Recently I asked my younger daughter how she might describe me. She used lots of sweet adjectives aimed at making me feel good, and then she paused and said: " But really, you are a buck-up Mom."
I asked her what she meant, and she paused again and said: " You know, when we whine because we don't want to do something, or we're tired, or don't like the food on our plates, you tell us to 'buck-up' and deal with it."
It had never occurred to me that my kids see me this way, but in reality I come from buck-up parents, so it makes sense. More than anything I want my children to be flexible and be able to roll with the punches because I think this makes for a happier, healthier life.
I was by nature not a bucker-upper, but by nurture my parents gave me the skills to survive in an ever-changing world. These traits have served me well in my job as a television reporter which requires constant changing of gears throughout a typical workday.
"So, are you saying Mommy isn't nice?" I asked my daughter with a smile on my face to let her know I was just teasing.
"No, Mommy," she said defensively. "You can be very nice, sometimes. You just want us to be strong girls."
Amen, sister. I couldn't have said it better.
Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays.