them. She’d die for them, loves them dearly, but says the sacrifice and constant stress/worry isn’t worth it.”
Justine Roberts, Mumsnet’s founder, described the issue as a “taboo subject”.
She told The Times: “The anonymity of Mumsnet means that parents feel able to talk honestly about how hard they find parenting ... they openly will question whether it was the best decision for their lives.
“Having children can be incredibly challenging and I think, as a society, we’re not very good at recognising that and giving parents support.”