I Don’t Want to Regret

June 9, 2011

me and the kids

I try not to hold on to regrets as I don’t think they are very helpful. Mostly I try to cut myself some slack and remind myself that I made the best decision I could, or took the best action I could at the time – no regrets. Still, I am sure by the time my life is done there will be at least a handful of things I wish I had done different.

My list of regrets will probably include things like “I wish I was brave enough to bungee jump” or “I wish I learnt how to tight rope walk”. Things that I could have done if I’d really really wanted to, but not earth shattering, life changing, sad making things…. and I am ok with that.

But there are some things that I definitely don’t want to be on my list of regrets…

I don’t want to regret not being in any photos.
I take lots and lots of photos of my family and people I care about, but there are very few photos of me. Partly because I am the one behind the camera, but mostly because I don’t like to have my photo taken. It’s pure vanity – I don’t think I look any good in photos. I need to get over that, because I don’t want my children to grow into adults and look at photos of their childhood that never include me.

I don’t want to regret shouting too much.

Shouting is my biggest failing as a parent. I hate that I shout but when I am in that moment, when my temper is flaring, when I feel like no one is listening, I forget all about trying not to shout and I let fly. I don’t want my children to remember me as the parent who shouted all the time.

I don’t want to regret not spending time with my husband.
We have four small children, life is busy, and it is easy to put my relationship with my husband last. I know he is an adult and that he should be able to understand that right now the kids need to come first, but I don’t want to look back and regret not making the time to kiss him more, cuddle him more, and have more sex.

I don’t want to regret not being brave.
I’m not talking about bungee jumping here, I am talking about every day brave. I don’t want to pike out on trying new things, going places and meeting new people. Home may be warm and safe and easy, but I don’t want to look back and wonder what I might have done and who I might have met if I’d just stepped outside my comfort zone every now and again.

Are there things you don’t want to look back and regret?

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Louisa June 9, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Wow, I am amazed by how often you speak the words in my heart. Beautiful post, thanks for the reminder x

katef June 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

Isn’t it funny how the posts that you just let kind of ‘spew’ out of you often end up being the ones most people can relate to :)

edenland June 9, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Oh what a wonderful post.

I’ve always said I’d rather regret the things I’ve done, rather than the things I haven’t done.

katef June 12, 2011 at 11:47 am

Wise words from a wise woman. Thank you

Kate June 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I so needed to read this today – I’ve been yelling incessantly this past week, lamenting my weight and the effect that has, i.e. avoiding photos, I can’t remember what my husband looks like and I’ve been wondering why I’m so fearful of some things.

The other thing I know I regret afterwards is how much tv I watch…

From now on I will make a concerted effort to ensure I have no regrets. Thank you!

katef June 12, 2011 at 11:50 am

Maybe I need to blog more about these things and we can all move forward together?

Kate June 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

Yes please!

Mandy Ferry June 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm

I think you sumed it up nicely.

I had a boyfriend once who told me to stop avoiding the camera and smile, because this is what people will look back on, these will be peoples memories of me, and if I’m always trying to hide, avoid the camera, the memories are not as beautiful as those with me in them smiling. That was about the only great thing I got from that relationship. lol.

I’m forever saying, take a photo with me in it, I feel like I’m vain, but without my voice, it would get over looked.

Yelling, I hear you on that one too!

katesaysstuff June 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm

Great post.

There are very few photos of me around either and for the same reasons. And it’s silly because kids won’t look back at them in years to come and see the wrinkles, or the funny skin tone, or the uneven teeth. They will see the Mum that loved them so so much. Must make amends.

SquiggleMum June 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I don’t want to look back and regret my busyness. I need to make sure there is time to breathe, time to relax and just “be” with my kids. Wonderful post Kate. xx

Marita June 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Beautiful. I don’t want to regret having missed out on parts of my kids lives because I was too busy doing things that were not really that important – is a clean floor really more important than playing Lego again? can the dishes wait for just one more story?

Deb Wild Hope June 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

So well said, Kate.

The big one for me is shouting – not sure why my reserves are just so low on that one. Gentle is what I am for, but I miss the mark daily.

Sarah June 9, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I love this post Kate, and if I’d written a post on the same topic, and if I was as honest as you are – my list would look similar to yours. Very few photos of me, I lose myself and shout (and hate myself for it as soon as the moment fades), my husband is on the backburner much more than he deserves to be, and I’m a bit of a social wimp – I often make excuses not to go to Stephen’s work functions. But I’m getting better on the last point as I get older. I might add… not finding more time for the things I really love doing, and not making fitness more of a priority.

