The original letter I wrote to Juliette four years ago can be found here – “For Juliette: A Love Letter You’ll Hate (For Now)”. I write my daughters fairly often, but this one stands out and serves as a sort of unspoken grading tool for how I am doing as a mother. I give myself a “C” grade as a mother, but the important lesson here is that I don’t accept my own “C” grade. I trust the trustworthy people in my life instead. Continue reading “A Love Letter Redux to Juliette”
When I had my daughters, I was self-employed. I had ample time to devote my full attention to my girls. Attending to them was innate – and very satisfying for all of us. What wasn’t great about my being self-employed, was having to travel and sometimes, internationally. I knew it was a gift to be paid so handsomely to see the world, but to be honest, I didn’t really like corporate public speaking. It was transient and while it was great that the “X-product/system 2.0” worked great, I sought more meaning for what I was pitching. I needed to get closer to helping humankind on a level that coincided with my core values. Continue reading “The Megaflop Mom’s Mercy”
It’s NOT apparent to a parent as to how transparent a parent should be, right? Continue reading “The Boundaries of the Transparent Parent”
For the past several days, it’s been challenging to show up as an enthusiastic mother of my almost 14 and almost 11 year old daughters. I don’t feel this way very often, but when I do, I feel it and hard. Whenever I get like this, I try to remember them as my beautiful little babies before I became COE. (Chief of Embarrassment.)
This morning, I devoted a brief amount of time to catch up on “the news.” I put “the news” in quotes, because while natural disasters and locating avenues to help human beings recover and thrive, are newsworthy, much of “the news” I skimmed through, left me disgusted and incredibly sad.
For as long as I can remember, I worried about my family, my community and pretty much any injustice and atrocity I perceived in the world. As an adult, I learned that my worrying had to be transposed into action. Naturally, I still worry, but have implemented a rule that I’m not permitted to worry for very long, unless I am actively working on helping to repair or heal whatever it is that keeps me awake at night. Continue reading “Atoning for Too Much Tikkun Olam”
Yesterday, I posted some photos of my daughters on social media. They’d been out of the country for a few weeks, so when they returned a few nights ago, I posted their photos like the insanely thrilled mom I was, to see them, spend time with them and hug and kiss them.
Aside from my two daughters encompassing inner beauty – depth, compassion, philanthropic awareness and serious smarts, they are also beautiful on a base external level. I don’t think I’m biased just because I’m their mom, I’ve noticed that the physical attributes of my daughters receive a great deal of attention from a large and diverse audience.
For every compliment on their physical appearance I receive, (which has little if anything to do with me), I just smile and try to say, “Thank you,” without saying,
Their looks aren’t what’s most interesting about them and I wish more people would focus on who they are from the inside out.
And things like,
They’re going to drive the boys crazy.
LOCK HER/THEM UP.
These generous complimentary people are kind and very well-meaning and most of them, I love and respect very much. Plus, I agree that my daughters are physically beautiful. I also realize that if photos are posted by me, I expose people to their physical looks and not their clever wit, charm, genius brains and huge hearts. Their compliments are lovely, but I don’t share any of them with my daughters and that is intentional.
I never want them to think their value is tied to their physical appearance. Our society dictates enough of this. Let me be a safe haven from that.
When people kvell over my daughters’ looks, there are times, where I find myself wanting to scream or at the very least, protect them. For far too many years of my life, I became almost totally reliant on my outer shell. So much so, that my innards became atrophied. This is something I intentionally stress with my daughters because I know how empty it feels to think being attractive is the most important part of me and if I lose my looks, I am nothing. or, a man is only interested in me because:
- He thinks I’m pretty/cute
- I have a flat stomach and 9% body fat
- I am a dancer and contortionist
- All of the above
My youngest daughter is comfortable with who she is, and my teenager, continuously finds the flaws in her skin, hair, body, etc. It hurts me to the core when I hear her saying negative things about her physical appearance. The rub is that I totally understand it and empathize with her. While I was considered cute, or pretty or whatever, I never actually thought it about myself. I never felt thin enough, my nose wasn’t perfect enough, and my hair was enormous and curly, etc. So basically, I put all of the weight of my own self-value into something, (my outer shell), I didn’t even find all that pleasing.
When my teenager beats the crap out of her looks, I often find myself thinking, “I wish you’d put this energy into apologizing to your sister for being mean to her.”
Now that I’m older and definitely wiser, I understand that I couldn’t really appreciate my outer shell because my insides were totally stunted. Now, my insides are pretty great and my outsides have shifted and aged. I feel more beautiful today than when I was seen as really beautiful. I’ll take it any day over how I felt as a young person.
Several years ago, a blog post changed my life and how I parent my girls. If you have daughters or people in your life who struggle with their self-worth, I highly recommend you read this and then practice at it. It literally changed how I talk to my own daughters and frankly, how I talk to myself.
The suggestions in this article are incredibly helpful. I hope it helps you and anyone else who doesn’t know in actuality, how really beautiful they are.
Lately, I’ve been extra depleted physically, mentally and emotionally. This is not a complaint, but is provided as a frame of reference for the possible drivel I’m about to write.
While in this diminished state, I considered writing 100 things I love about my Mother, but the truth is, 100 isn’t nearly enough. I have way more than 100 things I love about my amazing Mom.
Instead, I thought I’d fantasize about 100 Mother’s Day gifts and/or events I’d absolutely love. Some are real, and some are imagined. Most are imagined, but I hope they’re real someday. Continue reading “The Mother Load”