“One of the absolute pleasures in my life has been watching you grow and continue to become more confident and powerful in all that you put your mind to.”
This is something my husband repeatedly tells me—on date nights, talks in bed, while sipping wine on in our backyard. The actual words are a little different each time, but the sentiment is the same. I’ve made a lot of strides since being in a relationship with my husband. There is just something about him—beyond the infinite love and support—that motivates and inspires me to do better. He makes me see myself in a way I hadn’t before he was a part of my life. Not only that, his words of affirmation make me feel so acknowledged and understood.
Acknowledgment and appreciation are huge to me, and I’m pretty sure it’s this way for a lot of women. There is so much that we do behind the scenes to be a good wife, mother, girlfriend, business owner—whatever it is that you do—and sometimes it can feel like it all goes unnoticed. But when you are appreciated for all your tireless efforts—that acknowledgement is really a magical feeling!
My husband is so good at this, I do sometimes feel spoiled. But, it’s not just love and appreciation he’s giving me—he doesn’t just give accolades unless they are merited—he also pushes me to do better.
Not so long ago, he would say things to me like, “Think of where we would be if we had met in college!” (We missed each other by one year). “We would have accomplished so much more. We would have had less drama in our lives!”
Which sounds wonderful, of course, except I needed the experiences I had—the losses, the insecurity, the failures and the devastating moments where I found myself asking, How the hell do I make all this work? I needed to be on my own, figuring out life after divorce with two babies. There were hard lessons I needed to learn from the past marriage, business, being a single parent—all of which played a role in shaping the person I was when I met my husband. True, my morals and values never shifted, but the understanding of my potential and the ability to stop worrying about what other people thought was brought on by the emotional trauma I experienced. And it was only just starting to spark again when we met.
I had just turned thirty when we had our first date. Now I’ve entered my forties—forty-one to be exact—and I’m still not supposed to win at everything. I’m still not supposed to have it all figured out—none of us do, really. The best we can do is commit to learning the hard lessons and utilizing that knowledge to improve.
Because that, my fellow moms, step moms, dreamers, business owners, boss babes, entrepreneurs, mompreneurs—wonderful human beings—is how the game is played. That is how the wins are achieved: You learn and then do better. You won’t win every time—and that’s okay. The real winning happens when you are able to take what you have learned and apply it to your life in a positive way.
Having someone on your side, in your corner, is a big morale boost. For me, this person is my husband—he’s at my side every day, he’s seen me through so much, and he honors the journey.
But this person doesn’t have to be your spouse. Take a moment to think about who you have that sees this in you, who has helped you see yourself in a light that maybe no one else has.
Who is with you through both the face plants and the victories? Do the people in your life help ignite that fire within you to put out the very best that you have inside? Who do you have that honors your journey and is on your team, there for the falls and to celebrate you on the wins? Having a person who is able to acknowledge and appreciate you, while at the same time motivating you to see where you can improve and do better, is a game changer as we try to navigate all the ups and downs that come along with life.