What I Want My Daughters to Know: Part 2

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But I will win and give her my spirit, because this is the way a mother loves her daughter. Yin Yang. –Amy Tan

Note to the reader: Part 1 was published in a previous post. If you want to read it, click here.

What I Want My Daughters to Know: Part 2

My sweet girls,

I am so very proud of both of you. You have both worked so incredibly hard, sometimes through outrageous hardships and complications, to follow your dreams and to become successful women in your right. You both have giant hearts as well as the ability to recognize need in others and to try to help others.

I will never have the time to tell you everything I want you to know–there aren’t enough hours in an ordinary life. God only gives us a terminable view of eternity–and it’s fleeting at best.

I know I’ve told you much of what I want you to know already, and sometimes I have done the direct opposite of what I preach. I’ve had wrong priorities; I’ve made more mistakes than I can count. But I hope you know above all how much I love you both. Here are a few more things I want to pass on to you.

1. Don’t make anything (or anyone) your whole world. People are only human, and will inevitably let you down. It’s unrealistic and unfair to make a mere mortal the center of your universe–and doing this will rarely lead to happiness. This goes for spouses, parents, even your own children. Children SHOULD be the most important part of our lives when we are raising them, but they too will move on one day. They are only on loan to us, and the time with them is fleeting, but balance is everything.

In the same way, jobs are only temporary pieces of who we are–important pieces, yes, but merely fragments–and there will come a day when we can’t go to work anymore. The only thing that can make us whole is our relationship with God, and that’s not always easy either.

2. Nobody can take away your education. Whatever training or schooling you earn will only help you succeed in life. If you want that master’s degree–GO FOR IT. Want a Ph.D.? You can absolutely have one. Going to school is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, but it’s worth it to pursue your passion, but it’s time consuming and there’s always a cost, financially, emotionally, and with your relationships. That old saying that nothing worth having is easy is absolutely true.

3. Always save for a rainy day. It’s almost a law of nature that the worst things will happen when you don’t have a penny to your name. The one who controls the purse strings controls you.

4. Never let anyone break your spirit. This can happen suddenly, like an unexpected thunderstorm that leaves you breathless, or bit by bit, so gradually you don’t even notice until the day you wake up with an emptiness you can’t name. Always, always keep in mind your own worth. Your opinion–your happiness– matters. You are beloved by me and God. If you wake up, dear one, and find this has happened, it sometimes takes the help of others to heal. Don’t be too proud to ask for help.

5. It’s so important to have good friends. Always foster relationships with two kinds of friends: those who admire you and those you admire. It’s important to be an example to others, to teach what you have learned, to help other women find their light. It’s equally vital to find a mentor for yourself–someone you wish to emulate, who can teach you and advise you when your own view is cloudy and hard to navigate. There have been several times when you both have became my beacons in a cloudy harbor when I was too weak to swim to shore. You’ve stood by me in difficult times when I felt I couldn’t talk to too many people about my problems. In this way, you’ve both become my best friends, and this is the best gift you could ever give me.

I love you, my sweet girls.

You make me so very proud.

For more of Tina’s writing, get Cold Coffee and Speed Limits on Amazon today!

Tina Book Cover

5 Things Adult Daughters Need From Their Moms

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You never really stop needing Mom. I don’t care how old you are, how successful you are, how rich you are–this truth still remains. As a child, our mom’s influence is so significant on so many levels. We want to look like Mom, talk like Mom, be Mom. Then, as the teenage years come–all bets are off. I remember consciously trying to be as different from my mom as I could. She listened to hickish country music (Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Hank Williams) and easy listening; I listened to Ozzy, Journey, and AC/DC. My mom smoked, so I didn’t. My mom talked with a twang, so I made sure I didn’t. What I didn’t realize was that by trying to be my mom’s polar opposite, I was actually giving her way more power over me than I realized.

I’m 42 years old, and I still care what my mom thinks…and guess what? Hank Williams, Jr., the Eagles and Elton John are my favorites. Last night, when I was driving alone, I became irrationally irritated by the “new country” and switched my Sirius XM to “Outlaw Country” and listened to some good old Johnny Cash. It made me think about my role as both a mom and a daughter.

Don’t tell my mom.

5  Things Adult Daughters Need From Their Moms.

1. Give advice only when asked. This is a hard one. I have two adult daughters and I struggle so hard with this one. Why don’t they just listen to my sage advice? Why don’t they just assume that every word that comes from my mouth is wisdom from the ages? I’ll never understand.

2. Encouragement when needed. There’s nothing like knowing your mom is your biggest fan. Wars have been fought just to impress mom, so don’t underestimate your powers here, Mama.

3. Don’t (intentionally or unintentionally) abuse your power. It’s well-known that the words our moms speak over us resound in our hearts forever. Few things are tattooed on our hearts as criticism from mom. As a mom, you have the powers of life and death in your tongue…ten times more devastating than the world’s most formidable dictator. Be careful with your words, Mama. Be so careful. You never know how your careless words may beget prophecy. 

4. Show interest in their lives. Go to their concerts, invite them to lunch. Buy them their favorite lotion at Bath and Bodyworks for no reason. Brag on them in public. Yes, they do notice when you do. And when you don’t.

5. Don’t compare us to our sisters. We are individuals, each one of us with our own gifts and faults. Address us separately, remember us separately, nurture us separately, and you know what? You will never have a bigger fan.

Gotta go now–I need to call my mom.