I never actually wanted to have children and I have no problem saying that. However, even though I was careful at the time (both birth control AND condoms), my son came to be. While regret is probably not the best word to describe the feelings I have about having him, I have since decided that I am not doing it again. I had my tubes tied about 2-3 years ago. Trust me, it's not just childless younger women (I was in my early 30's) who have a problem finding a doctor who will complete that procedure for them. It took me nearly 12 years to find one. I do feel like I missed out on what I really wanted to do with my life because I compromised and had a child early on. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel: I'll only be 39 when he graduates from high school. So, I will still be relatively young and have a lot of life ahead of me. I'm also single by choice because I really don't want to run the risk of having one of the same problems with another man that I had with my ex-husband. He was quite happy living in this area and I, quite frankly, hate it no end. I tried on several occasions to get him interested in moving and he was having nothing to do with that. The only reason I am staying now is so my son can finish high school with his best friends. Once that is done, I will be taking aggressive steps to leave his hell-hole. I know that there are some people who feel like their lives are fulfilled by having children. While my son is amazing and I love him no end, I don't feel that my purpose in life has been fulfilled simply by being responsible for the presence of another human being. Quite frankly, any idiot with sexual organs can get with another and make a child. It isn't rocket science. The scores of unwanted, abused and neglected children in the world are a testament to that fact. So, for me at least, I never understood how a simple act of natural science could make a person feel fulfilled in life. Maybe it's the raising them, but that always seemed too vicarious for my liking. It's a mystery to me for sure and I am certainly not saying that people who feel that way are inferior. I just never had that compulsion, and I have yet to come across another human being (my son included) that I would task with making me happy. That's MY responsibility. People comment to me all the time what a "good kid" my son is. He's achieved some pretty cool things and he is respectful and compassionate. Yes, I am proud of him, but his achievements don't fulfill me and my needs in life. Once a child gets past a certain point in life, their achievements are their own. And, Alex is way past that point. So, I guess what I am saying is that I have very mixed feelings about being a parent. On one hand I never wanted that for myself, and the aspirations that I had in life were pretty much destroyed when I had my son (without getting into a lot of detail, the career path I was trying to start was not the best environment to raise a child due to extensive travel leading to a "gypsy" type lifestyle). But, I do adore him and I am privileged to know him. He makes me proud, but not fulfilled. I'm not sure if I would do things differently if given the opportunity for a re-do. Probably not, but there has been an empty spot that I have tried to fill to no avail. I've just had this nagging feeling for the past 14-15 years that I really missed out on the life I wanted for myself because of that one choice I made to keep my son.