Stress, Leadership, and Parents

Hi everybody! Sylvia Lafair here, and today I’m going to talk about stress and parents. No not us as parents, us as adult children with our parents who are aging and I’m going to focus very specifically today on mothers and daughters. There’s a different dynamic that goes with fathers and daughters or mothers and sons or fathers and sons.

Right now, I’m going to talk about mothers and daughters for a minute, and I’ve been getting a lot of calls lately with tons of frustration, and I know that we’re all up to here with stress and anxiety, and knowing how to behave, and we don’t have all the diversions that we usually have.

So, we can chill out. Anyway, I’ve been getting a lot of calls from women, saying my mother is driving me nuts, and what it comes down to, is really looking at some of the core things that happened, that when we were kids. Looking at them not judging it, just looking at it, and I want to talk about three patterns that have been handed from mothers to daughters, and if you’re a mother and you have a daughter, think about if you’re handing it to them, and how it impacts you in your relationships. Both your personal relationships and your professional relationships

So, the three main patterns people are talking about is, saying you know, my mother is used to me saying, ‘Yes to whatever she wants and needs, and it’s getting old, and I don’t want to do it anymore,’ or somebody else is saying, ‘You know, I was trained to always put myself last. I don’t want to do that anymore,’ and others are saying, ‘I feel like I’ve always been making up for my mother not being able to fulfill what she wanted in her life. So, I’m overwhelmed and climbing that ladder of success, and it’s driving me nuts.’

So here, the three patterns that we’re looking at right now are the pleaser, who does not know how to say no. The martyr, who’s into suffering and putting herself last, and the super achiever, who feels like she has the obligation to make up for everything that hasn’t worked in her mother’s life, and here’s what I’m suggesting. I’m suggesting, and I think it’s important that you take a generational view of this before you go, and have the conversation with your mother, and I brought my book over here. Gutsy, which is how women leaders make change. I brought this adjust to as a show-and-tell, because a lot of the information I’m talking about is in there.

Here’s where it is, before you decide to have a conversation with your mother that will lead to yet another it didn’t work. I’m not good enough. She’s annoying. She’s not doing what I want. All this stuff that goes on, it is the most powerful relationship. Here’s what I’d like you to do. I’d like you to take a generational view, and begin to look at your life, and the patterns of behavior and the cultural socio-economic aspects of your life. Then, go back, you have to talk to her, and look at what your mother went through, and then go back one more generation into looking at your grandmother.

Now, once you have some of that, you can sit down with your mother, and have a conversation, and keep it to, ‘In what way were you trained or taught to be a pleaser, to say yes all the time?’ and ‘In what way did you put yourself last?’ and ‘In what way did you feel you had to make up for the things that never got done in past generations?

Those are the questions to ask, and I’d love to get the answers to that from you. So, that can begin a dialogue. So, those of you who are looking at this, what is it that you are doing that you feel is left over from the past, that needs to be re-balanced and changed? And my last question is, how did you learn to ask for what you need? I’m not even saying why. How did you learn to ask for what you need? So, remember the patterns we’re looking at are the pleaser, the martyr and the super achiever, and once you begin to look from that direction, the dialogue with your mom will change and will grow, and it will change in the way you talk to any of the women you work with.

We all have stories that work on us about those areas of our lives. So, talk with your mother after you’ve done the research, and if your grandmother’s still around, she’s still alive, that’s great. The three of you can have a wonderful conversation.

So, let’s do that because during this time, when we don’t have as many diversions, maybe it is time to go deeper and find out more about ourselves, and then look at what we, whether we have biological daughters or children or not, what we’re passing to the next generation. So, this is to your success.

Have a beautiful rest of the week and find some freedom inside you, so we can celebrate freedom on July 4th. Thanks so much. Good time.