As moms, we all have our regrets: That moment in anger, the moments not taken to cultivate a deeper relationship, a daily healthy meal, and the list could be endless and going on for always. But what about the things we don’t regret! Here are some things that I don’t regret doing, as a mom, and I would like to share those with you.
I may regret not reading to my children every single night but I don’t regret not giving up. I don’t get to read to my children every night. By 7pm I am completely worn out and the children are just done with the day. But there are some days that I will push through and pull out a read aloud and I will read for 10-15 minutes. It’s not where I want to be in life but it is where I am and I am working harder to reach that point where I am where I want to be. If you don’t have a perfect 7 checked-off box on your “read to children” list, don’t give up. BE happy with the one you may have been able to do. If you didn’t do any at all, don’t give up and try again next week, and the week after that, and after that, don’t ever give up.
I don’t regret not giving my children the option for what they want to eat. That might seem petty but for me it is a huge deal. From birth they get what they are getting and if they don’t want it, they can wait for the next meal or eat it as a snack if they are hungry. To illustrate what I am trying to avoid, when I go to the grocery store I always run into the tired and worn out mother that is just trying to figure out which yogurt their child wants. The child is generally older than 5 and is crying over not having the right one. I don’t sit there thinking, “Well now, if you had just started from the beginning with a no-nonsense attitude…” No, I don’t do that. I know there are so many individual circumstances, especially with the special needs children, BUT I know that for my children, they can be thankful for whatever they receive. They don’t need their own cereal, yogurt, bread, snack, whatever it is. I established this from infancy. On their birthday’s they get to make the menu for the day but other than that, its all up to mom. I don’t regret this one bit.
I don’t regret being selective in friendships. This is kind of a tricky one for me. All children act like, well, children! But there are children that you can correct their behavior (and I am talking no compromising situations) and there are children that look at you and their eyes say “you don’t have authority over me.” Those kind of children we do not see often. I get told so often, I cant even begin to tell you how often, “I wish my kids were like yours. Can you just take them?” and I want to weep. First of all, my children are not perfect and quite often I want to say, “Are you sure you are talking about mine?” Moms, don’t we all say that? But these are the parents that let their children hit mine in anger, cuss out without batting and eye and when I correct that behavior the parent will jump on me for parenting their child. If you are working on your children’s good behavior, it is very important that they do not get mixed signals about what is ok and what isn’t. I don’t make these choices because I believe we are better than they are, we all have our issues, every single one of us. BUT, the friendships that do not aligned with our core values are friendships that are going to end in catastrophe. I am not choosing only Christian friends for my children, and I don’t only allow dresses only people in our fellowship–that is not what I mean about core values. Do they respect my decisions? Do play well? Are their attitudes respectful for not just the parents but to their playmates as well? A recent one I had to add was, do they steal? These kind of questions are the kind I ask myself when the children want to “hang out” with someone.
I don’t regret saying “I love you” at random moments. This may seem so simple and so random in of itself, but it is something that I have had to train myself to do. It doesn’t come naturally for me. Along with this I would add random hugs, random “let’s chat” moments and all that.
I don’t regret getting rid of toys and keeping them at a minimum. If there is an items my kids really really like, I try not to get rid of it, but before birthdays and after Christmas I am a purging fiend. I don’t regret this for a few reasons: My kids know that items are temporal, they think hard about getting something because if they bring one thing in another has to leave, I don’t feel like I have to keep up on all the toy clutter that comes into the house all the time, I don’t trip over toys constantly, and the children have the experience of enjoying the outdoors so much more which is essential when you live in a tiny home.
I don’t regret having my children. I cannot emphasize this enough. I love each one of my children. I do not regret when I had them, I do not regret having them, and I don’t being a mom. Lord in heaven knows I am not a perfect mom. I wouldn’t even say I am a honorable mention, but I love being there all the time for my children. I don’t regret telling my children constantly that I am so glad to be their mom. I don’t regret giving the title of “mom” such a wonderful title to my children. Whether or not they choose to be parents is for them to decide but I do not want them to ever think I regret them, or regret being a mom at any stage of their life. Ever. Period. I do not regret my children.
Sometimes there are just moments, days, when you are realizing all the failures you have done and know you will continue to do, but there are times when you just need to assess why you are a mom, and what you have done right. The glass can be half empty or half full until we start pouring all the blessings we know to be true, into that glass until our cup runs over.