Navigating Love, Doubts, and Rules in the Journey of Raising Strong, Independent Daughters - By Dana Damara
Reading time: 4 minutes
As a mother of two young girls, I observe a lot, curse a lot, sleep in small doses, and eat when I can. I love a good cup coffee and enjoy wine with friends. I do my best, and my kids will tell you that my best is far from perfect.
I like tie-dye pants and Lululemon gear. I scream at sporting events and chant at drumming circles. Given the choice, my girls would listen to MC Yogi rap about Ganesh over Justin Bieber any day. We operate as a team and there’s no hiding anything. When we’re upset, we say why and, to be honest, we argue a lot. They have their own minds and voices, and I try to listen up instead of talking over them.
But I have my doubts. I wonder if I’m doing it right, if I’m messing them up or if I made a huge mistake. I watch for negative patterns and breathe before I speak. I wonder if I am neglecting them at the expense of my career. I worry that I am neglecting myself while guiding their lives.
But here are a few rules that seem to work:
- Respect each other’s space.
- You know what’s yours and what isn’t; no games.
- Notice if someone needs love and just give it.
- We are a team.
- When one is falling, pick up the slack. When one is rising, celebrate.
- There is a time for play and a time for work.
- I will listen to every story about boys, pop-stars, books and movies, after your homework is done.
- You can have your phone back when you have a B+ in Math.
- Everyone has a job, just do it without whining.
- No one is to blame but you when your job isn’t complete. No pointing fingers.
- Tell the truth, all the time.
I ask them what they are afraid of, so I know. And I cuddle them at night. I will protect them with my sword and heart, but it is the letting go that’s most important.
I love my daughters something fierce. And I know many mommas who understand what I mean. The love we feel is deep, and we want to protect them from it all. At the same time, they must know how to protect themselves, live their passion, love others and function at a high vibration on this planet.
Our presence is what they want; it’s how they thrive. But guess what? We can’t give it to them every single second because we must be present for other things too.
Break it down, be honest, be real and love them in as many fleeting moments as possible. At the same time, love yourself because that’s the best lesson. Show them, lead by example, be there, but keep pulling away. They will love you later.
Or so I’m told.