I recently went on a women’s empowerment cruise, invited by my daughter who was one of the featured speakers.
Sitting in that audience, I wondered if I were their age today whether everything out-of-the-box would still seem as scary. Then I realized most of these women had a safety net my friends and I didn’t have… us as parents encouraging them to have goals that trumped being safe and secure. We instilled in them the knowledge that although making brave choices generates anxiety, it’s survivable and so worth the risk. My parents’ fears of the uncertain were contagious; hopefully our confidence in our daughters’ resilience is too. ...
‘She’s such a bitch.’
‘Everything I say annoys her.’
‘Nothing I do is right.’
‘She’s only nice to me when she needs money.’
‘What happened to my sweet little girl?’
Do these laments sound familiar? They do to me because at some point since my daughter, Britt, went to college, graduated and moved to New York City I have uttered each one. But over the past twelve years I have found myself lamenting less and enjoying her more. Why? Did she change? Or did I? A bit of both but weighted much more heavily on me.
I’m not sure if it was a conscious decision but I think this complaining about my adult daughter diminished when I started to view her for what she is in that order: ADULT then DAUGHTER. Once I changed my perspective to treat her as an adult first, my daughter second, our relationship became much less strained and tenuous. ...