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Daring Greatly and Redefining Parenthood


Dr. Brene Brown has a new book out called, Daring Greatly (aka: The Lost Mom Manual).

I’m inhaling it, sleeping with it under my bed, and keeping it on my bathroom book shelf (highest honor I have).  Yes, right now it’s trumping my second read of The Four Agreements.

Because Dr. Brown spent over 10 years RESEARCHING courageous living, I want to learn from her. I want to soak my mothering, my writing, my relationships, my clients in her discoveries. If I thought putting it under my pillow would help, I would forego the pillow and lay on it directly.

Long story short, the book is about identifying and moving through our own shame and guilt to live a life of courageous connection and mind boggling personal empowerment. She discusses resilience, communication, and a bazillion other tools that we don’t just need-we DESPERATELY need – for ourselves and for how we engage with our kid(s).

Hence the subtitle: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent and Lead. This ain’t no “3 steps to making your kid better in 2 days”.

They needed to just subtitled it: The Lost Mom Manual. Lost as in “manual”, not as in “mom”, but there are days that also holds true….

So, at least once ever week, we are going to look at a small bite.

Believe me, the book is a freaken bag of chocolates.

But I understand we don’t often have time to eat the whole bag… wait. Never true. We don’t often take the time to glean what we most need, so let me whisper that with you in these posts.

Mini Background Note: Guilt is feeling bad for what we DO.(I shouldn’t have… wish I didn’t…)

Shame is feeling bad for who we ARE. (I’m not enough)

Here’s a bite (and then I’m going to rework and whisper it, mom style):

“When it comes to parenting, the practice of framing mothers and fathers as good or bad is both rampant and corrosive – it turns parenting into a shame minefield.

The real questions for parents should be: ‘Are you engaged? Are you paying attention?’

If so, plan to make lots of mistakes and bad decisions.

Imperfect parenting moments turn into gifts as our children watch us try to figure out what went wrong and what we can do better next time.”

–Dr. Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, pg. 15. Gotham Books: 2012.

Whispered Notes:

  1. Let’s release from the good/bad mom MYTH. The standard is shame based. And, we don’t have set goal posts for good and bad – everyone’s version is different, so what exactly are we going for??? (Yes, sky is opening and angels singing the Hallelujah chorus).

  2. New goal: Am I ENGAGED?? Is the TV off? Is my phone DOWN? Am I looking in their eyes when they talk? Am I responding and not judging? (Need I go on? If so, comment below and we’ll do a whole post on what engaged parenting looks like. Especially at Disney. Just saying).

  3. New Goal: Am I paying attention?? Do I know the context of what’s going on for my kid at this moment – are they hungry? Tired? Bad day at school? Friend turned on them? Teacher unfair? What else is going on for them as we are connecting? What are they bringing to the table?

  4. New Goal: Make mistakes. Own it. Live it. Get up and keep at it. Apologize. CHANGE. Re-read the MomiFesto page which covers many of the how-to to this if making mistakes and leaning in regardless is a new concept.

  5. New Goal: BELIEVE and act as if you are a GIFT to your kid. EVEN in messy parenting!!! They don’t need perfection, authority jammed down their throat out of insecurity, or anything else. They want us – to engage and pay attention to them.

Yes, those few sentences from Daring Greatly are the mom chocolate we need to sweeten, satisfy and make our own lives the most addicting reality we engage in.

Ok. Slowly backing away from the soapbox…. (but I’ll be baaaaack! 😉 )

Dare for More,



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