When I think about what it means to be a strong woman, and how big of a job it is to try to properly convey its definition to my daughter, I find myself choking on my own self-doubt.
I think that mothers as a whole tend to have this innate desire to be on the receiving end of validation from the world around us; when really there is no greater form of that than the admiration and love we get from our kids.
Social media isn’t always going to authentically portray who I am as a mom, wife, friend, or sibling. There are moments where I struggle with the vulnerability I choose to highlight versus some of the uglier content that I choose to withhold. There are posts that I find myself second guessing and deleting in fear of judgment. All of which ultimately makes me wonder: how much of ourselves are we willing to be transparent about, and how much are we still hiding because we want to be approved of and liked by our peers?
If you feel this doesn’t reflect upon you; then I admire your candidness – but I was really thinking about how biased we have the power to be when it comes to our personal lives online; and how much of the uglier footage we hold back on sharing, due to the fear of being rejected.
What does that say about us as humans? That it’s acceptable to throw ourselves out into the world, exposed & uninhibited; but only if it falls under the standard pre-approval of those we don’t even know? Are these the kind of values that we want to instill in our kids’ long term? That only certain aspects of ourselves are worthy of love?
Listen, I’m by no means hinting that we should be discussing every single facet of our lives. Some things are meant to be kept on an intimate level. I’m simply stating that the majority of mothers out there are doing their best to raise kids that push against the quid pro quo of the norm so that they can break glass ceilings and lead revolutions. So if we aren’t showing them that we should always be confident in ourselves, despite the things that make us most vulnerable; isn’t it sort of a moot point?
I decided that moving forward, I am going to try a little harder to do better by my daughter. To show her strong by reaffirming my beauty, even if it’s on an off day. To show her there is no shame in admitting you are wrong. To express how I feel boldly, even when people tell me to calm down. By speaking a little louder; by sharing with YOU guys a little more and a little uglier, by choosing to highlight both beautiful and mundane moments in our lives; by letting her know that life is a messy, chaotic, difficult, and infinitely beautiful ride.
If there’s anything to take away from my incessant midday ramblings; it’s to take a step back and think about topics that make you cringe a little. Maybe it was a reaction you had to a situation that you should have handled better; a negative comment you made out loud about yourself or your spouse, or a conflict that you could have walked away from, that you could share with your kids as a teaching opportunity. I think I find myself connecting most with people who aren’t afraid to ‘own their ugly’ by admitting to their faults and stripping themselves bare.
…and in case you haven’t been told today – your little’s are so proud to call you theirs.