Doing Nothing on Purpose


As I sit here, I am watching The Today Show on NBC. Meredith Vieira is doing an interview segment on mothers and daughters. The panelists on the show state that 80+% of girls feel overwhelmed by their life. Wow! Then they talk about how a mother can decrease that percentage by simply talking to their daughters. Good news for mothers? Maybe.

Mothers, our daughters feel overwhelmed and over pressured because we feel overwhelmed and over pressured. We have to teach our daughters how to relax and let go. As a former corporate fundraiser, I can see where I instilled this overarching “ go get it” attitude in my daughters. I have fiercely independent girls. But that’s what I taught them. The opposite of independent is dependent. That, in a woman’s vocabulary, is blasphemy. But, dependent can mean many things. I can depend on my husband to listen to me. I can depend on my BFF to laugh with me and encourage me. I can depend on my mother and father to help with my kids if I need them. I can depend on myself to remember to ask for help.

Somewhere between corporate America and housewife, I learned to stop being afraid of dependence. I learned to ask for help and rely on my support system. I stopped needing to be the person that can do everything. I stopped needing to control what I can’t control.

I started allowing my girls to see my vulnerability and weaknesses. I talk openly about my failures and mistakes. I laugh at my feeble attempts to try new recipes which results in ordering pizza. I give my girls permission to be human. I apologize when I am wrong.Yes….I have some super mommy tendencies. But, I am learning…. Repeat….I am learning to let these tendencies go.

This is what I am learning: I am learning to do nothing with my girls on purpose. I am learning to sit in a room with them and just enjoy them. I am learning to have conversations with them. I am learning to talk more about friends and fears over coffee (yes…even with my 11 year old) or after movie. I am learning I have to stop planning their next move and pressuring them to achieve. I am learning no pressure… just time.

Mostly, I am learning to just relax and enjoy the ride with my girls.

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