The take back

Last week I had a meeting up in the Big Smoke for some great upcoming work I have with Bupa. You might remember some of the stuff we did with them last year about the first 1000 days of being a parent, I’m excited about developing this further in the next few months and talking about just how importance this time is for women/Mums from conception to age 2 of their babies life. Having just been through this time for the third time, it’s close to my heart and something I am passionate about.

Like any corporate meeting, there was the awkward ice breaker (man I hate those things) and yet when it comes to performing in them I am obviously so shy and retiring (NOT). So maybe it’s a love/hate relationship I have with them.

We were sharing stuff about ourselves, about our parenting “journeys” (OK I REALLY hate that term), but we got onto a great topic about decisions that we made as parents and now looking back, on what decisions we would take back. So many! I guess that with each child I have had, the regrets or decisions that I would take back, become less serious with each kid. Wisdom, experience and hindsight will do that to a gal I guess, but it got me thinking about my 3 girls and the one decision I would take back with each of them in those moments of being a Mum. Whether it was the first, second or third time.

For Daisy? So many things I would do differently.

I was a completely overwhelmed and TERRIFIED 29 year old. I didn’t trust myself, my instinct or skills and I would love to have that time over. Especially those first few months filled with self doubt and breastfeeding issues. But the main thing I wish I could take back?

I wish I had asked for help.
I wish I had admitted (to myself) and others, that I really wasn’t coping all that well.

For Harper?

I wish I had taken more photos. Pretty simple really.

And for sweet Maggie?

I wish I had sat with her for longer. Worried less about washing and routines and work. I wish I had soaked up every ONE of those first moments in those first 6 weeks. It went so fast. Less washing, more gazing.

How about you? Got any decisions you made with any of your kids that you made that you wish you had taken back? One of the guys at the meeting talked about when his first son was born and was in special care, he wished he’d taken time off work.

Hindsight is quite a thing isn’t it?

So tell me, what decision would you take back?
Big or small?For any of your kids.
I’d love to hear yours too x


  1. When they are little they are so cute you could just eat them ! When they grow up you wish you had !!! Lol ?

  2. I wish I didn’t go back to work so quickly with my first. Although it was very part time, I didn’t need to in any sense. But I didn’t want to be ungrateful to my boss who was trying to be very kind as she thought I would be missing a bit of stimulation ( I wasn’t). It added an extra pressure in those early times with number one I just didn’t need. I also felt like I wasn’t doing the best job in my work either – so a lose-lose situation! I realise looking back it was a symptom of that uncertainty you feel about who you are now in those early months when your life has tilted on its axis that I was temporarily unable to make the best decisions for me. Happily I rectified that with number 2 by extending my leave to a luxurious 3 years! There were some consequences for taking such extended leave but in a funny way even that turned out for the best. With number 2 I can’t don’t remember regretting any decisions really. She was such a joy to be with (and still is) that I truly and whole heartedly loved my days with her, plus I had that knowledge of knowing how quickly it all passes to savour every little thing.

    • Oh emma that is all SO true. I completely lost my compass. Completely. Couldn;t make a decision for the life of me. I think that’s why I struggled so much – feeling SO lost and so not me. Thank you for sharing this x

  3. Beautiful post. I think I would have tried less hard to maintain life as we knew it, in addition to becoming a new mum. Life changes beyond belief and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and even miss the things you used to be and do. It’s only years later that I can appreciate who I have actually become. And I’m pretty proud of that person… at least on the main part ?.

  4. I wish I could take back the controlled crying that was recommended for my daughter who had trouble sleeping and would wake screaming through the night. It turned out her tonsils were so big that she stopped breathing several times a night. I will regret following this advice (even though we didn’t do it for too long because we couldn’t stand it) for the rest of my life. I feel, quite strongly, that if your baby is crying and needs a hug (whether its because they’ve stopped breathing in their sleep or not) then give them a hug. Yes I was tired and felt like crap, but how must she have been feeling!?!

    • Control crying #1. I didn’t do it with #2 or 3 & #3 is nearing 2 and still has not ever slept through the night which is admittedly annoying but I hate the memory of my experience with control crying. Other family members have had success with control crying so I guess it might be a matter of what suits your family. #2 wish I had gone and done more for me as was a bit house bound with 2 under 2 & too early to say with #3 as at this point no real regrets.

