I became a mother a little over 10 years ago. And I often look at new mother's who are agonizing over their babies grumpy sounds or loaded up with an overflowing humongous diaper bag that has enough treats and outfit changes for a month. And I think how much easier my life is now with 3 children than it was with 1. Now that may sound crazy to some of you because back then I had a husband who was home WAY more, I had a child who napped for 3-4 hours a day and slept a solid 12-13 hours without fail. But life was way, way, WAY harder. Why? Because of my outlook. I was completely overwhelmed. But not now. Now I have learned that denial (and chocolate) are a mom's best tools. And I'm only being slightly sarcastic.... So here is my list of things I would change if I could do it all over again.
1) Do not panic. Do not freak out. Do not get upset by 99% of the things that upset you. The only things that should stress you out in life is your family's health and delivering the necessities to your children. Love, food, clothing, shelter & more love. That's it. Nothing else is worth the heart burn or ulcers you're giving yourself.
2) When your toddler is throwing a tantrum, instead of getting mad and throwing an adult tantrum, (as if I would ever do this?) tickle them. Make them laugh. Crack some jokes and the tantrum will cease much sooner.
3) Put on music if your'e in a sour mood. Put on music when working around the house, doing dishes or when you're running low on energy. It can instantly boost the mood of everyone in the house.
4) A dry cleaner is a girls best friend. It's overwhelming to be awesome at everything, including ironing. Sometimes it's nice to make the dry cleaner feel special too :) Spend money on things that will make your life simpler not on more clutter & accessories. I found for as it little as $13 a month I can save hours of time and my husband looks far better on Sundays. Win win!
5) Date night. Every single week. Enough said....
6) Make the beds in every room. And always open the blinds and let in the sunshine. Instant happy boost.
7) Get dressed, do hair & make up every single day. It's hard to feel happy when you look like you "fit in" at Walmart.....
8) Pick your battles. Is it really worth fighting over outfit choices? Hair choices? Food choices? Be a better negotiator. You can pick out todays outfit and I will pick out what you wear to church. You can pick out your lunch if I pick out dinner. You both feel like winners & you still have some control.
9) Don't be so critical. That goes for criticizing yourself as well as others. It's not worth it and it doesn't make you more humble just because you're self deprecating. That sounds harsh- but it's true people.
10) Don't wish away the days. Don't spend your life "waiting". Waiting for when you buy a house, or a bigger house, or a new job or another baby or a dream guy.... whatever it is, enjoy today. You might not have tomorrow. I have definitely spent too many hours wishing for things to be different and it's funny because I didn't even realize what I really had in front of me. I guess that's why there's so many quotes on "Seizing the day" and "enjoying the moment", it's in our nature to want more. Goals are great, pity parties not so much....
There ya go. If 23 old me could read this as a new young mom I would've have saved a lot of heart ache. But that's why we keep having kids isn't it? You mess up the first two and then by the 3rd you've got it down pat! :)