1. Make exercise and healthy eating part of your life at a young age. It’s much harder to do when you’re an adult.
2. Have fun in college…like, a lot of fun.
3. It’s important to find a hobby that allows you to enjoy yourself and relieve stress.
4. Find someone to talk to other than your spouse/partner…even if it’s a therapist.
5. If you think you might need a therapist, you probably do. There is no shame in that. Talking to someone who only has your best interest in mind can improve, and possibly save, your life.
6. Feel good about decisions you make for your family even if they are not socially popular, like working or bottle feeding your child.
7. See above. You CAN formula feed your babies if that’s the right choice for your family. Your children won’t end up sickly or unintelligent.
8. Try your best not to judge other people. You never know what’s going on behind closed doors.
9. Find a clothing type that fits your body type, even if it’s not the latest style. You’ll feel better about yourself if your clothes fit/look better.
10. As far as early education is concerned, you get what you pay for.
11. I don’t like Merlot or margaritas. They seem to be two of the most popular drink choices but I just don’t like them.
12. I don’t like to stay up very late and I need a lot of sleep. I’m a better mom, wife and employee when I get enough sleep.
13. Housework can always wait. Paying attention to my kids is much more beneficial than having a clean kitchen floor.
14. Like Mary Grace said if you can, hire a cleaning lady. It just might save your marriage.
15. Lots of people in your life have had a miscarriage…but they won’t tell you unless you have one, too.
16. Planning a wedding brings out some surprising things about some people. Be respectful, but plan the day that you and your partner dream about.
17. Quesadillas make a fine, quick dinner. And so does cereal. And scrambled eggs.
18. A book can be an escape. Don’t feel guilty about reading “trashy” books or chick lit.
19. On that note…don’t feel guilty about things. If you’ve made a choice that is right for you (see #5), then there is nothing to feel guilty about.
20. Some friends can really let you down when you need them most.
21. It’s ok to drift away from old friends if you don’t have much in common anymore. Things change in life.
22. Make sure to step in front of the camera some times. You’re going to want photos of you with your spouse/partner and especially children.
23. The Man in the Yellow Hat from Curious George…yeah, he was actually a poacher.
24. Taking two weeks of vacation in a row is amazing. It really gives you time to regroup.
25. That being said, taking a vacation with small children is not a “vacation”…it’s more just getting away. But it’s totally worth all the hard work.
26. There is a lot of important work to be done. Find a cause you are passionate about and fight for it, work toward a cure, raise awareness.
27. Grandparents will spoil your children with toys, junk food and attention. It’s just something you have to accept.
28. It is possible to feel like you don’t fit in for practically your whole life, then find a group of people that you instantly connect with in adulthood (Holla CT Working Moms bloggers!).
29. God, if there is indeed a God, DOES give people more than they can handle sometimes. Don’t believe the hype.
30. It truly does take a village to raise children. If you don’t live near family, find a close group of friends pronto.
31. More people die each year from Epilepsy than from breast cancer.
32. There are jobs, companies, and managers that allow you to have the work-life flexibility you need.
33. It’s important to understand how your spouse/partner grew up. To him/her, clutter is a way of life and he/she may not even notice it. Once you figure this out as the reason why that book sits on the stairs for a week without being put away (and hire a cleaning person), there will be a lot less arguing.
34. I have A LOT more to learn and look forward to how enlightened I’ll become over the next 34 years.