There is no friendship, no love, like that of the parent for the child. (Henry Ward Beecher)
Hindsight is 20/20, and if we could go back and change things, we would all have picked the winning lottery numbers and be enjoying warm tropical weather year round. However, hindsight is simply that, looking at what could have happened or what you could have done. We often have that thought in parenting after an outburst or confrontation. What are some of the things I would have done differently as a parent?
I would have practiced more self-care when my kids were younger. I poured everything into the family and put myself last. As much as I enjoy getting back to myself, it has been a journey. I forgot to exercise when my girls were young and those chicken nuggets and ice cream were often too good to pass up. I wish I would have taken time out of my day to focus on me. If that had been reading, journaling, or exercising. It was not until my youngest daughter was in kindergarten that I was able to focus on me, and I wish I had made that a priority earlier.
Worry. I wish I worried less. I wish I worried less on how other parents judged me, criticized me, and instructed me on how I should parent. Parent shaming is a real thing, and it was not until my daughter was in middle school that I stepped up and pushed back. This is a huge part of why I became a teen and parent life coach. At times we need someone to give us feedback, question our choices, and ask if there is a different pathway. That same person also has to be supportive, friendly, and kind. I would not have stressed so much about grades or college applications or anything for that matter. I feel I should have been engaged, supportive and asking questions but supporting the individual journey each of my daughters were taking. Oh don’t get me wrong, part of being engaged would have been stepping in before a catastrophic event occurred.
I should have been more relaxed and flexible when they were young. I am not sure why I focused on nap time and wish I would have just played more with them. I wish I had taken more pictures of us as a family. It seems I was often behind the camera, so make sure everyone gets lots of pictures because before you know it, the kids are teens and then off to college. Take time to capture the moments with everyone in the picture.