Dr. Michelle Deering believes that every mother and daughter should have a thriving loving relationship. This refreshing approach has made her a sought-after speaker, online educator, and consultant. Before running her consulting business, Michelle served as a licensed psychologist and board-certified sport psychologist at a BIG 10 University, Fortune 500 corporate trainer, and higher education professional.

446: Relisten: Mothering Your Daughter Mindfully (336)

Dr. Michelle Deering

No one needs to tell the mother of a daughter that their relationship comes with its fair share of unique challenges, but why is this?

Join me as I talk to Dr. Michelle Deering, author of What Mothers Never Tell Their Daughters, about the complexities of a mother/ daughter relationship and how we can best navigate the challenges while appreciating the unique bond that comes with raising a daughter.

Relisten: Mothering Your Daughter Mindfully(336) [446]

Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Hunter: Hey there, it's Hunter, and welcome to Throwback Thursday. Most Thursdays, we are going to re release one of my favorite episodes from the archives. So unless you're a longtime listener of the show, there's a good chance you haven't heard this one yet. And even if you had, chances are that you are going to get something new listening to it this time around.

[00:00:18] Dr. Michelle Deering: When you do make mistakes, it's actually an opportunity to acknowledge that you're Imperfection can actually be a point of connection with your daughter, because as you respond to yourself, she'll see that in the moment and learn from you how to respond and work through when you make mistakes.

[00:00:42] Hunter: You're listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 336.

Today, we're talking about mothering your daughter mindfully with Dr. Michelle Deering.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years, I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course, and I'm the author of the international bestseller, Raising Good Humans, and now, Raising Good Humans Every Day, 50 Simple Ways to Press Pause, Stay Present and Connect with Your Kids. Hey, welcome! I am so glad you are here today for this important episode, but listen, if you haven't done so yet, Hit the subscribe button so you never miss an episode.

And if you've gotten value from this podcast, if you've ever gotten value, please do me a favor and just go over to Apple Podcasts, leave us a rating and review. It really just helps the podcast grow more. It will take 30 seconds and I greatly, greatly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. In just a moment, I'm going to be talking to Dr.

Michelle Deering. who believes that every mother and daughter should have a thriving, loving relationship. And she has a very refreshing approach. She's a sought after speaker, an online educator, and a consultant. Before running her consulting business, Michelle served as a licensed psychologist and board certified sports psychologist at a Big Ten university.

Fortune 500 Corporate Trainer, and Higher Education Professional. Nowadays, you'll find her speaking at conferences, training for her next Spartan sprint race, and practicing rudiments on her drum kit, all while coaching, serving clients, and recording her podcast, Mother Daughter Connections. And I'm so excited to talk to her.

You could also hear me on her podcast, Mother Daughter Connections. We We talked to each other. We really had such a great time. And what we're going to talk about today is the mother daughter relationship and how it really comes with its fair share of unique challenges. So if you are a mother and you have a daughter, this is for you.

There's some complexity to it in this relationship, and we're going to talk about how we can best navigate. The challenges while appreciating that unique bond that really comes with raising a daughter. So I can't wait for you to join me. Let's dive right in and talk to Dr. Michelle Deering. I was just wondering if you could start off this conversation by telling us like, what are kind of the, some of the special challenges that mothers may have with daughters that that could be different?

Like what makes it different and special?

[00:03:39] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah, it's different and special. I like that you actually include those two words together, um, but the, the arc of the relationship between a mom and a daughter is different than the one between a mom and a son in that, very much. When your child is born, and we're going to assume in this case it's your daughter, there's a connection that's made between the mom looking at, cooing at, you know, responding to the daughter, and your daughter in your arms is now experiencing you as her first female object, okay?

entity outside of herself. And what happens is, as your daughter develops and she goes into her toddler years, we won't cover that, goes into her tween years, that's where around that time, tween, teen, is when developmentally a daughter is now having had what 10, 11 years of experiencing you as her mom.

She's now getting to a point where her identity, is starting to develop and she has to come to decisions as to whether or not she wants to be like you or not or what does it mean to her to here is what femaleness has been modeled to me all this time is this what I And so her process then becomes, how do I identify as myself, my own separate entity outside of my mom?

And will my mom be okay with that? Okay. And that comes in all shapes and sizes, whereas with a son. You know, you still have the same, you know, caring and nurturing, the way in which you respond to your, your child, say in, in the case of him being a, the child being a son, the way in which you respond to him tells him stuff about the outside world, but not about his maleness.

And so when he reaches his tween, teen years, um, that becomes his identity thing and, and he's looking for what he's going to model himself after. The End. You know, a mom, you know, depending on, again, everyone's different in their take on things. Uh, that's where the struggle begins, but there's more of a definitive separateness that's just biological.

