Raising children produces a whole host of new fears and vulnerability you have never previously experienced, it's a roller coaster of emotions, good and bad. You worry for your child's safety, for their future and for their well being. You strive endlessly to give them a nurturing, happy environment in which to grow and to give them the tools to shape their own future and it's exhausting! But along with all those perfectly heathy and rational fears, I have another that sneaks up on me when I'm at my weakest. When I'm having a bad day and I lose my temper or I lack the energy for play time or 'one more story'. When I snap or I ignore yet another rambling story about Thomas the Tank engine's exploits, when I turn on the TV so I can get a minute's peace, I fear I will regret. I'm scared I will look back on these times in 20 years and wish I had done more. When my boys are grown and no longer wish for my company, when instead it's me desperate to spend a little one on one time with them will I look back and wish I had cherished those moments when my babies were mine and mine alone? Will I berate myself for not appreciating what I had? Will I be angry at myself for not getting down off the sofa, regardless of how exhausted I was, and engaging with my children?
I regret many things in my life (mostly drunken exploits) and some of the larger errors still haunt me to this day. I regret that I didn't work harder at University, I spent faaaar too much time partying and forgot the reason for being there and my overall result reflected that. I wish I'd put in more effort so I could have achieved the degree I knew myself capable of and I will forever regret my lack of focus. So if I feel that way about a degree... How on earth am I going to be able to reconcile with all the days of parenthood where I didn't put in my best?
As I'm sure is the same with most parents, I begin the day with great ideas and expectations but as I battle with each everyday problem I find myself worn down, exhausted and dare I say it, bored. So I don't always accomplish what I set out to achieve and some days I have to settle for just being 'OK' instead of 'supermum'. Shit, some days I don't think I even reach the OK standards! So, will I wonder in 20 years time if there had been a little more left in the tank? If I could have found that smidgen extra patience to play Snakes and Ladders one more time or if I could have put down the phone and played hide and seek AGAIN. Will I regret missing out on these moments just to grab a second for me? Because we all know it won't last forever, we will get back our time and our patience and our sanity again one day, can I not just accept losing it for just now?
But as well as this fear there is also a tiny secret hope. A hope that as I grow and learn I will look back on these days with compassion. That I will wonder why I gave myself such a hard time and I will realise I was doing the best I could with what I had. I hope I will remember that, unlike my university days, I did not lose focus. That I never, not even for a minute, forgot how important my role was and that sometimes the weight of the responsibility was crushing. Maybe I will even look back and laugh at the insecurities that seemed so insurmountable at the time. But most of all I hope I will be able to look at my children grown and be proud of who they have become and realise my efforts were good enough despite the many many mistakes I will have made along the way.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more