When working with clients, I am often reminded of how their beliefs and perspectives about themselves are shaped by their school experiences when they were young.
I am equally reminded, by so many women I work with, that moms try so hard to do EVERYTHING and be EVERYTHING. I regularly witness so many women who are depleted, exhausted and feel like they are coming up short with work and parenting. They feel an indescribable longing to be more connected to themselves.
I was so deeply moved by my clients this past week that I was inspired me to write a letter to my 9-year-old daughter, Julia. Of course, she may not appreciate it now, but maybe as an adult she will hear my words.
If we could all remember this…
This letter may have more significance when you are older, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to write this to you.
I learn a lot from the clients I work with, and, this week, I was reminded that so much of what we learn comes from our parents and experiences at school.
School is not an ideal environment for everyone. Each of us learns in different ways. Your performance in school does not define how successful you will be as an adult. In fact, sometimes too much emphasis is placed on getting A’s, regurgitating information and performance on tests. Unfortunately, school doesn’t always place an emphasis on your creativity, independence and contemplation about people or the larger world we live in. We can learn messages about our value and worth based on a system that works for some and not others. We can then move through life believing these messages that live well into our adulthood.
I am here to tell you to trust your creativity, your independence and your understanding and curiosity about people and the world. We need people like you in our world to make it a better, more fun and interesting place to be. Keep trusting that quiet voice that speaks to who you want to be rather than what everyone else is doing or telling you who you should be. Don’t compare yourself to others because you never know the struggles they are facing inside.
And you are right, there is no point to cheerleading for boys when they aren’t at the sidelines doing the same for us.
Also, there are different types of parents. There are those who are great at playing and there are those who are not. I am the mom who is not great at playing. I am the other. I am the type of Mom who will talk to you about ANYTHING, regardless of how difficult or painful it is. I will always find things to do for or with you that support your interests and curiosity. I will always make sure that your home is comfortable and you have a place to land and relax. I will hug or cuddle with you at any moment. I will watch the Brady Bunch and Golden Girls whenever you ask. I will pay attention to all your subtleties and be with you along the way in life. I will travel anywhere you want to go… one day Paris and Africa. I will dance anytime you want.
So, I just want you to know that I love you for exactly who you are. I will be by your side regardless of what life presents you. I will root for you even in the hardest of times.
I am not perfect, nor is it possible for me to be. I just wanted you to know that I think about and love you while you are at school.