” Mommy, let’s play follow the leader!”
“Ok. Let’s! Would you like to be the leader first?” “No, that’s ok, you go first!”
And there we went, following one another around the house, singing, “we’re following the leader, the leader, the leader!” My youngest joins in, screaming, “Wait, wait!!!” I wanna be the leader!!!!” I give her a turn leading us around the house. Her three-year old body takes us on the same route around the kitchen island, over and over. My eldest, joins in on the action and states with her hand in our faces, “ok, wait a second, let me lead!” Suddenly, we are following her all around the house. Her route starts around the kitchen island, she then goes through the dining room, up the staircase, around the hallway, back down the staircase, and into the playroom. My middle daughter, who hasn’t led the way yet, decides she wants a turn. When we begin to follower her, she takes us on the same route that her older sister did. As we are singing, in our screaming voices, “we’re following the leader!!”, my eldest interrupts in an irritated tone, “what the heck, she copied the way I went!” The game takes on a whole new tone and the singing and following one another comes to a halt.
Middle daughter: “There were no rules that said we couldn’t go the same way!!!”
Eldest daughter: Well, why do you always copy me? It’s sooo annoying!”
The game that was making everyone smile five minutes ago, now turned into an all to familiar argument between the siblings; the copycat argument.
Me : “Look, your sister just really liked the way you went, that’s all. Take it as a compliment! You inspired her to go the same way as you. The game we just played is called, Following the leader, and a leader is someone, who leads people and has an influence on them. A true leader, doesn’t see other people following them, as copying. They have a wish to help others lead the way too!
Eldest Daughter: *eyes rolling*( love the tween years) “ok, I was just a bit irritated, you don’t always have to give me a Oprah talk”
Me: “well, that’s just how I roll.”
Me talking to my eldest: “Try taking that irritation and change the feeling to something positive. For example, your sister really liked the route you took, because it was different! She was inspired by you! Do you feel better inside, receiving this as a compliment? She shrugged her shoulders and replied, “yah I do”
Then I asked my middle daughter, “Is that why you did the same route?” She replied with a quite, “yah” Well, if the game didn’t end so abruptly, you girls might have been inspired by one another, the next time you took turns! Who knows one of you may of even lead us to the creepy basement!”
I stopped elaborating on the situation and just left the girls with what I said for them to consider. They didn’t continue with the game, because the novelty wore off. The arguing was over, and they continued on with whatever they were doing before following the leader.
The game ending in irritation and sibling rivalry, reminded me of some internal challenges my girls are most likely going to face in their lifetime, especially being female. They might get that irritated feeling that they are being copied, and thus, the girl on girl competition begins. They will have a choice about how they channel the feelings that come along with this girl on girl crime. As an adult, I choose to view others following my lead, as a compliment. My hopes are that they are somehow being inspired or influenced by my actions. When I was my girls age, however, it sometimes gave me that annoyed feeling that my eldest is starting to feel with her little sister. That terrible feeling that stems from ones own insecurities, that someone might be trying to one up you. Or that feeling of just wanting to be original. At my girls age, this can sometimes be a tricky one to overcome. And unfortunately, there are still women my age, that still struggle with these feelings too. They still choose to engage in the girl on girl crime, and for moms, what we know as the mompetition, where moms are constantly judging other moms.
Can you imagine, if all women worked together, and not against one another? If women all empowered one another, rather than competed with one another? If women were immune to comparisons. These acts would make sure that our younger girls, our next generation of women, become the best version of themselves. They will become their own inner leaders, and hopefully continue this positive cycle.
I feel so fortunate to be attending the Leading moms event on September 26th, where extraordinary leading moms will be taking the stage! I am looking forward to getting inspired by these influential moms! Why are these moms influential leaders? In my opinion, the answer is quite simple. It’s their willingness to share their stories, and inspire other moms to make their own success. After all, true leaders, create more leaders!
The speaker line-up includes key influencers in media, arts, health, business and more. In a mix of performance, video and live talks, the roster of moms will deliver personal talks straight from their heart.
Ticket holders can register for complimentary childcare, courtesy of Kids and Company, at any of their Lower Mainland locations.
This year’s event boasts a fantastic speaker line-up, including award-winning broadcaster, Tamara Taggart and Founder of Cause We Care, Andrea Thomas Hill. Two other influential women, who I have personally met and connected with and who by the way, are genuine, bundles of joy, Madeleine Shaw co-founder of Luna Pads and founder of G Day for Girls/G is for Goddess and Jen Schaffers founder of Networking in van, CKNW Orphan Funds executive director, and Pink shirt day founder, will also be taking the stage!
New this year is the 2014 Leading Mom Award which aims to acknowledge everyday moms who are making an impact locally, nationally, or globally. I have been selected as one of the five nominees for my involvement with #hashtaglunchbag Vancouver – a social movement that eliminates hunger in local communities. Voting starts today and the grand prize is a weekend at a premier resort, Painted Boat Resort Spa &Marina. I would love for your vote:) You can vote @http://vancouvermom.ca/for-mom/vote-vancouvers-leading-mom-2014/
Get your tickets for the Leading moms event today! I hope to see you there! Early bird ticket sales end on Sept.9th! There are also door prizes to be won at the event, including a Stella and Dot gift basket retailed at over $150, courtesy of me!
And be sure to join the conversation at the Leading Moms Twitter party on September 9th at 8 pm. There are prizes to be won! Follow @leadingmoms on Twitter and use hashtag #LMinspire to join in on the conversation. You could potentially win a $25 dollar Stella and Dot gift card, courtesy of yours truly😊.
I hope that you all remember that you have your own leadership abilities, and that someone out there is probably being inspired by you, and you might not even know it!