Whereas with a young lady, it's like, wait, you look like me. I don't know. I don't know if I want to do it exactly like you, Ma. And that's where the tussle begins. Yes.

[00:06:14] Hunter: Yeah. So like my daughters are, you know, basically say like. Evaluating, like, I've got good things, I've got bad things, and from there, I've just got some, I've got some good traits, and I've got some bad traits, I've got some annoying traits, I'm, no.

We all do. And so they're like, am I, You know, when I see this thing that maybe they don't like or whatever in me, is that part of or in, in their mom, right? Is that part of who I am? Right. Is the question they're asking themselves and or then they wanna say, I'm not like you in these places. Right. Like, they wanna really make that clear

[00:06:53] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah. And actually, uh, one of the things that I tell a lot of my clients and whether it's individual or in groups is I, I, I, I let them know that the way in which. You as an individual woman, i. e. mom, handle the experience of being separate, that is going to define and inform the way in which you deal with that whole process of your daughter transitioning out of, uh, being under your auspices directly to being outside of your auspices.

And so, um, Hold on, hold on.

[00:07:32] Hunter: So the way I'm dealing with like her separation, like us, like not, maybe not having as much input and control and all of those things, you're saying that, say that again, that defines, like, That, that, that, that will, that will, um, inform and Influence how what's going on on the inside of you.

[00:07:46] Dr. Michelle Deering: So, so say for instance, um, you know, if you have a mom, I'm just going to, my brain has been on, on moms of daughters who are athletes lately. And so, so say you have a mom who, and I talk about this in my book, what mothers have to tell their daughters, but. Where there is a mom who came to me, her daughter's a gymnast.

The mom herself had experiences as a collegiate swimmer, but now her daughter is a gymnast and ways in which the mom had not dealt well with performance started to seep into how she was reacting to her daughter's response to her own performance, i. e. the daughter was like, wait, I'm not performing well.

I want to go get help, which is how they ended up in my office. And the mother was like, What? I didn't do that. Why are you doing that? How do I know that that's going to work? So that's just an example of how when a daughter starts making decisions that are different than what the mother may have thought they should make or the time of when they should have made those decisions, that all plays into it.

So that's more of what I'm saying. And actually, can you tell me a little bit how old your daughters are again? 

[00:09:14] Hunter: Sure, they're right in your range. 11 and 14.

[00:09:18] Dr. Michelle Deering: Okay, you're right in the thick of things, yes.

[00:09:23] Hunter: Yup, yup, I am.

[00:09:29] Dr. Michelle Deering: I love it, I love it. Yes, actually I have twin daughters who are now currently 20. Going on 21, um, and so I do remember that, that age range, it playing out exactly like how it is, and, and what I found, just speaking as A mom here for a moment that is that, um, there were many things that I didn't realize were, were, and I hate using the word triggering, but were prompting me to react a certain way.

And that's why I'm all about moms learning how to pause, which is why I really appreciate the work that you do. Because that, it's in that pausing to consider what's going on in your behavior in the moment. That's how you can get your bearings on what's going on inside of you. And like for me, for our daughters, even though they're twins, each one was pulling at a different thing in me.

And I had to practice how to pause to consider, okay, what's going on in the moment. Not so much to You know, lay blame anywhere. It's all about gaining understanding because it's with understanding that you can then make informed decisions about where, what you do next, what you say next, how you say something next.

[00:10:50] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, you can't, you can't be a help to anything if you don't really fully understand the issue. If you're just on the, on that autopilot, um, that's amazing. Twin daughters. That's gotta be a really intense experience. Uh, but at least it's great. Like you're, you're remembering their birthday, but it's the same birthday.

[00:11:08] Dr. Michelle Deering: It's the same birthday.

[00:11:12] Hunter: No, no birthday blanking for you.

Well, it's interesting because, like, I can see my daughters are so different. My relationships with them are so different. My 11 year old daughter, she's more similar to my husband, um, in a lot of ways. Like, in the way she thinks, actually, in her body shape, and so forth. But anyway, her face looks like mine.

Like, she can open my face ID on the phone. But, um, but she, um, you know, she's just, like, really just You know, logical, you know, very leadership oriented, wants to get things done and cross things off her list. And my 11 year old is very emotionally intuitive and really can, like, see how things are affecting other people.

She's very empathetic. Pathetic. Mm hmm. And my, the youngest one also, like, rides horses the way I did, and the oldest one thinks they're disgusting smelling animals, you know, all this Oh, but, uh, you know, we have, we have, um, we have a lot of places where we do overlap, but she, I, I can see that she's kind of moving into this stage.

