My life hasn't exactly been "mainstream".  Right from the day I was born, mainstream wasn't really going to be my thing, but that's a whole other story to be told some other time.

My life has been many things, both good and bad,  and in all those many things there is really only one true regret that I have.

I regret that I wished time away when  my boys were little.   Now that they are teenagers I miss those little boys like crazy.   Sure they were noisy, whiny, messy, feral - but on the flipside they were beautiful, loving, cute as buttons, sweet and just so innocent.  

I read many blogs of mums with young children and I find myself wishing to be back there.  Whilst at the same time I can sense those mums are wishing they might be in the same place I am.  Self sufficient children who leave me plenty of time to get on with my own life.

This is how I see it.

  • When they are newborns - we can't wait until they are older and sleep through the night
  • When they are around 3 months we wish they were older so they can crawl and eat real food
  • When they start crawling we can't wait for them to walk
  • When they start walking we wish they were 3 months again so we can leave them in once place and they don't move
  • When they are 2 we can't wait until the are 4 or 5 and we can get them to see logic and reason
  • When they are between 6 and 11 we can't wait until they go to high school so we don't have to do so much homework with them and we don't have to drive them/accompany them everywhere
  • When they are finally teenagers we wish they were little again because they didn't challenge us and we were the smartest, prettiest, best people in the world - now we are best kept hidden from friends because we are so embarrassing.
And the biggest wish of all - is when they are nearing late teens we wish we didn't wish all those times away and spent more time enjoying those little things we took for granted.

This conversation should illustrate the point I am making.

Mum:    "Would you like me to read to you tonight?"

Son:      Are you serious?   I'm 13.  When I really wanted you to read to me when I was younger you were always too  busy.  You've missed out - you should have spent more time doing it when I really wanted you to.

That was a conversation between my youngest son and I a few years ago.  It cut really deep - the saddest part was he was speaking the truth.  I was too busy working, trying to be all things to all people and not really focussing on being a mum to my little boys.   

That is my biggest and only regret.  The good thing is I do have a great relationship with my boys and I make sure I spend time getting to know who they really are.  That conversation was a huge wake up call for me.

If you are a mum reading this and you have young children - go and do something with them now.   They are really all that matters.  They really are.

J & M I love you to the moon and back infinity times. xx

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6 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    Wow, That is a seriously powerful blog dripping with emotion and with a great message, and its so on the money!..

    As a boy my sporting career was 'orphaned' to my Dad's business career. Yep, he had a great career and provided really well for us by working 7 days a week, but i'd just loved once to have scored my tries, or smacked a six, and looked to the sidelines and seen him there watching on with the other Mum's and Dad's.

    That experience made me make a few personal commitments to my little larabs.

    Get to see as many sporting games as possible that they're in (as painful as Saturday cricket and netball can be).., listen to them play that damn flutey recorder thing with some intent, turn off the TV and listen to their whining about Sally and Sarah from Grade 5, splash in the pool with them and make silly faces at them over dinner.

    Our little larabs s are almost 16 and almost 20 now and slowly but surely they are off doing things that don't involve Mum and Dad anymore... :-( ... and now we are really missing the times together.

    Michelle nailed them both down this morning and tonight we'll be dining out as a family. We'll cherish the time tonight and we'll be listening and interacting with a lot more intent than we ever have before... and Yes, I'll still make silly faces at them.

    Annie, Thanks for the wake up message. It applies just as much to young families as it does to a crusty like me.They are young for a millisecond. Enjoy them and interact with them at every opportunity. Tomorrow they won't be..., and even more importantly, they'll quite likely shape their Childrens futures based on their experiences..Food for thought..

    Good Words My Dear!

  2. I COMPLETELY agree. With my first two I spent much time looking forward to the next stage as it seemed SUCH hard work. But with Toddler I try to enjoy every second. Even when I'm being wee'd on. I know it passes so very quickly.

  3. Michelle Says:

    This is so true! With our first 3 I was so busy I think at times I forgot to enjoy their little stages but with our 4th we are remembering to love every minute.
    I do have moments where I dream of being where you are at... but then I come back to reality and remind myself that the time will really go quickly - I must enjoy these precious young years. I love that I can be a stay at home mum, and their home educator.
    Great post - thanks for sending me here :)

  4. Julie-Ann Says:

    What an amazing blog Annie. I often tell my Mr16 that balance is the key to happiness. When life is out of balance in a particular area- trouble will follow. I have tried to follow that same advice. Sometimes it's hard but I do frequently turn of the computer or the tv to listen to him. I do cherish every moment he talks to me these days as I know they may not be as frequent soon. But I also try to enjoy the present- who he is today and what he is experiencing now.
    I did love it when my magic kisses made everything better:)

  5. This is me. I am that Mum with little kids. Oh how I love the blog world. So much to learn! I love my little boys more than anything in the world and know time is precious. It's always the mother guilt creeping are damned if you do and damned if you don't. I agree with Julie-Ann, it's got a lot to do with happiness. I have tried working and not working...but I find not working makes me depressed and bored, then I am an unhappy Mummy! So now I just try to be happy, but not too busy and hopefully these little munchkins of mine with turn out ok :)

  6. Annieb25 Says:

    It's such a balancing act raising kids and being true to ourselves. I agree Katrina a happy mummy = happier kids. Mine have turned out ok - I still feel guilty but I think as mums that never changes! Thanks for the lovely comments everyone. I love that you read my blog. xx