1. You can’t really keep an early riser from being an early riser. That being said, 5am is still brutal no matter how you cut it.
2. Never give up on advocating for your child. You are the mom, you can sense when something is wrong. Eventually, someone will listen no matter how many times you get sent away.
3. Bucket lists and high idealistic summer plans are for the birds. Trips will not get taken, new parks will not get visited, passes will not be used. Instead, ChickFilA and your two or three favorite parks will probably be the extent of your summer adventures. Also, playdates will not happen as much as you think they will.
4. Laying around watching a lot of TV is totally okay. Healing, actually.
5. Being a mom is really really hard. And it doesn’t get easier the older the child gets. The exhaustion wears on, the cluelessness continues, the fights and struggles remain. Being an introverted mother of an extroverted only child is doubly hard.
6. Sleep deprivation and lack of space makes for a very angry mom who can explode at the tiniest thing.
7. I don’t have nearly as many answers about life, God, and spirituality as I thought I did – even a year ago.
8. Recovery is not a linear process. Depression, anger, compulsive spending, and exhaustion are frequent side-effects.
9. I believe in retail therapy. I also believe in Netflix therapy, Starbucks therapy, ChickFilA therapy, and Voxer therapy.
10. Best friends really can be found – even if it takes 28 years.
11. I’m a person too.
12. Sometimes, it’s best to keep your business off of Facebook.
13. 5 day-a-week preschool is a God-send. My sanity returns.
14. I might not ever be a homeschool mom, and I’m totally okay with that.
15. I’m really not the mother I thought I would be. In some ways, that’s very bad. In other ways…it’s okay.
16. An office is a great thing. Even better if it’s actually used. In my case…not so much.
17. Makeup really should be thrown out after a while. Especially after 9 years.
18. As much as I love supporting small businesses, I’ve never had a latte anywhere else that I like as much as Starbucks. I keep trying, but I’m always disappointed.
19. Essential oils are great and all that jazz, but not nearly the cure-all that people would have you believe.
20. Be brave. Tell your story. Someone out there needs to read it. Even if she’s the last person you would expect to ever reconnect with. Sometimes the past catching up with you isn’t all that bad.