She's like, she's seeing that she and her dad share all these traits and she relates to a lot of the things that he does well. I don't do so well. Like there's the things, a lot of things I don't do so well. And, and she, you know, and so I can feel that pushback from her and yeah, she, you know, we, and it, and it's interesting with my youngest daughter.

We're kind of more naturally like in sync. We have like, like the same humor sometimes, you know, at least this is all the way things are like kind of currently, you know, um, so it's interesting to kind of see these, these different patterns and, and, and dynamics playing out.

[00:12:54] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah, I actually, I think it's, it's, and, and just so that folks know, just because my daughters are twins, they're, they're fraternal twins, even though they looked alike when they were younger, but now they don't, um, they are completely different.

Um, and so I, I chuckle as I'm listening to you recount these similarities, because similarly, My oldest twin has the temperament more like my, my husband is a bookworm, even though they're both bookworms, but she's really a bookworm. And then my other daughter, the younger one is more like temperament, like, like I am.

And so one of the things I encourage moms to really take, take into consideration is that even though there may be differences between. You and the daughter that's not like you temperament wise. It's an opportunity to actually find and define. a new, uh, common ground for the two of you, as opposed to seeing it as, Oh, there's just nothing we have in common.

And so, you know, that's the way it always be. And our relationship will be, that saddens me because your daughters are there. You're her mom, their mom for a reason. And they both need you. They just need you in different ways at different times. 

[00:14:15] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Yeah, I, I mean, I completely agree. Like a relationship with each member of my family, you know, it's like, it's a relationship, right? Exactly. Like any relationship it needs. It needs, you know, you need to go out on dates, find that common ground. Exactly. Talk to each other and connect. And that's the glue. Um, yeah.

And, um, and yeah, there's a little like, a little more challenging to sort of find those like connection points with the my oldest daughter, we did, um, we went on a, this, I don't want this, like, so ridiculous, you know, this is like, uh, Huntress therapy, but we, uh, we went on a backpack, uh, back country backpacking trip.

The first one overnight. When she was 11, just the two of us, she's really into like nature and 

[00:15:12] Dr. Michelle Deering: This is your oldest? Mm hmm. Okay.

[00:15:13] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. And I was like psyched about that, you know, it was great. We had, you know, it was hard, but we had a great time. And, um, And then recently she's had like a medical thing come up where she hasn't been able to walk and hasn't been able to hike or she hasn't been able to walk easily.

She's not like, um, on crutches or anything. But anyway, and, uh, it's, you know, she's, that was like our thing. And I was like, ah, dang it. So it's like a little challenging, but I do, I volunteer for different things. You know, I'll, I'll volunteer. I was like the parent who was like, okay, you want to go on the, the scouts?

Ice hike? I'm, I'm in. I'll go on the ice hike. Like, let's do the ice hike. So, you know, I think, is that, I mean, so when we think about the special challenges, those challenges are being like this differentiation, and there's this Like real desire to differentiate and that is normal and that makes sense.

What are some of the ways that we can, you know, meet these special challenges of this sort of tween and teen time, maybe, um, skillfully and in a way that, that preserves that connection or, and even. What are some things we can do when they're younger? Like, I'd, I'd love to know kind of both of those are two questions.

I realized.

[00:16:36] Dr. Michelle Deering: Uh, I'll deal with the older one first. Uh, she's at, you said she's 14. This is the prime time for, and I hear the earnestness that you have to find activities with her, which are all well and good, but I'd, I'd encourage you to also consider that it's even. More important to have two ears and one mouth, which is really doing double time on the listening and by listening, I just don't mean by your physical ears, but also by your two eyes, do double listening and half as much talking because she's got a lot of stuff that she's processing and if she Went from, and again, this is my sports psych hat going on, if she's gone from being active to not being able to move around as much, she's got a lot churning on inside.

Between that loss and, you know, all the stuff that she may not be able to participate in, this is a perfect time for y'all to be, you seeing her, acknowledging that she is in a different state.

Hearing her, hearing her heart in terms of what emotions are going on inside of her about this change of state, and then understanding, communicating your understanding. And that just means something as simple as, I hear you hon, because that can be tough. That kind of empathy, that will go a long way in laying a groundwork.

And foundation for should her situation change and she's able to now resume things or if her situation doesn't change or if it stays the same as she goes through the next part of her high school career and experience. Um, for the younger ones, uh, really it's about, I mean, remembering, remembering that your mom, again, if you're, if you're talking about someone who's younger than the tween years, okay, I feel a lot of times and I've noticed with, You know, the clients who come to me, it's almost like they've abdicated their power as moms.

It's like, uh, no, as a mom, you can set ground rules. Yes. As a mom, you can, um, express a preference for how you'd like things done. Okay. And follow through on whatever you would think would be an age appropriate consequence. Or adhering or not adhering to that. Um, I think moms lose sight of that because they haven't paused to consider what's going on inside of them and how they really think and feel about such discipline and I'm using air quotes.

