Maria Lactans

Maria Lactans
Maria Lactans (wikimedia commons)

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

No Regrets

As my and my husband's 20th wedding anniversary approaches, I have been spending a lot of time thinking about my married life which has been almost my entire adult life also.  My husband and I married young - at age 20 - while we were both still in college.  We couldn't even legally buy alcohol! I was seven months pregnant during my first bachelor degree graduation ceremony, and my husband received his master's degree at the same time.  It was memorable graduating together!  We decided right away that I would stay home with our children, so I could practice ecological breastfeeding.

I don't know if you have been following the story of Joey Feek, member of the country music duo, Joey+Rory.  Joey found out that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer soon after the birth of their daughter (Rory and Joey are also married).  Just the other day, Joey said her last words before slipping into a last deep sleep.  She isn't expected to live more than a few days.  One thing she said really struck a chord with me: “I have no regrets… I can honestly say, that I have done everything I wanted to do and lived the life I always wanted to live”. Could I say the same about myself if this was my last week on earth?  

This started me thinking about some of the things I regret.  I regret not having been a gentler parent with first child when he was younger (he was a very challenging child and still is).  However, we currently have a pretty good relationship, so things have changed for the better.  I regret all those times over the years when I have been less than present (mentally and emotionally) with my kids. I try to work on that every day.  I regret those times when I have acted less than Christian.  Confession is good for that one!  I could come up with many more examples but then.....

I realized it might be more productive to think about my life in a more general way and to think of those things of which I have no regrets.   In addition to marrying the love of my life, breastfeeding is
without doubt at the top of my no regrets list!  The first week after my first son was born was
extremely rocky.  He was not latching properly and was losing weight.  However, my local LLL leader, a local lactation consultant, and my patient doctor helped me do the one thing I wanted to do most as a new mom - breastfeed my baby! I empathize with all those moms who are struggling with breastfeeding.  If I can help you in any way, please email catholicbreastfeeding(at)yahoo(dot)com.

I will never regret having a big family and staying home with my children.  When my husband was in grad school and working on his post-doctorate, money wasn't very plentiful, so I feel blessed that I was able to keep staying home with my first two children at that time.

I also do not regret my faith in God.  Sure, I have doubts occasionally.  I would think many faithful Catholics do.  However, my relationship with Jesus helped me through difficult times in the past and continues to do so.

As I approach the second 20 years of my married and adult life, I am challenging myself to live the
life I want, without regrets.  I also challenge you to do the same. I would love to hear about your no regrets life and how you make it happen - please leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing from you!