Things I Wish I Had Known

Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Regrets about what we should have done can overwhelm us. Life is an education, and all of us can look back and see things we wish we’d done differently.

Moms especially can have a hard time with regrets. There is a time for asking forgiveness and a time for doing the best you can moving forward. A productive use of regrets is to pass on the lessons we’ve learned to other mothers, in the hopes that it will help them avoid some future heartache.

Hence this short, incomplete list of some things I wish I had known as a young mother.

Things I Wish I Had Known

  • Little ones sleepily crawling into my lap during my so-called private devotional time was a short season. My frustration at not getting “me-time” was short-sighted.  Welcoming them with open arms and gratefulness would have served us better. What a wonderful thing for them to have early memories of sitting with me while I read my Bible.
  • Children are definitely potty-trained by the time they leave for college.
  • My kids would learn to read, even if it wasn’t on the timetable of other people and institutions.
  • I didn’t have to keep thinking every thought that popped into my head. I didn’t have to be ruled by the emotions created by random thoughts, and I didn’t have to focus on them.
  • What was going on inside my head was reflected on my face. Too often I greeted my husband with a frown or met my children’s eyes with a harsh look.
  • Most, if not all of the time, my husband meant well. He didn’t have a hidden agenda, he didn’t mean to hurt my feelings or neglect me. He loved me beyond what I could accept at the time.
  • I could have made my needs known rather than stuffing them and nursing wounds and getting resentful. Being a Martyr Mom was neither attractive nor helpful.
  • I should have taken better care of myself physically. Sometimes I wish I would have had tools like Plexus supplements back when I was a young mom, rather than gaining weight and feeling beyond exhausted most of the time. But then I wouldn’t have had a story to encourage others.
  • I could have chosen what kind of day I would have. I didn’t have to let events and other people rule my mood.
  • Most of my stress was caused by responding emotionally to things that existed only in my imagination. And I wasted lots of life dreading things like cleaning the kitchen or getting up in the night with a baby. Those things were inescapable responsibilities, and it was silly to waste energy on thinking negatively about them before they even happened.
  • It was worth staying up late or getting up early to carry on traditions and celebrate small holidays.
  • Rocking little ones to sleep, changing diapers, and reading picture books was a very short, precious season. It didn’t last forever, even though I thought it would. For a long time it seemed like we had an endless supply of little boys since we had six sons, five in a row….but now they are all men and the youngest is 29 years old.

If reading this has brought up regrets for you, please don’t allow those painful thoughts to settle in and stab your heart. We serve a merciful God of restoration and healing. Learn the lessons, seek forgiveness and choose joy. Pray for wisdom for moving forward, and trust that good things are ahead in your relationships.

Are there some things you wish you had known, starting out, years ago? 


  1. Charlotte Siems says:

    Hi Malissa, YES, nursing moms can take Plexus Slim. It’s always recommended that you check with your health care provider but I personally know several nursing moms who love it.

    1. Cool thanks for the info 🙂

  2. Charlotte Siems says:

    Great thoughts for younger moms, Tara!

  3. After my son left home before he even graduated high school I realized all my negative ranting pushed him away. As a single mom and sole provider for the family I missed so much. I wrote him a letter after he moved out and God used that letter to heal our relationship. I told him:

    I wish
    1). I would have made your favorite meal
    2). I wish I had made an effort to never miss your school activities
    3). I wish I hadn’t over reacted when you made mistakes
    4) I wish I had made special times just for you.
    5). I wish I had spent less time working and more time with you
    6). I wish we had taken mini-vacations together just you and I to your favorite place
    7). I wish I hadn’t spent so much time on 7 church committees. I “saved” the world but lost you.
    8). I wish I had prayed more and yelled less
    9). I wish I had told you I loved you no matter what you did
    10). I wish I had not compared you to your dad who abandoned us.
    11). I wish I prayed more, loved more, hugged more and laughed more.
    12). I wish more than anything I had told you are wonderfully made by God and He and I love you unconditionally

    He’s 22 now and so thankful God gave me another chance to pour His love into my sweet and precious son.

    I’m a better Mom to my 15 year old. Trout fishing just he and I. I’m learning.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      This is beautiful, Angela. Thanks for opening your heart and sharing with us. Wow.

  4. Thank you so much. This was a huge blessing to me. I’ve got 4 kids under 6 and I struggle with a lot of these daily. My husband does his best to remind me of some of the things you mentioned, but uhh.. it is so hard sometimes when dishes need to be done, laundry folded, mud cleaned up out of the carpet for the 3rd time that day, etc… but hopefully I will remember these things tomorrow and the days following. I want my children to have a joyful mom 🙂

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      Laura, keep the vision! Do whatever it takes to make life easier for you, and continually adjust your thoughts!

  5. One thing you mentioned rings a bell for me: I could have made my needs known rather than stuffing them and nursing wounds and getting resentful. If I would have been a better communicator or my feelings, I would have saved my marriage years of grief and resentments.

    1. Charlotte Siems says:

      So true, Pat! We think we’re noble and patient for “stuffing” but it comes out in the end. Hopefully others will learn from our mistakes!

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