A mom, step-mom, and two daughters walk onto a college campus 2k miles away from home while robots deliver food to college students.
What type of TV show episode would you write for this scenario?
Would it be a comedy? A drama? A Thriller? Or Science Fiction? A coming-of-age story?
This wasn’t a show, but real life. It happened last month for us.
I have a functional relationship with my daughters’ stepmom that I am deeply grateful for. Co-parenting with her allows us to support our girls in ways that serve their well-being above and beyond typical split families’ homes.
Both of us Moms are playing a bigger game in the relationship of co-parenting. There is a strong sense of WE and not ME as we navigate two amazing young women into adulthood. We are leading from in front at times and other times, we are leading from behind by being their cheerleaders and safety net.
I got to witness first hand on the college tour trip how much our eldest daughter benefits from the support of two strong women being a voice of choice, empowerment, and curiosity as our daughter faces a pivotal college decision that will impact her life in ways beyond what I can imagine right now. She gets to decide which college she wants to attend that is right for her! Not what the greater family thinks is best or what has been expected, but what she really wants.
[I’m so excited to know which university she will pick. She’s keeping it close to the chest for now. Will it be the Aeronautical Engineering program at Purdue or Engineering at Univ of Washington? Or will another college rise up in the ranks? Stay tuned in the next newsletter]
It’s impacted our youngest daughter as well. There is a moment that is embedded into my memory. My youngest daughter quietly told me “Mom, I’m really glad that both you and Ashley get along and are going on this trip together”. Our co-parenting is noticed. It’s creating an impact. I believe this is empowered leadership.
Our daughters will remember this college tour trip as a life-changing experience. Two adult women in their lives, who ‘shouldn’t’ get along were laughing, supporting, problem-solving, empowering, and genuinely enjoying each other’s company for the sake of changing old patterns and societal norms. This is what empowered leadership looks like.
And yes, my ego wants to speak out against our co-parenting relationship because it is not the norm. The inner critic’s thoughts are nasty sometimes. Full transparency, here are a few examples of the self-judgment lies of inner dialogue that I pop into my mind.
“You’re being co-dependent with your ex, you should not engage with them at this level”
“You’re the mom, this is all your responsibilities. Don’t lean on anyone else to raise your kids”
“You’re not creating healthy boundaries”
Here’s what I know is true. When I choose to buck the societal norms, it activates all sorts of doubts within me and can activate criticism from other people. However, I see this as a gift. It’s a signal that I am playing a bigger game in life and I am empowered to lead from my heart rather than my ego. It’s created a richer and more engaged life. The future generations benefit from it.
This is also true. There are a lot of people who are inspired by what we are up to when I share this story with them.
In this time of chaotic and toxic leadership in our world, what would it look like to break free of what Ego says and invite in the wisdom of an inner Sage? I would bet money that there would be less strife, war, trauma, and judgment in our world. There would be more peace, love, compassion, and curiosity. I want this in our world.
A few tips to intercept the Ego.
1. Make conscious choices daily to check the ego (aka Saboteurs) and invite in deep curiosity to explore what feelings are emerging so you can make an aware decision of what to do next.
2. Consciously check in on your bigger game. Assess if the inner criticism and doubt are trying to sabotage your short-term relationships.
3. Empower yourself to choose courage over what is easy.
4. Build your resiliency to defend against the lies the ego creates out of fear, shame, our guilt.
Having strong mental muscles that intercept fears and doubt and activate self-command over the negativity allows for us to co-parent (co-lead) and the girls thrive and flourish from it. I enjoy having less strife in my life.
Do you have a relationship you would like to improve?
Would you like to step into your empowered leadership?
What I know is that up-leveling your relationships starts within you first which creates a positive ripple effect on everyone else.
Are you ready to create a ripple effect of positive change in your life?