Isabella Dutton, a 57-year-old woman living in Great Britain, has called her two children “the biggest regret of [her] life,” sparking outrage among parents.
In a first-person account written for the Daily Mail, Dutton explains that her son Stuart was “five days old when the realization hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life.”
According to Dutton’s account, she met Tony Dutton, her “first and only love,” when she was just 12 years old. Eventually, the couple got married, despite wildly varying inclinations toward the idea of parenthood. Dutton didn’t want any kids, while her husband wanted four.
Despite her objections, Dutton eventually conceded to motherhood, unwilling to deny her spouse the children he desired. She had her first child, Stuart, at age 22, followed by a daughter two years later.
Over three decades later, the 57-year-old mother describes the way in which her children changed her marriage.
“I heard him stir but as I looked at his round face on the brink of wakefulness, I felt no bond. No warm rush of maternal affection,” she wrote. “I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.”
“Young children prevent you from being spontaneous; every outing becomes an expedition,” she added. “If you take your job as a parent seriously, you always put their needs before your own.”
While Dutton acknowledged that her public regret toward parenthood would generate outrage amongst other mothers, she discussed the “hypocrisy” of giving birth to a child, only to hire a baby-sitter in order to return to work.
“This hypocrisy is, in my view, far more pernicious and difficult to fathom than my own admission that my life would have been better without children,” she wrote.