Survey: You’re gonna miss these things the most after you have kids

It’s fairly easy to take the freedom of not having kids for granted. That isn’t to say raising a kid isn’t satisfying on some level, I’m sure it is, but I certainly don’t regret the extra pocket money or the liberty to commit to uninterrupted self-destructive behavior.  If you’re on the fence about introducing another human into the world, or maybe you just feel bad that no one wants to make another human with you, here’s a list of all the things you’d miss about not having kids, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by the folks over at Pampers Pure Protection. 

Follow Ladders on Flipboard!

Follow Ladders’ magazines on Flipboard covering Happiness, Productivity, Job Satisfaction, Neuroscience, and more!

What do parents miss the most?

The authors behind the new OnePoll survey queried 2,000 parents about their fondest memories of being childless.

Before we unpack the results, it should be noted that  90% of the parents agreed that having their child was the best decision of their life, even if 76% of respondents did not predict how much their life would have change as a result of it. Eighty-seven percent of parents said that they would absolutely relive “childless” life for a day if they could. One day is all most of the respondents would need to repudiate their child-rearing woes, as sleep reigned king on the list of 50 things that parents lamented about the most, with quality TV time and reviving the “romantic spark” following close behind; 44% of parents occasioned that one on one time with their partner suffered the most after having children in fact.

Check out the full list below.

What parents miss most about life before children

  1. Saturday morning sleep-ins
  2. A clean and tidy house
  3. Watching television in complete peace
  4. Leaving the house at a moment’s notice, without having to worry about a babysitter
  5. Spending money guilt free
  6. Having a shower or bath without being disturbed
  7. Date nights
  8. Going to the toilet without being disturbed
  9. Vacations/holidays that didn’t hinge on school breaks/terms
  10. Getting a full night’s sleep
  11. Sitting in the sun on a vacation/holiday without having to entertain a child
  12. Browsing the shops rather than rushing around
  13. Nights out with friends
  14. Romance
  15. Being able to pop to the shops when you want
  16. A toned stomach
  17. Adventurous or cultural vacations/holidays
  18. Silence
  19. Just sitting down to read a book during the day
  20. Sex
  21. Being able to relax in a pub beer garden
  22. Cheap vacations/holidays
  23. Not being asked ‘Why’ all the time
  24. Having a car journey in peace
  25. Suffering a hangover without having to look after a child at the same time
  26. Watching grown-up TV during the daytime
  27. Being able to finish a cup of tea before it goes cold
  28. Snacking on treats without having to share them, or eat them in secret
  29. Going to the cinema to watch anything other than an animation
  30. Pre-baby boobs
  31. Being able to travel light when you go away
  32. Being able to have your hair/nails done guilt free
  33. The days when you could watch your own film instead of watching the same kid’s film over and over
  34. Not having to watch what you say or talk in code because of ‘little ears’
  35. A clean car
  36. Daytime drinking
  37. Not having to always be wondering where the nearest toilet is, in case they need a wee
  38. Not having to fork out on babysitters (if you even manage to go out)
  39. Being able to swear whenever you want
  40. Sitting down to read the newspaper with a morning coffee
  41. Spa days
  42. A good diet
  43. Being able to go down the stairs without navigating a stair gate
  44. Being able to do a wash without having to check the pockets of everything going in
  45. Being able to listen to your music in the car instead of nursery rhyme
  46. Being able to listen to music or the radio ‘normally’ instead of the same kid’s song on repeat
  47. Having a small car instead of a people carrier
  48. Having makeup in your handbag instead of wet wipes
  49. Being able to plug things in without having to always remove the plug adapters first
  50. Not smelling a bit like baby sick all the time


In spite of this healthy index of pre-kid perks, 100% of respondents agreed the outlay to be more than worth it, with an additional 71% going so far as to say they are happier and more fulfilled people having had kids, irrespective of the life uprooting required to raise them.