I was talking to a friend who is also a mom. She was concerned about her daughter and who she’s been hanging out with at school and on weekends. My friend is divorced, so half the time she has absolutely no control over her child’s social activities. (The father is much looser with supervision).
We discussed the challenges of parenthood in an age where our kids can maintain a full social calendar in virtual reality.
We discussed peer pressure. Cattiness. Meanness.
We discussed drug and alcohol abuse among 13 (yes, 13) year-olds.
We discussed how kids are sneaking out of the house at 1am and trespassing in other people’s yards and pools. Here in Arizona America, where guns are ubiquitous, I can see someone shooting one of these kids in the dark. Absolutely. Unfortunately.
We discussed the very fine line between parenting and controlling.
I thought to myself, how lucky I am to have daughters who get excellent grades and work hard at everything. How lucky I am to have daughters who talk to me, show me silly Instagram posts and get along with each other so well.
And then I realized that I rarely tell them this. I think it a lot. I tell my friends and family. But I don’t tell my daughters to their face how I know it’s challenging to be them right now. I don’t acknowledge the dangers, pitfalls and temptations that they have in terms of technology, risky behavior and drugs. Instead, I tell them to not buy into society’s pressures to be “pretty” and primp in front of the mirror. I tell them that they need to learn how to manage money, or it will manage them. I tell them it’s important to get good grades and do well in music so that they can get college scholarships.
But today, I acknowledged them. I acknowledged the hard work, the struggle, the pain…and that I appreciate their fight. The 13-year-old looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I love you, mom.”
I’m a newbie to self-publishing. I wrote about my children’s book a couple nights ago and I’m going to share my learning process with you in this blog. My hopes are two-fold:
This will hold me accountable and make me DO IT; and
You will follow along with me and get your book published too!
Coincidentally, (and doesn’t the universe provide when you with what you need when you express your desires out loud?), I was reading Choose Yourselfby James Altucher and he has a chapter on self-publishing! He recommends using CreateSpace.com. I know there are a kajillion other sites and ways to do this. I’m going to try this first. They have a step-by-step process built in for you and you can then sell through Amazon.com.
Tonight, I signed up. Each night, I will do something to get closer to publishing and share it here. But for now, I have to make lesson plans for the week. I spent most of today cleaning and taking my daughters to the mall. One had Girls Day Out (she had a fantastic time with three friends) and the other needed to pick out a Homecoming dress. Done!
I also made progress in re-typing a short story I wrote over 13 years ago (I lost the Word doc, but had a hard copy).
As long as I make consistent progress in these areas, I’m happy. As a wise woman once said:
“An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” Dictionary.com
We don’t hesitate to put a portion of our income into investment vehicles because we have faith that making the sacrifice will pay off in the future.
We don’t hesitate to enroll our children in music or sports because we know that the payoff will be great.
We don’t hesitate to support our spouses by cooking healthy meals, lending an ear and giving words of encouragement.
When it comes to paying tuition, taking the courses for a degree or going for that dream job, mothers tend to look at the cost to the family and consider it too “expensive.” They say, “Not now, it’s not the right time.” Moms often don’t look at it as investment for the self.
I was talking to a good friend of mine who told me about her “dream job.” This job is just one rung away. She’s hard-working, super smart and talented. She just needs to take a test and pass it. Taking the test costs a fee. “Well, I think I should wait until the job becomes vacant. Then I’ll take the test. I don’t know that it’s a wise use of money right now.”
Have you ever heard a man say that?
Invest in yourself. It’s not selfish. It’s your obligation.