What three “gifts” would you give a 20-something if you were a “Forty-Godmother”? Here 40-somethings share three wishes to help a 20-something get a head start on the confidence to make decisions that are right for themselves. No more woulda, coulda, shoulda.
The strength to be in control of your decisions.
You take your punches but you just have to be in control of your destiny. You are going to waver. But I wish I knew then that it will somehow work out. You are born resilient.
I was in a job that wasn’t working for me emotionally. I was miserable but I didn’t want to burn any bridges. It was my first job after I got my second degree. My boss created a toxic environment and constantly put me down. When I had a miscarriage at six months I tried to take my time off that I deserved. My boss kept calling me saying I would lose my job if I didn’t come back. So I did. I went back to work as soon as I was able to because I was afraid of losing my job. And then I get back to work and she tells me how weak I am for not being strong. I just said “I’m out of here. I don’t need this.” So I left.
When you take control is it so empowering, whether it’s quitting a job or calling off a marriage, leaving a bad relationship, or telling a colleague not to treat you that way. It will be incredibly hard but it makes you strong. You think, Ok, this is what I’m capable of. No. I’m not able to take this. No. This is what I need.’
You always have a choice. That’s what I tell my kids, you always have a choice. You just try to make the right one. That’s the hard part.
A voice to remind you that it’s okay To need things.
I don’t know if it’s a female thing or a maturity thing that we we’re all guilty of downplaying our needs. We think our needs aren’t as important as others. We think, “I don’t need anything.” We do! We do need things and it is so refreshing to be able to stand up and say, ‘oh I do need this.’ You know what? I do have needs. All these people in your lives… your husband, your kids, work commitments. You start to become self-less, right? Because you think your responsibility is to keep them happy, keep them healthy, romantic… your husband, your boyfriend and your parents. And you want to. But if you don’t stop and listen to your needs you are going to be increasingly resentful (it’s a slow creep) and tired and it will blow up. You don’t realize how damaging that can be to your health and your relationships.
There are lots of options when it comes to having children. Especially on whether you want to have them at all. I would say if you don’t think you want kids, don’t have them. Once you have them, your life does change. I’m not saying it’s bad, but your life does change and your responsibilities shift and you do have to lose a little. You lose more of yourself. You just shift so much.
If you do want to have kids. Then don’t worry about following the rules or the right order. There are so many different ways. Adoption obviously, but there are donors, and surrogates and more. If that’s something you really want, there’s a lot of avenues out there. You explore all the options.
Today’s three wishes are from a group of working moms in San Diego how have had plenty of ups and downs from struggling with cancer in the family to writing a book that is basically the girlfriends guide to going through fertility and the joy that came with overcoming odds growing their family and finding professional success. Through it all they realized what it means to family and friends in your corner.