A new mother has expressed her true feelings about having a baby, advising others against it and revealing she misses the "vibrant and fun" person she "used to be".
In a now-viral post on parenting forum Mumsnet, the woman advised those who were thinking of having a baby against it.
"Don't...or do. But be aware it may ruin your life," she began the post, adding she loves her seven-month-old son "more than anything in the world".
"But I regret having a baby so much," she wrote.
"It has absolutely destroyed my physical and mental health, and it's impossible for me to envisage a time where I will ever be happy again."
The woman continued that she used to be "a vibrant, interesting, fun person with a great family life and hobbies, purpose and fulfilment".
"I'm now a shell of my former self, my world is so, so small," she observed.
"If I could hit a button and go back to a time before my son existed, without remembering him or knowing he existed, I would do it without hesitation.
"I regret having a baby so much and I wish with all my heart and soul I hadn't done it."
Her post struck a chord with other mothers, who flooded the post with support and concern for the anonymous parent.
When some speculated that perhaps she didn't have much support, the woman added her partner was "amazing".
"He does so much for us both, way more than his fair share.
"But I can see what a burden I am to him by feeling this way and I am so so worried about the toll it takes on him, having to be a parent and also support me through this."
Other parents were quick to assure the woman that she was in the worst of it, and "it does get better".
"I felt like that when mine were that age. I think the first 3-4 years can be brutal depending on the nature of the child. It WILL get easier and more enjoyable, especially if you stick with just the one," one person wrote. " Hang in there, it's not forever."
"I'm really sorry for you. There is a huge pressure on new mums to be over the moon despite the first year being very hard for many, many women," another added.
"Oh poor you. It sounds like you are feeling terrible at the moment. I just wanted to say that it doesn't sound unfamiliar," another wrote. "I love being a parent, my daughter is [a toddler] and I went through hell and back to get her here but I have definitely had lots of moments where similar thoughts have gone through my mind.
"I really didn't enjoy the newborn stage at all. I just wanted to say, I do feel it gets better the older they get."
Many women also asked whether the mother might be suffering from postnatal depression, and advised she seek some professional counselling.