Three Gifts for a 20-Something (80)

This week’s three gifts are a little late (I usually do Three Gifts on Sunday)  as I’m on a mini-vacation. While on the West Coast, I got to catch up with two good friends from my twenties. They shared some 40:20 wisdom that inspired my Three Gifts this week. Here are their  three “gifts” for a 20-something as a “Forty-Godmother”. What are yours?


1. Freedom from excessive worry about the decisions you make in your twenties.

You don’t realize how easy your twenties are. Looking back, it was an easier life stage. We didn’t appreciate that – we had no way of knowing. No point of comparison.  It didn’t feel easy per se. Now we know that life only gets more complicated so by comparison…you see how easy the twenties were. While it seems as though you have  a lot of important decisions to make to set your life in motion — on the right trajectory no less — there will be plently of chances to change course. In our twenties we worried more about what we should do, what our parents expected or what are friends were achieving, be it career, marriage or being close to home. By your forties you worry less about those things (hopefully!) but life is more complicated with kids and mortgages and businesses and responsibilities. There are tangible worries that come along with all that …but you care less what other people think and you know that whatever decision you make you can make another decision and whatever down period you go through there will be another side.

2. Judgement-free parenting.

Our country values individuality in everything except parenting.  When it comes to being  a new mom there are so many percentiles to meet and societal pressure about the current best practice in parenting. It’s amazing how much judgment there still is from the media but also still from other moms — be it about working / not working, organic or gluten-free, attachment parenting or free-range. Particularly hard is the “advice” about how your child should behave. Every child is different and you just can’t expect all kids to react the same  or have the same behavior. Moms are just doing the best they can. So if you decide to become a mom, we wish you freedom from judgment. We also give you the pause to think twice about what you say to other moms …sometimes it’s easy to sound judgmental when you are just talking about your beliefs. Be accepting of other ways to parent and let a new mom know that you know how hard it is.

3. Freedom from judging your parents

Lose any grudge or resentment you have about your parents by your 30s. Parents are just people. They make mistakes. If you are in your 30s and still resenting that your parents didn’t do x, y or z or didn’t let you do x, y or z….that is just holding you back. That is the last sign of growing up.


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