One of My Big Mom Regrets (and What I Learned From It) - Sarah Mae
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One of My Big Mom Regrets (and What I Learned From It)

How I've Learned to Live an Unregrettable Life

UPDATE: To see who won access to the course, scroll to the bottom!

My friend Lynn told me that she read somewhere how parents often think about and get excited and focus on their children’s firsts, but don’t about their lasts.

Yes, I see that. I’ve done that myself.

One of the big regrets I have as a mom is that I stopped nursing my sweet Caroline at seven months because I wanted to go a blogging conference and not have to pump. My poor Care fought the bottle that were trying to train her on, and it was a tough switch. But finally, the weekend of the conference arrived and she was taking a bottle.

I had an okay weekend.

And when I came home I tried to nurse her but it wasn’t happening.

I tell people now I must have in some hormonal, fog-brain state of mind because I would never make that decision in my right mind. Yes, I know Care is fine and healthy, and will have no clue about the nursing situation, but I know. And it hurts my heart and I regret it.

I regret it because I loved nursing. Nursing was always such a precious, sweet, sacred time for me. Yes, it was often inconvenient, but I sometimes think it’s supposed to be because it forces you to get quiet and alone with your child. But mostly I regret it because it was a last. For whatever reason, I never considered that it would be the last time I ever nursed a baby. So instead of quietly and gently releasing my nursing time, enjoying it fully, savoring the time and the gift, I rashly just stopped. And I’ll never have it again.

It was her last and it was my last. And it’s gone.

Now I’m not going to live in my regret because that would be a waste of my life. But I can (and have) learned from it. And I can, hopefully, encourage others with what I’ve learned.

For example,

I’ve learned to go a little slower.

I’ve learned to pay attention.

I’ve learned to take my time to think things through (“Life is not an emergency”)

I’ve learned to make choices that are good and healthy and loving for myself and my family.

I’ve learned that even though I will have regrets (because I’m human and way not perfect on this earth), I can live an unregrettable life. I can live, on the arc of my life, a life that isn’t filled with regret or people-pleasing or poor choices made out of fear or guilt.

I’ve learned how to live satisfied.

And if I can pass any of this onto others to help them to keep on, make fully-awake decisionslive a well-spent life, I’m going to.

So,

if you struggle with making good and healthy choices, or you fear you may regret your life is something doesn’t change, I’d like to encourage you with something very special I’ve been working very hard on: Longing for Life.

It’s a course I created to inspire you to live an unregrettable life, one that on the arc of it all you chose it. You didn’t stay stuck, or let people-pleasing or fear or lies hold you back. See it matters how we live and the choices we make because God has a purpose for us on this earth, and if we are stuck in past wounds or pain or fear, we are not truly free. When you are healed and free you will bring relief to a weary world…and to your own children.

To check out the course, just go here.

I’m also giving away three courses today. To enter, just leave a comment letting me know where you most need to be encouraged when it comes to making healthy decisions for yourself and your family. Oh, and if you purchase the course and then win, I’ll refund you. I’ll announce the winners tomorrow evening. THIS CONTEST IS NOW OVER.

Here’s to living a well-spent, unregrettable life!

Love, SM

P.S. If you know a friend who could use this course, share it with her? Thanks!

P.P.S. The woman who wrote the article about “lasts” emailed me! Here is the article my friend Lynn was talking: When Did I Last Wash Your Hair?

The winners of the course are….

Hannah Mallery, Julie Johnson, and Melody S.! CONGRATS!!!!!

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  • http://ourhappilyeverafters.com/ Ashley @ Our Happily Ever Afte

    I need to work on discipline in healthy eating for myself. I also need to work on making personal bible study time non-negotiable. I’ve worked a lot on my emotional health in the last year, and I feel like I do well with not over-scheduling my family and savoring. But we are always works in progress and I know this would help me continue creating positive patterns. Love your heart, Sarah Mae!!

