Life Lessons:
Tiffany Love-Spinks

Don’t let Tiffany have all the fun.  We’d love to see what Life Lessons you’d like to share with GEM Nation.  Click here to email us for the questions.  Now take it away, Tiffany.

Are you happy at the moment?

At this very moment, I am happier than I have been in five-and-a-half years.  In just a few weeks we will be welcoming our third child into the world. To me, creating life is a miraculous feat. I know women do it everyday but when I do it its life changing. LOL!!!

If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

I would tell my severely insecure self that you are good enough. You are more than your straight A’s. You don’t have to try to be perfect because the ones that love you will love you no matter what.  Although this may be vain, look in the mirror more often. Enjoy those perky boobs and stretch mark-free belly because it doesn’t last forever.  Please, please, please, wear a two-piece.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

This year has been one of transition and change. Being a military wife and mother, I have become accustomed to doing things on my own. However, this year has taught me to share the load. My husband came home from Afghanistan in February. It’s always difficult for me to step aside and allow him to step back into his role as husband and father. My learned lesson: RELAX!! The kids will not die from his cooking. He will buckle their seatbelt. He commands tons of soldiers; he should have no problem handling a family of four.

Our permanent duty station has changed this year as well. We are moving from Georgia to Texas. Since I am expecting we decided it would be best for me to deliver in Mississippi where our other two children were born as well as my mother’s state of residence. My husband went ahead to Texas to prepare a home for us. You know what that means??? I’m in my mother’s house! I have learned over the past few months to be patient, kind and humble.  Not that I’m none of those things, I just really need to be when my mom is driving me crazy.

What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months, I want to be more of me. It’s easy for me to let the roles of my life consume me. When I’m mom, that’s all I am. When I’m wife, it’s the same. But this year I want to be all Tiffany all of the time while being what my family needs.

What’s your secret to happiness?

I don’t have a secret to happiness besides choosing to be. I believe our choses make us who we are so I choose to be happy. I could have just as easily chosen to be crabby, withdrawn and bitter, but where’s the fun in that?

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

Quiet time to pray, meditate or just be.

What’s your biggest regret?

I regret letting life happen to me for a number of years before realizing it’s okay to make things happen on my own. I spent way too long being a people pleaser.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

Be kind. I teach them all the important things like: work hard, learn lots, and don’t be afraid to express yourself. But I think kindness trumps them all. This world is such a cold and unforgiving place. If they would just treat people the way they want to be treated, it would make such a difference in theirs and others’ lives.

What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

Procrastination. I get things done but it will most likely be five minutes before it should be done. If I start well in advance it would cut down on soooo much stress. My mind knows this but that doesn’t mean I’ll change it.

Aside from motherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I’m proud that even though I’ve been a stay-at-home mom almost my entire adult life, I’ve prepared myself to enter the working world. I’ve earned an associate, bachelors, masters, and teacher certification. School may not be fun to others but to me I see it as an outlet that’s all mine.

When were you happiest?

My happiest may be right now. I’m still living. I’m healthy. I’m almost done baking a baby. After years of combat my husband is still alive. My kids are growing. My daughter got her first pair of shoes with a heel on them yesterday. Lol.  My son is learning to read. And soon we will be starting over at our new duty station. It’s all good.

What ten words best describe you?

Well, let see… sarcastic, according to my daughter, irritating, compassionate, smart, cautious, beautiful ;-), intelligent, talented, ambitious, GOOD-ENOUGH!!! (Not sure if that should be one word or two, lol)

Tiffany Love-Spinks was born in New York City to Walter and Danella Love.  After her parent’s divorce she moved to Mississippi where she met her husband, Nicholas Spinks. Now a thirty-two-year old military wife and mother, her husband is a sergeant first class in the United States Army. They have two children, Carrie 12 and Jeremiah five and are expecting Emma in January 2013. Tiffany is currently working on her doctorate in educational leadership while homeschooling her children.