I just finished reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle. If excessive highlighting is any indication of a formal book review, I’d say this one ranks pretty high. While I’m sad it’s over (and I’m down an entire pink highlighter), I’m glad I took the time to identify passages that struck me.
Doyle is a fantastic storyteller and this book is chock-full of poignant, beautiful, honest stories that led to her own self-awareness, self-care and self-compassion. We, as readers, are lucky to be on this journey with her and her unique family.
She talks about the power of believing in your own knowing and listening to your authentic voice. In a moment of clarity and awareness, she realizes,
“This was her own voice – the one she had buried beneath decades of numbing addictions, cultural conditioning, and institutional allegiances. This was the voice of the girl she had been before the world told her who to be.”
She goes on to explain how Untamed is:
“the story of how one woman learned that a responsible mother is not one who slowly dies for her children, but one who shows them how to fully live … and a story of how each of us can begin to trust ourselves enough to set boundaries, make peace with our bodies, honor our anger and heartbreak, and unleash our truest, wildest instincts so that we become women who can finally look at ourselves and say: There She Is.”
As I was reading this I was thinking, maybe I should start a conversation with women (and men) in my community parenting teenagers and use the chapters and concepts in the book as a framework. Remember discussing ad nauseam about the infant, toddler, preschool and school-age phases? Just curious, where is all the chatter and support when they become teenagers?
Parenting teenagers is hard – hands down. Parenting teenagers also tests our own values, patience, boundaries, fears and belief systems. We must confront our own sense of self as we simultaneously parent, mentor and role model for our teenagers.
I can’t tell you how many times I have secretly rolled my eyes, intentionally paused before reacting and forced myself to take a deep breath before repeating my beloved parenting mantra ‘this is their job’ when dealing with my almost 16-year-old son and my 13-year-old daughter … the way they are being, how they are acting, what they are saying – it is their job. I’ll be damned if they aren’t figuring it out though, without my meddling commentary and knee-jerk reactions.
We all know our teens haven’t quite mastered the secret eyeroll yet – it’s more like they all aced the extremely obvious eyeroll exam. But, then again, it’s their job; I’d expect nothing less.