When my friend, Sam, reminded me of my birthday, I joked that I’m another year older but none the wiser. It genuinely felt that way but upon a bit of reflection, I can honestly see how I’ve been educated by the school of life this past year. Some lessons have been extremely difficult and others extremely rewarding. Let me share a few with you.
- Becoming a mom means you are never alone, and yet it can sometimes feel lonely. When you’re on maternity leave and everyone is at work, you may thirst for adult conversation. It’s so valuable to join a mom’s group. Whether that means a walking group, post-natal workout classes, Moms & Tots, whatever it is, join it. Go meet some moms, take your little one with you and share your experience of being a new mom with others. You’ll make some incredible friends. You can read more about my recommendations on things to do during your maternity leave here.
- If you don’t ask, you’ll never know. I’d always wanted to be part of a book club and when I decided to start one, I was nervous that no one would be interested. Turns out, a number of people did! One of my highlights of the past year was the sunny days we sat around chatting about books and life in general. The same can be said if you believe that it’s time for the next step in your career. Don’t be scared, schedule a meeting with your boss. You have nothing to lose.
- Know when to let go. This was a difficult lesson for me this past year and, if I’m completely honest, it has been something I’ve struggled with my whole life. I have the worst tendency of holding on to things and letting them fester which is so destructive. Liberate yourself from your own shackles.
- Call your friends. Text messages can unintentionally go unanswered.
- Being creative fuels the soul. My spirit is lighter and brighter when I’m behind a camera, putting together Teddy’s scrapbook, listening to music, reading a book I can lose myself in, dancing, playing my piano, writing or doing whatever my creative mind wishes to revel in. I’ve often deprived myself of creative freedom and now I know that if I incorporate time for creativity, every aspect of my life feels enriched.
- Go visit your library. It’ll be a wild adventure!
- Everything is only a moment in time. Enjoy every moment of the good times and know that when times are tough, they will come to pass.
- Life is better when we’re together. After going back to work, my husband had a work opportunity back in the North West. I needed to be in the office a couple times a week. I hated the thought of asking for liberties so soon after returning from maternity leave, especially when I was on a mission to grow my career. I made the tough decision to stay behind with Teddy who was only 6 months old. We’re finally back together and it’s safe to say I’ll never make that decision again. Family first, always.
I’ve learned so many other things this year. It’s been an extraordinary year filled with more life lessons than I could ever have imagined so I guess I am a little wiser for it. Who knows what my next rotation around the sun will hold but I’m feeling so good about it. I think there are some wonderful moments on the horizon.