Gemma June 9, 2011 at 8:31 pm

I really relate to all of the things you do not want to regret. Your post is incredibly timely for me.

I personally think the challenge is to separate the every day things and to look at the bigger picture so that these moments don’t pass without any awareness.

Edenland did a great post tonight about living in the moment. So much food for thought from so many talented and insightful women.

katef June 12, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I think you are spot on… it’s not about never making mistakes, I don’t regret making mistakes, but I regret not learning from them

Stacey K June 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I’m a shouter too. The more stretched I am the louder I shout & the more I swear (hangs head in shame) BUT IF THEY WOULD JUST LISTEN THEN I WOULDN’T HAVE TO REPEAT EVERY F#*%ING WORD I F*#@ING SAY! Ihate that I yell and scream so much. I am very stuck in this mode & its not the mother I want my 3 girls to remember.

katef June 12, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Yep.. that is me too. I really need to work on some better alternatives and ways to stick to them.

Karen June 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm

This could be my list. The not being in photos one is a huge one for me – you need to learn to accept yourself as others see you, not just for yourself, but also because this is where your kids will learn to accept how they look.
Great post Kate.

katef June 12, 2011 at 12:14 pm

that is such an important point Karen. There are so many messages out there telling our kids that they are ‘no good enough’ or ‘beautiful enough’ they don’t need to get those messages from me too.

Cath June 9, 2011 at 10:28 pm

I finally had some photos taken with the munchkin recently, because like you, I always seemed to be behind the camera. I do regret not having a good photo taken when I was pregnant – the one I have is awful! Photos are such an important part of our personal history. We really need to treasure them as such. Even if we remain behind the lens, we should create a “treasury of memories” for enjoying with our kids (and grandkids) in years to come.

Fionna June 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm

Thanks for your post, I can relate so well to it and to the comments. After the day I had today it has now made me wipe the tears from my eyes.

Bron66 June 9, 2011 at 11:27 pm

All you said is so true. I am also a terrible shouter. Every day I try to remind myself that I don’t want it to be their memory of me, but it has become such a habit! They just get me going! And I regret it every time. I also don’t want to regret staying in my comfort zone.

Peggy June 10, 2011 at 1:24 am

Wow! I just somehow happened upon your blog, and I LOVE this post! I stay at home and 2 weeks into summer break and already finding myself taking it for granted. Thank you for the poignant post and helping to shake me out of it! Great writing!

katef June 12, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Thanks for popping by to say hi. It’s hard not to wish days away every now and then, but I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful, enjoyable summer!

Kellie - Good, Bad & Unnecessary June 10, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Im a shouter too, and I hate it. But it really is the only thing that works sometimes – especially with my partner. Ha!
I’m trying to be in more photos, only with the kids though. And only when they co-operate.

New follower, found you through the FYBF linky!


katef June 12, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Ah yeah, you are allowed to shout at partners. Mind has terrible domestic deafness so sometimes I need to wack him while I yell LOL

Seana Smith June 10, 2011 at 8:12 pm

This is a fantastic topic. I agree with some others, I don’t want to regret being so busy that I lost touch with myself, the kids, my husband. I’ve been slowing down and that’s been good.

My older boys now take photos of me, and although I don’t always like what I see, I do keep the photos because they took them… and the reality is there’s not always a cheesy grin on show in life.

katef June 12, 2011 at 12:57 pm

I got one of my girls to take the photo above… it’s a pretty terrible photo but it also captures us very very well!

Kellie June 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm

Yes to all of these!! The photos, especially; the shouting, quite often; spending time with hubby, constantly; and the being brave, most definitely! You have said it perfectly! :)

Jess Newman June 11, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I think you may have write this just for me.. Thanks for this.

Glowless June 12, 2011 at 2:45 am

I don’t want to regret wishing time away with Tricky; I want to just be and enjoy him as he is now because I know he will grow up so fast.

Zoey @ Good Goog June 13, 2011 at 9:01 am

I don’t want to regret being too cranky, being too busy or being too impatient. And I would like to be in some photos, otherwise it kind of feels like I don’t exist at all.

Kate Ashley July 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm

This is my list. Exactly my list. Ive made a concerted effort to Keep Calm with my emotive daughters lately. Its working, mostly. Husband and I keep talking about a date. We just have to make it work. For ourselves. For as I keep reminding him (and myself), when our girls are grown, it’ll be just us again. I dont want to be living with a stranger I havent really invested my time and love with over the years. I also must hand over the camera and get in front of the lens, even if my 4 year old takes the photo for a change! Those candid, out of focus shots will be looked back upon by the kids with a smile……

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