*I usually share outfits that emphasize flattering an apple shape, but for the duration of my pregnancy, I’m only doing Friday Find posts. Style posts will return after I deliver. Today I’m discussing some lessons learned in life from growing up with my parents.
Life Growing up in the thick of it
Looking back on my childhood now that I’m an adult, I have a different perspective. In the thick of it, I always thought my parents were too strict. I felt limited and controlled. As I child I remember we were only allowed to watch two movies– Sound of Music and The Parent Trap.
Now as an adult, I’m like well if I could only watch two movies, those were two pretty good ones! I know all the songs by heart from Sound of Music. I love that movie so much that my husband surprised me on our honeymoon with tickets to see the musical outdoors, on a hill! It was fabulous.
Now looking back, I realize that they saved me from a lot of could have been would have been disastrous situations. I specifically even remember a conversation I had with a friend who had invited me to a party. I covered the mouthpiece of the phone and asked my dad, “Can I go to the party?” And his response was, “Do you want to go?” I told him I really didn’t want to, and he said that I could use them as an excuse not to go.
So I did. “Sorry, my parents won’t let me.” It was kind of nice not to have to say yes to social obligations I felt hesitant to attend.
Freedoms and restraints
In some ways they were super strict. We couldn’t have any candy. Our neighborhood friend’s parents would give us candy when we would go over to their houses, and I remember being so embarrassed because my parents knocked on their doors and told them to please stop giving us candy.
In other ways, they gave us freedoms that other kids would not be able to imagine. They let us go to the high school boarding school of our friends and our choosing. If we started fighting, they let us figure things out on our own. They let us hang out at neighborhood friend’s houses for VBS and play dates without them present.
What I do know is that the lessons I learned in life thanks to their parenting showed that they loved us and they did their best.
Five Lessons Learned in life Thanks to My parents
1. People are what matter. Things are never as important as people.
My dad’s typical response to us breaking anything around the house was, “This thing can be replaced. You cannot.” I remember this response was always a comfort to me. I already felt bad about breaking the object, and my dad’s response made me feel more valued than the object. My mom had the same value. Her family was her world. She would always say things like, “We may not have much, but we have each other.”
2. It’s not vacation if you come home to a dirty house.
Growing up my dad always said, “Never leave your house dirty when you go on vacation.” It’s so true! Does it really feel like a vacation when you come home to a mess? I already hate packing and unpacking, but these chores are made even more stressful when you add the clutter of seeing mess all around you. So, no matter how hectic things get, I always try to leave the house clean when I go on vacation.
3. Peace comes from accepting the things you cannot change.
My dad never got anxious about things. He taught me there’s no place for worry or anxiety. You either can fix a problem, so you should get right to it, or you can’t fix it, so you shouldn’t waste any time trying to fix it, be worried about it, or be anxious about it. Just change or accept situations. He taught me that in life every problem is one or the other and the sooner you figure out which one it is, and work on fixing or accepting the situation, the more at peace you are with your circumstances.
4. Affection plays a huge role in creating close knit families.
“Hugs are healing.” That’s what my mom would always say when she’d stop us in our tracks in the middle of the hallway and give us a two minute hug. It didn’t matter how old we were, we were getting her two minute hugs. My family is a hugging, massaging family. When we spend time with each other, we are always touching! We are massaging each other’s shoulders while we catch up on life, or we’re in the airplane taking turns massaging each other’s hands. If we are lounging in bed together, someone has a hand in someone else’s hair. It’s just always been that way in my family, and the older I get and get to know the dynamics of other families, the more I realize this isn’t the norm, and I’m glad it was the norm for us. The easiest way to create a close knit family is through affection. It’s literally impossible not to open up when your sibling is giving you a head rub. That’s one of the lessons learned in life that has been super easy to pass on to my family now.
5. Nothing in the world is more important than having a relationship with God.
I love this most about my family upbringing. Of all the lessons learned in life growing up, this one is the key to my joy, contentment, and happiness in life. No matter what time day or night we came home, we always had family worship. We would sing and read the bible and pray every day. My relationship with God is strong and consistent as an adult because I saw it modeled for me every day growing up. Prayer was such a central part of our meals, our days, our weekends at church, and before we left for vacation or if anyone was traveling. You may or may not be religious reading this, but I’ve still not found evidence that Jesus Christ did not in fact raise from the dead. That is the hope that I cling to that everything else I believe is also true. And I’m thankful for my parents for instilling this hope in me.
What lessons learned in life came from your upbringing that you want to pass on to your kids? I’d love to know!
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