by Rachel Hollis
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Do you ever suspect that everyone else has life figured out and you don’t have a clue? If so, Rachel Hollis has something to tell you: that’s a lie.
As the founder of the lifestyle website TheChicSite.com and CEO of her own media company, Rachel Hollis developed an immense online community by sharing tips for better living while fearlessly revealing the messiness of her own life. Now, in this challenging and inspiring new book, Rachel exposes the twenty lies and misconceptions that too often hold us back from living joyfully and productively, lies we’ve told ourselves so often we don’t even hear them anymore.
With painful honesty and fearless humor, Rachel unpacks and examines the falsehoods that once left her feeling overwhelmed and unworthy, and reveals the specific practical strategies that helped her move past them. In the process, she encourages, entertains, and even kicks a little butt, all to convince you to do whatever it takes to get real and become the joyous, confident woman you were meant to be.
With unflinching faith and rock-hard tenacity, Girl, Wash Your Face shows you how to live with passion and hustle–and how to give yourself grace without giving up.
This book is sweeping America among the 20-somethings and 30-somethings female demographic. My daughter highly recommended it, and I’ve noticed several former students tout its praise on social media.
I am a self-help bookaholic. I devour them like candy. But I was skeptical whether this book would be of value to me. After all, I am way outside the target audience.
Let me say… I listened to the audio version while walking on the treadmill. I am normally not an audiobook fan, but I fully enjoyed listening to the author’s narration. She has a conversational voice that made me feel as if she were sitting in the room with me.
I found myself nodding in agreement during several of the early chapters. Many times I wished I had this valuable resource when I was a young mother trying to juggle the various roles in life. However, it wasn’t until I listened to chapter nine that I took notice of its value in my current midlife phase.
The Lie: I Don’t Know How to be a Good Mom
I’m pretty sure I uttered these words at least once a week during the 25-year-span of my mommy years. And perhaps my three children wondered the same on occasion.
The author discussed being a successful entrepreneur in a community of SAHMs. She spoke of her children noticing her chic-business wardrobe did not resemble the casual yoga fashion of other mothers. She confessed her lackadaisical interest in organized sports and her disdain for chaperoning field trips.
She was different from “all” the other moms. And it was easy to believe they were “good” moms and she was bad.
It was at this point in the book I realized the author was speaking to present-day Molly and not just Mommy-Molly.
The Lie: I Don’t Know How to be a Good Grandma
When my eldest informed us she was expecting, I did not react with joyful enthusiasm. I was still in the middle of caring for my ill mother and seeing my youngest through her final year of high school. I thought once I entered the empty-nest phase of life, I would have some time to myself before assuming the role of grandmother. I wasn’t ready to be that old.
Well-meaning friends encouraged me. There is nothing like being a grandmother, you’ll see. Those babies will melt your heart.
The melting was not instantaneous. I am not a baby person. I never have been. I much prefer the toddler years when they can begin to communicate and each day reveals a new level of learning.
My blood pressure spikes when babies cry. If I cannot soothe them in a relatively short period of time, I assume I am doing something wrong. I feel inept which contributes to the stress.
In addition, I need a full night’s sleep. I am not a patient person, but with little sleep, I am most unpleasant. Anger replaces impatience and I do not like the person I become.
In contrast, my good friend epitomizes the ideal grandma. She offered to watch all eight of grandchildren when their moms had to return to work. She did this selflessly and without pay. Often the babies would sleep overnight, giving the parents a much-needed break. Now that the grandbabies are older, she attends every sporting activity and school event. She adores being an integral part of their lives.
I am exhausted just listening to her schedule. I am overwhelmed when I keep the children longer than four hours. This introvert can only handle a couple of large sporting events a year. Compared to my friend (and in my mind… the world) I am not a good grandma.
But the author’s words soon soothed these negative thoughts:
- You should (grand)parent in whatever way works for your family (and yourself) and spend less time worrying about other people’s perceptions of how you’re doing.
- You only have to care. Not only about them, but also about yourself. You cannot properly take care of your (grand)children or teach them to be whole or happy people if you are miserable and harsh with yourself.
- You have to choose not to compare. Don’t compare your family to other families or yourself to other women.
- None of us are exactly like the other, and that is a good thing because there’s no right way to be. The room mom, the working mother, the woman without children, the retired grandma, the mom who co-sleeps, the mama who bottle-fed her baby, the strict mom, the hipster mom, the one who lets her kid go shoeless, or the one who enrolls her baby in music enrichment classes at birth—whoever, whatever you are, you’re adding spice and texture and nuance into this big beautiful soup of modern-day (grand)parenting.
I may not enjoy rocking infants for hours on end, but I do enjoy baking cookies with them when they are old enough to decorate the tops with colorful candies.
I may not invite them for a sleepover, but I do enjoy taking them on field trips to the museum, the arboretum, and the zoo.
I may not attend every sporting event or extra-curricular activity, but when I’m there I am fully present.
I may not be a dependable daycare provider, but the four hours we spend together are filled with tea parties, craft projects, and total unconditional love.
Grandparenting is not a competitive sport. I need to stop striving, start accepting myself, and enjoy the fleeting moments with these precious souls.