One of the best things that ever happened to me was being divorced in my late 20’s with three small children.
It is not something that I would recommend for everyone. It is certainly not for the faint of heart.
It was the bravest thing I have ever done. It was scary, it was fun, it was enlightening, it was an adventure, it was heart wrenching, it was heart warming, it was exhausting, it was wild, it was hard and it was one hell of a ride! I was everything to my children and they were (and still are) the world to me.
That was many years (and a few laugh lines) ago. If I were able to speak to that 28-year-old girl now, I would tell her this:
1) Don’t diet your youth away worrying about your weight and clothing size. Trust me when I say your waist will expand with age and so will the number in the waistline of your jeans. There is not much you can do to stop it. Enjoy an ice cream cone every now and then. Hangry (the anger that comes from being hungry/low blood sugar) is not how you want to be remembered.
2) Do take time to ride a bike, roller skate, play duck, duck, goose. This will render far better results than dieting and create lasting memories with your children.
3) Don’t waste time searching your face for wrinkles or waste money buying every product on the market to fight them back. They will come when you have earned them, like it or not.
4) Do spend that time and money on something that brings you joy. ‘Tis better to nurture laugh lines over frown lines.
5) Don’t hide from the camera. While you abhor having your picture taken because all you see are your flaws, in your child’s eyes you are a beautiful princess. Later in life you will spend hours with your children laughing and reminiscing over those photographs.
6) Do embrace the beauty that your children see when they look at you. It will teach them to love themselves as they are and this is the best gift you can give them.
7) Don’t clean your life away. What I mean is, don’t obsess over the state of cleanliness of your home. There will always be another load of laundry, another dirty dish, one more closet to organize. While your home should be livably clean you don’t want your legacy to be a clean house and empty laundry basket, do you?
Keep in mind that the days of catching lightening bugs, playing hide and seek with your children or wiling away an afternoon laying in the grass, admiring the beauty of clouds are finite.
8) It’s okay to enlist your children in the art of housekeeping from an early age. It taught them to be responsible for themselves and gave them the joy of satisfaction from a job well done.
9) Don’t settle when choosing your life partner. You deserve the very best and you will find the person that checks all the boxes…if you are patient.
Do sit back and enjoy the ride.
10) Last, but not least, don’t wear pantyhose. Trust me on this. They were designed by someone who never had to wear them. They are not worth the torture.
Author: Beth Holden
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Wikimedia Commons