Okay. Uh, cause that looks different for everybody.

[00:19:36] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah, I agree. I mean, we in mindful parenting, you know, we get. Um, people sometimes who, you know, it's, it, it's sort of agnostic as to like exactly where you will have those boundaries, but we have a lot of people who are afraid to make boundaries sometimes.

And the truth is your needs matter, you know, when some, a child's behavior is interfering with your needs. Like. Yeah, you gotta have a boundary, and we don't have to be mean about it, like, we're afraid to be that, you know, we don't want to be that harsh, mean parent maybe that we had, but, I mean, well, I don't know, when my daughter was two, and she didn't want to get dressed in the morning, it was like, alright, well, I'm packing up your clothes.

And we're going to go to school, and I'm giving this baggie to your teacher, and yes, Sora didn't, really didn't want to get dressed this morning, so here you go, it looks like she has to get dressed to school today, and that was pretty darn embarrassing, I think, for her, even at a young age, and so, she, she, that was it for that, you know, I mean, like we can have those boundaries as far as like our expectations, absolutely, I agree, and that makes kids feel cared for, right, to have And boundaries

[00:20:50] Dr. Michelle Deering: matters.

Yes, they need that. That, I mean, the psych research backs that up, um, ad nauseum, for lack of a better word. I mean, it, it just shows that you have to have some kind of structure, um, because that adds to their sense of safety. And when they have that safe sense of safety and you're consistent with it as best you can be, then they get a sense of security, which then gives them the foundation for, okay, I know you fed me so I'm satiated.

Now I can actually start looking at the other needs that need to be met in terms of relationships. You know, um, activities and things of that nature.

[00:21:31] Hunter: Creativity, autonomy, all those different things. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay. So, um, what I'm hearing from you saying is that when they're little. Yes, like provide all the love and nurturing and, and all that stuff and, you know, boundaries, right?

Like have, have those boundaries, you know? And, um, so, and then once they get to be the tweens and the teens. Is there, is there more work that like as, what is the mindset that we as mothers need to kind of go into? I mean, I hear that word, we need to recognize our kids are going to differentiate from us, from us.

But what are the, some of the things that we need to recognize within ourselves? Do we have to like look at our own relationship with our own mothers? Like what, what is some of the work that we should be kind of considering as our daughters move it to get into that little.

[00:22:26] Dr. Michelle Deering: Actually, that's why, one of the reasons why I wrote my book, What Mothers Never Tell Their Daughters, was for that very reason, to actually give moms tools in a very conversational tone of the book, uh, around figuring out how they're thinking, and feeling, and behaving in response to, or sorry, in reaction to, things that are going on during that transition period.

Because, um, And parents, and men and women, do this where they can sometimes think that the way in which they parented, and I'm using air quotes, when they were younger, works the same, and it's really about giving your kids, and your daughters in particular, the foundation of their sense of self. So that they can then make decisions about what, or learn about what they're good at, um, what they want to pursue, what, who they want to be.

Later on, where you're not going to react, but mostly respond. And what moms can do to have that mindset is about almost like being a detective and being curious. within themselves with regards to, gee, how have I been reacting lately? And where I think they miss it, which is what I appreciate about your work is, what's going on in my body?

Cause our body is the, is, is the storyteller here. If you're tense, there's a reason. And my whole thing is pause to consider I'm tense right now. What's making me tense right now? Um, have I reacted to my daughter or children a certain way and then realize that you can make a choice to do differently, not that you'll all of a sudden wake up with the light bulb and say, ah, I I'm doing this.

Quote unquote perfectly, and I'm never going to make mistakes. No, actually, when you do make mistakes, it's, it's, it's actually an opportunity to acknowledge that your imperfection can actually be a point of connection with your daughter. Because as you respond to yourself, you'll see that in the moment and learn from you how to respond and work through when you make mistakes.

If we, if we, if we continue to like, you know, uh.

Um, kind of pressure ourselves to live up to this. What I think is an unattainable standard that society puts out there as to what a good mom is. Uh, you're going, you're going to respond to mistakes a certain way. And that will just continue the generational cycle of, of all that stuff.

[00:25:21] Hunter: I love what you said right there.

Your imperfection can be a point of connection with your daughter. I think that's so beautiful. Like, that's what we need to hear, right? Like, it's not about Just saying all of the perfect right things. You're, you're allowed to be human. Right. You're allowed to be, make mistakes. And then that is the truth.

Like sometimes that repair process does make you closer than if you didn't have any conflicts in the first place.

