May is such a special month for me. It is the month I became a mom, the month both of our daughters were born, actually. Between Mother’s Day and our daughters’ birthdays, I have so much to be grateful for—and so much to celebrate.
I am the Mom who gets a bit nostalgic this time of year, looking through baby books and photo albums while remembering life during the chaos of raising girls. We experienced premature deliveries and postpartum depression, toddler tennis lessons and chicken pox infections, princess Halloween costumes and rock climbing birthday parties, broken bones in little pink casts (NOT related to the rock climbing!) and broken hearts.
Throughout the past 26 years of my mom-hood, I’ve I tried my best to raise responsible, kind, respectful young women, dispensing advice as necessary. I offered nuggets of wisdom that were usually unsolicited and often unappreciated—at least at that time. But now with these girls all grown up, I think they might secretly admit they appreciated at least some of my “help” over the years.
To celebrate them—and to help ALL of you out there also doing your best to raise the next generation—here are 26 bits of advice, in no particular order, that you can dispense, as needed (even if not requested, required or appreciated).
- Wash your face before bed. Do not sleep in your makeup. Or your contacts. No exceptions.
- Be present. Put down your phone. Experience the moment in person, not only through the screen on your phone.
- Be kind. To everyone. But, let no one confuse your kindness as weakness.
- You look ugly when you gossip.
- Eyebrows: there should be two! A professional wax is worth the investment.
- When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
- Try not to judge or compare. Let jealousy go. Live as if there’s enough talent, luck and success to go around. Because there is.
- Don’t forget about God. The world may let you down, but He never will.
- When shaking hands, use a firm grip and look the person in the eye.
- Don’t post anything on social media that you don’t understand or that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see.
- Never turn down a breath mint!
- Eat lunch with the new kid. They may turn out to be your new best friend.
- Handwritten thank you notes are a must. For gifts, job interviews and just because.
- Avoid risks that will negatively affect your future. Skinny dipping=yes. Filmed skinny dipping=no. Seriously, think twice about it.
- Don’t expect to attend the first college you tour, or marry the first person you kiss. Both are big investments. It is okay to shop around.
- Use your words carefully. You don’t get to take them back.
- Look in the mirror and appreciate your body. You are beautiful just as you are.
- Believe in finding “the One.”
- If you are wondering if he (or she) is “the One,” he (or she) isn’t. Do not settle.
- Show up on time and work hard. You must earn respect at your job.
- Be smart about sex. You are worth waiting for.
- Disagreeing with someone does not mean you must despise them or argue with them. We grow when we can listen and try to understand different opinions.
- Social media is not real life.
- The people you surround yourself with will directly affect your future. Choose friends who raise your standards, support you and push you to be the best you can be.
- Give grace. To others and to yourself.
- Manners matter.
What would you add to the list? Please leave it in the comments below.
You always managed to make me smile and cry at the same time. I love your wisdom, your humor, your candor, and your transparency. Your willingness to be vulnerable and laugh at yourself is so admirable. I really do miss you and hope we get to reconnect sometime soon! Happy Mother’s Day, my sister from another mister
Thank you for your kind comment, Mariellen. I miss you too. Happy Mother’s Day to you!