On My Death Bed

When the going gets rough at being a Mom I try to put things into perspective. I do this by imagining myself on my death bed. I imagine looking back at my life and the things that I might regret. If I imagine that I will regret it then this indicates to me that it is not a good decision. If I imagine that on my death bed I will look back and smile then I trust this is the right answer for me.

On my death bed I will regret snapping at Jack when he is whining. I will regret asking him to wait while I do a meaningless chore. I will regret the feelings of burden. I will regret getting irritated when he did not want to go to sleep. I will regret circumcising him. I will regret not bringing him into bed sooner. I will regret not wearing him during his first few months. I will regret the induced birth for no good reason. I will regret bringing him into this world in a hospital. I will regret how heavily medicated we both were when we first met. I will regret the bassinette, the swing, the jumperoo, the stroller, the formula. I will regret listening to doctors, mainstream media and books over my own instincts. I will regret not having Jack at a younger age.

On my death bed I will not regret holding Jack so much. I will not regret the late nights running through the halls when everyone else slept. I will not regret the hours of nursing and rocking in the sling that it took to get him to sleep. I will not regret the sore arms and tight neck. I will not regret moving to the suburbs and giving up the conveniences of city life to give Jack a yard, a better school and a slip and slide. I will not regret late nights, early mornings or napless days. I will not regret the burning in my stomach from horsey rides. I will not regret the tears, heartache and anxiety of getting started with breastfeeding. I will not regret ignoring the cultural norms and allowing him to wean when he is ready. I will not regret the family bed that we share until he says he wants his own. I will not regret quitting my job and going broke. I will not regret that the nursery turned into a storage room. I will not regret taking the bus so he did not have to cry in the car seat. I will not regret the food and the pee ground into the carpet. I will not regret rearranged furniture so that his play area can be bigger. I will not regret answering every one of his cries. I will not regret the chaotic schedule so that he can explore his instincts. I will not regret fighting the urge to do chores so that I can lie with Jack while he naps. I will not regret the hard work on myself so that I can be as gentle a Mama as possible. I will not regret not making it to our destination because Jack explored his world while walking down the street. I will not regret giving up the late nights with friends, the drunken stupors, the hangovers and the cigarettes. I will not regret that dust that grows on my high heels, short skirts, tight shirts and bras. I will not regret embracing a more natural life style. I will not regret the meals on the floor, no TV and cold tea.

When I started writing this I thought the two paragraphs would be equal in size. As I sit here I realize that I can go on and on with this second paragraph. But I’ll stop for now so I can snuggle with Jack as he sleeps. And I won’t regret that either.

Abby Theuring, MSW

About Abby Theuring

Abby Theuring
The Badass Breastfeeder is a mother, writer, social worker, attachment parent, proud breastfeeder and advocate. Her career as a social worker has shown her that gentle and connected parenting is vital for life-long emotional health. You can find her blog at www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder.

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    Wow. Teared up with this. Beautiful. Really heard so much of my life here. Especially the one about working hard on yourself. Am so feeling that. I know there are days I just get it wrong but I’ve learned to move on and improve instead of batter myself.

    I will not regret that right now I have a nearly 4 year old asleep on top of me nursing and my baby asleep next to me nursing. O will not regret that we have ordered a super king matress so both my boys can stay in with us or so my dd can join us.
    I will not regret anything I did that my mil hated because then I know I’m really earth mothering. It seems that if I do it she hates it because it means devoting myself to my children with my husbands support.

    I will never regret reading your blogs.
    Thankyou for being bad ass xxxxx Much love xxx

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    I actually had to look at the your name twice to make sure I didn’t write this myself!! (My sons name is jack also) this was amazing and such a well written post! Everything was the absolute truth and personally touched me today – thank you! Great job mama!!

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    Amazing blog. Exactly how I feel!

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    This is exactly how I feel!

    Thankyou for making me realise I’m not the only one!

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    Wow, your list of things you will not regret could have been written by me. It sounds like we have had very similar mama learning curves! It’s lovely to hear that I’m not the only one…

  6. Our Muddy Boots

    Thank you for keeping it in perspective. This is hard for me as I start doing some work from home. This reminds me of my priorities <3

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    I love that I stumbled across this post as I lay here with my napping baby after two attempts to sneak out to do chores. Now I will wipe my tears and snuggle up… thanks for the reminder of why we do what we do :)

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    Everything I’ve ever felt summed up in your words. Thank you for sharing.

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    Amen sister. you seem to hit the nail smack on the head every time. I’m glad we have little ones at the same time and I look forward to reading your stuff and thinking ‘yeah’ lots more. I don’t even need to fight the urge to do stuff when Freyja naps. beside her is the only place for me

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    I stumbled across your blog this afternoon and found it such a welcome distraction from my work. I only wish you and I were friends when my Ian was Jack’s age because I felt all those things you felt and thought all those worries you thought…and continue to be grateful for my decisions, and I’m not even on my death bed yet. My Ian is now a strapping almost-sixteen-year-old and the most wonderful soul to be around; I like to think I had a lot to do with that! Keep up the wonderful mothering, it’s hard work raising happy humans.

    • abby

      What a great thing to look forward, hanging out with my 16 yr old!! I do hope that I grow one as wonderful as yours. I do believe that you had almost everything to do with him becoming such a great person!! And I do love to be a distraction from work!! LOL!

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