My beautiful eldest child is 10 years old now. I’ve been a mother for 10 years and had two more children. I’ve been through breastfeeding, weaning, potty training, teaching them to swim, to read, to tie their laces. They know how to say please and thank you and they are doing well in school. I’d like to think I’ve got this parenting thing down, but I’ve winged it the whole way, and my eldest has born the brunt of my mistakes.
Looking back on her first few days she quite clearly suffered really badly with reflux. Of course I didn’t know a thing about reflux or the symptoms so she suffered away until I figured it out. That wouldn’t have happened with my other children, I would know the symptoms straight away.
Looking back I tried to potty train her much too early. I felt the peer pressure and that I should do things at the ‘correct age’. We put her through months of potty training hell wouldn’t have been necessary had I just waited until she was ready. My youngest is nearly three and I won’t be pressuring him to potty train until he’s clearly ready.
Looking back I sent her to the wrong playgroup when she was 2. I didn’t really know what I was looking for in childcare and the place I chose wasn’t right for her. I rectified my mistake once I realised after a couple of months and now I know exactly what to look for in childcare.
Only yesterday I got cross with her because she wasn’t looking after her things properly. She ruined a brand new pair of shoes (Clarks £40 ones eeek!) and lost a new toy. Looking back she’d just made a mistake and I think I was a little hard on her. I wondered later that evening whether I would be the same with the younger two or if I’ll be more relaxed with them, having learnt the lessons of parenting this lesson before.
I know that every day I make mistakes with my eldest that I won’t make with my youngest and I feel so guilty for that. I also don’t know how to change it. Parenting is a huge learning curve and I’m learning every day, making mistakes along the way. I just wish that my eldest didn’t bear the brunt of all my mistakes. I really hope that now as she gets older she goes into the world knowing that she is so so loved and that I tried my absolute best to be the best mummy I could, with all three of them.
So I’m sorry darling daughter, I’ll try to do better, I wish you weren’t my crash test dummy because you’re totally awesome, despite my mess ups.
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