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I regret!

Since the day my son was born EVERYONE in my family would tell me "don't hold him too much, you'll be sorry"! And also, "don't pick him up right when he cries, let him cry it out"! He was my first child (still my only) and I didn't know any better or have anything to compare it to so of course I'm going to listen to my families advice and did what they suggested....... And now I'm so sorry I did! He's 2 and 1/2 and I'm sorry I didn't hold him more, it makes me sad and I feel like it messed up our bond, that he would be still even closer than we already are if I had held him more! I missed out and want that feeling of holding him while small again, even though I can't really remember it too well! I also had PPD which makes it even worse because the few memories I do remember I was sad, I remember more sad memories than happy. I get so sad when I think back, I try not to because there is no changing the past, but it hurts. Also I feel like if I listen to my family with kid number 2 ( which I won't ) that my bond will be different than with number 1, and I don't want that guilty feeling! The part the hurts my heart the most is that I can't remember what it felt like to hold him that small :((((((((


Asked by Anonymous at 9:20 AM on May. 14, 2013 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • Honey, stop knocking yourself! We all go through that with the first one. We hold them too much then we cant get anything done, we do the other and we feel we have neglected. What you have actually done is allowed this wonderful little blessing to begin learning coping mechanisms that will be needed throughout life. Self soothe, even beginning to entertain self a little older. Maybe they meant when you know they are dry, fed and not in pain sometimes you have to let them cry, not to mention it does help their lung development! Dont lose out on all the wondorous adventures and memories of today questioning your actions of yesterday! Go enjoy rolling a ball, splashing water in the kitchen sink, playing peek a boo! Go find the flowered dandelions and blow them to the wind. Watch those giggles as your baby sees the little white remnants take to flight! Dont lose out on today! NEVER LOSE TODAY!

    Answer by forevermaw at 10:28 AM on May. 14, 2013

  • Your bond will be different with each child, so don't let that make you feel regret. As for the not holding thing when he was a baby, I can understand that. While we look back at things we wish we would have done differently, we need to also recognize the wonderful things that came from what we did. You have a son that you love dearly and that's the most important thing.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:26 AM on May. 14, 2013

  • Agree w/ QuinnMae! I had 4. 2 of which had colic..... So I had no choice but to walk the floors w/ them.... but I still think back & wish I"d enjoyed it more, & held them more, because now I"m done & I'll never get that part back! However, every child is different, & even had you held him all the time he may have just been more of an independant child... you never know.... it's not too late though, you can still bond w/ him, just in different ways. Playing games, taking walks, activities, etc....

    Answer by HappyEndings at 9:48 AM on May. 14, 2013

  • If you live your life on regrets you will never see the joy in the present.

    Answer by Dardenella at 1:06 PM on May. 14, 2013

  • Feel your regrets and try to find some space (friend, family, journal, professional) where your feelings can be heard fully without being evaluated as valid/appropriate or out of balance, unreasonable, etc. Let your feelings, fears, worries, regrets, resentments and recriminations out so they don't interfere with your present living. Those thoughts HURT & that makes sense, and is completely valid! How it is for you is what matters, not whether or not you "should" feel that way, whether you "actually" did something wrong or made a mistake, or whether it is "that big a deal."
    The other thing is, all healing happens in the present, and humans are "wired" to heal their old hurts! They get triggered anytime there's even a remote opportunity for them to be expressed & for the right thing (what was needed at the time, before) to happen THIS time! That's how we layer new hurts over old, but it's also how we (sometimes) get resolution.

    Answer by girlwithC at 10:20 AM on May. 14, 2013

  • I believe you could do things differently with a 2nd baby & have a significantly different experience, and build a different relationship that's differences in part might directly reflect these specific different choices & your different contact/availability...without all that meaning that it is "stronger" or "closer" than what you share with your first child, or that your relationship with your son is forever limited. Specifically because change & healing are possible, so we are NOT stuck with the past we created. We can always respond to situations in the present (which in large part are determined by the past) in ways that heal, because they resolve the underlying issues. This is how healing happens, and this what "human resilience" actually IS. A person is shaped less by "what" happens to them than by the response they receive. An optimal response is ameliorating, EVEN where loss & trauma are concerned!!

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:37 AM on May. 14, 2013

  • I also believe that part of an "optimal response" to grief or loss is to be fully heard for your feelings (rather than cheered up & having your feelings minimized or "fixed.") Your feelings are what they are, even your thoughts and feelings about your bond being permanently affected or limited (not what it "could have" been), and your feelings about how a different experience could/would bring up feelings of guilt because of how things were different in your first parenting experience, and how that affected (and affects) your son. It's about engaging a process.

    The fact of my beliefs about the past & how our response to it (in the present) can bring full/complete healing doesn't erase the feelings/beliefs I hold that are in conflict with it: when I feel convinced that something can never be undone, that some mistake or failing has brought permanent harm because I wasn't able to give/do what was needed WHEN it was needed, etc.

    Answer by girlwithC at 11:47 AM on May. 14, 2013