Thursday, July 28, 2011

Learning from regret

A lot of people say "No regrets!" like they really have no regrets in their life.

I just don't understand that.

Because I have regrets. Boy howdy, do I!

One of my biggest regrets is not getting it with my first baby.

I didn't get how fast he would grow. I didn't get how fleeting that time was. I didn't get how perfect he was. I didn't get how lucky I was.

I liked being a mom well enough and I knew it was important, but I didn't really get it.

With my second I started to get it more.

I enjoyed it more, I reveled longer. It began to define me.

Lately I like to sit in my chair of many colors to nurse Jared Carter. When he's sufficiently drunken with goodness, I put my feet up on my ottoman and sit him up to pat some burps out. I want to sit their all day. I want to squish his cheeks and make him smile. I want to make faces at him so he'll raise his expressive eyebrows at me. I want to tickle right between his ribs and his armpits to make him giggle uncontrollably. I want to pinch his fat tummy and poke at his cavernous belly button. And I want to kiss his neck 9 million times.

I could let the dishes pile up for weeks and let the big boys get muddy outside to their hearts' delight just to sit in that chair and love my squishy babe.

And I'll tell you what.

I would give anything to do the same with baby Blaine. It pains me to the core that I missed that with him.

I envy my friends who got it with their first.

I know it's all about hindsight and there's no point in dwelling on the past and I just need to love him now. But it still makes me sad.

'Cause this is the best.


Melissa said...

I was 31 before having my first. I knew I shouldn't wish it away, so I soaked it in. I'm glad I did because my second was HUGE. Never really a newborn weighing in at 9 lbs. 12 oz. I was sad I didn't get the newborn thing with her. And then she didn't have a cuddly personality either and was fussy alot. What was up with that? Oh well. All we can do is make the most of every day. I have always been grateful that I have epiphanies like you are had so that I can soak up the time starting NOW. They are not going to college yet, and I'm so happy for the time left. I know you are too. Just wanted to say that. ;)

Mickie and Matt said...

A quote my sister in law shared with me and that I am trying to live by is, "Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are formed, his mind developed. To him we cannot say tomorrow, his name is today." — Gabriela Mistral

It hits me hard every time I read it... then I get off the computer and go snuggle my little 4 month old lady and have a good wrestle match with my two year old. They cannot wait, they need me today and now, not AFTER the house is spotless, dinner is prepped and the dishes and laundry are done. I try to do all that during their nap times so while they are awake I am all theirs (this of course doesn't work ALL day but I try!)

Melanie said...

I can completely relate with your experiences, Anne. That's exactly how I felt with my first, and I look back now and wish I could redo it. I often question if I've ruined him for life because I was so overwhelmed and uncertain when he was so young. I'm just grateful that children are naturally forgiving and loving.

Kimberly said...

I hate regrets. I don't know how anyone could say they don't have any. I mean I'd never go back and change anything because what happened is what made me who I am today. But I definitely wish I had done many things just BETTER.

Christina said...

I could have written this post. And I love that quote, Mickie. I do think regret can be a powerful teacher, and so I try to focus on what I want to improve instead of the pain that accompanies the regrets. Thanks for sharing, Anne.

Amy at Ameroonie Designs said...

One thing I try to remember is that learning is part of life. There will be regrets- things we could have and should have done better, but especially with parenting- God will not leave us in our imperfections. He allows us these opportunities to grow and while we may not be the parent we will be in later years, we have Him to help make up the difference. Enjoy your squishy baby- they are the BEST!!!

Heather said...

Love this! Thank you for sharing. And I hate regret! It hurts. :)

Kay said...

It's funny when I think back on my time as a young mom. I rarely had the chance to snuggle, having four kids under the age of two. I think they survived, but yes, a bit more one on one time would have been nice!

I'm glad you've learned this is important to you. It would be sad if you had never learned it at all, right?

And I didn't get a chance to tell you at Sara's Reception, but you looked beautiful!

jenjamin said...

It is the best! You are totally right. The way I feel is Heavenly Father couldn't possibly give it all to us to "get" at once. Where would our growth be..? I think every year that passes and every baby (6 now) " I get it" a little more. I too have regrets for many of the same reasons you mentioned BUT I am so grateful that I am getting it now. And sure enough, there will be another phase of life that I'll inevitably pass through and I'll look back with regret for this or that but there again is the beauty of this mortal life. Regret in a way, is healthy, as long as we dont let it sabotage our life. We are all (hopefully) always progressing, becoming and reaching on our tippy toes to be metaphorically taller, to be more of who we are suppose to be. Regret in a slight way, is satisfying. It is tangeable evidence if you will, that i am getting better. One of my favorite sayings is "if you know better, you do better". Keep up the good work! You "get it" more than you know.

Love your blog btw! Beautiful family.

Banana said...

So, so true. I didn't really "get" it until my third, and now I am soaking up every moment with my forth.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean! With my first, I am ashamed to say I almost rushed through it, wanting it to be over! Now I'm so sad that I didn't cherish every moment I had with her. I've grown up a WHOLE BUNCH myself since my first baby. I wish I could do it all over again..