By the way, that is not my picture up there. Just a random woman thinking as she looks out a window. It matched my mood, what can I say? I am not that young or beautiful and I have blue eyes not brown. A lot of you probably remember that my two daughters are basically grown (not really, because they still live at home and still rely on Mom a lot, but essentially they are legal adults at 18 and 22). Looking back on the years I spent raising them, there are some stark things I wish I’d done more.
I wish I’d focused less on creating amazing superstars and more on these things.
- I wish I’d taken more time to help others. Yes, we were busy, but that Thanksgiving day at the soup kitchen that I always said we would do each year? We never did it and now they’re grown. How much could they have learned by helping others?
- I wish I’d hugged them more. I did hug them, but suddenly they were older and Mom’s hugs weren’t as cool. Now, I get occasional hugs. I can remember my youngest hugging me so tightly it hurt when she was about four. How I miss those bear hugs.
- I wish we’d taken more family vacations and experienced more of the world together.
- I wish that I’d shown more grace when they made mistakes instead of telling them how disappointed I was. I’m sure they already knew I was disappointed. What they really needed was a hug, a story about a time I made a mistake and some understanding.
- I wish I’d had more tea parties with them. So what if it made a mess?
- I wish we’d finger painted more.
- I wish I’d taken the TV out of our house or really limited the hours we watched it. It is such a time suck for all of us.
- I wish I’d focused more on my kids and less on other kids. My husband and I used to teach youth. Yes, we loved those kids. We poured a lot into them. I’m not sure I poured enough into my own, though, because my attention was distracted.
- I wish I’d been sillier with them when they were preteens. Yes, it embarrassed them, but I wish I’d done it anyway.
- I wish I’d let them have more slumber parties, more friends over, and had more get togethers for their friends. Sometimes I was so tired and it was easy to just say I didn’t want anyone over. Now that time has passed and I miss it.
- I wish I’d been more present at games, competitions, cheerleading events instead of off in my own world wondering when the day would end.
- I wish we’d read more good books together and discussed them more.
- I wish when they were little and had a million questions that I’d answered more of them and encouraged them to be as inquisitive as they wanted instead of changing the subject.
- I wish I could take away every hurt anyone ever caused them. That I could have seen what would happen and just avoided those people ever entering their lives.
- I wish I would have visited family members who are gone more often. My girls needed to know these wonderful people better and now they won’t get the chance.
- I wish I’d spent less time worrying what other people thought of me as a mother because of my childrens’ actions or attitudes. No one else matters as much as my family. No one else’s opinion but theirs and God’s matters a bit.
I love my children. I did the best I knew. I’m not a bad mom. However, looking back on it, I realize how very precious those years were and how fast they passed. I hope that this list touches the heart of a mom just starting the journey and reminds her to take the time for the little things. Children are only children for a heartbeat, and then they are grown.