A Decade of Lessons
2020 is around the corner, and a new decade makes for as good of a time as any to look back and see how far we’ve come, what lessons we’ve learned, and to think about where we’re heading.
I started off this last decade as a teacher, buying a house, planning a wedding, dancing on bars, and traveling “the world.”
I’m ending this decade as a homeschool teacher, homeschooling mom, co-parenting ex-wife and girlfriend with my own business, traveling mostly in my home state.
Clearly, the last 10 years have been full of change (read more in this post), and packed full of valuable lessons.
Here are my Top 10 Parenting Lessons from the Last Decade:
- Our circumstances do not define who we are. How we react and what we do with our circumstances define who we are. We cannot control everything that happens to us or around us. We can only control how we respond to it. That is what defines our character and makes us who we are. Our children are always watching and learning from how we respond to our circumstances, so we need to make sure we’re behaving in a way we hope they will someday if they’re ever in a similar situation.
- The only thing that stays the same is that everything changes. Again, how we respond to change defines who we are. Motherhood is made up of many seasons, and seasons change. Nothing stays the same for too long, which means we can survive anything, and need to remember to remind ourselves that “this too shall pass.”
- Along the same lines, time marches on. We don’t get sick days as moms. We don’t get to put life on hold because our child is teething and the party will start without us if we’re late because we can’t get out the door on time. Bad days happen, as do good days, but regardless, time isn’t going to wait for us. Planning ahead and being prepared help, as do having schedules and routines in place. But, it’s also important to remind ourselves that we need to keep moving forward. Responding as positively as we can and doing our best helps show our children how to respond to challenges in the real world. It teaches them valuable lessons that they can use someday.
- Hard work will get you far. When you are used to working hard, it won’t come as a surprise to you when you need to work harder to be successful. Small challenges, big challenges and curve balls will be thrown at you. It’s up to you to respond appropriately and take the opportunity to show your children the value of problem solving, using your resources, and working hard. And, when you’re in a season of life when you don’t need to work as hard, things seem a lot easier and refreshing because they’re easier.
- Keep things simple. It’s easy to get wrapped up in what other people are doing or the way we think things should be, but that’s not our reality. This allows us to focus on what really matters, like spending time with our children and our friends and our family. Our children will remember the quality time we spent with them, not how things looked or what we gave them. When we keep it simple, it’s easier to focus on quality time with our children, rather than our to do lists.
- You can’t go wrong when you put your kids first. When kids are the priority, all the other decisions are easier, and everything falls into place. It is not always easy to put the kids first, but it is what’s best in the long run, and that’s what matters most, not other people’s opinions or worrying about if you offended someone.
- Traveling is important and is always worth it. Kids get so much out of traveling! It’s not just about where you go. It’s about spending time with them, experiences, using their brains in different ways, learning about a different way of doing things, experiencing real life and problem solving on the go… Time and money spent on traveling is never wasted. It is always worth it, even if the kids are young because they will have pictures and stories to look back on.
- Stuff is just stuff, and the more stuff you have, the more work it is. I have always been a very practical, so even when I got married, we didn’t have a lot of frivolous stuff on our wedding registry. That made it hard for people who wanted to buy us fancy stuff, but I knew we wouldn’t use it, so what would be the point? 10 years later, I still do not like a lot of extra stuff that I cannot use. All it means is extra work. When you have kids, more stuff is extra work because they can get stuff out, which means the stuff needs to be put away, dusted, maintained, organized, etc. So, having stuff just for the sake of having it is not worth it when you have to spend valuable time on STUFF and not your children. Plus, the more stuff you have means the more money spent, which is less money for travel and other fun family experiences.
- Education and learning are always worth it. The best way to learn is by doing or experiencing something. This connects nicely to travel because even visiting a local farm or museum is a worthwhile learning experience for children. When they see something else that reminds them of it, their brains will make connections and it will help them learn better. Kids will learn at a deeper level. They are more likely to remember what they experience and what they learn through play and learn by doing, making learning and education are always worth it, even if we don’t see the results right away.
- Appreciate. Show gratitude. Give thanks. A little bit of appreciation and gratitude go a long way. And, it helps teach our children to appreciate what they have instead of always wanting more or wanting what someone else has.
- Make time for yourself. It’s easy to get lost in motherhood and parenting. But, you were someone before you had children and that person still matters. So, make time for yourself and your hobbies (learn how to turn your hobbies into learning opportunities for your children here). Find out more about how to keep yourself a priority (or make yourself a priority if you’re no longer one) in the Majestic Moms Mentorship.
When you read through my top 11 lessons from the last decade (did ya notice the bonus lesson?), it’s easy to see that when we go back to basics and prioritize our family, we can make resolutions and set goals that are in the best interest of our children and our families.
I know it can be hard to make change by yourself though, which is why I created the Majestic Moms Mentorship. It’s designed with busy moms in mind, who want to make changes, either for themselves or for their families, but who may not have the support at home that they need to be successful (and if you do, and want to be a part of a group of fellow moms, that’s great and you’re welcome to join us too!). Find out more here.
What are your biggest lessons from the last decade?
I STRONGLY encourage you to invest in yourself (and your family!) by attending an online conference created just for moms. It has 50 expert speakers and over 80 workshops that you can do at your own pace, so there’s truly something for everyone!