  • Hannah Mallery

    I can relate to this so much. I loved nursing my two boys, but the youngest one was a handful to try and get to cooperate. Instead of gradual weaning, one day I’d had it UP TO HERE and just cut him off cold turkey. He did fine, but my hormones did not, and I often regret not taking the time to let go gently.

  • Laura

    I need to work on better taking care of my body, especially through healthy eating and exercise. I have been caught up in an unhealthy cycle of eating and really need to break free from eat and take better care of myself so I can just plain feel better for my family’s sake!

  • http://sailorsprincess07.blogspot.com Katie

    I need to work on healthy eating for me and my kids. For me, I am a stress eater and it affects so many of my choices. With my kids, they are picky eaters and we are having a ton of problems getting them to eat at times, so I choose fast, not always the best things for them that I know they will eat. If i can be more intentonal with all of our meals then that will help all of us. I also need to get back in to the habit of having my quite time, now that my husband is back from deployment. I missed it and can feel the stress i have when i dont get it.

  • mjeaustin

    I need to live, not be tied to the to-do list and the can’t eat this list and such. Basically I need to lighten up and have fun.

  • Donna Doverspike

    I need to spend more time in bible study.

  • Diana

    Working hard on eating healthy, exercising and being content in this season of life, even though sometimes I feel I am loosing myself.

  • Krista

    I need to work on my attitude towards work. My dream is to be home with my kids but I’m not in a situation where I can do that right now.

  • Misti O.

    I need to do better about self-care for myself… putting the oxygen mask on myself first. I understand that it would help me be a better mom, but then life happens & things get busy & I focus on everyone else.

  • Rebekah S

    I need to learn to stop seeing so many to-do’s throughout my day and really start seeing my children. Definitely need to learn to lighten up and enjoy life more!

  • katharine

    oh thanks for the chance — I totally need to work on stopping to see the blessings and beauty in my life. I spend way too much time getting things done instead of enjoying the life God has given me.

  • Lindsay

    Thank you for giving some away! I could really use some encouragement in the everyday stress of dealing with spirited children, while dealing with my own chronic fatigue and illness.

  • Kasi Guess

    I feel like I often do okay once I get motivated to better my life and the things in it. However, once I get around my husband, and he doesn’t understand why I am working on the things I am, I get unmotivated quickly and give up. I really need help getting him involved in the process and I am wondering how to get him on board…

  • Monica Barron

    I think my biggest area in need of encouragement is in parenting and marriage, I don’t think anyone every tells you how hard it really is and it’s a real struggle to keep it all together.

  • Wendy Green

    Thank you for doing the giveaway! I know I need to stop running myself into the ground making sure everyone else and everything else is ok. I look around sometimes and wonder, “How did I get here?”. Time is passing, I need to embrace my moments.

  • Melody S.

    🙂 the frustrations that come & take over my gratitude & joy.

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    I’m so concerned about how my home looks or doesn’t measure up in my mind that keeps me from relationship.

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    Thank you for doing the giveaway! I know I need to stop running myself into the ground making sure everyone else and everything else is ok. I look around sometimes and wonder, “How did I get here?”. Time is passing, I need to embrace my moments.

  • Angela

    I would like to work on parenting and marriage.

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    I need to work on creating healthier eating/exercise habits and also on prioritizing my time with the Lord! Thanks so much for the chance to win!

  • Connie

    Boy, oh boy, did I need this today. I’ve been struggling for weeks with regret as a Momma and feeling quite burdened by the mistakes I’ve made. I know in my head I’m forgiven and under grace, but the feelings haven’t matched up. God has been faithful to bring truths in my life the last few days to refresh me with knowledge and slowly the burdensome feelings are lifting. I got your book a couple of weeks ago and haven’t started it yet. Today’s encouragement spurs me on to work it in my new schedule. (In a new homeschool curriculum that’s been a bit overwhelming and beginning a Bible study with my husband to get us back on track from being disconnected. Needless to say it’s been a hectic couple of weeks to have been going through a ‘valley’. I hope to do your Longing study soon. Thank you.

