6 Things Gilmore Girls Taught Me About Parenting

I haven’t been shy about my love of coffee or sleep or being a mom, but I’ve downplayed my love of Gilmore Girls. It’s probably the only show I’ll never get enough of. About once a year I watch all seven seasons back to back. When season seven started, a group of us got together to watch the premiere. We made the strongest espresso known to man, bought donuts, pizza, Twizzlers, french fries, burgers and Doritos. The seven of us could only eat half of it, but the pain was worth it. At the end of season seven (the final episode of the final season), I cried.

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My husband’s Valentine gift to me (2008) completed my set. He knows my heart.

Part of my love comes from my relationship with my own mom. Growing up she was the Lorelai of all the moms. My friends wanted her to color their brown bag book covers and they all wanted to hang at my house. My mom was the Maid of Honor at my wedding. She’s been in the room for the birth of my children. If there’s another she’ll be there for that. The week I started college, my mom drove up, helped me move in and stayed the weekend with me. We aren’t as buddy-buddy as Lorelai and Rory, but we’re close.

Now that I’m a mom, whenever I watch it I put my kids and I in every scenario. My kids aren’t that old, but as I watched the “Rory starts Yale” episode (not the actual title) I couldn’t help but think of the day when my girls start college. Yes, it’s years away, but I still think about it. Someday they’re going off to be on their own, someday they won’t be in my home.

I’m not looking for people to say, “But that’s so far off, you should enjoy them now,” or “You don’t need to worry about that,” or “Are you insane? You’re still buying diapers; don’t think about how much college is going to cost yet!” If you’re a parent, in any capacity, you can’t help but think about the day your kids will grow up; you get both sad and excited. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of things to tell our kids before they get there. How will we fit it all in?

There are very real things I want my kids to know when they’re ready for that leap, things I learned from the Gilmore Girls.

  1. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a play date, a sleepover, a tournament or your first night in your new dorm; if you need me there, I will be. I’ll always be there for you. Send a text, though. If you call me, I may not pick up.
  2. You don’t have to be like me. Sometimes, I’d really prefer you weren’t. One of me is really all this world can handle. Be exactly who you are. You can be quirky, smart, athletic, girly, tomboy, preppy, a combination, whatever; you are good. You were created for this time and this purpose as you are. You are good.
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  3. Don’t rush growing up. You’re forever talking about the day you get to have a car or get married or have a baby or go to college. I want to scream, “Enjoy your childhood!  When you turn 18, things get real! Adulting is hard, stay a kid while you can!” Instead I’ll calmly say, “Honey(s), when you grow up, no more free blind bags. No more allowance. Well, allowance when I can sneak it past your dad. That’ll be pretty tough, though, so don’t put all your eggs in that basket.
  4. Don’t feel pressured to do…..anything. If no is the answer you want, it’s a good one. No one can force you to do anything. I mean, I can, but I birthed you. You owe me. Your teachers can force homework and unless you want to live in a van down by the river, you’ll do it. Boys, friends, family, adults; just because they say something is right doesn’t mean it is.
  5. No one else is responsible for your happiness. I’ll try and try and try to keep you happy, but I’m not always going to be successful. In fact, more often than not, I’ll probably embarrass you. I’m looking to your wants, not your friend’s. Unless you ask me to be invisible. In that case, the best I can do is duck behind a shrub during your date. Only you are responsible for your happiness. It’s a choice.
  6. I’m sorry in advance for all the things I’m going to do that’ll embarrass you. I’m totally going to be that mom. I’m sorry for cheering more obnoxiously and loudly than any person ever during your event. I’m sorry I’ll take an obscene amount of pictures for your first dance, first date, first anything. I’m sorry your first kiss won’t be until you’re out of my house. I’m sorry when you go to college we’ll be there constantly. All this means is I love you. More than I can ever tell you.
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In no time at all, we’ll be able to sit down with cups of coffee and talk about anything they want, but until then (and even during those times) I want them to know these things.

What do you want your littles to know?

 

[Feature Photo credit to Entertainment Weekly]

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