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If I had my child to raise all over again,
I’d build self-esteem first, and the house later.
I’d finger-paint more, and point the finger less.
I would do less correcting and more connecting.
I’d take my eyes off my watch, and watch with my eyes.

I’d take more hikes and fly more kites.
I’d stop playing serious, and seriously play.
I would run through more fields and gaze at more stars.
I’d do more hugging and less tugging.

— Diane Loomans, from “If I Had My Child To Raise Over Again”

When I was a mother of four young children, it felt like a lifetime to work my way through diapers, bottles, and endless days and nights of constantly being needed. During those years, I thought, “It will be so nice when…”.

Now as I have four older children with one off at college and another leaving in three weeks, I often think “if only I had more time, I would have…”.  The poem mirrors so many of my regrets and my desire to be a better mother.

It is said that being a mother is the hardest job in the world. Even if that is true, I feel that it is the most rewarding job and no matter how many regrets I may have, I know my children received the greatest gift – the love of their mother.

The love of a mother has intrinsic value and can have a powerful influence in her child’s life. My Mother’s Day wish is that every child could know the warmth and comfort of a loving mother.  As mothers, let’s refocus on making that happen.

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