10 Things I Learned About Being a Mom From Lorelai Gilmore
As I am re-watching Gilmore Girls for the 50th time, I realize that this is the first time I'm watching it as a mom. I always loved how Rory and Lorelai's relationship resembled mine and my mother's. At some points in my life growing up, it felt like I was living the show. We would have similar conversations and we would always be open with each other. We had the movie nights in and would go shopping just because.
Gilmore Girls doesn't have the typical family you would generally see on tv. It was a strong, single mom who wasn't just walking around searching for love. She was a tough, independent woman who focused on her daughter and herself and if someone else fit into that equation than perfect! If not, she was fine too.
Lorelai Gilmore, through all her mistakes, is great role-model and here is what she (and my own mom) have taught me:
1. Be supportive of your kid no matter what.
Lorelai doesn't push Rory into things that she doesn't want to do. Doesn't force Rory to go take dance classes or to go and play certain sports. She let's Rory be herself. With crazy hectic schedules being the "in" thing with parenting it seems, this is a great take away from the show.
They always have each other's backs no matter what. I mean, Lorelai throws eggs on Jess's car and Rory runs off with Lorelai when she has her meltdown before the wedding with Max.
2. Let your kids make their own mistakes.
Lorelai lets Rory make her own decisions. Even if those decisions aren't the best. She gives Rory her opinion on boys but then she steps back. Lorelai realizes that she needs to let Rory make her own mistakes so she can learn from them. I feel like this is going to be one of the hardest things for me as a parent. We genuinely want to protect our children especially if we can see trouble brewing from a mile away but we have to let them forge their own paths.
3. Don't lose your sense of humor.
You should never be afraid to laugh at your kid or let them laugh at you! Not everything is in your control and shit will happen but always try to look on the bright side of things. And if all else fails, remember that the situation will probably make for a great story down the road.
Most times when Lorelai gives Rory a serious teaching moment, it's followed by a great joke or sarcastic comment. Throughout all the seriousness of life, they continue to make fun of each other about fashion or music choices and play jokes on each other. Keep life fun!
4. You can still have your own life and goals (a life outside of kids.. what?!)
Lorelai never stops her own growth. She goes back to school, opens her own inn, falls in love. She doesn't just settle and is constantly working on bettering herself. That's an important thing that I think some moms forget. They put themselves on the back burner and settle for where they are. They constantly put everyone else first and never get close to their own dreams or happiness. Be the best example you can be for your child!
5. Establish a good support system.
Lorelai has Luke, Sookie, her parents, Christopher even. She doesn't do everything on her own. She is constantly surrounded by amazing people and I think that keeps her up. Having those positive vibes in your life can do nothing but help.
6. "Our kids don't need us to be perfect, they need us to be real."
Through all of Lorelai's ups and downs, she stays true to herself. She shows Rory her vulnerable side and Rory knows everything about her. They have great communication. When Rory graduates, she mentions in her speech that she wanted to be just like her mother. Our children do not want perfection. We will get things wrong sometimes and we will fumble, but our children will love us anyway.
7. It's okay to step outside of that "parenting role", sometimes our kids just need a friend.
Lorelai and Rory have the best bond. There are times where they are more like sisters than mother-daughter. Lorelai seems to know the exact times to pull out which card. What times to be the mother and the other times to be a friend and confidant. There will be times when our kid is coming to us and they just want to vent. They may not want our parently advice, they just need us to listen and be there for them. We also need to be able to accept it the other way around. Your kid can be your friend too, you can ask for their advice or vent to them as well.
8. Your child isn't you.
They may have your hair, your eyes, your blood but they are not a carbon copy. They will have their own ups and downs. We need to remember to not hold our own past experiences against our children. Just because you did something or went through something, doesn't mean your kid is going to go down the exact same path.
Lorelai hated her parents and rebelled, she got pregnant at 16 and ran away from home. She knows that Rory isn't that same person and won't make the same mistakes she did.
9. Be their safe place.
Whether it's after a heartbreak, stressing out about tests or grades, a fight with a friend. You should be the person they can always turn to. Someone who will make them safe and cheer them up. Take them shopping, binge on junk food, have a movie night, whatever it takes. Let your child know that you are there and they can turn to you when they need that shoulder to cry on. Lorelai always knew exactly what Rory needed for which mood. If it was just laying in bed for a day, or if it was keeping busy.
10. Give them space when they need it.
Sometimes they don't need to have someone hovering over their shoulder, trying to tell them how to feel. They just need some space to breathe and figure out their own emotions. Give them time and when they are ready they will seek you out for comfort.
Rory and Lorelai had that awful 6-month separation while Rory was figuring out her future. When she was ready, they patched things up and moved forward.
I know Sawyer is still too young to implement a lot of these but I am hoping to retain enough of it that when something does come up, I can channel my inner Lorelai.
Here's to a life full of heartaches, fights, shopping sprees, laughter, and movie nights in with my sweet girl.