Things I Don’t Regret, Now That She’s Nine


Things I Don’t Regret, Now That She’s NineNow that my daughter is nine, I am able to look back on the path we chose to take, and think about whether I regret some of the choices we made.

As mothers, we aren’t perfect, but man, we wish we were. We wish we made the right choice all of the time, never raised our voices, never felt stress or felt like there wasn’t enough of us to go around. In a perfect world, no one judges our choices or questions what we’re doing because we know that a mother knows what is best for her child.

Now that she’s nine, some of the choices I made — that were wrought with judgment from others — are some of my favorite memories that I can’t begin to regret.

My daughter’s love for cuddles began early on. Starting from the days she came home, I would lay down and take a nap with her every day of my maternity leave. Back then, the house seemed messy, and dinner and dishes were always in the back of my mind, but all I remember now is that I made the most of those short 12 weeks, and we survived a messy house or who knows what for dinner.

When I went back to work, I was pumping milk every two hours, getting up at 5am, working until 7pm, and commuting an hour each way. I was so tired. On one fateful night, it was easier to nestle her in my arm and go back to sleep instead of trying to peacefully lay her down in her bassinet beside me. Bed sharing isn’t for the faint of heart, and while overall I don’t regret the experience, there were definitely moments of WTF. Why would I do this? Will I ever get my space back? But in the early days, sometimes that was the only time I had with her. Looking back, we always knew that no matter what, we’d see each other, safe and warm at the end of the day. She’s nine now, and she sleeps in her own bed away from me, but she knows she always has a safe place to land.

Now that she is nine, I don’t regret holding her all the time, anytime she wants it.

I don’t regret picking her up when she cried and I sure don’t think I created a “manipulative baby.” I don’t regret soothing when she needed soothing and making choices that supported what we all needed in the moment. What worked for us isn’t perfect for everyone, but if I learned anything these years, it’s that my gut knows. My heart knows and if it’s not comfy, then something isn’t right. The mothering instincts are strong.

Now that she’s nine, and getting a little bit “teenager,” I don’t regret a single trip we have taken. I don’t regret the pennies pinched, the extras I skipped, or the bill at the end of each day. I’m NOT proposing going into debt to take a trip, but I’m saying that I have never regretted giving up extra money to do something fun with her instead. I don’t regret a single penny at Disney World even though I could have taken a really nice all inclusive trip with my husband by now. I don’t regret making time and space for her to go on a work trip with me or an extra trip with her grandparents.

Speaking of my husband, I have been blessed to have continued dating him all of our 11 years. We go on a weekly date night while my daughter stays with my parents, and while I know that isn’t everyone’s reality or an option, I’m grateful for it. There were definitely Fridays where I wanted to choose her instead, when she cried or when I was feeling bitter. When I wanted to hide and sequester away with my sweet angel instead. But I didn’t; date night is skipped only when we’re traveling or have bigger family engagements, and we are better for it. We are still in love and happy; we know how to communicate and connect better than we would if we hadn’t made space for that over the years. She’s nine now, and I don’t regret giving up one night a week to make sure she grew up in a home full of love.

Now that she is nine, some things seemed really hard in the rear view. Some choices seemed questionable, but they seem perfectly clear now. Now that she is nine, I don’t regret much at all.



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