In America, we educate our daughters, teach them to be smart, independent, talented, beautiful and resourceful. In addition to ensuring they are well educated in the best schools, we teach them to clean and cook for themselves, work within a budget, and care for those who are less fortunate. This preparation is supposed to make them ready to navigate the rocky waters of young adulthood.
The general expectation is that our daughters will graduate from college, establish a career, meet a partner, buy a home in the suburbs, have children, stay at home with them for a while, go back into the workforce (or not), retire and live happily ever after. If it only happened that way… The earlier part of our lives is scripted. However, having children, balancing a career and growing strong while working toward retirement is not as clearly defined. Learn more about balancing life, developing strong children all while thriving personally.
“Rethinking the American Dream: Mentally Preparing Our Children for College and Success”
Regardless of what people say, I never consider myself a “good” mother. According to me, I am not present enough, or supportive enough. I don’t make dinner enough or force my kids to clean my house top to bottom each Saturday like a good mother should. Instead, I settle for dishes washed and put away most nights, garbage (and recycling) thrown out when it gets high, moderately clean floors and lemon pepper wings and veggie sticks at Wingstop for dinner instead of McDonald’s - because it’s on Keto. When we are living on the edge I order them cajun corn too.
I am first generation suburban mom, so I am having to figure a few things out. I grew up in the inner-city of Dallas, and things were quite different than they are on the mean streets of Plano. Our schedules are crazy busy all of the time, because out here, you have to be at the top of your game in everything in order compete. It seems like you have to be, well… perfect.
Coming from an urban background and learning to live in suburbia offered me an unexpected learning curve. My daughters’ and son’s friends parents come from all over the world, and we are all learning this suburban lifestyle together. One of the things I have found most interesting is how our children’s different cultural backgrounds influence each other. It seems like the amalgamation of cultures produce a more tolerant global outlook on race and culture, and it has made me question what I teach my children about being black versus what I teach them about being human.
As I have shifted my own view of the world toward a more universal global perspective, I have found that my relationship with my children has deepened and their wisdom has increased. It occurred to me that I am continuing a tradition both my father and mother nurtured in me. They taught me that everyone, regardless of their race is the same, and that we are no better nor worse than anyone else. In the same way, I am passing down to my children a legacy of respect for all, inclusiveness and unity. I feel this is the path of good parenting as it fosters internal and external healing for both my children and the people they encounter. Handing a fear-based ideology of “us and them” to ones children around the dinner table continues the process of fragmenting people, communities, nations, and ultimately the world. To heal our world, we must heal the minds of our children so that they can see themselves and others responsibly.
I had to grow to accept that my parenting style is perfectly imperfect. If you want to know more about how we live keep reading.