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Lost years..wish I’d been younger

43 replies

Springtimeblues · 26/03/2021 15:16

I struggled with infertility and started trying to conceive at 31, but had miscarriages, an ectopic, rounds of ivf and finally had dd at 40. I just love her so much but feel so sad I wasn’t able to have her earlier, I would have pushed more or even started trying at 25 if I knew. I was always slightly on the fence about having children, although I’ve always loved them, I loved my freedom too and have been lucky to travel lots, live abroad and spend years watching sunsets on beaches. I’d change it all to have had children earlier (if I could) and lots more, if I could.
The very things I didn’t want when younger-to stay near my family in my home town and have a big family, are the very things I now want..but it’s too late. I live abroad and have one child and fairly late, Aibu to wish I’d done things differently, does anyone else?

OP posts:

Springtimeblues · 26/03/2021 15:18

I mainly wished I’d realised that these were the important things in life, much earlier, instead of placing importance on travel and excitement and ultimately losing years with my family and the chance of more years being a mother potentially.

OP posts:

LagneyandCasey · 26/03/2021 15:29

I think most people have things they wish they'd done differently. I had my 3 dc very spread out and there are 14 years between oldest and youngest. I wish I'd had them closer together so they would have been better company for each other. However, they're all healthy and happy and maybe if I'd done it differently they would have been different children with health issues etc. The Midnight Library is a good book on this subject. It can help you come to terms with what your life has turned to be do away with the 'What ifs'.


withmycoffee · 26/03/2021 15:30

If you'd had a child earlier it wouldn't be the child you have today. It wouldn't have been the same egg or sperm. Just a thought.


mixedfeelsaboutthispl · 26/03/2021 15:41

I think it's natural to wish we'd done things differently, I certainly wish I'd left my ex years sooner than I actually did.

However - it's done now. We made the choices we did. I hate to sound harsh, but we can't wind back time. We just have to be thankful for the good things in our lives now and make the most of it. Focusing on regrets is wasted energy.


Tilpop · 26/03/2021 15:43

I could have written this exactly word for word. I found out at 35 I couldn't conceive and I now have an 8 month old son after years of IVF. I have just turned 40 and I'm so scared that I'm going to be old as he's growing. I too wish I had known.


Tilpop · 26/03/2021 15:43

I never thought of things that way


Sunshineonarainydayy · 26/03/2021 15:49

Many others may equally say they wish they'd waited to have children, enjoyed their 20s travelling and having freedom. You never know how things will turn out. Its natural to have regrets but it doesn't benefit you to dwell on it.


snackmonster · 26/03/2021 15:50

I second the book recommendation 'The Midnight Library'. Deals with those 'what if's brilliantly.

We can wish our lives away regretting certain choices we made. We all have them. Unfortunately wishing you did things differently won't change anything. Consider this: by spending a lot of your time wishing for something different, are you actually being present in your life and enjoying every moment with the daughter you do have? It's easy to give advice over the internet but if I were you I would try to throw myself into the life I do have, take some control and making memories you will treasure.

I don't want to make you feel bad here - I do feel for you. But you've had some wonderful life experiences that you wouldn't have been able to have with kids - try to think back to how amazing they were. And now you do have your child, why not move back to your home town? It's not too late by any means.

I have my own regrets and there are aspects of my past I wish I could change. I can't though. It's best to look for ways to be happy in the present because that's ultimately the only thing you can affect.


Moonface123 · 26/03/2021 15:50

It's easy in hindsight to wish you had maybe done things differently, but l think I we do what feels right at the time with the knowledge we have. We all have these dreams in our head with how we want our lives to be but life has a will of its own, rarely goes to plan and even if it does often not quite what you had imagined.
To have the joy of raising one child and/ or to be living abroad may be a dream come true to some.
I try to focus on what l already have, rather than what l feel l am lacking, it makes life a lot easier.


Miljea · 26/03/2021 15:59

Hindsight is a wonderful thing...

It's quite possible you might also be 40, with three quarrelling teenagers, constantly having to pop into your mum's, bitterly regretting not having travelled, seen the world, watched those sunsets, knowing your pretty much trapped in the foreseeable.

I did loads of travelling through my 20s, finally marrying at 35, DC at 36 and 38. Sure, the DC have no living grandparent left and we're unlikely to be in a fit state to be part of any grandchild's life.

But I wouldn't have missed all the fun and adventures I had, travelling; and I'm very aware of other people my age (late 50s) sort of going 'Is this it?' -as just as they're considering going part-time etc, they're being expected to provide childcare for grandchildren.


PurpleBiro21 · 26/03/2021 16:07

Your story and timelines are almost identical to mine.

While having a child in my very late 30s due to infertility wasn’t in my plan, with hindsight I’m grateful for it.

I definitely would have found motherhood more difficult in my 20s, but I’ve grown so so much as a person during those IVF and MC years that life and strife seems easier to me?

I look to the positives in that I’m much happier within myself, I’m comfortable financially and employment wise but most importantly I have more patience for my child and find it far easier to make sacrifices than I would have done when I still wanted to have adult fun.

I actually think child is having a better upbringing here and now than they would have with 30 odd year old me (20s are out of the question, I would have been total shit).


PurpleBiro21 · 26/03/2021 16:11

Also as others have said - I had an extended carefree adulthood which I’m so very grateful for and as a married couple we still had an absolute ball admittedly with huge periods of pain which incidentally strengthened our marriage long term.

