“A parenting mistake I can never fix”

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What do you regret most about your parenting? This mum spills on her biggest mistake which she can't fix in a heart-breaking open letter.

My son just turned 3 last week. When he was just born, I promised myself (and my husband) that I would be a stay-at-home-mum and capture every growing moment of my first-born from a bird’s eye view.

I failed.

Soon after his birth (which was a roller-coaster ride in itself), I couldn’t take it being home 24/7. My pregnancy was a horror story - we had undergone the IVF treatment as I was having troubles conceiving normally. I suffered a lot from morning (actually whole-day) sickness, I threw up everything I ate at least thrice a day and I lost weight instead of gaining in my first trimester.

To make things worse, my husband signed a contract for a new project at work and had to travel twice a month, and sometimes he was gone for weeks. My mum came to live with me to help out but we ended up in heated battles about what I was doing wrong for my unborn child. Gosh, mothers can be such a pain at times!

I developed really bad acne (yes, not seen you since Secondary School)! Then the excruciating backaches. Okay, so not only did I look like a hormonal teenager, I felt like a 70-year-old woman. I developed a love-hate relationship with my pregnancy- more hate than love actually. The only thing I loved was knowing I was going to have the perfect mini-me after the whole ordeal.

So after the topsy-turvy days, delivery happened, and out came my precious baby boy. Yes he was all cute and cuddly and I wanted to spend every waking moment with him. Of course, every non-waking moment too- my boy was colicky and didn’t let me sleep very much.

I decided to head back to work after my 40-days confinement period. I couldn’t take the stress of being home all the time with my new baby. I just couldn’t. I know how it makes me sound, but that’s the harsh truth about motherhood - at least, it was for me. Hats off to all the women who play that role oh-so-well. I salute you.

What was my biggest parenting fail? That I wasn’t there much physically for my son, Jordan.

And that I regret till today.

I missed out on most of his milestones. His first word, his first crawl, his first step taken. All this happened while I was busy making partner in my law firm. My days were filled and so were my nights - long hours spent at the office, a lot of travel and a pile of work on my plate.

I had no time to enjoy Jordan and his firsts. What I realised was that there are no second chances when it comes to your children’s time. But this hit me only much later, and it was too late by then.

If I were to be graded on my performance as a mum, I would probably score a C. And being a perfectionist by nature, this was not something that went down well with me.

I knew I had to be present. Both physically and emotionally. My husband was there went he had his first fall, to nurse him and look after him. I was at work. My husband experienced placing Jordan in a childcare centre. I was at work. He had his birthday party with a Sesame Street theme, and my in laws did the party planning and arrangements for it. I was at work.

And what did I get in return? Yes I made it to being partner at my law firm now but was it worth missing out on little Jordan’s life? No, absolutely not.

Now all I can do is pray and hope I do better with my next kid.
I’m so sorry, Jordan.

Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore

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