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13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

13 Things Parents In Their 40s Wish They Did In Their 30s

The third decade of our lives come with numerous benefits and various advantages. We develop a sense of maturity and a level of financial security yet retain the quirks and energy which we had in the 20s, 30s can be even referred as the most prolific time of our lives. It is no wonder that when you are a parent in your 40s, you can’t help but think of things which you wish you could have done in your 30s. To make your thoughts a bit complete, here 13 things parents in their 40s wish they did in their 30s.

Spend More Time With Their Partner

Life can get busy and it gets busier when you become a parent. In your 40s, you spend most of your undivided attention on your children to the extent that sometimes you forget that your spouse is also your life partner. Spending some quality time in your 30s with your beloved would have helped in developing a deeper and better understanding of your partner.

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    Take Up a Hobby

    You always wished to play the guitar or simply learn to bake cookies or just write down random thoughts and poems as a hobby. But it is unquestionably unimaginable now since you spend more time in deciding your child’s hobby or extracurricular activity. Learning new skills or taking up a hobby can be the best memory you can have of your 30s.

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    Have a Child Savings Fund

    This does not necessarily mean investing in a formal financial scheme. It means having a dedicated savings account or recurring deposits to pile-up funds that will stay untouched for any other expense except those incurred on children. While it might be never too late to plan and start saving, parents who started saving in their 30s get an advantage by their 40s thanks to the power of money compounding.

    Exercise or Working Out

    The forties is a very unique phase. It is the decade that will complete your transformation to officially reaching middle age. During this phase, body metabolism reaches a lazy pace and it is when that you wish you had exercised well in your 30s. Even a steady walk would have been better than the dash you make every morning to the school’s bus-stop with your child’s bag dangling from one arm!

    Read your favorite books or poem

    In your 40s, most of the reading you will do will be at your work and at home with your child’s school syllabus. Time does fly during this phase and you always feel that you could have dedicated more time to read good books. Thankfully, this is something you can still do now, be it romantic quotes or poems you could share with your spouse or finding a great article to read online, together.

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      Consolidate your social circle

      If there is something which takes the toll the most during your parental phase it is your friends circle. You realize that you are in touch with far lesser friends than you were when you were in your 20s and could have had larger social circle if you maintained contact in your 30s.

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        Travel new places

        Travelling is a great way of learning about new places and seeing different parts of the globe. In your 40s, your children would take up most of your time and even money. On the other hand, in your 30s, you could have considered even going for a second honeymoon with there being several exotic locations all over the place.

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        Enjoy the small things in life

        Taking a bicycle trip on a cool cloudy day. Have an ice cream cone with three scoops of ice cream. These are the small joys of life which you enjoyed individually but find little time now since you are drowned most of the time in family obligations and responsibilities.

        Opt for a career/job you love

        When you become a parent, you become less experimental. You tend to stick to the same job, even if you don’t like it, for the sake of maintaining stability for your family. It is then that you feel that you could have had a better sense of satisfaction if had you chosen a job or a sector which you would have loved in the long run.

        Do social service or charity

        There would have been no better phase than your 30s to spend time on social service and charity. You had the time, resources and the energy to indulge in helping other people. It would have also brought a greater sense of satisfaction and accomplishment in your life.

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        Done research on schools and schooling

        Things can get overwhelming once you have children and when they reach an age that makes them due to be sent to the school. Research done beforehand can be of great help and what better time it could have been that your 30s.

        Be less afraid of parenting

        During your 30s, one will have numerous questions in mind about the various virtues of parenting but most are outright scared to ask them. You don’t want to go around asking people, even your loved ones, about the best parenting tips because you find it silly. Eventually one has a realization that if one would been more inquisitive back then then they would have spent less time on trial and error.

          Reading for kids

          This is something most parents in their 40s would eventually regret. It is always great to know a story or two, to share with your children before you tuck them into the bed!

          By the way, it’s never too late to start if you already haven’t. As they say, 40s are the new 30s!

          Featured photo credit: love-couple pic via thebridalbox.com

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          Last Updated on September 18, 2020

          How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

          How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

          Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

          For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

          But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

          It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

          And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

          The Importance of Saying No

          When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

          In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

          Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

          Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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          Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

          “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

          When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

          How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

          It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

          From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

          We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

          And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

          At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

          The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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          How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

          Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

          But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

          3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

          1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

          Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

          If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

          2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

          When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

          Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

          3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

          When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

          6 Ways to Start Saying No

          Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

          1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

          One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

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          Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

          2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

          Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

          Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

          3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

          Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

          Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

          You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

          4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

          Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

          Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

          5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

          When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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          How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

            Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

            Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

            6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

            If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

            Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

            Final Thoughts

            Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

            Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

            Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

            More Tips on How to Say No

            Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

            Reference

            [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
            [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
            [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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