[00:25:49] Dr. Michelle Deering: Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. It's, it's, whenever I've gone out to speak and women, women come up to me afterwards, you know, they're sometimes I'll hear, you know, someone saying, Oh, my mother and I had, had a really close relationship.

Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, I'm like, hey, cool beans. Awesome. I'm really happy for you. But I've found that if I listen long enough, and they keep talking, inevitably, they'll hit upon some part where they were at odds with their mom about something, however mild or whatever. It's all about, as you were alluding to, the repair.

Has that been repaired, not just in your own heart and mind, But with your mom, whether she, if she's living great, there's an opportunity there. If she's not, that's okay. Uh, you can still have the conversation in yourself because she's much alive in you in some way, shape, or form. Yeah.

[00:26:51] Hunter: That, yeah. I, I believe that as well.

Mm-Hmm. , like she's, our parents are in us. Mm-Hmm. , they're within us, right? Mm-Hmm. , like all our ancestors are within us in the same way our descendants are in some ways. It's so fascinating. Um. Yeah, it's so interesting. You're making me think about my mom and my mom listens to most of the podcast. Hi mom.

And it's so interesting, you know, I, cause I can, I can remember some instances like, and I can sort of tell one story about things and I can remember some instances and tell another story about things. And I think that, I mean, do you think that story we tell, but, but. Are my overall, I mean, it's funny because sometimes, you know, so I teach, uh, how to do a loving kindness meditation.

And in a loving kindness meditation, you often start or your next, you, you, you actively send love to somebody who is easy to love. And, um, that's, that's usually my mom these days. Like she's just easy to love. And, And, um, and it's interesting, you know, because I think if I had, depending on the stories you focus on and the way you tell those stories to yourself, it really frames your relationship.

I mean, do, do you see that, I mean, obviously muss in your psychology training, like, do you, do you invite people to, um, consider alternate, um, framing for their stories? or ? I, I mean, what, what about the sort of like our own relationship to their own mothers and,

[00:28:29] Dr. Michelle Deering: well, yeah. Well, I don't, I don't advocate denial

Yeah, no, no.

[00:28:34] Hunter: That's not good

[00:28:35] Dr. Michelle Deering: denial. Not good.

[00:28:37] Hunter:  Um, but oh no. For instance, for instance, actually, this is a good example. Really great book. I'm, I'm going to recommend it to you. Strange Situation, Bethany Saltman. She came on the podcast recently, and I think that both conversations were released the same, the same month.

But, um, she had a whole story about her mom, about her attachment to her that she had told because of certain things. And then when she discovered that she was securely. Actually, I was securely attached to her mom. She started to remember all these other things and, and reframe a story of like, oh, I was reaching out for her.

I needed her, you know, rather than I was in a bad, you know, it was interesting to kind of see the different sides of the same story. That's kind of what I'm talking about. 

[00:29:22] Dr. Michelle Deering: Not denial. Oh, no, no, no. No, actually, um, I mean, that happens. In, say, the clinical work that I do, um, in the, as a mother daughter relationship personal trainer, uh, in the mother daughter work that I do, I'm all about giving moms tools and strategies to get in tune with what's really going on in their thought about whatever their story is, and to, um, get to a place of accepting it, open handedly, open handedly.

So that they can gain an understanding, not just about themselves in the moment, but also about where their mom is or was coming from in the moment or in whatever story. 

[00:30:10] Hunter: And so like less judge your, your, what you're not about is like less judgment and more curiosity about both themselves and their mothers.


[00:30:18] Dr. Michelle Deering: I mean, we, I contend that we judge because we're insecure. And so, you know, I'm not about judging. I'm all about folks gaining, gaining an understanding. I mean, there's this Jewish proverb that talks about, you know, if you have a house, wisdom builds it, but understanding is what furnishes it. And the furnishings in the home that you're creating, I mean, you ever walk into a, you know, furniture, it's kind of stark and cool, but when you got it for away, when you get furniture in there, then there are cozy places, then there are places that, you know, bring up good memories.

There are places that may not bring up good memories, but you can at least objectively look at them open handedly to say, okay, well, what was going on? How do I really feel? And I find that, um, women and guys do it differently, but women have a hard time sometimes, uh, admitting how they really feel because of all the pressures that are put on them from, and then all the busyness, you know, we as moms, especially moms, but just women in general have to put, you know, deal with both, you know, personally and professionally.

So we're balancing all of that. So it's really hard for moms to pause, which is why that's my big thing. You need to pause to consider your

[00:31:40] Hunter: behavior. You and I are very much aligned.

[00:31:45] Dr. Michelle Deering: I know, that's, I really, I'm excited to be here. Yes. Yes.

[00:31:51] Hunter: Michelle, this is so fascinating. Um, And you're really advocating like a mindful relationship, right?

