Perhaps it's the little things that you would change. Or is it something more global? Then again, maybe there is nothing you would have done differently [and if so, what's your secret?].
I would change a few things about my first couple of years as a mother.
If I could wave a magic wand, I would change how anxious I was to leave the house with a newborn, and how I felt so tied to the clock for every single feeding and nap.
I would try harder to get out in the world more with my son when he was a baby, regardless of whether or not it messed with a nap schedule and he slept in the car, or if he took a bottle instead of nursing (oh, the glory of the bottle once I gave up the guilt!).
Maybe I'm underselling myself and simply looking backwards with dark-colored glasses. We have plenty of pictures as evidence that we did interesting, fun "stuff" together as a new family of 3-- music classes, airplane rides to visit family, walks in the stroller. I managed to keep us all relatively healthy. But looking back, I was always so worried. You can't see that in the photos.
(Image from an article I wrote on WhattheFlicka)
The worries haven't altogether vanished, though they have changed. Mostly, I worry that my own issues have had a negative impact on my son; did he have a difficult toddlerhood because of me? Is his aversion to large groups because of his homebody mom? Does he prefer to always have an adult next to him because I over-involved myself from the start? (See? I can still worry plenty).
I think I would have enjoyed having a baby much more if I had been able to let go, especially in the company of other moms. Maybe it is easier to relax if you get to spend afternoons with your baby along with your sister or mother or a best friend. I didn't have any of that when my son was a baby. That isn't anyone's fault...or maybe, if anyone's, it is my own. Either way, it is what it is. I was underprepared for the reality of having a baby and how alone I would feel when entering that new world of motherhood.
Going forward, with my kids now 4.5 and 2, I actively try to stress less about the little things, even though it doesn't come naturally. Already, the issues that seemed so big the first couple of years now seem tiny-- what baby food they were eating or spitting out, what went in the bottle, what nap schedule we were on, what was playing on the television.
Even though I lean introverted, now I try to make and strengthen relationships with friends-- even my online blogging friends-- as they are my equivalent of the modern day village. Even that is hard for me at times. Still, that's what I'm trying to do differently as my family continues our little journey together.
What about you? What would you change about your early days of parenthood? Everything? Nothing?
~Julia @ Frantic Mama