Forgiving myself for the mother I was then

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Hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it? Although sometimes looking back can be a little bit painful. We see all the things we did, or didn’t do particularly well.

 

Mothering a newborn for the second time round is so very different. I am different mother. He is a different child. In our case this one seems easier than our first, although I can’t actually tell if it’s me or him, or perhaps a combination of us both.

 
It seems your first baby teaches you how to be a mother and the second teaches you how to enjoy it. I wonder what the third teaches you? (Calm down Mum we’re just speculating here, I haven’t decided yet whether there will be a third.)

 

Inevitably I’m comparing then to now and there are many things I would have done differently last time if only I’d known. So many things I wish I could have told myself not to worry about.  I would whisper in my own ear ‘Listen to your own intuition.  Stop talking to other people and stop reading so many goddam books. You already know what to do.’  And then I would give myself a hug and a lie down because I think I probably needed it.

 

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I don’t think it’s worth going into specifics of the changes I’d make. The myriad of parenting choices and often black and white opinions are a can of worms I don’t care to open. I just know, for me, for us – things look very different this time round. And I do believe life is calmer,  easier, more enjoyable because of it.

 

 

Sometimes when I hold Eamon, my baby who feels oh so big now, I think back to when he was as small as Rory. I wonder why I made the choices I did.  I hold him and whisper a silent ‘sorry I didn’t know better’ and my thoughts are quickly interrupted by his millionth question for the day and I know I haven’t done such a bad job.

 

 

But I do wonder, will I be looking back on now and thinking the same thing in 5 years time? Will I know better for these choices then as well?  Does every Mother look back and wish she’d done things differently?

 

 

And then I know it’s time to forgive myself for the Mother I was then.  I did the best I could and that’s all there is.

 

 

Are there things you would do differently? If you could go back?

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