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To my daughter, I’m proud of you

One of the greatest things you can do as a parent is to admit when you’re wrong, and to willingly share your mistakes. Parenting multiple children requires an expert level of balancing, listening, loving, understanding, and expecting the unexpected.

My daughter who is now 18, was an A+ student athlete all through school. After high school, I had big plans for her. Peep that, I had big plans. I had it all planned out. Four year college, graduate, and find a career. We talked about plans after high school, but looking back I think I did most of the talking. I couldn’t see her vision for trying to enforce my own.

How many parents out there have said, I don’t want you to live like me, I want you to be better than me? How many have talked their children about going to college as the only option but don’t have a degree themselves? I can because it’s my truth! After my daughter decided to not go to college and pursue a rap career I was a bit disappointed, but why? Because she chose the path less traveled? Well guess what, so did I when I allowed fear to convince me that taking advantage of a scholarship to college and moving away was too scary. By choosing to have a child at 20, unwed, and clueless because it was definitely my choice. By marrying 10 days after my 21st birthday to a man who wasn’t my daughter’s father.

Stop allowing people to convince you that just because you chose the path less traveled that it won’t lead to success. Can we as parents stop pretending and parenting like we never made mistakes? Can we release the shame associated with those mistakes and allow them to help us be better parents?

Recently I could see a change in my daughter. A very recognizable sadness, shutting down if you will. She came in one day and I could tell she had been crying, but she was on her way to work so I didn’t press the issue. After she arrived home, we talked. She expressed to me that she felt I was acting different towards her. Before responding, I listened. I heard her and I asked if she could tell me how, which she did. What I’ve learned, you can’t dictate or discount how someone feels or their experience of you, whether you agree or not. I took some time to reflect and I knew exactly what she meant, I acknowledged, accepted responsibility, and apologized.

Today we see things differently. Today we bury the mistakes of yesterday and move forward. Today we continue to build an unbreakable mother/daughter/friend bond. Today I choose to love her through her rough time. Today I choose to parent with my heart and not my ego.

To my daughter, I’m proud of you

Until next time…❤️

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