22 Pieces of Advice to My Younger Self

Laura Richards
Dec. 21, 2015

You're older and wiser now that you're a mom or dad. So what advice would you give to your younger self if you could? Parents share their thoughts.

You've lived a bit and learned a lot. Your perspective is now colored by becoming a parent and seeing things with a bit more wisdom and understanding -- or so you hope! If you could make a list and title it "Advice to My Younger Self," what would you put on it? Here are a few suggestions from parents who've been there and done that.

From Stacey Brown, a Counselor From Florida

  1. "Slow down. Be present. Don't worry about anything else except being with your children."
  2. "Stop. No really, be still. Take time one day a week to regroup and catch up on sleep."
  3. "Work hard. I know this sounds like a contradiction to the first piece of advice, but when you are working go above and beyond."

From Karen Fischer, a mom from Texas

  1. "Never follow your head or your heart -- listen to your gut instead."
  2. "Don't worry so much about your hair, how you look, etc."
  3. "Don't be reckless, but take smart risks. Some of the absolute best things I've ever done have been the scariest at the moment of decision but the smartest in the long run."

From Rebecca Asher, a communications professional from Texas

  1. "You are not perfect. No matter what you do or say or how hard you try, you are human and infallible. You can't change that so please stop trying because you're wasting a lot of energy. Be you, it's so much more interesting."
  2. "Be comfortable in your own skin. Be the best you can be. Own it and rock it, whatever 'it' is."
  3. "Get down to your child's height and see the world from their point of view."

From Robin Marvel, a self-development speaker from Michigan

  1. "Respect yourself, that's the advice I would give to my younger self. Everything you do, all the choices you make, your successes and your failures are all directly related to how you feel about yourself. When you love yourself and live with confidence, your choices reflect that. Respecting yourself holds the key to personal success and living a happy life."

From Danine Manette, an author from California

  1. "Don't burn your bridges. You never know when you'll need to cross them again."
  2. "Never worry yourself or place too much energy keeping count of the people who didn't come to your party."
  3. "Sometimes saying nothing speaks volumes."
  4. "Recognize when it's time to walk away."

From Nancy Guettier, a children's book author from California

  1. "Do what you love and you will love what you do. Money is a reward, not a goal, and when you do what you love you will become the best -- and success will follow."

From Marilyn Porter, a life coach from Georgia

  1. "There is a point when you must forgo Mom's or anyone else's advice, and just do what feels right to you!"

From Parents Across the Country

  1. "Really get to know and appreciate your friends -- honor what makes them tick." -- Jennifer N., Massachusetts
  2. "Before my son, I bided my time with some individuals that might not have deserved it. I tolerated behaviors. It has since become easier to decipher who is worth precious time -- and any time taken from your child is precious time! Having a child puts life in a totally different perspective on how you choose to spend your time." -- Megan Clark, Illinois
  3. "Set aside 10 cents out of every dollar that passes through your hands. Put the money in a retirement account, and retire wealthy. I say this all the time to my own kids. They look at me like I'm crazy because, hey, there are video games to buy!" -- Kevin Burke, Nevada
  4. "Pick your battles and remember that no matter how much you think you've failed, your child thinks you are a rock star!" -- Gina Fishman, Massachusetts
  5. "Listen to your parents, they are really right and know what they are talking about! I wish every day that I would have listened to them." -- Deanna Erb, Indiana
  6. "Do not put things off that you want to do because when you are older other things take priority." -- Magda Janus, Massachusetts

Looking for more advice? Check out Parenting Advice No One Will Tell You: Shocking Revelations from Real Moms.

Is there any other advice you would add to the "Advice to My Younger Self" list? Leave a note in the comments!

Laura Richards is a Boston-based freelance writer and the mother of four boys including a set of identical twins. She has written for numerous publications and is the president of On Point Communications.

Tips and stories from parents and caregivers who’ve been there.

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