I would swap it in a heartbeat to avoid the heartbreak of IVF and MC but if at 30 I was told I can definitely have a child in ten years I still would have waited.


Kroptopbelly · 26/03/2021 16:17

I don’t see it like that at all op.
I had a great life with my dh throughout my 20’s, a great life.
Wasn’t ready at all as I was too selfish and having too good a time.

I felt ready in my 30’s.
But could not have predicted what was to come.
If none of it had happened, I wouldn’t have my 2 kids now.
Everything happens at the time it was supposed to happen imho.
It’s out of your hands.
Also I don’t look back. It’s done.
I’m too busy now to think about that.


Springtimeblues · 26/03/2021 16:58

I definitely feel I wasn’t mature enough at 25, possibly only just by 35! I suppose I wish I could’ve fitted all that in but also miraculously had a baby at 32 and been back home maybe (obviously impossible!) I definitely had wonderful times but I suppose I’m sad that I’ll know her for much fewer years, but ultimately would’ve been crap as a mother at 25, perhaps fate was steering things in the right direction deliberately.

OP posts:

ExtraordinaryQuince · 26/03/2021 17:03


If you'd had a child earlier it wouldn't be the child you have today. It wouldn't have been the same egg or sperm. Just a thought.

I often think this when I'm wondering whether we bought the right house etc etc - having sex on different days would have resulted in totally different children. Always stops me regretting things I've done.

CoRhona · 26/03/2021 17:05

Life's too short for regrets Wink


ThatOtherPoster · 26/03/2021 17:06

I have a lot of regrets! A LOT. But only with hindsight; at the time I thought I was doing the right thing.

Be kind to yourself and these feelings will fade. While they do, throw yourself into the life you have NOW. Or you’ll get to 50 and regret at spending the first 10 years of your child’s life sighing over all the “what if” thoughts. :)

It’s all fate. You were meant to be a mother at 40 for some important celestial reason that you haven’t discovered yet.

But change what you CAN change. Do you want to move home? If so start taking action there.


CausingChaos2 · 26/03/2021 17:12

I was going to say the same as coffee

Try not to torment yourself with the what ifs. It is a waste of energy that you could be spending enjoying yourself and your time with DD now.


Springtimeblues · 26/03/2021 17:13

@ThatOtherPoster That’s a nice way to look at it..will the important celestial reason ever be discovered 🤔

I think it’s maybe to late to go back and start again now 🤷🏻‍♀️My parents are older now, most of the good years have passed...

OP posts:

oblada · 26/03/2021 17:14

"we're unlikely to be in a fit state to be part of any grandchild's life." God that's a bit doom and gloom - any reason for this? My mum had me when she was 35yrs old. I'm now 35yrs old. Granted I've started having children much earlier and I've just had my last one. But my mum is still v much part of ours lives and I expect that to be the case for the next 10-20yrs.
Everyone is different as well.
I have an incredibly healthy 94yrs old great grandma.
Some people are 'old' at 60. You just don't know.

OP - you wouldnt be the mother you are to your child if you hadn't done what you did.


ThornAmongstRoses · 26/03/2021 17:18

I had my children at 30 and 34 - and I felt that was a nice age. I’d enjoyed my 20’s and had lots of fun before settling down.

Now though, I really wish I’d started younger purely because I feel like I’m never going to get a life of freedom back as all I see are child rearing years ahead of me.....and before I know it I will be 50.

My sister is 38 and has two children aged 13 and 15. She had her children young but is now getting her life back and she has a great lifestyle. I’m extremely jealous because I’m right at the other end of the spectrum.

I think there are pros and cons to having children younger/older but for most of us, they just come when they come and we have to raise them in whatever circumstances we are in and try not to wish things were different.


Usagi12 · 26/03/2021 17:20

I could have written your post really. I couldn't wait to leave home and lived abroad for years. I only came home when my mum passed away and that's when I met my husband. We got married at 37 and started trying straight away, had fertility treatment issues but then through IVF I had twins at 41. I feel exactly the same way you do. Most of my same age friends have kids entering secondary school and becoming teenagers and I can't help feel jealous they have all this extra time with their kids. Why did I not realise sooner. Sorry OP my message 😬 is on not helpful to you but I wanted you to know you're not alone.

Having said that I try to remember you just never know what will happen in life. I had a friend who had a child at 20, she died from cancer at 26 leaving her LO behind. My in laws are nearly 80 and so active you'd think they were in their 60s. Who knows how much time we have, we just have to make the most of each precious day. We're lucky to have our kids at all (looks at toddler trying to lick the cat 😬🙄) xx


Usagi12 · 26/03/2021 17:23

Wierdly, I think because I had the kids so late I don't worry about not getting my freedom back until I'm in my 60s. Tbh, been there, done that, all wild oats were well and truly sewn 😁


Defaultuser · 26/03/2021 17:25

I don't know if it is lockdown in particular or my age/other circumstances but I've noticed quite a few people questioning their life choices at the moment - I know I have been.


ThatOtherPoster · 26/03/2021 17:30

You do sound down. 😔 If only “most of the good years have passed” then you do actually still have some left! My parents are now in their 80s and they’re still wonderful with my kids, really wonderful. Even if all they do is chat to them - instead of tearing around the playground - it’s still a brilliant relationship.

Are you possibly a bit depressed? Or just really tired? You sound like me when I’m knackered, or in a fit of misery. I know how you feel seems genuine but honestly, it could just be depression. If everything feels pointless and bleak and hopeless, that’s depression.

PND? Hormones?

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