It feels like such a dirty word.
I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in my life. A few I regret. Some, while they were not smart, I know have shaped me and made me who I am today.
Regret clings to you like an unwanted visitor, creeping in when you least expect. It reminds you of your mistakes, forcing you to own up to them again and again. No matter how many times you play them over in your mind, you can’t shake the guilt.
You guys, this is the parenting mistake that I refuse to make. Regret.
Regretting what I do and what I don’t.
As much as I’d like to be, I’m not perfect. I’m going to make parenting mistakes. I’m going to fail. A lot.
But I also know that I have choices. I can keep trying. Each day is a new opportunity. To show grace. To receive it. To love more than I ever thought possible.
Even though I may will stumble, I will not regret choosing to be positive in the midst of it. And I won’t hate myself for the times I completely fall apart.
I will not regret listening to my instincts instead of the “shoulds” and “should nots” that silently pressure me to do things that I know are not right.
I will not regret doing what I feel is best for my family.
I will not regret the nights spent sitting with my toddler daughter, settling her down at the end of the day, snuggling with her as she slowly gets tired enough to fall sleep. In the frustrating moments, I remember that though the nights are long, the years are short.
I will not regret choosing to be more patient instead of being quick to yell. I will not regret stepping back, taking a deep breath, and assessing my daughter’s needs before responding.
I will not regret apologizing when I do yell or become unnecessarily harsh (which is daily way more often than I’d like). I will not regret admitting when I get upset and explaining why it is that I did. I will not regret turning these moments into a learning opportunity.
I will not regret my parenting choices. Choosing to listen to my daughter when she’s upset or throwing a tantrum. Doing my best to show her how to handle her emotions. I will not regret choosing positive parenting and appropriate discipline that provides learning and understanding.
I will not regret waiting. Waiting to do the dishes, fold the laundry, or clean the crumbs off the floor. Waiting to do all the things in the back of my mind on my to-do list.
I will not regret waiting and putting things aside in order to be present in the moment, making memories and enjoying my time with those I love.
I will not regret letting things go for the sake of “me” time – because I know that a healthy me is the best version of me for my family.
I will not regret the time spent tackling my to-do list. Because sometimes, mommas, we gotta get our you-know-what together and just get it done. And the sense of accomplishment afterward is worth it. Yes, I may be missing out on something else, but sometimes you just need to choose keeping your household together, your work deadlines met, or even yourself from losing your sanity.
I will not regret being a working momma. Though it is more out of necessity, I do enjoy working and am a stronger and more confident person as a working mom. I will not regret teaching my children the value of working hard and pursuing your passions. I will not regret trying to be the best role model I can be for my family.
Mommas. I will likely make some decisions that I will want to change. I may will do or say things that I wish I hadn’t. But at the end of the day, I know that I am trying to be the best mom I can, putting my family’s needs first.
Oh, I’m not perfect. We all know we’re not. Let’s have grace on ourselves. And not live our lives with regret. Because we are all doing the best we can through this journey that is parenthood.