If you could go back in time and change something in your life, would you do it?
I've had some rough stuff happen in my life. Some of it more serious than other stuff. Some stuff I'm not willing to post publicly. Some stuff that I am. My parents split when I was 9 years old after a rubbish marriage. I wasted 5 years of my life dating and then being engaged to a guy who turned out to be gay. I tried to set up my own business and it failed miserably. I'm still paying for that mistake.
But none of these are things that I would change. They made me who I am today. My parents are better off apart and have built new relationships. The relationship I had with my gay ex lead me to meeting my husband, we wouldn't have ever met otherwise. And as for the business... well I know I'm much happier being an employee!
So what would I change?
I'd go back and raise my eldest child like I'm raising my youngest. I'm not saying I've been raising Jack badly, he's turning into a wonderful young man and I am hugely proud of him. It's not HIM I would change, it's the way I was with him as a baby.
I'd never had much to do with babies until I had my own. Never been a baby sitter, no siblings of my own to help bring up, no real contact at all beyond a few minutes cuddle and then handing back to mummy & daddy. I was scared to death! I worried that I was cuddling Jack too much, or not enough, worried that I was neglecting him if I left him to play, or smothering him when I played a game with him.... It didn't help that I had a touch of the "baby blues" too. I went through a phase of resenting every feed, every nappy change, every cry for attention. It's not something I experienced with my other two. During this time I'd just shove a dummy in his mouth and try to ignore him for a few minutes while I tried to do something - anything - for myself even if it was just have a cup of coffee while it was still warm.
Now I have 3 boys who are the greatest loves of my life, and I am more relaxed. I'm making better choices now. For example Georgie is still breastfed (usually just once a day now before bed) where as Jack was taken off the breast at 9m because I hadn't learned how to stop him biting. Tom fed for 12m 1w and self weaned. I'm planning on letting Georgie self wean too, and at almost 13 1/2m he's still wanting his mummy-milk. I could give you a dozen examples of what I would do differently, but I wont do that here today.
I do enjoy all my kids now. I have so much more confidence that I ever dreamed was possible But I feel bad that I panicked so much when Jack was little. I wish I could go back and have him all over again with the knowledge and confidence I have now. But since I can't do that I'll have to make sure I enjoy every moment have have with all of them NOW!
Any my word of advice for mums (and dads) ENJOY YOUR BABIES! This cute little fella in these pictures is 5 years old now, gels his hair, says he has a girlfriend, and is planning his future career as pizza restaurateur and games designer. Anyone would think he was 15 not 5.