If only I knew that my obstetrician’s warning was accurate and that I would, in fact, be diagnosed with postnatal depression.
If only I knew that focusing on getting back to work straight away instead of appreciating time with my baby would make me want to have my time all over again and question my decision.
If only I knew I was to have three miscarriages, I would have tried to be healthier and less stressed.
If only I knew that not recording milestones for my son would mean I would lose memory of his first words and other important milestones.
If only I knew that my son was unhappy at his old childcare centre, I would have moved him sooner.
But I’ll stop there – that’s enough ‘if onlys’.
You see, my opinion of thinking ‘if only’ is that it’s not healthy. Looking back on life in hindsight to me is counterintuitive unless you plan to do something to improve on it.
When I look at the same ‘if onlys’ with a different perspective, this is how they sound:
I had postnatal depression but it’s made me stronger, it’s helped me to look at life differently and more positively.
I did go back to work earlier than I should have, but it’s helped me discover something I love, something I’m good at and has allowed me to start a brand new career.
I had three miscarriages, but they have made me value life and my family so much more.
I didn’t record milestones for my son but ever since I’ve made sure I’ve made the most of every moment.
I missed the signs of my son disliking his previous childcare centre, but I did finally realise and the change was the best thing we ever did; he is thriving.
It’s fine to think ‘if only’ but we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Most of the time when we make decisions, it’s based on our emotions and knowledge at the time. And sometimes when things happen to us, it’s completely out of our control.
This is life, this is how we learn, and as we continue to make decisions and live our lives, we learn from our experiences.
So next time you think ‘If only I knew’, why not try considering why you’re glad you didn’t know.