I’m sharing something dear to my heart. I treasure this letter of gratitude from a local mom, who attended a free parent presentation I hosted last September. Her letter is beautiful, authentic and vulnerable. Months ago, I asked her permission to share it and she graciously agreed. I’ve been sitting on it a long time, mostly because I didn’t want to come across as boastful. But as I prepare to host the same free presentation next week, I feel compelled to share it because I’m reminded that we ALL struggle, and most of us beat ourselves up for not doing enough… myself included, but most importantly, we moms (and dads) are doing the best we can. Thank you, thank you to the author of this letter. Your words encourage me to keep doing what I’m doing. ~Heather
Thank you so much for your parenting seminar last night. I appreciate you taking time away from your family and yourself to help other moms!!! I admit I was skeptical it would be nothing more than a sales pitch but figured “why not?” Jupiter is a small community and your reputation precedes you so I knew it would be fun and upbeat if nothing else. And maybe I’d meet some new moms. You delivered. It was funny and compelling. But it also made me realize that I need to learn to speak in such a way my kids can hear me. My children and I have been through hell and back together so we are extremely close and very open and honest with each other – likely to our detriment at times – so I’ve never thought communication is or would be an issue. That is until you spoke about the phrase, “just do your best.” I use that phrase ALL the time. It never, not once, occurred to me that my kids might hear it differently than intended. Particularly since they are aware that I believe in learning, exploring and cultivating passions more than I care about opinions, test scores or awards. Your statement resonated with me. Last night during our ritual “talk time”, I asked my son what he heard when I said “just do your best.” His response, “do it perfectly.” I tried to hide my tears but at 10 he doesn’t miss a beat. It opened a beautiful dialog. I then asked my daughter during her bedtime “talk time.” Her response, “each time has to be better than the last.” More tears. Needless to say everyone went to bed a little later than normal.
I was simultaneously speechless, heartbroken and very grateful. Speechless that two very different children heard something entirely different than intended and yet they both heard the same thing. Heartbroken that I’ve spent years cultivating a home where the children feel loved and accepted regardless of their choices, mistakes or accomplishments. A place where they are encouraged to experiment so they can find their own paths and passions. A place where mistakes are celebrated because it means you are really living, not just existing. And all that work has been undermined by a stupid phrase that I’ve used for 10 years before every test, every big event and every sporting event or activity. In my effort to calm them, I was inadvertently sitting them in a self made pressure cooker. Grateful for you, your seminar and your insight. Grateful you’d be willing to help build other moms up when we’ve become a “pounce” society racing to tear one another down in ill attempt to justify our own actions and make ourselves feel better.
Today our family is working on developing a new phrase to use with one another to show encouragement, love and support. It is tough. We are struggling to find the right way to convey this message in seven words or less. Breakfast didn’t yield results. Hopefully dinner will 🙂
Mostly I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart and tell you the impact you had on our little family. You are making such a positive difference in Jupiter, thank you!!!