    • Oh Nicole, I feel your pain. They turned out alright though! Look at those wonderful kids. You are an amazing MUM x

  5. I wish I had trusted myself more, been less hard on myself and read a little less. Twelve months on, I am learning to listen to my gut more and parent more intuitively. I can laugh now at the number of books I read that – in hindsight – wildly contradict each other (Drowsy but awake! Not drowsy – awake!) but I did cause myself weeks of unnecessary anxiety because my baby wasn’t doing what the books said he should be doing. (In fact, I get a little angry at some of the rubbish that self appointed experts peddle about which frankly scares the living daylights out of sleep deprived new parents.) I’m a work in progress but learning to go with the flow and take the ups with the downs…

  6. I would have asked for help and persevered with breastfeeding first and second kids. It certainly did not come easy to me, but I managed 12 months with the third – it was practically all I did that year mind! I did it for my baby, yet I got so much from those days and memories of that time will remain with me for always.
    (I reckon child number three is the one to be in a family.)

    • I’m number 3 in our family…I agree! Breastfeeding is SO hard…well I found it hard but stuck with it. Through all kinds of hell mind you!

  7. Hey Beth, such cute newbies you had! I would just do it all again, smell those newborn bubbas and re-love them. I was one of those people who was completely confident as a Mum, totally relished it all. I am not so good with the career scene, and always felt out of my depth and like a fraudster – so I guess it’s all a learning curve. In saying all of this, persevering in my job is definitely worth it and with my three kids I’ve been extremely fortunate that they have not had to deal with any sicknesses or difficulties sleeping – so that makes it all a lot easier for a Mumma. Liz XO
    P.S Now you’ve made me nostalgic for that excellent Powderfinger song ” Sail The Widest Stretch” that has those melancholy lines……..
    If you had your time over again
    Would you do it all the same?
    Down through all the twists and bends
    Are there moments you’d erase?

  8. I wish I hadn’t have listened to all the advice and read all the books on not having your child sleep in bed with you. I had a baby that NEVER slept. We tried everything. Controlled crying was the worst. As soon as we relented – at around 18 months – and put her in bed with us we all finally got a good night’s sleep! And all those people who said if you put them in bed with you you will never get them out – rubbish! Once we were all less stressed and she learnt how to sleep we all got back to our own beds but my god, those first 18 months were hell on earth.

  9. All the baby books I had bought, from Baby Love to Save Your Sleep, I should have piled up high, poured some tequila on them and lit them on fire ?

    It’s one thing to try and educate yourself when you are a first time mum, but all those contradicting books did is make me doubt myself in every way possible! Mainly because they all say the other method is wrong and guess what? Hardly any of them are written by any kind of professional!

  10. Looks like you are doing ok though beth!
    Hindsight is wonderful and we can learn from it!
    Much love mx)

  11. Can’t remember the name of the book . . but there was a severe scheduling lady who I tried to follow with #1. Not sure why since we were quite happy the way we were. Thankfully I have such a lovely husband who stepped in and dealt with his wife falling to pieces when the baby didn’t feed at exactly 11.42 . . and eventually convinced me to just go back to my own instincts.

    #2 we bumbled through the best we could at a time when our worlds were falling apart. No regrets there.

    I sometimes wish that I’d taken more time off with both (only got 4 months each and continued working anyway – life of an academic) but I loved taking them into the field with me and having everyone cooing and clucking over them. Breastfed in every conceivable place and with no shame ever!!!

    Just so glad that we took the leap in having them — both of us started marriage ambivalent about children.

  12. With my first born – I’d take back feeling like he had to let go of us to make room for his brothers…
    Second born – I’d take back that damn post natal from his birth being a shitty experience and me not being able to get him better…it still haunts me…
    Third born – I’d take back not spending enough time with you in my belly before you didn’t make it all the way…
    Fourth born – I’d take back all the worry and concern we had with him from in utero to 5 minutes ago…and maybe that delayed speech process (it used to be so freakin quiet!)

  13. I’m sure there’s lots I’d take back but the biggest thing I’d take back was my fear of having more babies. Those 10 years I waited between the first 2 & the second 2 were purely because I was scared to have more & now we have this whopping gap in our family. It’s not all bad & does have its positive points but I just know if we hadn’t waited so long our family would have been bigger….

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