Motherhood as Wake-Up Call
The material mama herself found the prospect of motherhood to be a wake-up call. In an interview with Oprah, Madonna said, "After I made Evita, I won a Golden Globe and I was about to have a baby. I felt like I had everything, but something was missing—an understanding of who I really was…. I think that was my wake-up call. I wanted to understand how I was going to go about finding true and lasting happiness in my life and how I was going to teach that to my daughter." She understood that she had to figure out how to love her life first so that she could teach her daughter from experience—surely the most powerful way for children to learn.
It isn't a matter of neglecting our children's lives or being selfish. Quite the contrary. When we are teaching our children by example, it is a win-win situation. The lessons you learn in uncovering a life that is uniquely your own will be invaluable as you help your children to chart their own course in life. What's more important than ensuring your children have a happy, vibrant, inspired mother? If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your children's mother!
Be a Role Model: Love Life
So, exactly how do you start to create a life you love? In Martha Beck's book, Breaking Point: Why Women Fall Apart and How They Can Re-Create Their Lives, Beck interviews a woman called Joanie who is 80 years young. She says: "I'll tell you something. If there's one thing you should say to women, it's this: Figure out just one thing that would make your life better, and then you go out and you make it happen. Once that's done, then go ahead figure out the next thing, and do that, too."
That's exactly how lives are quietly transformed. And it's one heck of a way to be a stand up mama.
So what is my greatest wish for myself and every other mom? It is that, one day, our daughters will be walking along Manhattan's Broadway or London's Oxford Street or past the Trevi Fountain in Rome—or wherever their dreams have taken them—and the fathers of their newborn children will turn to them with a look of true adoration and say, "I love the fact that you get more and more like your Mom!"