Thursday, April 17, 2008

Being A Present Parent

Today, I have to watch several Oprah episodes that I had recorded in an effort to get caught up to speed on Oprah's interest for a client. I think it's interesting how so many of her shows hit upon slowing down to "be present" and finding peace with yourself.

One Mom said that she had several adopted children who had lost their biological mother. Almost to make up for their loss, she tried to be the ultimate, the perfect mom. I do this all the time. Finally, this mom said she experienced a powerful awakening. "As a mom, I'm not perfect, but I am present." By present, she meant that she was emotionally, spiritually and yes even physically connected to her children. This was pretty moving to me, too, because I'm learning to let go of striving for this perfect mom (perfect entrepreneur, perfect...) image. This woman's comments gave me something to replace that struggle with. Instead, I can just be happy about being fully present with Little K and my husband. That's doable.

Another Oprah show featured Maria Shriver with some surprising confessions about her struggle to identify herself as Maria Shriver -- not a Kennedy or Arnold's wife or the first lady of California or even the journalist. (Maria was asked to leave the network when Arnold became Governor to avoid an appearance of inobjectivity.) Any ways, here's a quote from Maria that I thought was empowering:

"I was raised in a family that equated self-worth with personal achievement. Achievement brought not just acceptance but power, recognition and love. I'd been taught that if you weren't doing, if you weren't serving, if you weren't accomplishing BIG, then you really weren't being. You weren't even seen.

"I've learned that being seen actually for who you are, not for what you do is probably the greatest gift anybody can give you and you can give as a parent to your child and to your friends." -- Maria Shriver

I love it! Hope that gets your thoughts moving. Until the next nap time...