Sunday, March 8, 2009

My Own Women's Day Acknowledgement

My mom is cool. Not in the way that celebrity moms like Madonna or Teri Hatcher are cool, but in the more normal—“I don’t need millions of dollars to make me cool”—cool. So cool that my teenage daughter actually wants to go to her house for the weekend just to hang out.

My daughter thinks my mom is cool because they watch TV, shop and go to the beach together, and they both giggle at the silliest things. I also think my mom is cool, but for an entirely different reason.

She loves me unconditionally, and I know it. I ended up going to business school, entering the corporate world and eventually starting a company. I know that she would love me just the same if I had gone to beauty school and worked in a salon, or if I had decided to pursue an acting career.

If you ask her, she’ll tell you that she was a terrible mother. From the time I was in grade school, she was a single parent of three kids. We were alone after school because she had to work full time. We didn’t go on vacations; we didn’t have a lot of new clothes and other stuff; we didn’t get our own cars when we turned 16. If we wanted to go to college, we had to pay for it ourselves. When we turned 18, we had to move out of the house. Of course when we were teenagers, we thought she was the Queen of All Evil.

But she loved us unconditionally, and we knew it. We may not have wanted to admit it, but we knew it. And it’s made all the difference, at least for me. I’ve learned to trust my own instincts, and to believe that I can handle anything. I know that no matter what I do, there’s at least one person who’ll tell me I did a great job.

I’m lucky I had such a terrible mother. If you didn’t have a mom like mine, you’ll have to learn to give yourself unconditional love. Easy for me to say, right? Try it:

  1. Set up your start-up screens (computer, mobile phone, etc.) to give you some love. When I turn on my phone, I see, “Greetings, O Great and Powerful Queen!”
  2. Go to and send yourself some love. You can pick the card, create a message, and set it to be sent on whatever date in the future you want. Why not send a “You’re So Great” card to yourself every month?
  3. Recruit a friend to be your fountain of unconditional love. Set up a daily, weekly, or monthly date to get together and pat each other on the back.

So thanks, Mom, for being so cool. I hope that I’ll be as terrible a mother as you are. However, I’m not sure I can carry off a birthday cake hat as well as you can.