Like, um, really being not reactive, really trying to step back and see the big picture and understand and be curious. I love that. I love that so much. What, what made you want to work with mothers and daughters? Like, what was the driving force behind that?

[00:32:16] Dr. Michelle Deering: Wow. Um, it wasn't something that when I went into my doctoral program that I was looking to do.

Actually, I was more, I studied more the transitions of teenagers from high school to college. That was what my dissertation was on. Uh, because that was on my heart from, uh, a corporate Fortune 500 company that I worked for. It was an experience I had there with a young woman. I was like, Whoa, I really want to be able to do something to help hear them transition to college.

Um, but after I, um, you know, was working in a division one university counseling center, we, my family moved from New Jersey to North Carolina. And, uh, being an athlete myself, uh, I, you know, was running Spartan races with my husband. And we moved into our house. Spartan Reese's. 

[00:33:09] Hunter: Oh my god, our sound editor, he works on Spartan

[00:33:13] Dr. Michelle Deering: Reese's.

Oh, okay, yes, so you know.

[00:33:15] Hunter: Shout out Sam.

[00:33:18] Dr. Michelle Deering: That's awesome. So there I am in the new house and I had a fluke accident and two hip surgeries later. Found myself as a mom of twin daughters in high school, really, that was, that was one of my big pauses, okay, where it was sort of like, how am I looking at myself as a mom if I can't move around?

If I can't be in step with my daughters and, and receive and receive help. Okay. Cause I'm not super woman. What? Um, and so as I was convalescing, I had the thought occurred to me, you know, well, what's really on my heart. And I, and the reason why that thought occurred to me is because in the cul de sac where we were living, we had a lot of younger moms who had daughters and sons, but I was noticing that they were interacting with their daughters differently.

And this is just like as a, you know, civilian just living out there. And they would talk to me all the time. And I kept thinking, yeah, they're asking me the same questions all the time. They don't notice that how they're interacting with their daughters differently. I'd like to help more moms. And so, What was on my heart was to write my book and because I always said, you know, when I was younger, I'll write a book one day, but I don't want to write anything if I don't have anything to say.

And what was really on my heart was I really didn't want moms to make the same mistake or have their daughters experience the same thing that I experienced as a daughter of a single mom who had all the pressures and just didn't know how to be there, be there for me emotionally. Um, because she was dealing with everything else that she had to deal with.

So I wanted to kind of help change the trajectory of the next generation by helping moms be comfortable having those conversations with their daughters. Um, and I was finding that their discomfort was because they themselves hadn't paused to consider, well, why is it, what is it that's making me uncomfortable about this?

Um, and so the book, uh, is really sort of like a conversation with, if you were to go with me to Starbucks and we're just having a conversation, that's how the book is written. Where I'm telling you stories about my life as a daughter of a single mom. Then my life as the mom of twin daughters. And then at the end of each chapter, I put on my cycad.

And start asking, well, what did you notice? And then that's in the first part of the book. And the second part of the book, I'm like, well, this is, this is the process that will kind of help you just start the journey. And then I give tools and strategies in the book around how to have those, uh, conversations with your daughter.

I love that.

[00:36:06] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

What did, what did you want from your mom that she wasn't able to give you?

[00:36:19] Dr. Michelle Deering: I wanted her to see me. I always felt like, um, She was living through me and, and, and that if I didn't meet that expectation of being or acting or appearing the way that she wanted, then I wasn't good enough. Um, that I had missed the mark.

And so the way I dealt with that as a, I mean, again, I loved my mom and our relationship, even though it wasn't close when I was growing up, um, when I actually got engaged to get married and. We started the whole repair process. And so, um, you know, I can say that, you know, we ended up having a better relationship, but one of the things, ways in which I dealt with her criticisms, she was very critical, it was a Jamaican household, you know, uh, King's English.

You know, everything prim and proper, you know, be seen and not heard, kind of stuff. And when we do call you, you need to perform, kind of stuff. So the way in which I dealt with that was to just throw myself into my academics because that was something I was good at. No one could complain about it. I was a straight A student all the way up through, you know, my education.

And, um, and I was also a really good athlete. Because athletics, um, sports was the first place where I got validation about anything that I was good at. And so, you know, I hung out with the dudes, you know, we played football and basketball and baseball and I ended up, um, being a varsity athlete in softball and then a walk on in college at Brown.

But I, um, that's the way I dealt with it. And then, yeah, and then I ended up, uh, you know, having those different light bulb moments that 20 something year olds and 30 something year olds have.

[00:38:17] Hunter: Yeah, yeah. No, that's beautiful. That's, um, I mean You know, it's interesting because we can look back at those things and say, you know, we understand, like, where our parents are coming from.

