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If You Could To Do It All Again ... Would You?

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The what-ifs of being a wife and mother.

Woman thinking of another man with husband and baby

In the 90's, before she married Chris Martin and became a mom, Gwyneth Paltrow starred in the film, "Sliding Doors." Back then the film had all us young, single girls, like Gwyneth asking, what if? The film's premise was simple; a girl hits her head and goes back in time to relive a moment in her life. It showed how a split decision, one little moment or one chance meeting can affect your career, your boyfriend, your looks...your entire life.

Fast forward to the year 2009 and women are finding they are once again faced with the same question, what if? This time it's because women across the country are reading Allison Winn Scotch's best selling book, "The Time Of My Life." The book tells the familiar story of a wife and mother who has it pretty good but not good enough not to wonder about what might have been. She gets the chance to relive those life changing decisions when she wakes up and finds herself seven years in the past. Haven't read it yet, don't worry - it's going to be made into a movie, just think of it as the mommy version of "Sliding Doors."

While these books and movies make for great escapist entertainment, let's face it -the theme hits a nerve. Admit it, each one of us have wondered at least once or twice (or maybe more) how things would have turned out if we had done things differently; dated that other guy, taken that other job, waited to have children, or maybe even had kids sooner..

Think about it for a minute, if you had a chance to go back in time and change your life ... would you? Would you marry the same man? Would you have had children? Taken more risks or played it safe? So fess up, just between us girls ... if you had a chance at doing it all over again, what would you do differently?


next: Cutting the Cord ... Financially
21 comments so far | Post a comment now
ashley January 21, 2009, 7:57 AM

I wish all the time that I could do it all over again. I even miss high school. I am always wishing I was a kid again. The main thing I wish I could go back and change is that I never would have gotten started on drugs and I would’ve finished college. I wish I could’ve lived my life instead of having a son and getting married at 20. Dont’ get me wrong I love my family, I have a 6 year old son and 19 month old daughter and great hubby. I just wish I could’ve done more before I had a family.

Courtney January 21, 2009, 11:15 AM

I wish I’d tried to have children sooner as it took 4 years of trying and a lot of medical help to have our one son. And it looks like he’ll be an only. I love my son but wish I could give him siblings.

I also wish I hadn’t followed the “safe” law school path and instead gotten my PhD in literature, like I wanted. I also wish I’d done more creative writing and learned earlier in life that being busy doesn’t equate to having a life.

I’d still have married the same wonderful man and I wouldn’t trade my son for the world though so I’m pretty happy in the place I ended up. And who knows where I’d be if I’d changed those things?

Anonymous January 21, 2009, 11:33 AM

I wished I would have married a man who made alot of money.

Nicola January 21, 2009, 11:51 AM

I sort of “did it over” when I met my second husband. Yes, while still married to my first. Naughty, naughty. I was unhappy and very dissatisfied with my life, my choices, my perceived future. And then there he was. Sexy, exotic, funny, amazing. We’ve been married for 8 years now, have a gorgeous little boy, and the excitement is as fresh now as it was all of those years ago. I’m glad that I got off when I did and took a completely different path. Its not quite doing it over, but perhaps redoing it!

Linney January 21, 2009, 12:03 PM

I wouldn’t change a bit of it. i’m glad i didn’t have the nerve to talk to that guy i really liked….i wouldn’t have ended up dating the guy i did and it wouldn’t have led me to the man i married to now with the kids that i have. sure i went thru some crappy things, but all of them led here so it’s really hard to regret anything or wish i could do it over.

laura January 21, 2009, 11:14 PM

oh goodness, no!
what i came from things could and likely should have turned out so much differently. i am so fortunate and so blessed, really. i have no clue why compared to the next person but i can’t help but be thankful. i wouldn’t change one single thing, even the most painful things because they all shaped me and led me to where i stand today.

Veronica January 21, 2009, 11:18 PM

Have I ever thought about how things could have been different? Sure. But no matter the decisions or mistakes I’ve made I wouldn’t change a thing.They are all the things that have made me the woman I am today.

I have three loving beautiful children, and a life I am truly proud of. And when I start thinking about the would haves and could haves I try to remind myself that the energy it takes to second guess myself is so much better spent on enjoying what I have and making plans for a better future.

