Hi there, it's Finley 👋🏼 and Happy Friday.
Today's story takes 4 minutes to read
Flashback: If you plan on being "that house" this Fall, read more about what it takes to have a home for hospitality.
In every family, someone is appointed to go first.
I'm not sure if you're an only child, the first born, middle, or the last.
It isn't always the oldest child in the family who gets assigned to go first, but it typically is.
I was the older brother in my family. I have one little sister.
As the oldest, your parents firstborn, you find yourself in countless first time experiences.
Think about the situations your first born will probably go through.
The first one to go to school.
The first one to get braces.
The first one to get a phone.
The first one to get their heart broken.
The first one to drive, get a job, move out, go to college....
Being the first has a few advantages but it can also be scary and lonely.
I was the first one of my friends to get married.
I was the first one of my friends to have children.
Now, I am the first one of my friends to send a child to college.
Constantly entering into a world of firsts as a parent is a tall order.
You can feel like you never have a good handle on your current life and family. If somehow you do, it is short-lived because life keeps changing.
You face a mountain of what seem like life altering decisions. And they never seem to stop.
You know they aren't that big in the grand scheme of things but in your small controllable world, they feel like it.
If you feel the persistent pressures of first time situations as a mom or dad, don't fear. You are in excellent company!
Being a parent means you are always both a rookie and a veteran.
The key to survival is to embrace your identity as both.
This month my be your first time as a kindergarten parent. Someday you'll be a 3x kindergarten parent.
You might be a first time youth sports coach this Fall. Someday you'll have coached teams for 10 years.
This may be your first year as the PTO President. Someday you'll pass it along to another first time President.
You could be headed back into the workplace after several years of keeping kids at home. Someday you'll be balancing it all with much more grace.
Accepting your dual status, as rookie and veteran, allows you to experience both freedom and purpose.
A vision for the modern day parent
First, own your rookie status in every season.
Admit you find yourself in new territory consistently and quit trying to know what the situation calls for.
It's way less stressful then pretending to be competent all the time.
Next, find a veteran. Just because you are a rookie doesn't mean everyone is.
It requires some humility and intentionality, but pursing other parents ahead of you normalizes your current situation.
Finding a veteran parent lowers the first time fears and often provides shortcuts and new ideas.
Be hungry to get help from someone who recently left your season.
But don't just be a taker. Be a giver at the same time.
While you are drafting off someone else's experience, be intentional about sharing what you have learned with a former version of yourself.
You are a vet in some area, but make sure and share it in a helpful way!
You don't want to be that parent who parades around, telling everyone how you did everything correctly.
Don't be the one who believes that if everyone would do it your way the entire world would be right and good.
Listen for someone's area of stuck or struggle and (if asked) lean in a speak wisdom.
Lastly, be open and vulnerable along the way as a "new season to you" parent.
Share with others about your new reality and what you are experiencing for the first time. It normalizes being a rookie for you & everyone else.
It helps to say things out loud. That's how community and connection work.
Big idea: Accepting your dual status, as both rookie and veteran, allows you to experience freedom and purpose.
Brené Brown | Daring Greatly
"As children we found ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability, from being hurt, diminished and disappointed.
We put on armor; we used our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as weapons; and we learned how to make ourselves scarce, even to disappear.
Now as adults we realized that to live with courage, purpose, and connection - to be the person whom we long to be - we must again be vulnerable.
We must take off the armor, put down the weapons, show up, and let ourselves be seen."