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.