You're not going to like it, but I'm calling you out.
And I'm doing it because I love you; in fact so much so that am prepared to risk that you get upset with me.
You say that your love your children more than anything in the world and that you would do anything for them, but I don't believe you.
It's not that I don't believe how much you love them or that you wouldn't throw yourself in front of a bus for them, but I'm not sure you realize that you don't always act that way.
I was at a workshop yesterday with ten amazing women. We were each asked to contribute to a collective list of "what matters most" to us as part of an exercise of creating our own personal list. When it came time for me to share the thing that matters most to me, without even a hesitation I said that it was the responsibility I have to be a role model for my children, my two boys.
I know you are probably thinking that this is my "looking to get an A in class" answer, and that of course I want to be a good role model for my kids, but it is far more than that. My answer has everything to do with discovering through my work with women and passion for supporting all women to find unbridled joy, fulfillment, peace and harmony in their lives, that this "mothering" thing often gets in the way; and in fact, counter intuitively leads us to act in ways that contradict what we really want to be as mothers.
There is no greater influence on our children than us, their parents and while some may argue otherwise, I strongly believe that they need both mothers and fathers equally for their development and growth.
What I'm not sure you fully understand is the impact of your choices on your children and the depth of influence you have on them.
You say you adore them.
You want them to be happy.
You want them to have intimate and loving relationships.
You want them to be physically strong and healthy.
You want them to be confident and have great sense of sense of self.
You want them to be courageous and go after what they want fearlessly and passionately.
You want them to find joy, adventure and fun.
You want them to be self-sufficient.
I know you do because you say it all the time.
So, now I'm going to call you out.
You want them to be happy, so... are you happy? I mean really happy? Not a "behind the smile and polished exterior" kind of happy but real, from the inside out, kind of happy. Be honest.
You want them to have intimate and loving relationships, so... do you have them for yourself? Are your friendships deep, soulful and a priority in your life? Do you make time for your girlfriends and "I need a panty liner because I am laughing so hard" fun with them?
How is your marriage and your romantic life? Is it visibly loving, connected and intimate? How is your sex life? Do you show up in your life as the incredibly beautiful and feminine woman that you are? Do you share a relationship that is fun, nurturing, collaborative and flirtatious?
You want them to be physically strong and healthy, so... how is your physical health? Do you make time to take care of your body? Do you treat it with love and respect, feeding it healthy fuel and taking care of it on a consistent basis? Are you practicing healthy nutrition, movement and rest as part of your daily discipline?
You want them to be confident and have great sense of sense of self, so... how are you feeling about YOU? Do you feel good about the life you lead? Are you firmly grounded in the brilliance of who you are and designing a life around what you want and who you want to be? Do you live life on your terms and honor who you are with healthy boundaries?
You want them to be courageous and go after what they want fearlessly and passionately, so...how have you been doing this for yourself? Are you clear on what you want and how you are going to get it? Do you have passions that you are committed to in a fierce and fabulous way? How often do you step outside of your comfort zone?
You want them to find joy, adventure and fun, so... do you have joy, adventure and fun in your life? What do you do for sheer pleasure? How do you have fun and what kind of adventures do you indulge in? When is the last time you had audacious, raucous and crazy ass fun?
You want them to be self-sufficient, so... are you? Do you actively participate in the financial management of your life? Even if you are not working, do you have your own interests, connection to community, and ongoing opportunities for growth and expansion?
You are the way that they will learn how to feel about themselves. How you communicate, express your love for those you care about most, and take care of yourself is how they will learn to do the same.
Let's say it like it is. It doesn't matter how much you tell them and remind them of its importance, if you don't take care of your body, health and wellbeing, they will have a much harder time doing so themselves.
Your daughters: They need you to show them what a fierce and feminine woman looks like. They need you to model what it means to love someone with a full, gentle and powerful feminine soul. They need to see what it means to be loved, adored and supported by a man; and what honest and true connection and intimacy look like. When you practice consistent self-care, set boundaries aligned with your values and beliefs, and honor them with clear, kind and compassionate communication... they will learn how to do it for themselves. When you have the courage do face conflict and adversity with grace and intention, they develop their own courage and confidence. You are the most powerful woman in their life. You are not only their mother but you are their teacher on what it means to be a happy, healthy and whole woman.
Your sons: They need you to show them what a fierce and feminine woman looks like. They need you to model what a woman's love looks and feels like, and to show them how they need to love, adore and support the women they will one day love and raise. The way you are in your marriage and relationships teach them what it means to be loved by a woman and what to create in their own relationships. How you manage tension and conflict allow them to develop the skills of strong and loving communication and disagreement. The more powerful your self-care and courage to own your feminine invites their masculine to thrive. The way you take care of your mind, body and soul is how they learn what a woman needs to be the best version of herself. You are the most powerful woman in their life and they are counting on you to teach them what being a happy, healthy and whole man is.
If you love your children as deeply as you say and as I know you do, then I invite you to pay closer attention to how you are showing up in your own life and relationships.
Yes, I called you out... because I love you.