This week I feel compelled to write about something very personal to me. It comes down to the single biggest worry or concern I have had as a mom. The Big Kahuna, lying just beneath the surface , ever since my oldest son was born, 18 years ago next Tuesday. It has been the real question in my mind all along… AND I thought it was just me. I had never heard anyone else talk about this worry and I certainly never shared it with anyone. I have heard moms, including myself, speak openly about fears regarding their child’s health and safety… but not this. As parents, some of the worries on our minds today include: “Is there red dye in that licorice? It could cause cancer I hear.” “Before I can allow Johnny to have a playdate at your house, I have to ask…do you have a gun in your house?” “Do you allow the kids to play on the computer unsupervised?” “How do I monitor my teenager’s virtual activity to make sure no bullying or predators are victimizing my kid?” But still the main impetus that set me on my path as a parent; the thought lurking close by; the one I had never heard discussed. Well, it never seemed to be a part of the conversation. I even taught conscious parenting classes myself for several years and this thought was never included in the course content I was teaching. I loved teaching parenting classes and connecting with other moms and dads and I knew the information I was sharing was powerful. I felt passionate about the parenting tools that had transformed my life and opened me up to a different way to raise my kids from the way I experienced as a kid. So, after many years of practicing on my 3 little pigs, (GUINEA PIGS, PEOPLE! Have a sense of humor. Please.) I was able to honestly put my biggest worry to bed. And it felt really really good. It felt like freedom in my body. I wasn’t aware of this on a conscious level but I felt better than ever and I knew my life was different because of the family Scott and I had built. I hadn’t thought about my biggest worry lingering below sea level in quite some time. Until… I sent out my first survey after my coach training program to pick a few brains and gather data as I set off developing my parent coaching business in a bigger way. That is what I like to do as a fact finder. I sent it out to about 20 hand selected people who seemed like good representatives of people I would want to work with. Out of those people, I compiled the answers and under the question, “What do you worry most about as a mom?” There was one person whose answer gave me a major lightbulb/chill bump jolt. She answered the question so honestly and I didn’t even know her all that well. The question: What is your biggest worry as a mom…when you are lying in the dark all alone with your thoughts? Her response: “I really just don’t want to f&@k up my kids. I think about it a lot and it is my biggest worry. This is too big. Too important.” The AHA that I had when I read that was, “Holy shit. She answered this EXACTLY as I would have a few years ago if anyone had asked me this question.” As soon as I read her answer, I knew this had always been the fear and worry at the heart of my Mama soul. The thing I had never heard discussed.Years before when I started this crazy motherhood ride, that was the driving force behind my quest for knowledge to do it differently than it had been done for me. Like all of you, I loved these little people so much. I wanted more for them. Also, a common thread for many of us. I wanted them to grow up and feel better than I dd. I tried hard to mask how I really felt deep inside with a tough exterior. I acted like I didn’t care what people thought and protected myself with a hardened shell. But this act was a lot of work and frankly, still left me feeling crummy inside a lot of the time. Years later, my exterior was beginning to slowly match my interior. My outsides were softening. I was becoming more approachable and less intimidating to other women. This has always been an issue for me. Inside, I have never felt that tough. The tears were always close to the surface. Inside I had searched for many years for ways to feel better. And inside, I knew that my dreams for my kids included them feeling better about themselves than I did as a kid and as a young adult. It has now been about 2 years since I met with that kind and generous woman that answered my survey so honestly. Since then, her answer has helped me to hone in and connect with the clients I am meant to support. It seems that her answer is the common denominator for me and many of the people that fall into my 1/3 tribe. We worry that we might screw up our kids. We want them to have it better than we did when we were growing up and to approach adulthood from a happier place. We are ready to create new patterns. Healthier ones. Ones that feel better. This is why I am titling the book I am currently writing… What do you think? I hope you will let me know and join in this conversation. I am working so hard to create a platform for a real and honest discussion about this topic. I am offering tools and stories and scenarios that have helped me to put this worry to rest. I can’t wait to share it with you and to be able to dig into this meaty convo and support each other. It’s gonna be super fun. Promise.