Seeking Her Approval

10 Jun

My mom was a pack rat—she kept newspaper and magazine clippings that she thought would have lasting importance and she even had piles of unread newspapers that she planned to peruse in case they had important information. I must admit that I do the same. Although I promised myself that I would throw out newspapers after one week and keep only a small file of newspaper clippings, I still have an excess of piles that I am sure I will need one day. This is actually a good topic for a future post or perhaps a reason why I am an excellent candidate for the reality show, Hoarders.

As I was trying to sift through saved articles tonight, I came across one that I planned to write about. One year ago, I read an interview with Leslie Blodgett, the Bare Escentual’s founder. In this New York Times article, http://nyti.ms/HPqF69, Blodgett confirms what many of us moms know—that we must guide our daughters, even if it they show resentment along the way. We can only hope that our love and guidance will result in feelings like Leslie’s, “’I love her, and she was an amazing mother,” adding “But if she wasn’t such a bitch, I wouldn’t be what I am today.””

Every day I run the risk of garnering the title, b…..” and I guess that means I am doing a good job! Of course I know that what my children consider nagging, might actually help them to be happier, well-adjusted or even successful. Whether I am telling my children to turn off the TV, start homework or cut their shopping lists in half, I find I must intervene. It can be easier to ignore their problems or decide that they do not need advice. And, certainly there are many situations that warrant very little motherly comment or action. But, if we are like Leslie Blodgett, who “’Until I was 39, I was driven to please her,’” we will meddle.

If we set standards and help our daughters develop goals, we are doing our job. We should be ready to go one step further and, like Ms. Blodgett’s mom, push them and remind them. My daughter has goals for college and I certainly will not stand by if she veers off her chosen (and approved by me) path.  My daughter has said that she feels pressure to succeed in certain situations and she quickly points out that she puts the pressure on herself. She came up with and pursued her own GPA goal. Knowing that she has drive and self-motivation helps, but that does not mean my job is done. My daughter knows that my love for her is unconditional and never-ending. But I do hope that she has a desire to please me. What does it mean to please me? That part is actually simple.  Pleasing me means setting and following goals. It means trying your hardest to purse these goals. Trying to please our mom, wanting their approval continues throughout our lives, just as Ms. Blodgett said. “And I guess I’m still trying to win her approval, in a way.”

While my mom was alive, I certainly did look for her approval, which was not easy to find. Fortunately, her standards were high. Even now, I wonder if she would approve of the things I do. I often think about what she would say if she saw me now. Writing this blog is about her important presence in my life even though she is not physically here.

Having our moms looking over us helps us find our way. A mother’s “yes” or “no” can have a huge impact on us. We certainly have the choice to ignore her, call her names or follow her advice.  Along the way we have plenty of opportunity for each of those options. I just hope that daughters lucky enough to have their moms involved in their lives, at any age, take advantage of their mom’s push and pull.

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