5 Things I learned in 2020

When many of us look back at 2020, it’s hard for us to see anything but the negative experiences the year left for us, but if you really sit back and take a long, hard look at the year, there were actually some lessons that came out of the past year…well at least there were for me! Each year is a learning lesson to prepare us for our future and 2020 definitely dished out a few lessons worth learning!

Family is everything!

I have always cherished the time I get with my family and have always held family as one of the priorities in my life. This year though really knocked me and my family on our feet when my uncle passed away at the end of February. He was someone who had always been a constant figure in my life and someone that taught me so much growing up…whether it was about finances, how to drive a car or just those random life facts you never thought you needed to know, but it always came in handy one way or another!

His funeral was the weekend right before the world turned upside down and everything locked down! Quite honestly, it was the last time that my family would gather as a complete family. This past year has made me grateful for our family’s health, safety and the time we get with each other. It’s made me realize even more how short life is and how you shouldn’t take these simple moments for granted.

It’s okay to say “no”

I have gone through life always wanting to make sure that those around me were happy. I always had this mindset that the opinion of others mattered and that if someone was unhappy then I hadn’t done something I was supposed to. This was such a toxic mindset and honestly an exhausting one! In 2020, I decided it was time that I did something that made me happy and follow what I had always wanted to do. With the support of my husband, I walked away from my job outside of the home and followed my dream of being a stay-at-home, work-from-home mama.

As hard as it was to walk away from my students and my teaching career, I knew that my heart was at home with Bryan and Kennedy. Our babies grow up so fast and it’s time that we can never get back with them. I didn’t see the point in missing out on this time just to advance in my career…even if it’s what society says is the “right thing” to do.

Yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but everyone is also entitled to do what makes them happy! Just because your parents or society tells you that you have to go to college or you have to get a good 9-5 job doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing for you! It’s okay to say “no” to the things that aren’t serving you or making you happy! This life is so short, why are we exhausting ourselves doing things just because it’s what society says is the way things are supposed to be done?

Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak

This was a hard pill to swallow. Say it again with me mamas… “Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak!” Just because we’re “mama” doesn’t mean we always have to have all the answers or that we always have to have it altogether! We’re allowed bad days, to need a break.

This year I learned that it’s okay to lean on the support of others and to rely on those closest to you when you need help! Just because you need help doesn’t mean that you are weaker or that you’re not a good mama. It means that you’re doing all that you can to provide the best for your babies! I’ve relied on my husband more and more (especially since this 3rd pregnancy has left me more exhausted than ever before)!

Find your tribe mama. Those that you can rely on. Those that never judge you for the decisions you make! Do you know who they are? Don’t really have anyone you can rely on? Message me and I’d be happy to listen (IG: @lifewithswank)!

It’s okay to not always finish things

If the last one didn’t put you on your butt…this one surely will! I have always been big on to-do lists, checklists and finishing things by the end of the day. With the last year of grad school, working from home, two toddlers running around the house and making sure the house is cleaned and fully stocked with food… mama was exhausted by the end of the day!

I had to fully accept on some days that it’s okay that I didn’t finish things on my lists. There were days when I felt unaccomplished because I left those few tasks unchecked. Or when I felt like I wasn’t doing half the things I normally do because I’m so tired… Tory’s had to remind me quite a few times in the last few weeks it’s okay because I’m growing a human inside of me that’s literally sucking the life out of me!

Give yourself grace mama! We’re doing all that we can! As long as by the end of the day our babies are going to bed happy, fed and cleaned, we’ve done our jobs!

You can’t please everyone

Say it again for the people in the back… “YOU CAN’T PLEASE EVERYONE!” As much as I want to make everyone in my life happy… I know that’s not always going to happen! This year when I walked away from my “stable” jobs to pursue a life as a stay-at-home mama and start my own virtual assistant business, there was a lot of push back from those in my life because I was “wasting my degree” or “not working a stable 9-5 job.”

It took me a while to get over this hump but when I did, I realized that at the end of the day, those whose happiness mattered most to me were the ones under this roof. My babies were happy, my husband was happy and I was happy. Not everyone is going to be okay with the decisions we make but the ones that really love and support you will understand that the decisions you make are what’s best for your family and you.

Those who understand your worth mama, will understand that the decisions you make may not always please them, but are the right ones for you!

What are five things 2020 taught you?