What a revelatory thing it is, to grow up. In a child’s formative years, their world is a bubble. Every experience and challenge is new and metamorphic. With so many momentous firsts, it can be hard for a child to think beyond their own singular perspective. In your own childhood, you likely resented your mother for making you go to that family gathering, or your father for saying your skirt was too short to leave the house in. You thought their jobs were easy, simple lives lived linearly, sans complexity.
And then, you grew up. The tables turned. We are gifted with a fresh perspective on our parents as we find ourselves overcoming the same challenges and insecurities as parents to our own children.
Perhaps the most significant realization I came to after becoming a mother was what a delicate balancing act motherhood is. The scales seemed so apt to tip out of balance if I wasn’t the best and sharpest version of myself. I felt it was vital for my girls to have strong female role models, and as their mother I seized that responsibility with fierce determination. Being a good mother was not simply the lessons I taught them, it was also how I carried myself and pursued my own path as a complex, multi-faceted woman, that contributed to their success.
“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
Empathy is a foundational trait, a building block of good personhood. All three of my daughters were genuinely loving of each other, never falling prey to jealousy. I insisted they have each other’s backs, defending and protecting at each of life’s twists and turns. There is no greater gift, I think, than to be able to meet life’s challenges with a sisterly battalion always at the ready.
This sentiment didn’t always come easily. One day, I bought one of the girls a present. The other two simply stood there, eyes shooting daggers, as she opened the gift. For the first time I saw envy in their beautiful brown eyes. I told them that they must be happy for her, otherwise I would have to return the gift. They wouldn’t want to take such happiness away from their beloved sibling, would they? To this day, the girls remember this defining moment. They are a unit. The happiness of one is the happiness of the other two.
I was never afraid of relating to my kids. Being rejected by my peers, not being a stellar student, I shared all of the insecurities I faced when I was their age. I was open about my vulnerabilities and showed them that it was okay to have their own. In my life I’ve seen growth come from preconceived notions of weakness, and I insisted my girls grow stronger in the face of their own vulnerabilities.
Combining motherhood with my career was an arduous task. The duality of my life felt at odds, pulling me in two different directions, both seeking my undivided attention. But I thrived on the challenge. Never losing sight of the fact that family always came first and career second, I was able to create my own destiny and was intent on making it work precisely as I needed it to.
I never failed to express to my girls how much I loved my job. They respected that, and it imbued them with a desire to find and follow their own passions. They saw how hard I worked and even though they sometimes complained that I wasn’t there to help with homework or pick them up from a friend’s house, they were proud when their peers would say:
“Wow, your mom is pretty cool.”
Whether in my career or raising my family, exemplary core values have been my guiding compass and are what tie my girls together. I can say without hesitation that as a mother, this is all I ever wanted. My daughters have an inner beauty that shines brighter than the sun, brighter than any sparkling piece of jewelry I could ever design. They are my greatest gift and most superlative accomplishment.
As each spring day brings us nearer to May 14, that fête des mères, remember your mother. Learn from her. Cherish her. Consider what she sacrificed for you. Most importantly, strive every day to be someone she would be proud of. In doing so, think of all those beautiful, thoughtful expressions of love your mother has given you. Don’t you think it’s time you return the favor?
…with a chic bracelet stack by ZADEH, perhaps?