What Relationship, Marriage and Parenting Have Taught Me

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The period between December 18th through January 10th over the years have become the most special four weeks for me. It all begins with my wedding anniversary which is today, then my teen daughter's 16th birthday on Saturday, followed by Christmas, then New Years, and finally my toddler turns 1 on January 10th.
It is truly a joyful season!
My family
As children we often dream of the life we would have - the career, the one we marry, the kids we would have, and the happy life we would live... but that is of course until we grow up and real life sets in.  The problem is, we didn't anticipate the challenges and so when they arise we get disheartened. With every stage of our lives, our passions tend to shift - especially for us women when we become moms. So how do we combat these land mines while staying committed to our vision?
Here are the lessons I've learnt over the years that may also help you weather parenting, and navigate your relationship or marriage.
Me over the years
 

What I've learnt...

As a Dater

  • Do be open for the unexpected
  • Don't be afraid to make the first move
  • Don't carry past baggage
  • Do be your true self
  • Look for someone who will love you despite your imperfections

As a Spouse

  • Do carve out couple's time for you and your spouse - and remember quality doesn't necessarily equate to spending lots of money
  • Do embrace each other's passion
  • Do make major decisions together
  • Men are more sensitive than they would let on
  • Don't compare your marriage to others
  • Marriage impacts an entire family

As a Parent

  • Don't lose who you are in your kids, remember you
  • Do keep your children protected
  • Each child is different, so don't compare them
  • Appreciate the memorable moments
  • Promote positive expectations
  • Parenting doesn't get easier
Whether you are just dating, is married and even as parents - the biggest lessons I've learnt are everyone has different communication styles and success is a joint venture!
What lessons have you learnt as a dater, a spouse or as a parent?