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As a new and young mom, I used to roll my eyes (most of the time to myself) when people would say “Enjoy these days, they fly by so quickly…” so I wouldn’t dare use that phrase in a letter to a younger me. But here is what I would want to communicate…
I’m so happy for you, because even though your days are long and sometimes dreary, you do have wonderful times ahead. As a handle to get you through the former and to the latter, let me share some thoughts to hold on to when the going gets tough:
- Forget the advice “this too, shall pass.” While it’s offered in kindness and with the best of intentions, I would have to disagree. Although the situation or event does indeed end, how you got through it, what it says of your character and how it affects those around you, does not. And while I don’t believe it’s possible to live without regrets of some sort, there’s no use shooting yourself in the foot when you don’t have to!
- Ditch the “Do whatever it takes…” approach, or at least keep it in perspective. And there is nothing more important to keeping a good perspective than daily quiet time. Scripture has so much to teach you us about being the best parent we can be! Also, I’m not trying to be hard on you, but you might want to pray about those anger issues you struggle with, because…
- “More is caught than taught” where kids are concerned. Again, I’m not trying to be hard on you, but learn ~ and then model ~ counting to 10, talking over concerns before they are problems, establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries. These are skills that will help your kids as they grow, and will help you grow as a healthy individual, too.
- Remember that YOU come first. I know that sounds selfish; I know that sounds so contrary to your caring nature; I know that feels impossibly small and trivial or trite, but if you don’t take care of yourself, no one will. It’s not anyone else’s job to do that, either: not your husband’s, not your parents’, certainly not your children’s, and not even your girlfriends’…which leads me to another point.
- Get (and keep) girlfriends! Ohmygosh…do not neglect this one! Make time for a “girls’ night out,” have lunch or grab coffee once in a while when your hubby is home, get a sitter for a few hours and go see a movie. Spending some time with your friends is a way of taking care of yourself and will make you a better mom and wife: trust me!
Now go pour yourself a cuppa’ and take some time to mull these over. I hope you’ll find a way to incorporate some of this into your life…and pass them on to someone else when you’re in my, um, your shoes, in years to come.
Remember you are loved!
Your “old” self
What words of wisdom do you have to share with your “younger self”? I’d love to hear a lesson or two from your own life below…