Now that (most of) my children are grown, I see them and their friends struggle to find their place in the adult world. I know they haven’t asked for it, but I’m going to offer advice and beg they take it. I’m not saying my mother never taught me these things, I’m just saying I probably ignored it.
- Wash The Dishes Every Night
I know they are dirty and dishwashing seems cringe-worthy right now, but I promise – they will be even more gross tomorrow morning. Force yourself to do it now and it will become an easy habit. Bonus points for cleaning as you go while cooking…
- Quit Dining Out So Often!
If I had back all the money I wasted on fast food and casual dining restaurants I could have retired at 35! I never knew I could cook and had no kitchen confidence until I had to change my spending lifestyle and start cooking meals for my family. Bonus points for eating healthier (and washing those dishes after!)
- Make Time For Yourself
My mother always woke up before God and I thought she was crazy for not sleeping in, but she once explained that “me time” was more important to her than sleep. I didn’t understand until I had kids. That 30 minutes in the morning before the family rises, sitting on the back porch sipping coffee, lost in my own head is one of the most peaceful things about my day. May as well start off with calm instead of chaos! Bonus points if you make your bed as soon as you get up.
- Don’t Fuck Up Your Credit
Seriously, don’t do it. If you already have, now is the time to start working on it. You have all the resources in the world available to you to get your credit on the right track. Download the Credit Karma App, seek help from a (free) credit counselor, apply for a secured card to build up your credit, pay your bills on time. You’re a grown up now, act like it. All that money you are saving from not dining out can go into paying down your debts. Bonus points if you take that fat tax return check and use it responsibly by working on your credit.
- Travel As Often As You Can
There is a great big wide world out there just waiting for you to experience it. Take a day trip or plan all year (during your “me time”) for a week long far away trip. The money you’re saving from not dining out will help fund these trips Bonus points if you worked all year getting your credit back on track and can now use that fat tax return check for a meaningful vacation!
- Call Your Mother
This is the most important piece of advice I can offer. Don’t text and don’t Facebook message her. Pick up the phone and call her. Listen to the sound of her voice, thank her for making dinner and washing the dishes every night, for making your bed every morning, and for taking you on weekend road trips to experience new places and cultures. Thank her for taking time for herself every morning so she didn’t go batshit crazy on you every night. Tell her you love her and that you strive to be the kind of parent to your children that she was to you. Bonus points if you go see her and tell her all these things in person.