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3 Huge Regrets I Have About First-Time Motherhood

Photograph by Twenty20

First-time motherhood is full of questions, confusion, anxiety and flat-out "what the eff was that?!" moments for every new mom. The highs are high and the lows are so low. You're just struggling to make it through each day as it is. There's no time to breathe but before you know it, your squishy little baby is a walking, talking kid with a personality and there are no do-overs.

Six years and two kids later, I can't help but look back and have a few regrets about some choices I made back when I was totally clueless about how motherhood would shake out. So, learn from my mistakes. Don't let these happen to you.

I wish I took half-naked pregnancy pictures.

That's right, someone should've stripped me down at 9 months, hired a glam squad to shadow and shade all the right places, swooped a lush lace sheath across my bump and called me Demi (or Kourtney or Serena).

Back then, I thought all these women who get gussied up for a bumpin' photoshoot were way too obsessed with themselves. Just get this belly stuff over with, I used to think. I didn't realize how absolutely special that time was back then and I definitely didn't appreciate the process like I do now. It would've been nice to have one professionally shot picture of me looking like a real mombshell, just for kicks.

I wish I recorded every single first in my daughters' baby books, for EACH child.

My older daughter recently asked me what her little sister's first word was and I went blank. BLANK. I literally had NO IDEA. Shameful! I barely kept track of my first daughter's firsts and really let the ball drop when my second was born a year and a half later. Yes, I had baby books accessible to me—I just had a really hard time taking them out of the drawers when my girls' firsts happened. "Oh, I'll remember! I'll do it later when they're asleep!" I told myself back then. I didn't. And I don't remember what happened when anymore.

Do it now, if you can. You won't regret it.

I wish I printed more pictures when my babies were babies.

Curse our digital age! I've never been good at organizing photo albums—even when printed pictures were the norm—but at least I had printed pictures stashed into shoeboxes back in the day! Now? Nothin.' Never mind all those digital pictures of my 1- and 2-year-olds sitting on blankets in the backyard that are stuck in desktop folders and/or that disappeared when my husband did that major computer backup that I knew nothing about. Sigh. Now, going back and printing baby pictures seems like such a time-suck and totally overwhelming, so trust me: Do it now, if you can. You won't regret it.

Hindsight is 20/20. Live and learn. No regrets, no fails, no worries. But if you spot me donning a fake baby bump, dressed up in a sequin gown in the middle of a flower field with a photographer telling me to look off into the blue-sky distance, please don't judge.

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