  • Katrina S

    Right now I need to be encouraged to not settle for “less than” but to fight for the best for myself and my family. I get tired and then I get stuck in the same old routines and habits because they are the path of least resistance, know what I mean? My family deserves better!

  • Jenn L.

    This sounds amazing… I need help balancing work/life. I want my children to be well rounded and experience different things, but sometimes I overextend all of us, creating havoc in our home. With being a working full time Mom, I don’t have a lot of time in the evenings, and I hate saying no to people. I try to cram too much into our little time along, without realizing I’m not making choices “that are good and healthy and loving for myself and my family”.

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    I need to learn how to focus on giving thanks and keeping Mothering gently and encouraging my babies in the midst of so. Much. Upheaval.

  • Carmen N

    Maybe because I’m an older parent, I do note my child’s “lasts”. My husband can’t understand why I still stay in my daughter’s room at night until she’s asleep; she *can* sleep without me … and I know someday she will. Still, there are plenty of times I become too busy with the projects I think should be done instead of taking time to just be with my family.

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    Several months ago I bought a puzzle for my 6-year-old son and I to put together, just the two of us. I bought the puzzle as a reward for how well he was handling big changes in his life, including transitioning from baby brother to one of three big brothers. He and I are the puzzle geeks of the family and I knew this a way for us to carve out special time together for just the two of us. Today the puzzle sits unopened on our living room bookshelf. The laundry is still not caught up, along with a million other things that I must have felt were more important each time he asked me to work on that puzzle. I would love to win this giveaway, but just sitting here typing out my comment has given me an insight. While this should have happened a long time ago, it’s not too late. We’ll start the puzzle tonight!!!

  • Collette

    I too feel the same about breastfeeding. I breastfed twins. I luckily was able to pump and feed both with a bottle, but there are times i think back and wish i had appreciated it so much more. At 39 I will not be having any more babies for many reasons, but mostly because I have 3 happy, healthy kids now 15 and twins 11yrs old, and I am content. I was young then, but if i had to do it all over, I, like you, would enjoy the precious moments with my babies much more than I did. xoxo

  • Stephanie Adele

    This was such a good message for me to hear. I married a widower just over a month ago and became stepmom to two great kids. I want to make note of their special moments because their mom would have loved to, but won’t get the chance.

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    I regret today.

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    Pulling my family together.

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    I do not think that I make healthy choices when it comes to nurturing me. Right now, for example, I’ve stolen away into my bedroom to work on some emails, some Bible study and just some quiet time to do things that have been cropping up for days. And I feel guilty. When my daughter comes in all loud and I ask her as nicely as I can to feel welcome to stay in here but to please be quiet, I feel guilty. This is very timely for me.

  • Lesley

    I’m still really working on making the choices that are right for our family- without wondering what my own mother would think about it. My greatest parenting regrets to date have been in areas where I did what Mum thought was right instead of what my own heart was telling me was right for my babies, and for me. That regret is hard to process but I am grateful for the fact that it brought me to the realisation that making different parenting decisions to those my Mum advised me to make was OK. Because neither of us were right, or wrong. We are just two very different woman, who did and are doing our best for the children and family we love so much.

  • Rachel Davis

    My struggle is to believe that I can be successful. By success I mean pursuing my passions, being effective, transforming lives by example and words! I have deep desires to reach out, to share from my own struggles..but when I rise up to pursue and something knocks me down its hard to rise again. When life gets hard I cry and struggle. Do people really want to hear from me?
    Do I really have something to give back?
    Will I really be successful in my dreams?
    I hope I make sense….

  • http://www.talesofthevidaloca.wordpress.com Kaylee Vida

    I am in the midst of decisions regarding my calling – ministry, writing, Grad school. Which is for now? What should wait? I have regrets from the past, and I don’t want to live regretting the fact that I didn’t act when I should have.

