I don’t have any personal regrets, or any career regrets to do with having an unplanned child at a time when my career was just beginning and I was enjoying a great lifestyle and disposable income. But when it comes to things I didn’t get to do together with Sam, there are a few things on my FOMO (fear of missing out) list.

Trips away. We had one really lovely blow-out holiday to Antigua and Nevis the year before I got pregnant, which I’m so grateful for, as apart from a long weekend in the Cotswolds when I was seven months pregnant, it serves as the only trip or holiday Sam and I have ever taken alone.

Travel. I did a fair bit of travelling in my younger days, but I always wanted to go travelling with Sam. That was part of the long-term plan before Arlo.

Living together. OK, so we did live together before Arlo, if one month whilst heavily pregnant counts.

Marriage. I’m not going to get that ‘Oh my god, I can’t believe he wants to spend the rest of his life with me’ feeling that a proposal between two young childless people generates. We kind of assumed that was a done deal when we got the mortgage and the baby. Stupidly, this is perhaps the one that stings the most. I guess I’ve watched too many chick flicks.

When friends are doing these things now, or when mum friends comment that they were glad they had lots of time together pre-babies, I think, You are so lucky.

And then I feel guilty.

Here’s the bit where I’m meant to write that none of it is important anyway, and I am very happy with my life, Arlo is better than all of that combined, and I wouldn’t want to change it, etc, etc.

All of this is true. I knew I was chosing to lose all of this when we decided to go with the circumstance we found ourselves in back in February 2010 when I discovered I was seven weeks pregnant. And in hindsight, to think of a life where all this might have happened, but there was no Arlo yet, feels very hollow.

But I would have loved to have had all of these experiences with Sam, to collect all these memories along the way. Because you want to do these things with the people you love.

I often relate this stuff to fate, which Sam sniggers at. I don’t know, maybe it’s my way of accepting all of these things, these changes, choices I made and choices that were made for me. But I really feel that all along our lives have always been moving towards Arlo. Furiously hurtling towards his arrival and the beginning of Chapter Two.

I am lucky, I know I am. And I should just shut up and get on with it.

7 comments

  1. For what it’s worth, Karl and I have been together 11 years this year and obviously Isabel is only 2.5 so that’s 8.5 years of time together .. and we still haven’t done some of the things you’ve listed, and more besides. I have occasionally thought “we should have done X before we had kids” but it doesn’t achieve anything so I drop it out my mind.

    Plus, I figure we’re in it for the long haul right? That means when the kids have grown up and buggered off we can be one of those weird retired couples sitting on the promenade in fold up deckchairs eating soggy cheese sarnies and watching the world go by, or whatever it is old couples do. 🙂

  2. I think it’s kind of natural to feel a bit of this if you are a younger parent, but then I still think I’d rather be a younger mummy than have risked waiting and it being harder to conceive. Plus, like you say, imagining life without these little people once they’ve arrived, it all just seems a bit pointless.
    I sometimes wish that we’d had some more money behind us. We seem to have spent our entire relationship strapped for cash or saving for something. But then I guess it means we’ve never really known any different and we find it easy to budget because we’ve never been flash.
    I just find myself looking to my parents, who had me and my brother in their early twenties and were free of us both again before they were 50. Their time is their own now, as is their money and they go on amazing holidays and really appreciate what they have.
    X

  3. I know exactly how you feel. Me and my partner James have never been abroad together, or even been on a break alone, as the times we have gone to Cornwall has been with his family…which don’t get me wrong is lovely (and much cheaper) but it would have been nice to have one carefree holiday before kids.
    And now when I think of our wedding day (if we ever get around to it) I sort of think well who will have the kids (I’m expecting no.2) and will we really be able to enjoy the day like we should/our parents or siblings will be the baby sitters on the day when they should be having fun too. But then I also think, well they will look cute going down the isle with me and in smart little outfits etc.
    Both our parents had us in early 20’s and they have been able to go away more so in the last few years as our younger siblings have got older, and I think that this will be something we will be able to do too-although I am sure they would want to tag along for a bit of a free holiday 😉

  4. Yeah, I’ve had the exact same thoughts. Although, I think there are some nice points about being able to share your wedding with your kids too : )

  5. I was with Dad2BabyInsomniac for eight years before having Iyla and we didn’t do any of those things. In fact despite our occasional problems, like lack of communication leading to me kicking him out ;), our relationship has reached a whole new level. It is hard to make time for each other when there is a little person to put first all the time but I just think that she won’t be young forever, in no time at all they will be leaving home. Just save the list until then! x

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