I am to that point where I believe I’ve learned a thing or two. Life lessons, the kind that comes from great joy, but also those from deep sorrow. I’ve been a daughter and sister for 42 years, a wife for 18, a mom for 13, and a best friend forever. When you combine the experience that comes from these said relationships, what you are left with is . . . wait for it . . . wisdom. Yes, I do believe I’ve put in enough time to call it wisdom. That for sure has to be a milestone.
It’s time I own it and share it. So today, in no particular order, I have a list for you. I absolutely love a good list and I’m excited to share my first one with all you beautiful readers. Here are a few things, 10 to be exact, I’ve learned in my journey of life, relationships, and motherhood. You may relate, learn something, or just enjoy your cup of coffee while you read.
Here we go . . .
- Real friendships are precious. Friends will come and go, but the friendships that go the distance are to be cherished. Starting out in our adult life, we are here for number one. It’s really how are brains are wired, so we get away with it. The older you get, the more complicated the journey becomes. And then when you add kids you’re on a whole different level. Through a changed lens we see the world is bigger than us and challenging and demanding and sometimes terrifying. If you have a few really close girlfriends (or even just one) to stand by your side, you my dear are a lucky lady. This is the friend that will celebrate your smallest accomplishment, or talk you through your rawest and darkest moments. Nurture that relationship and don’t let it slip away. She needs you as much as you need her.
- Your partner is worth it. I’m going on the record now to say I love my husband. We met when we were 19, and are still together. Our love is not perfect, as life is not perfect. But, we work on our marriage because we like being together. If you’ve found that special someone you’ve vowed to share this crazy existence with, then put in the time to make that happen. It takes dedication. Relationships will go through more challenging seasons, but through our everyday actions we determine the probability of ringing in another year side-by-side. Your partnership will AND should evolve, but only you TOGETHER can navigate that.
- Somehow make yourself a priority. I hear you thinking “who has time for that?? Who is going to take care of all the stuff AND these kids??” Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Find a way to carve out time for you. Whether it’s a quiet lunch or cup of coffee, watching This Is Us or Game of Thrones (oddly enough, I like them both), listening to your favorite podcast, taking a nap, sweat-induced-cardio, prayer, lunch with your BFF, or just sitting and enjoying the silence . . . do it! Do something every day (or as often as you can) to recharge your batteries. You will be happier, which means everyone around you will be, too. As my Dad use to say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”
- Stop comparing yourself to others. It’s just not worth it. Who has time? No one cares. JUST LET IT GO!
- Find humor in even the hardest situations. My husband and I have this joke about who’s the funny one (in case you’re wondering, it’s totally me). Some have said I take jokes, “One step too far.” If we can’t take a minute to stop and laugh, find the irony, or appreciate all the ridiculousness life has to offer; then what’s the point?? This is especially true as mamas because most of the time, it’s laugh or cry . . . you choose! Humor can pull us out of a dark moment and momentarily heal it. I believe laughter is your best medicine.
- Spend time with the older people in your life. The older I get, the more I face the harsh reality of life being too short. Tomorrow is not promised for anyone, but for those in your life that are aging or sick, the stakes are greater. You will not regret moments spent with your grandparents, parents, aunts & uncles, or even the elderly couple next door. Sharing and teaching this lesson to your kids is invaluable. Soak it in . . . all of it . . . for you, and for them.
- You don’t have to be a perfect mom. There’s no such thing. She doesn’t exist. Don’t believe the social media/Pinterest hype. And keeping it real here . . . I bet your kids think you’re pretty close to perfect, and that’s all that matters.
- Be real with your kids. Kids love it when you talk to them and just be you. They know when to be in tune. I have three boys, so that’s saying a lot. They are smart and can handle things; although only you will know just how much. They also need to know you’re human. Whenever I feel like I’ve made a doozy of a mistake or lost my temper more than I should have, I remind them: “I’m a person, just like you. I have feelings, just like you. I make mistakes, just like you.” They respect and appreciate honesty, and in some small way, we might connect a little more.
- It’s never too late to try something new. I speak from recent experience. As a SAHM for 13 years, I’ve definitely had times when I’ve craved something different. Should an opportunity present itself and feel right, go for it. You just may land yourself on an amazing website like Detroit Moms Blog sharing your “wisdom’” with a pretty big audience!
- Above all else, love your people. We see all too often that life can change in an instant. Don’t take it for granted. If you love someone . . . always-always-always . . . make sure they know it.