Remember that old Sex and The City episode, ’20 something girls vs 30 something women?’ I remember being really offended by it, mostly because I was in my 20’s at the time and I didn’t want anyone telling me I didn’t know all the things lol. Now that I’m 38 I get it, but not in a ‘look down on others kind of way.’ It’s more of a maturing that happens with time, and is a natural progression of experiences. I think it is necessary to learn on our own, but it got me thinking what I wish I had known then that I know now. So let’s do this!
3 things I wish I could tell my 20 something self…
After being married almost 14 years and together for a total of eighteen, I wish I had known then that my husbands only job is to be there for me to love. I used to think that it was actually HIS job to make me happy, and there was a never-ending set of expectations that he would not be able to meet (I mean, he has yet to read my mind lol.) I put a lot of pressure on him to fulfill me, and maybe that’s part of our culture, where fairy tales are rampant and we put some much emphasis on the honeymoon periods of life and weddings? I don’t know. But it was only in the last year or so that I heard Brooke Castillo say on her podcast that our spouses don’t have to do anything to make us happy, except be there for us to love. So simple. I work on this daily, and think it is such a game changer. That and saying exactly what you want, in a clear way, without attitude or sarcasm. That works, too. Ha!
I also wish I had known how damaging judgement and criticism is, especially in our own minds. It is pretty shocking the stuff we will say in our own heads to ourselves, stuff we would never say to another person. Just mean, hateful stuff! It’s ridiculous. Not only have I been working on not judging other people (a biggie), but also never criticizing and judging myself. I have to do this a lot with how I speak to myself about my body. On any given day I can find a zillion flaws to focus on, but I actively work (sometimes minute by minute), to nip that in the bud. For example, I’ll notice my thighs look bigger than usual and instead of saying, “It’s time to go on a diet! Where is that thigh gap you had last year?” I say, “I am healthy and strong. I work hard and I am happy with my body.” Or if all else fails, try, “I have a body.” That is a statement that null and voids just about anything and stands true if you can’t believe anything else. The key to is be kind to yourself. Act as if you already have what you wish for, and compliment yourself 1 million percent more than you criticize. I know I would never want my daughter to talk to herself the way I used to, so why should I?
Before I had kids I knew exactly the kind of mom I would be. I was going to be the best mom, better than any other mom out there! Don’t we all do this? We judge others before we walk the walk (see judgement above, ha.) I became a mom in my late twenties and used to be really concerned about having the best, most well-behaved kids. And while I believe manners and behavior is needed, often I would care more about what others thought of my kids behavior than my own kids’ feelings. I read recently that kids need to be parented in phases. The first four years are more of a dictatorship, then untill thirteen they need more guidance, and then teen years are more of a collaboration. I am in the guidance phase and I can see how the years of dictatorship and routines and guidelines have paid off, so now I just help them become good humans on a daily basis. (No pressure…;) I guess what I am trying to say, is that I thought you had to be so super strict all the time back in the day, but what you really need to do is listen, and be patient. There are many times where I need to lay down the law and be okay with my kids being mad at me (when they can’t get an iPhone 10 or roam through random neighborhoods, or skip homework…), but other times I need to really HEAR what they need and help them find solutions. Listening more and patience, who knew?
Tell me, what do YOU wish you knew in your younger years that you know now?