Oh, if I only knew then what I know now, I would do many things differently.
1. I would be less intense and emphatic with my children, thereby modeling flexibility, sensitivity, and compassion.
2. I would allow myself to get less stressed about the little stuff, thereby imparting a sense of peace to my children in the midst of this crazy world.
3. I would hug my older children more, assuring them that, even as teenagers who don’t want to be touched, I love them and want to be near them because they are awesome!
4. I would listen more, thereby teaching my children that their voices are very important in this world.
5. I would make sure that I got time alone much more often so that I could recharge and be refreshed for when I am with my children.
6. I would have taken control of my life much sooner, modeling self-determination and personal power in a positive atmosphere.
7. I would have worked part-time sooner (before I got sick) so that I could help my children with buying their first cars, taking trips, and exploring the world more, and so that they know that working moms are loving moms (although stay-at-home moms ARE working moms).
8. I would have given them more freedom earlier. I discovered that controlling social interactions isn’t as healthy as I thought.
Older moms, especially moms of adult children, all have regrets. We have tons of guilt. I can only hope that some of my observations after the fact can help younger moms make healthy decisions for their children and for themselves — yes, you are VERY important.
Did I mention that when we are open and honest with our children about our failures, we release them from resentment that might have been hiding deep within, setting them free? What a gift!
Learning to be very real with my children in my old age (53).