Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Question for Thursday

Today, let's just cut right to the chase:

What's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever been given?

When I became a mom, I was advised to learn to say "No" and not get myself over-committed.  My children would only be young for a short time, no one else but me could be their mom, and I always needed to ask myself, "Is this something that only I can do?"

I think now that I'm in my 40's, I've finally truly learned that lesson.  For a while, I would think that being the room mother for my daughter's class translated to "I'm doing this for you, Ryley."  In reality, it meant that I was copying, laminating and cutting endless things out when I could have been playing a board game with her.  She could care less who the room mother was but she did care if I was too busy for her.

As did all my girls.

It was good advice even if it did take me 20 years to learn it!

Now you're up - what's one of the best pieces of advice you've ever been given?


  1. When your husband does something for you out of the kindness of his heart, even if it's the dumbest thing and you really wish he would have made a different choice because now you literally have $2 left in your bank account, just say thank you. He did it because he loves you and doesn't need to hear that you would have preferred something else.

  2. My dad always told me "get that it's perfect." I so wanted to please him (and achieve his standard of perfect) and used to ask him "but dad... what does perfect *mean*?"

    It's taken me forever to understand that "perfect" is what it is. To be truly perfect is to have things the way *you* want them to be. No one can ever define your perfect.

  3. And, even when you are full of doubt, confusion and uncertainty, put your faith in the King of Kings who was and is and is to come. If you draw near to Him, He will draw near to you. Stay in His Word and slowly but surely, you will come out of that pit.

  4. Life is short! Eat dessert first!!! lgm

  5. Lots of good advice. Definitely the whole be in the moment with your kids, the house can wait, etc. Also, if your husband does something around the house to help you, don't inspect it OR REDO IT. Just smile and say, "thank you". I got this advice at my bridal shower. As my love language is "acts of service" and my husband is not the handiest of men, that has been really, really good advice. When I worked, he did more around the house. He put sheets on the bed one day when we were first married and really tried to get me to go check them out, but I, Miss Hospital Corners, absolutely refused. I was so proud of my self control. Yes, I know pride is a sin. On the other hand, he is really much, much better at vacuuming than I am. This advice, if nothing else, has helped me focus on being more grateful for and less critical of my wonderful, well-intentioned, domestically challenged man.

  6. Two things come to mind for me. When I was pregnant with Susannah, something I was told was "Calm yourself before you calm your child". Of course it didn't make any sense to me then but makes perfect sense to me now. So many times I've found myself not calm when dealing with the girls and have to remind myself of this.

    And the other is "the best marriage is one where you try to out-sacrifice each other". I heard this at church but I can't remember which church (it wasn't from the wisdom of Ryan, unfortunately, although he has certainly provided LOTS of wisdom). Maybe it was back when we lived in North Austin and went to Great HIlls or even somewhere else. Either way, it resonated with me and made sense to me and I've remembered through our marriage that you can bet good will come if I choose to bend first. Not that I always do but we're not perfect, right?

  7. Quoting a dear friend from many years ago who had lived a lot of years when she shared it and is now in heaven:

    1) This, too, shall pass (very helpful to remember when you're in the midst of stress).
    2) Life is all about changes. Change never stops.

  8. Great words of wisdom from all of you...

    Amy G - I love yours about not re-doing a task your husband has done. It took me a while to learn that one, too, especially in regards to loading the dishwasher. Then one day, I started to redo it and thought, "Are you crazy? It's loaded. Leave it alone!"

    Linda - Just in case anything goes wrong at any tim, I tend to eat little bites of dessert all day long!

    Allison - You are one smart lady to be so young! Most of that wisdom doesn't come until you're MUCH older... :)

    Mom2LittleMiss - I like that. Perfection is different for all of us. I'm going to remember that one...

    Whitney - Many times when my big girls were small, I would send them off to their rooms just for the sake of giving myself time to calm down before dealing with an issue. It works! Good words on marriage, too - though I prefer when Ryan is doing more of the sacrificing than I am. :)

    Mary - How many times a day do I remind myself that "this will pass"? I find myself chanting it sometimes... And Lord knows I'm the poster child for change!

  9. I've received lots of good advice (and I've even followed some of it!) over the years. However, the one that jumped to my mind was one I read in a book right before Julie was born. It was regarding breastfeeding. (Can I say breast on here? We'll find out.) I only bf Craig for 6 weeks and I was a total failure at it. Always felt guilty. This book gave all these recommendations which I'd heard before and then it said something DIFFERENT. "Give it 2 weeks." The author went on to say that she had never met a person that was still in pain after 2 weeks. So, I marched up to Rick (who was the one pushing the whole bf thing anyway) and told him I'd give him 14 days, but that if I was still in pain after 14, he was doing every single bottle feeding after that. He said we had a deal. I think I nearly died on days 5-8, but miraculously on Day 10 - EVERYTHING stopped hurting and I finally got to experience the joy of bfing. It still stands out in my mind as one of the best pieces of advice I ever got.

  10. How funny!! I just finished typing my answer, when I looked above to read Kristen's comment. Our responses are somewhat similar, but with very different outcomes....

    The very first thought was from way back when I had my very first baby. Jacob and I did not get the breast feeding thing down too well. It just didn't work for either one of us.
    Breast-feeding, I was told by the nurses, was the best thing I could have done for my baby. It really, really needed to work...I really, really needed to make it work. And, if I didn't make it work, I would be a horrible, bad mother. (At least, that's how I felt after leaving the hospital. The pressure was intense. One nurse brought me to tears and my husband had to be quite stern with her, later. I'm sure she meant well, but it just overwhelmed even more!)
    Three days later, at home, my baby and I were still having trouble, he was not getting enough...I cried and cried to my mother and mother-in-law that my baby was being harmed, underfed, by his very own mother. In three short days, I was already a failure. They, of course, told me to just bottle-feed the baby, he would be fine.
    Unfortunately, I couldn't hear it from my mother and mother-in-law. It took a(nother) wise woman to tell me my child would not die from being bottle-fed. She had bottle-fed her own two children, and look at them!

    I know that's an odd submission to your question, but that very moment, looking down on my infant son, having a loving friend give me much needed advice (and encouragement) was priceless for me. And, it's had a lasting impact.


  11. Kristin & Elizabeth - It's funny how you both had different results to the same issue. I myself was a breast feeding failure. I was also lectured by all the nurses when I had Ryley (they even sent a representative from La Leche League to "visit" me while I was still laid up in the hospital bed). I tried my best but just couldn't do it. I gave up after 3 days. Admittedly, I don't think I was ever 100% on board with the whole thing but I've never quite felt as much relief as I did when I gave Ryley her first bottle and she gobbled it up easily. Problem solved...


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