Recently, I asked some of my readers, “What would tell your younger self ?” This was left to the interpretation of the woman writing the response. This article is a compilation of responses from some of my friends and colleagues who are empty nesters.
“I entered motherhood at the young age of 17, which reminds me of how strong and elegant my mom continues to be day in and day out on her job, in church as a pastor’s wife and in our home. I was determined to be even stronger ,bolder, and elegant for my daughter to model from. My daughter grew up with me alone in the home after the murder of her father at the age of 4 which is never anyone’s choice of being a single parent. It was hard. Truly hard, but it taught me a lot. Motherhood made me who I am today.
From my senior year in high school, college, and graduate school, my daughter encouraged me, helped me study, wiped my tears, and loved me unconditionally just because I was mom. No judging. Being a mother has given me a new look on life. It gives me hope, joy, peace, love and confidence that nothing is impossible as long as you trust God, he can truly bless you. Many single moms would have never accomplished this dream of becoming a classroom teacher, attaining three college degrees and raising a wonderful daughter who is in her senior year at a prestigious Florida university,
I am blessed. I am grateful. I am humbled and I thank God for it all. Being a mom isn’t easy. We strive for our children to have the best and be the best. We keep them safe so they won’t stray away. It was a true challenge but I did it alone with family and positive people around me. I did it. I am proud of me and blessed with an amazing daughter.”
I would tell my younger self …
- The sky is the limit. No matter what life throws your way, keep God first in everything and he will direct your paths. Hold your head up high in the clouds and soar like an eagle with confidence, independence, pride of admiration, and motivation to seek an education. Believe in yourself don’t let distraction throw you off your path.
- Remember to balance being in the moment with planning the moment. The moment can be a party or event with family and friends or a school event your kid is a part of. Be in that moment just as much or more than you planned it.
So many little things are just that-little. Embrace each day.
Never miss a chance to share those stories about Jesus with your kid(s).
- Enjoy spending time with your children’s father and listen to your children even when they aren’t talking.
- I can’t imagine my life without my three beautiful children
I thank God for them every day and pray for them every day and I also thank God for my mother every day and wish I had appreciated my own mother more while she was alive.
- I would tell my younger self to do more with my kids and slow down and enjoy them being small.
Always pick your battles. Take more pics!
Hold those babies as much as possible. They grow up too fast!
- Don’t work late hours. Go home to your family, because your kids grow up fast and your work will be there tomorrow.
When spending time with family, be in the moment. Don’t let anything distract making memories. Savor every moment and take lots of photos.
- Two of the principles I’ve always lived by as a mom is to always make time for them. Big, extravagant gifts never take the place of spending quality time listening and making memories with your children. Now I have great relationships with all 4 of my kids. They love to come here, even though they have all now moved out. Now I take time nurturing those kind of relationships with my grand kids. The second thing is don’t be afraid to say you’re sorry. I’ve made mistakes and even though I always try to be Jesus with skin on, I often fail. I’m always quick to say, I’m sorry. These things have worked for me and my blended family! ❤️
- I would tell my younger self to stop rushing through the stages of growth, cherish every moment because it’s gone in a blink. Play more, laugh more, praise more, say “no” more so they learning the meaning, and pray more with them.
- Listen to your gut instinct. It’s a discernment the Lord gave you for a reason.
Make memories that don’t cost a lot financially. More picnics, park days, nature, camping as a family…
- Relish even the crazy, you are driving me crazy moments. The ones where every pot and pan is out of the cabinets while you are trying to make dinner and they are playing IN the cabinets. Dinner can wait, play with them and make a game of putting the pans away. Enjoy them and play WITH them. Not watch from the sidelines. You did a good thing taking turns laying down with them at bedtime after reading a book. (One had an even birthday, the other odd.. Whatever the day was, that was the night momma would snuggle in bed with you) Even through middle school. Lights are out, the room is quiet and they can tell you anything in the dark.
- Definitely – more love, especially in the discipline. And, stop worrying. All that worrying, and for what? It didn’t change a thing. Except maybe the color of my hair. 😊 You are not your mom or your dad. You are uniquely yourself. Enjoy the time you do have with your kids. It will be gone all too soon. I would tell my younger self to learn how to relax. It was always hurry, hurry, hurry. Stop. Breathe. Relax. And more love.
- Now that I am divinely matured and have grandchildren of my own, I would have to say that if I could tell my younger self anything…it would be the following. Live everyday like it was your last. Choose your battles. Worry less and pray more. Never have I felt that my mothering efforts have been regretful or fruitless. On the contrary, the Bible says that we shall be known by our fruits. My fruits are my children. I have three, they are a gift, and I am abundantly blessed!
- First thing is …..not to forget who you are….. Meaning you are you FIRST then you are a wife and mother. Be true to yourself. Don’t put your needs and desires last. Don’t be selfish but understand you have needs as well and it is okay. Trust YOUR gut instincts. If you feel something is amiss, IT IS. Trust yourself. Don’t listen to others blowing you off.
- Love your baby with all your heart, mind and soul. Listen to your baby with an open heart and mind. Last but not least share Gods love to them always. Carpe Diem. I would worry less about trying to be perfect and do it all. I remember thinking others would think I was a bad mom if the house wasn’t spotless, the kids weren’t dressed to perfection, etc.. I should have seized the moment and played and enjoyed a little messy chaos because it hoes to fast. Once you are an empty nester, then there is time to be perfect but I would take the noise and mess. I know when I become a grandmother I will put everything aside and cherish every moment…chaos, clutter, noise, and mess included.
- You’re doing ok! It is ok for your kids to not always have the latest and greatest (money was always tight in the military). What they remember in their adult lives will be all the great family memories you are making now (cooking, game night, camping, hiking, reading together).
- Enjoy and relish every moment through all the stress and sleeplessness and remember every moment is precious. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff. Just breathe, smile and move on.
Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts.
If you enjoyed this post, check out I Am Humbled by Dena at http://laurasjourneyofhope.com/2016/05/04/iamhumbled/
What would you tell your younger self? I would love to hear from you.