On my recent trip to Maui, which I happened to take by myself.
Why did I take a trip by myself?
1. To connect to self.
2. To connect to some other people I was meeting to do some brain-storming.
3. To disconnect.
Sometimes I set up little work masterminds with other people in different areas. So I picked Maui, because I figured we’d meet a few hours a day, read some books, connect to ourselves and we’d come back and download.
All in a place where it’s only couples. There’s no distractions.
But, I did go out to dinner one night by myself and connect with the two most lovely people I’ve ever met in my life.
It was a beautiful mother and daughter team.
Kind of reminded me of my ex and my daughter, how they’ll be in 20 years.
The mother in her 50s, beautiful, charming, sweet, successful.
The daughter, 26 years old, gorgeous, sweet, centered, grounded. She just had a beautiful soul.
They sat down next to me at the restaurant. As a matter of fact, I saw them when I was leaving my hotel. I looked at both of them and thought that they were cute people I’d like to talk to. I put it in my brain that I’d love to talk to them, but I’m on this self-journey vacation.
But it’s funny, when I sat down at the restaurant, guess who walks in?
The beautiful mother and daughter team. And guess where they sat? Right next to me.
What ensued was an incredibly beautiful 90 minute conversation about everything — about life and love and taking risks and getting centered and getting grounded, and just really enjoying where we’re at in our lives as well in different parts of our lives. But what struck me was really powerful.
The woman was totally dedicated to her 26 year-old daughter, and her daughter moved to Maui five weeks ago.
I looked at the mom and said, you must miss her incredibly.
She looked at me and said, every day.
And then I looked at the two of them and I said, you’re an amazing daughter. You knew it was time to let your mom go and let your mom live the life she needs to live for herself.
We talked some more, and then the daughter went to work.
I looked at the mom and then I said to her, ‘this is your time’. This is your time, she is giving you permission to finally live for yourself again. She is giving you permission to do things for yourself. She is giving you permission to find yourself again. I looked at her and I said, ‘you are very dedicated’. And we talked about her dedication and how she split with her husband when her daughter was seven, and how she was everything to her daughter. She was mother, she was father, she was everything.
I told her a lot about my daughter and how I make sure that I’m an amazing dad, so my ex can be an amazing just-mom. But a lot of it was really interesting, because it made me think.
How many of you were in a bad marriage? It did not work out. You were left with kids, and then you put all your energy into kids, forgetting about who you are. Forgetting about yourself.
It’s amazing. My mom passed away about six weeks ago.
My mother was one of those women that really put all her energy into her kids.
She was there all the time. Her kids were very important. She battled a bad marriage and depression.
But it was always about her kids.
When my mom got divorced, she started thinking she was going to do things for herself again. Slowly she started experimenting with men.
With just partying, having fun. Doing what any 44-year-old woman should really be doing.
But how many of you have done this? How many of you have given your life to your children and forgot about who you are to the core?
We can’t define ourselves through our kids. That’s co-dependence.
And more destructive co-dependence than any type of relationship, it’s not healthy. Yes, you might end up being the best parent in the world, but you’re going to be dependent on your kid, and by the time your kid leaves, you’re not going to know what to do with yourself.
You’re going to end up being lonely. You’re going to end up not knowing what to do. You’re going to end up dating for the first time in a seriously long time and not really know what you want.
I’m all into being a great parent, but I’ve always wanted to have balance and learn. Those who are balanced tend to live a more productive healthier life.
How many of you have given all to your kids and now find yourself, with kids all grown up, not knowing what to do?
Your kids are fine. You did a good job. You know that. They know that. I’m sure they do. You could see it when I saw these two beautiful women. You could see the ‘thank you’ in her daughter’s eyes to her mother for being such an amazing, beautiful mom her whole entire life.
But you can also see in her eyes, wanting, desiring her mom to find herself. To live for herself, to do things for herself.
Balance is key. How many of you feel that this blog post resonated with you, that you’re the woman in this blog.
Now time to start doing things for yourself again. Could be tough at first, because your life is defined by being a mother. It is everything you always thought it would be plus so much more.
There are a lot of women, and a lot of dads too, that are defined by being a parent. It’s the greatest job they’ve ever had. It’s the greatest feeling they’ve ever had. It’s the greatest thing they’ve ever done, and the greatest sense of accomplishment. Being a parent.
You still keep those feelings. Keep them all, because they’re beautiful. But there’s a time in your life when your kids will no longer need you, and it’s time to develop that identity with yourself.
For those of you that are still parenting, or maybe over parenting. I’m not telling you not to be a parent. I’m not telling you to stop loving your kids or be there for them. Spend a little time with yourself. Spend a little time diving into yourself, a little time getting to know yourself a bit and what makes you happy outside of your children. Because there’s going to be a time in your life when the kids are no longer going to be there and you’re going to feel lost, and your kids are going to want you to feel loved, to feel connected to self.
What a beautiful night I had with these two beautiful women. It is great to watch. What a great mom. What a great daughter.