Like, we can explore that and understand that and still say, and yeah, and I, this is how I felt through that, right? And, and, and these are the needs I didn't have met around that. Yeah, I think that's really helpful to kind of look at that and see that. Yeah, I had a similar experience actually like with my dad for a while.

I was like working as a, I went to school for art conservation and then I went to graduate school, was like doing painting and I taught high school art for a while. Then I, I had like shows, like I was in group shows in New York. Pretty cool galleries and stuff, and he's an artist, and I was like, living his dream.

I have pivoted, obviously, and I'm, and I work, actually, it's some of the same stuff I deal with, I, my best work is about mothers, and, and, uh, They're like pregnant beast women. They're like angry, like, predator beast women.

But like, it's so interesting because I felt so like, you know, I was like, there was so much like excitement and pride and everything. And now that it's like, he hasn't quite read the whole book yet. You know, it's been out for like, I mean, I love my dad. He's amazing. He's a great guy. He, he struggles in a lot of ways.

That's amazing. But, um, and you went to Brown. That's amazing. Right? Brown University? Yep. Yep. I, one of my first boyfriends was a college freshman at Brown when I was a, uh, high school. Oh God. Anyway, he was great. Jesus is fired up. He like, he, he like, he took, he gave me my first Ani DeFranco album, which was like a tape at that point, huddled on it, it had a, has a song on it about getting your period.

He took me to see Wilma Mankiller, like, you know, chief of the, like, Cherokee Nation speak at Brown. It was like a contact improv dancer. I was like, wow, this is so different from the local boys.

Brown's got its own, like, special little world there.

[00:40:39] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yes, it does. Yes, it does. It's a great place.

[00:40:44] Hunter: Oh my gosh. Okay. So one thing I wanted to though, pick up on, which I imagine there might, the listener might be like, but what happened there? When you were in that cul de sac for the parents of the young kids, what were the mistakes you were seeing?

Like you were seeing this like kind of lack of reflection, right? This lack of self awareness. That's clear. Like that's definitely the underlying key there, but what was happening in the kind of surface conversations that you're seeing?

[00:41:08] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah, it was, it was the way in which they spoke about their daughters.

Um, As opposed to the way they spoke about their sons, with their sons, okay, they'd go rumble tussle or maybe do something they weren't supposed to do and it'd be like, Oh, he is that, you know, you know, it's, he's just being a boy. Whereas with their daughters, it was more like, yeah, she's just a little, little prissy, da, da, da, da, da, you know, just like, it was more judgment, you're saying, yeah, more judgmental, um, not as, uh, gracious.

Towards their daughters and the thing that would, um, pain my heart was what they weren't picking up on is they would be, say, the moms would just be around each other, right? And the daughters are off, whatever. And they would talk about their daughters that way, but they wouldn't see how it would, um, influence interactions with their daughters when the daughters would come running back up to where they were.

That's the part where it's sort of like, you don't see how the comment you just made there, actually, she didn't hear the comment, but the way in which you're interacting with her now is reflecting that comment that she wasn't even aware of. Um, and again, it's not like the mothers were out there purposing to do this.

This is just what they were doing. Okay. Um, and again, I'm not saying I'm not pointing fingers or laying blame. It was them not understanding what was going on because then they'd come to me knowing what I did for a living back then when I was doing therapy mostly. Um, and they would, you know, ask me, you know, what should I do about X, Y, and Z?

And I would just pause and it's like, well, first. You need to come to my office to answer that fully. But, um, you know, you might want to consider this, that, and the other thing. Um, not knowing that they were, you know, perpetuating cycles of things that they were complaining about.

[00:43:07] Hunter: You're really talking about the problem with, like, a lack of, a lack of self awareness and just kind of perpetuating kind of things in a lot of ways.

Like, I mean, I, I, I feel very, I always felt very uncomfortable with, like, the way we parent boys and girls really differently and the, the conversations that would come up, oh, boys, this, and, and, and I felt a little frustrated and uncomfortable with that, you know, and. But it's interesting because I could see some of the ways those parts of culture, that culture influenced me.

Like when my oldest daughter, who, you know, in another era, not too long ago, she would have been called B O S S Y as a kid. That would have been given to her, that label would have been given to her a lot. And I could see my, like, kind of, I could see that coming up in me. And I was like, Oh, I'm like, Well, she has leadership potential.

And the truth is, and the truth is she does have leadership potential. She's going to be a Beagle Scout now. Like she is the leader of her all girls Boy Scout troop, right? Like, and, and, and that is something that's incredibly positive for her. You know, it's so interesting though, that the, the, I don't know, the way these kind of stereotypes and habits and energies from our culture can really just come up and we don't, if unexamined, we're not even realizing it.

