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Regretting not making the most of younger years

(4 Posts)
missmaryp Fri 19-May-17 15:13:37

Am I the only one who has a regular feeling of regret (can't think of a better adjective, but not sure that's 100% accurate) for not appreciating the younger years of your child's life?

My DD is 11, starting secondary school in Sep, and my husband and I have been trying for a baby for the last few years unsuccessfully, so I'm aware the feelings I have may very much be all a part of that too!

When I properly interrogate the last 11 years, or if I were to ask my friends and family, I can see that I have spent lots of time, love and energy bringing up my daughter. We laugh together, she's a happy kid.

So why do I feel so very guilty that I haven't made the most of the 11 years and feel a sense of loss that those younger childhood years are gone and I should have been so much more 'present' than I was?

I'm wondering if I need to find us a hobby to do together? We don't spend quality time together and I think bloody facebook memories are reflecting back a rosy ideal of what life was like when she was younger and that's contributing to my feelings now.

Not sure what I'm looking for here - perhaps just hearing I'm not th only one struggling with a feeling of loss over the younger childhood years, and some strategies to make sure I'm not feeling the same about her teenage years int he future?!

crazycrofter Sun 28-May-17 08:53:49

Hi! I can't really suggest anything but I feel the same often - part regret and part grief for the younger years that have gone. I have 2 children, 13 and nearly 11, so both will be at secondary school come September.

I would brace yourself for it getting worse before it gets better actually - they really do grow away from you in certain ways once they're at secondary and it's all about friends. But ... my daughter will talk to me about friendship issues, boys, school, TV series etc and I think it's starting to get better again now but in a different way.

It's nice to find series to watch together - we're just about to start the new Anne of Green Gables one. Also, I will put the radio on downstairs and listen with her so I know all the songs in the charts now!

I'm sure nostalgia and regret are just a normal part of life and we'll probably feel the same about the teenage years in 10 years time! I think you forget the difficult times too!

Good luck with secondary school and this new phase of life!

snowflake25 Tue 30-May-17 20:46:28

I feel enormous sadness my darling girls are growing up, I loved the baby years and when they were small. I can feel pain at the thought it is all over, even though I was beyond knackered for most of it! Sometimes wished it away etc -

I have settled into a new normal with my dd12 now, we have shared time together walking our dogs, going to the gym and she plays tennis with my dh. I have a different kind of relationship with her now - it is becoming more equal and respectful (sometimes) and she is growing away, but not too far, not yet anyway.

Honestly we have to savour the children we have NOW - for we will soon look back on these days and howl that they are over. At least we can still tuck them in, cuddle them close and know where they are. They still need us in many ways. Focus on the here and now and make every day count from now day there really will be a moment a turning point when they flee the nest, so build up your relationship and bonds now. It is normal to feel sad that your children are no longer young I think, but just think you can either wait for a grandchild one day or have another one! Your choice, but I am picking the one with more sleep smile

StealthPolarBear Tue 30-May-17 20:50:10


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