Some days I have regrets.
I don’t feel bad saying it because it’s how I feel some days.
Some moments I think I regret having kids.
Maybe I do feel bad saying it because it was hard to write.
The moments that I have these feelings are the times I’ve been rocking my baby for 45 minutes and she cries when I put her down, only to restart the process again. The times when I have to get out of the house for an appointment and I can’t even think about showering because it’s just not going to happen, I might even have to reschedule the appointment. The times when the baby is crying so my older child tries to scream over her and starts crying too. The times when I look around at my house and see stained carpets and messy bench tops and half eaten breakfasts. The times when I’m trying to change a nappy, feed one, rock the other when I’m busting to go to the toilet, the time when people ask me to go out, anywhere, with or without kids. I know I might get called selfish, but I was a person before this, and I am still a person now.
I think to myself, I wonder what it would be like without kids. What would my life be like? I’d have disposable income. I’d have a clean house and I wouldn’t be peeing myself. That’s for sure. I wouldn’t be crying in a heap some days because I just couldn’t do it.
I don’t feel like this all the time. The good times I am reminded of why my life would be so empty without my children. How every month I wasn’t pregnant I would cry in a heap. How my little baby will eventually settle and she snuggles right into my chest like its the best place on earth. How my son will cuddle my leg and look up at me and smile. How he will run down the hallway laughing to give me a big cuddle. I don’t regret any of those times. It’s the best times of my life.
I often felt bad for admitting I find it all sooooo hard and that it was hard for me to adjust. But why? I think being responsible for another human who can’t communicate their needs is hard, and you don’t need to have postnatal depression or baby blues to feel that. I think it’s pretty normal. I think it’s okay for me to feel that. I’m giving myself permission.
No, parenting isn’t all doom and gloom, but it’s not rainbows and butterflies either.
Sometimes the best moments are nap times and sometimes it’s when they wake up and call out to you and smile at you.
Some days the TV is the substitute parent and some days you’re a Montessori expert.
Sometimes it’s regret and sometimes it’s your greatest accomplishment.
I will share these feelings with my children when they have children. How I struggled some days and wondered if I did the right thing because I just couldn’t do it.
I spend a lot of time validating their every emotion to show them it’s okay, so I will tell them how I felt, honestly, to show that when they have kids one day that it’s okay to have these feelings. It really is okay, and every emotion can be celebrated, but it never meant that I loved them less, if anything, it means I can appreciate them more because I have given myself permission to feel and then recover from those feelings, instead of suppressing it, and in turn given them permission to feel not just the good but the bad too.
And I will never regret that.