There’s certain things that my mom would repeat over and over again – like her saying, “One day you’ll understand”. My first advice is, don’t wait for that one day to have that epiphany. As much as it’s natural for all of us through life to have a little light bulb switch, here are some things I wish I had known.
I wish I knew, once you spread your wings, so many things are different. I wish I hadn’t focused on just chasing life changes and independence.
First of all, since this blog is mainly about parenting, I will start by saying this, you only have one mom and dad, or two moms and two dads, Or one or the other, or a parent figure, or a mentor, that raises you. It is not easy and whoever has taken on the job is doing the best they can. Let’s assume they are. It is hard these days to make everyone feel included. but let’s assume they are. For all the times you wanted to pull your hair out, you will realize in time that it was because they loved you and not to just annoy you.
Learning life skills can be really tough, and teaching those skills is even a larger task! So being grateful and truly realizing the emotional distress parenting is to raise a child definitely made me comprehend later on. Taking my time to really enjoy life with my mom and dad was something I wish I knew. I was too focused on leaving the nest, so take your time and be present!
Relationships Can Come & Go
I wish I knew that some relationships are there to carry you, support you through different stages of life and go.
Not everyone is meant to stick around your whole life, and that’s ok! it doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad friend. Some friends will be around for as long as you live. Others are placed in your life to either climb through mountains, have fun, learn a thing or two or even make mistakes. “Every casual encounter is an appointment.” If you live your life understanding this, you’ll see value in even people that have brought pain and there’s a lesson through every encounter.
Boundaries Are Healthy
I wish I knew how to set boundaries before I felt like I had no other choice. It wasn’t until I experienced life coaching that I came across the concept of boundaries. It was like I had an epiphany. It’s ok to say no. It is ok to express limitations. It is ok to protect your space, mental health and energy. Not everyone has boundaries and usually the ones that will be upset for you having any, are the ones that have none! read that again.
Being Kind To Others
I wish I knew the importance of being kind to others. I’ve always been kind but sometimes, in my darkest days, grief days and “bitchy is cool days”… Well, I could’ve done a little better.
I realized that being kind to others is not only respecting another human being but it is also being kind to yourself; To practice your values not just on the people in your circle but everyone around you at your best ability. It comes with knowing deep inside that everyone has a battle you know nothing about and no matter what day you have, be kind, hold the door, say thank you, wave your hand.
Kindness is strength. One of my most poignant moments for this example, was recently, when sadly Blake’s cremation had been very difficult because of an employee that was careless. After asking to talk to a manager, instead of losing my cool, I stayed polite, kind and firm. Little did I know, this woman had also gone through a stillbirth and even if I was out of my mind, I kept composure. It was truly eyeopening at how much we have no idea what people are going through while you’re going through your own storm.
Toxic People Are Toxic For A Reason
I wish I knew that there’s a root, a pain, a struggle, mental illness in anyone being toxic. I also wish I knew that you can’t fix someone if they don’t want to help themselves.
I’ve had my fair share of toxic people, from ex-partners to terrible friends. It takes adjustments to realize that they’re not hurting YOU. They’re hurting themselves. They’ve actually been hurting and there’s a root of the cause of their incapability to function with healthy attachments, communication etc… I’d even go as far to say there is some kind of “addiction” that can happen from trying to build “healthy relationships” with people that don’t have a good relationship with themselves. The struggle is not saving them, the struggle is knowing that you were never the problem which can become a vicious cycle. It is one of those things, where if toxic wants to stay toxic – move on, forgive (optional) and forget. One book I highly recommend that changed my life is “A Return To Love” by Marianne Williamson.
Forgiveness Is Optional
I wish I knew that I didn’t always have to forgive someone for hurting me. I had to forgive myself first.
Allowing someone to hurt you is something we forget to forgive ourselves for. Forgiving someone else might bring you peace – but forgiving yourself is powerful. Some things can never be forgiven and that’s okay too. Doing what you can and need to bring yourself at peace with it, let go of grudges is the most important. Whatever that looks like, seeking a space for YOU to be OKAY that only involves your well being is not wrong!
Opinions Are Like Assholes
I wish I knew that it is okay to agree to disagree. Opinions are like assholes and sometimes you don’t need those pushed on you! Yup I said it!
This circles back around to boundaries. It is also very common in the parenting world. Some people will have very strong opinions on how you should live your life, raise your kids, spend your money, run a business etc… Do what works for you, lead with love and let go of opinions and judgements of other people. Meanwhile don’t hold judgements on other people either. Maybe, just maybe, highly opinionated people will try to come from a good place but not always.
Either way, a way to diminish the noise is to know your priority and make your own decisions and most importantly be accountable for yourself.
I wish I knew that I can allow myself to be comfortable with the idea of making mistakes. Fear of failure, to disappoint or not achieve can go hand in hand with the fear of abandonment. Whether it’s letting yourself down or someone you love. It takes time to let yourself “fail” and no “failures” are actually failures; they’re just proof of you trying and pursuing.
Most importantly they can lead you to where you exactly need to be. If we think of genuine mistakes as our spiritual GPS, destiny, however you’d like to call it, we can embrace them. Now making the same mistake over and over again is a pattern, digging into why you can’t let go of that is equally as important to find your way.
We Are Not In Control & We Don’t Have To Wait For The Ultimate Lesson To Understand That
I wish I knew the importance of knowing that we’re not in control, and that gives us space to let go. The biggest shock in losing Blake is my realization and absolute certainty that we are not in control.
It hurts to truly find out that way, but we truly are not. Is it liberating to finally know that I’m not? Yes. Is it scary? Of course. Do I want to live in fear? No.
I’ve been faced with having to embrace spirituality at very difficult moments in my life and I wish I hadn’t waited to be down to my knees. We are programmed to hear and receive what we need to know when we allow ourselves, but what if we didn’t wait for that last minute and were more curious, hungry for knowledge, interested in ourselves and beliefs, open to therapy, to understanding ourselves and others more before there’s no other choice? Food for thought, it’s better to chew on it than having to swallow it the hard way.
It’s Okay Not To Be Okay
I wish I knew that it’s okay to not be okay. We live in a society, especially in America, that censors anything that brings discomfort.
We sell the American dream, longevity, impossible beauty standards, perfectionism, idealism, certainty, excellence…and most of the time, these things are measured in moments or simply look different from one person to another. We pressure people so much on how they should live their lives through happiness or sorrow that we have made people believe that sadness, grief, health etc… is optional and a burden.
Life is complex and not always easy and being okay with not being okay is an absolute must in our natural need to process. It is okay to give others and yourself space to hurt. You are responsible for dealing and facing your struggles, nobody else, so don’t let anyone censor you to a healthier life, mental health & emotional well being.
Thank you for reading along on this journey that I’m on. Every day can be a beautiful lesson, or a struggle. I’ve realized that it’s up to each and every one of us to make that choice. Whether you are a younger mother, or you have a growing family, I hope you find that my advice for my younger self resonates with you.