You know that saying ‘never wish your child’s life away, you’ll end up regretting it?’ So many people would recite it to me after my 1st was born. Yet being in the grips of depression and anxiety, and struggling with my new role as a mum, I’d tell them to buggar off! Not one bone in my body thought this was true as nothing seemed better than getting out of this stage and into a more calmer one. One where she was preferably older, less unhappy, and more independent. I never thought I would regret that.
But here I am the night before my 1st is to receive the email about which primary school she is going to attend and all I can think is ‘how the hell did we get here so quickly?’
Be careful what you wish for is now ringing in my ears. I got my wish and yet all I feel is sadness.
I’m supposed to be the happiest I have ever been! We are out of the cry baby zone and on a one way train to grown children. But all I feel is regret. I have been too busy concentrating on getting my daughter to this stage that I forgot to take a minute and just live in the moment with her.
Having Postnatal Depression (PND) means I suffer from alot of memory loss. I’m not sure if it’s the minds way of trying to survive or I purposely forget things so I don’t have to remember the pain. But because of that I don’t have many memories of my daughters tiny years.
I can remember feelings, some events and situations but I don’t remember my daughter in them. I was too busy trying to survive with anxiety I didn’t enjoy a moment of those days with her.
In fact I really can’t remember her first to second year at all. That’s a whole year I wished away and have no keepsake memories from.
It makes me feel like a horrible mother.
But wallowing in the sadness isn’t going to make the memories come back, nothing will. (Apart from maybe a hammer to the head). I need to realise that I was suffering from a serious illness and was struggling like hell. Who wouldn’t want out of that?! It’s not a reflection on me as a mother, it was survival. Like when you have a horrendous hangover and you wish it would be tomorrow already so you can feel better.
All I can do now is move forward, make sure I stay in the moment, and take in as much as possible. I’ll make sure to watch my daughters little face closely in the morning when I tell her what school she is going to. I’ll take a memory picture of her gummy little smile and cheeky blue eyes when she gets excited about being a big girl. And I’ll hold her that little bit longer in a cuddle when we have an excited swirl around the living room. I can’t afford to miss another moment of her life. Before I know it it will be the secondary school choice email we are waiting on. (God the threenager years are bad enough I don’t think I could cope with a teenager!)
But one thing is for certain. I won’t be wishing my kids lives away any longer. Nothing comes from it but missed memories and regret.