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Being a mother is a tough job. There is nothing that anyone could ever do to prepare you for the ups and downs that come with it, and there is nothing that could ever prepare you for what happens when they leave your nest.

When you are in the midst of it all, there are some days in which you are going to wish for the stress of it all to go away. However, if you aren’t careful, you will wish away the best days of your life without even realizing it. In a very interesting piece shared by The Every Mom, they spoke with a variety of empty nesters who spilled the beans on what they regret most from their early parenting days. Here are some takeaways.

1. “Without a doubt, I can 100 percent say that I did not need to work as much as I did. I can’t believe how fleeting time is. I would have made sure that I was present with my children and not stressed out about work so much. I would have made sure we had family dinners every night. I would have not let work bleed into my home life as much as it did. I’m still working, but the time with my kids under one roof is long gone.” – Vanessa K.

2. “I would NEVER worry about my picky eaters. They eat when they’re hungry, and no child I have ever known has died of starvation. I could have saved a lot of time and worry.” – Judy M.

3. “I wouldn’t have wasted so much time worrying about how much my children were eating. As long as they have healthy options available, just relax and let them explore their palates on their own time. I also wouldn’t have been a short-order cook at mealtime and just served one meal for everybody to eat, instead of making two to three different meals.” – Leticia G.

4. “I wish I would have taught my children more of the basics, like how to cook basic meals, do household chores, wash clothes, budget for things, stuff like that. I also wish I would have taught them how to deal with stress, anxiety, and disappointments. I guess I always thought that those things would work themselves out, but no. They need guidance through it all, even as adults.” – Elaine H.

5. “I would have been less serious and more fun. I would have said yes more. I would have listened more. I would have enjoyed it all more – from the poopy diapers to the extra hugs at bedtime. It doesn’t last.” – Frank W.

6. “I was such a stickler about my children not coming into bed with my husband and me when they needed extra cuddling or were scared. I was adamant that they stay in their rooms and their beds. If I could go back, I would let them lay with us, sleep next to us, and cuddle with us when they needed it. I would do anything to have those hugs back!” – Dulce Y.

7. “If I could go back in time, I would have spent more time involved with my children’s school. Volunteering, helping with the science fair, and participating in car-pooling. I worked so many hours during the week that while my children were getting older and forming into their personalities, I feel like I missed out on the transformation.” – Gil G.