[00:44:36] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah. And again, I'm not, I'm not about laying blame anywhere. This is really about gaining an understanding because We all, you know, can fall into patterns. It's like, I'll never do that just like my mother did. And then you find yourself like I did with our daughters when they were younger. It's like, whoa, I, I, I'm repeating a pattern here.

I need to, what's going on with me. Let me take a look at that. So that's why I'm all, I sound like a broken record, but really about pausing to consider your behavior and. One quick way to get in tune with that is to really get in tune with your body and what's going on with your body. I just was telling someone earlier today that this year, even though I kind of dabbled in it, a little bit off and on over the years.

This year, I just really decided I'm going to do some yoga stretching, uh, exercises every day, which I do every morning now, um, just to give myself space to find out what's going on in my body. And I'll just attend to that throughout the day.

[00:45:46] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's really the heart of mindfulness. It's like being in the animate body.

There's an, an incredible book called, I've heard of the name, ah, dang it, he's going to be on the podcast. I messed up. Look, man. Uh, Yeah. Um, that I'm so excited about, but he talks about this idea of the conscious mind and the animate body. And I love that, the description of like the animate body and that really is what mindfulness is about.

It's like being in or practicing to be in our animate body and yoga is so good, so good for that. Yes. For that. Yes. Michelle, this is wonderful. I could talk to you forever. I want to come down to North Carolina to your cul de sac and sit outside.

[00:46:33] Dr. Michelle Deering: And have some, have some, have some sweet tea they have down here.

[00:46:38] Hunter: Yes. Have some sweet tea and a choir chase. Chat for another couple more hours. 

[00:46:42] Dr. Michelle Deering: Yeah, but I'll definitely have you on my podcast too. So I'm looking forward to that conversation. So we can continue.

[00:46:50] Hunter: All right. All right. So this is part one, dear listener. You'll have to go to Michelle's podcast, Mother Daughter Connections to, uh, to hear part two.

Michelle, thank you so much. I really appreciate this conversation. I appreciate your time. time and all of those things and, and your, your curiosity and your interest that drove you to do this wonderful work, um, where people can obviously go listen to Mother Daughter Connections anywhere podcasts are found.

Where else can they find out more about you?

[00:47:22] Dr. Michelle Deering: Uh, they can connect with me at my, in my Facebook group, which is at Mother Daughter. Connections, the letter F and the letter B, Mother Daughter Connections FB. Uh, answer the four questions, get in the group, and I'm there. And, uh, in terms of, um, you know, if they want to learn more about me, my website is www.

curativeconnections. org. Which is Curative, C U R A T I V E Connections dot com, and you can learn all about me there.

[00:47:54] Hunter: Alright, awesome. Curative, not the COVID testing site. No.

[00:48:01] Dr. Michelle Deering: Curative Connections. Right, right. You mad? Curative Connections. 

[00:48:05] Hunter: That's funny. For all of us who are so familiar now with that, that's so funny.

Um, thank you so much, Michelle. I, I really appreciate it. You're welcome. I can't wait to come and talk to you more.

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I hope you've got. a lot out of it. I certainly did as the mother of two daughters, and I think that we can appreciate this incredible relationship. So listen, if you got anything out of this episode, please do this. Just take a screenshot of you listening to it, share it on your Instagram stories, tag me at mindfulmamamentor, and I want to hear your takeaways.

It really means So much to me to, to get your takeaways and it, and it, it really matters to the podcast too, to getting the word out. We can, we can make these relationships better. We can be part of this transformation, all these little things. Really matter getting good, good information out into the world.

I know it's a noisy world, right? There's so much bad information, there's, there's wrong information, all of this stuff. So I appreciate any help you can give to get out the information that's healing and helping and helping us move in the right direction. So. Thank you, thank you so much. Yeah, take that screenshot and tag me at Mindful Mama Mentor.

And I'm wishing you a great week. And yeah, thank you so much for listening. Thank you for being here. You're here all the way to the end. Rock on for you. High five. So cool. And I'm so glad you're here. And I can't wait to talk to you again next week. I have another awesome guest. I have some on air coaching calls coming up and all kinds of cool things.

So I can't wait to see you again here at the Mindful Mama podcast. Thank you. And I'm wishing you a beautiful week. I'm wishing you peace and ease and joy with your family. Take care, my friend. Namaste.

I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

[00:50:30] Dr. Michelle Deering: It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential

[00:50:34] Hunter: when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with If you're feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working, I would say definitely do it. It's so, so worth it.

It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this.

[00:51:01] Dr. Michelle Deering: You can continue in your old habits that aren't working or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in

[00:51:11] Hunter: your parenting.

Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting Membership. You'll be joining. Hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com MindfulParentingCourse.

com to add your name to the waitlist so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment. I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

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