“So often my mother’s judgments—whether about a person, a boyfriend, a religion, morals, even fashion—were so strong that they caused me to question my own views. When I was a kid, it was so intense that I even mimicked her tastes in food. If she didn’t like something, I, too, found it unpalatable. Because I put such blind faith in my mother and in her choices for me, I didn’t pay attention to the importance of cultivating my own beliefs and opinions. As a result, it became hard for me to listen or to know my own voice, and I often deferred to her view instead of discovering or expanding on my own.
It to me a great deal of painful trial and error to emotionally free myself from my mother and to have faith in my own convictions. I learned this only at an older age, no doubt I could have been more personally empowered if I had developed this sense of self earlier. I would have like to have had more self-confidence in who I was and in my ability to stand up for myself earlier…
After I had Rowan, my inner voice became much more audible. It was a revelation to me that just because my opinions were different from my mother’s (and other people’s), it did not mean they were wrong. When it came to raising my own child, it was as if I got to start all over again, and this time, I would follow my own instincts. This did not happen over night…but my mother’s voice is no longer the loudest one in my head. I do not feel compelled to ascribe to her beliefs or to seek her approval for mine. I cannot say what contributed to this transformation, but it felt inherent in motherhood.”
- Fury-ish insights from Brooke Shields