  • Kelly

    I need encouragement to keep pursuing my own health and vitality. I’ve been having some health concerns lately and it is hard for me to not be my best and to find the time to actually focus on getting better.

  • Katrina

    I need some encouragement on focusing on my family first and learning that I can’t be everyone’s hero. As a working Christian mother, I often feel a mass of guilt on my shoulders if I can’t say yes or do everything that is asked of me. I often feel scattered and lost when I want to feel I am bringing love and security to my family. I also need help finding ways to draw closer to Him personally so I can bring my family closer to him. Thank you for all that you do, Sarah!

  • http://www.reywall.blospot.com Reynada

    My biggest thing is remembering that just because I can do something doesn’t necessarily mean I should. Also, that my little one is only going to be little for a small amount of time.

  • Julie Holland Johnson

    This is my second time around — my husband and I have two sons (25 and 22) and two daughters (6 and 5) — so you’d think that I 1) would have all my ducks in a row by now, and 2) would understand to cherish each and every first and last because I know how quickly it is all gone. But I, too, am overwhelmed with the busyness of life….I very quickly did three loads of laundry this morning so the girls would have something to wear to piano and theater class, and I now sit with Mount Washmore on my unmade bed. I struggle with balancing a husband, two adult children, two daughters-in-law, three grandchildren (with a fourth on his way), two precious little girls who need my attention (and need to be homeschooled), music and women’s ministry, and my own sanity and time with God. Now that I’ve written that all out, I know why I need this course!

  • Lynsie

    I don’t know how to say “no” especially when it comes to church service. I love helping and easily feel guilty when people ask for help and I can’t so I usually find a way to make it work. The reality is it really doesn’t work because saying yes to one thing means means I either say no to another or push other priorities to the side. Anyways, I would love to hear how other women balance serving at their church (and other people) with taking care of their family.

  • Janelle

    I need to be encouraged to pause and breathe and be present and not be so rushed with hectic life with littles (4 of them!, 3 of them “wild ones”) that I go a week without sunshine or days without a shower or months and years without allowing time to play with them or read an intellectual book or fill my soul.

  • Christine Amador

    I need to be encouraged and be free from worries — as a homeschooling mom for the past 6 years, sometimes, I wonder if I am doing it correctly for my children.

  • Philippa

    I have some head knowledge but it would be wonderful to put living life to the fullest into action more often. I forget way too much, particularly when caught up in the craziness of life homeschooling four children 8 and under. Encouragement is vital for this life, isn’t it! Many blessings!

  • http://throughwildabandon.blogspot.com/ Diane

    An area I need help in making healthy decisions in for me and my spouse is controlling the old tongue. For some reason my tongue becomes loose around towardmy husband thannit ever has to my kids, friends, family, co-workers and especially strangers. I’ve been seeking God’s power to control my tongue. Some days are better than others.

  • Becky Holmes

    I would love to work on finding the Lords plan for me now, after a shift in life of starting homeschool, being a help mate to my husband who is continuing into a new ministry, I’m trying to still find ‘me’ in the midst of serving others. A balance, that the Lord can use with my family, friends and those around me. We’ve went though such a life shift in the last two years, that I feel the need to continually search where He’s leading me, while taking joy in the now as well! I’d love to be able to use this with a women’s bible study as well, thank you for developing this!!

  • monica

    Being content , loving others and helping them without feeling used.

  • Leah

    Balancing all of our busy schedules and still putting the intentional effort into our family.

  • Jen Lehr

    I especially need help when it comes to getting unstuck and free from my fears and just “doing” things to care for my family.

  • Jo L

    I love the bloopers video to introduce the course! It looks great and I am going to sign up. I really need help in making sure all my little decisions and habits line up to create the bigger picture I am striving for in His glory. I’m hoping your course can help with that. Blessings to you!

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