Ah, hindsight: If we knew then what we know now, what would we, as parents, have done differently? In reflective moments, everyone (but especially parents) plays that “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game. Worry less … Have more patience … Follow my instincts … Say “I love you” more often … Say “no” less often …
I have asked countless parents this question, not in an effort to focus on "mistakes," but rather to illustrate how "regret" can either be our best friend or your worst enemy, depending on how we look at it.
What would you do differently if you knew as a knew parent all you know today?
I would have slept more and worried less.
Relax. Once I relaxed, my relationship with my wife got a lot better.
The first thing I would have done is get some help for my postpartum depression.
I might feed them a cleaner, more pristine diet, devoid of sugar and questionable snacks, and with more of an emphasis on a vegetarian lifestyle.
I would focus on “reacting less” and “responding more” to my children's frustrations, complaints and tantrums.
I would ask fewer questions and judge less. I would realize that raising children isn’t a contest and that not everything they do, for better or worse, is a reflection on me.