“Will it matter in five years?” – Long before I realized how much energy I expended on anxiety, my mom was asking me this question, and still does, though less frequently now as I’ve learned to ask it myself before she has to. I still have my moments, but I like to think I don’t sweat the small stuff quite as much as I used to.
“They can’t eat you!” – Part of me has always been a people pleaser. I just don’t like feeling like I’ve inconvenienced or bothered anyone and I’d often just rather take someone doing me wrong than speak up and have to have a confrontation. My mom has reminded me my entire life that people are just people. And even if they have a bigger title than you, more education, more money, more authority – they are still just people. Nothing to be afraid of. This reminder of hers has gotten me through some difficult confrontations by keeping me grounded and more often than not, it’s paid off to not be afraid of approaching people, even if the prospect seemed scary at the time.
“Take care of yourself.” – I put the biggest guilt trips on myself if I’m not all things to all people most days. I feel guilty when my house is not spotless (so all the time), my meals are not homemade (80% of the time), if I have to miss work for illness, for getting sick in the first place, for feeling like there’s just never enough hours in the day. But here’s the thing – I am my father’s daughter in this regard: I overcommitt myself, burn my candle at both ends, and run myself ragged trying to do and be it all. My mom saw this in me before I ever saw it in myself and so this advice is something I am still learning to heed. Taking time for yourself, especially as a mom, is hard to do. But it’s necessary. For health – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is one of my hardest lessons to learn but I need to do it, because they can’t eat me and it WILL matter in 5 years.