KP January 21, 2009, 11:27 PM

I wish I was slightly more ambitious career-wise, but overall I have had so many amazing experiences and adore my little family that I don’t have many major regrets.

Caroline January 21, 2009, 11:52 PM

I agree with the women who said that their experiences contributed to making them the people they are today. I would also have to say that had I not chosen the man I married 16 years ago, I would not have the two children I have and adore. From that perspective, he has served a very important purpose in my life. However, the heartaches and difficulties we’ve had in our marriage also lead me to say that if I had the opportunity to choose this man again, I wouldn’t.

A January 22, 2009, 1:11 AM

Reminds me of a new show here in Canada - Being Erica. She has many regrets and her “therapist” is able to send her back in time to re-do a lot of them, so she can stop regretting what happened.

Tracy January 22, 2009, 7:37 AM

I love my husband and kids…but I may have taking more time a year or so and finished college..got a good job, maybe travel…but you can’t go back and I will live for tomorrow.

amanda January 22, 2009, 8:47 AM

I would have definitely done some things different, finished my college all at once, taken the better job, not dated this or that guy. But I think that all our bad decisions help lead us to what we want. I would not change the husband or the kids, maybe the timing. But would that have given me a different family? Would I appreciate this,what I have, if I didn’t have to work so hard for it?

Mary Anne January 22, 2009, 12:19 PM

Yes, I would have finished college! I would not trade anything or anyone else for the husband I have and the eight children we’ve produced. It has been hard but very worthwhile.

ame i. January 22, 2009, 12:47 PM

I would go through my high school and college years only if I could know then what I know now, ha!
Some things I just couldn’t change. Sometimes I sort of wish I’d met my current husband before I met my late-husband, but that would not have worked out. I met my late-husband when I was 14 and he was 17. My current husband is 8 years older than me, and there’s no way I could have dated a 22 year old at that time, plus he was in the Air Force so I wouldn’t have been able to meet him then anyway.
Even though my late-husband wasn’t always nice to me and treated me badly many times, I can’t regret marrying him because I have 2 precious daughters from that union. This is the first marriage for my “new” husband and my 2 girls are his first (and probably only, ha, I’m 40) children. We dated for 3 years before we married and many people do not realize that he is not the birth father of our kids. They have now known him longer than they knew their father.
Rambling on, sorry, but I guess my final answer would have to be No, I wouldn’t go back and change anything. I would like to “re-experience” the births of my daughters although the actual birth part for both were very unpleasant.

amanda January 22, 2009, 1:18 PM

I would totally do it all over again!! I might rethink the military wife/mom part of it but for the most part, i wouldn’t have it any other way!!

Anonymous January 22, 2009, 2:13 PM

I would keep it all the same (hubby, kids, friends, pets) except for I would have never gotten the credit cards and I would have waited a bit longer for us to buy our house or had a savings so we could fix it up properly.

Whatamess January 22, 2009, 10:35 PM

I wish I had never gotten involved with a man with children from a previous relationship and a crazy ex-wife.

Anonymous January 23, 2009, 8:30 AM

I wonder this every day it seems. Would I do it differently? The answer should be an unequivocal yes to many, many things and if I told you my story you would agree. However, had I taken a different path I may have had a child, but not my child. The amazing child sitting next to me who lights up the world with his smile. So as much as my answer should be yes I can only say the one thing I should have done differently is to have left the day I found out I was pregnant.



Anonymous January 24, 2009, 6:30 PM

What would I do differently if I had the chance to do it over? Definitely stick with college, pick the right guy-instead of a loser, had more than one child. But, I love my life and my beautiful daughter.

VOIP Opportunity January 26, 2009, 8:18 AM

I got married the same month I graduated from highschool & turned 18. Yes, I would do that again (we’ve been married 39 yrs), but would have taken advantage of computer scholarship I was awarded instead of following hubby to Germany 1st yr. and would have raised my 3 sons more strict - I was much too lenient, not knowing how to set and stick to boundaries. I am much better with the grandchildren. I also would have steered away from all the drinking/drug scene.


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