Episode 23

full
Published on:

8th Feb 2022

6 Things to Tell Your Daughter At Valentine's Day // with Carmelita Tiu

Host Carmelita Tiu tells the story of the worst/best valentine she ever received, and shares the truths she wants to share with her daughters, especially around this time of year.

Comments? Email her at knowthembethemraisethempodcast@gmail.com -- and follow @knowberaisethem on Instagram.

Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them

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Transcript
Carmelita (Cat) Tiu, Host: [:

So as Valentine's day approaches and the shelves of the stores are a wash with a thousand shades of red, pink, and white. I thought I'd share a story about the most meaningful Valentine I ever received, which led me to want to share some thoughts and reminders for ourselves and our daughters.

t can be a tough holiday for [:

For those who aren't attached, it can feel like the world is conspiring to make you feel inadequate. From billboards pushing engagement rings to streaming platforms, pushing romcoms and love stories, to wistful messages like be mine or forever yours on candies, coffee mugs, and succulent planters in every store, it's impossible to escape this celebration of romantic love. And if you don't have that and you want it. The day can feel kind of like a downer. And you have to work to keep yourself from feeling down about yourself, even though maybe the best part of you knows this one day shouldn't make a difference.

I spent the vast majority of my twenties being single. And when I didn't have Valentine's day plans, I'd head over to TJ Maxx or Marshall's after work to distract myself from my sorry, state of singlehood with some retail therapy.

Sorry being [:

For those who are attached, it's not a cakewalk either. It's like Christmas for couples minus Jesus's birthday, and the day off of work. From a young age, our culture conditions us to have really high expectations of Valentine's day. Often involving material things and grand gestures. It puts a tremendous amount of pressure on people, maybe even financial strain.

And even if we're aware of how commercialized and over the top Valentine's day can be we can still find ourselves dissatisfied because we're subconsciously conflicted about the distance between what we have and what society has told us we should have, or what someone else in our social circles has. Instead of being grateful, we might end up focusing on things we don't have, which inevitably leads to disappointment.

high school, many moons ago. [:

And I was oh-so aware of how my appearance was nothing like the girls I saw in Teen or Seventeen, or other fashion magazines that my friends and I devoured back then.

And on Valentine's day at school all day long, I saw classmates get stuff from their boyfriends or crushes. Some were surprised by flowers in their lockers. Singing telegrams were a thing back then, so one girl was approached by a gorilla in a Tutu. who sang the refrain of, I just called to say, I love you, and then handed her a bunch of balloons. And then newer relationships or crushes would get cards. Those little candy hearts or small boxes of chocolate wrapped up in Crimson cellophane.

s to Amy Poehler's parks and [:

So that day, for me, Valentine's Day, freshman year, I got nothing. No boyfriend, no one even interested in me, meant no flowers, no stuffed animals, no candy, no nothing. So waiting for my mom to pick me up after school. I was down, but I tried not to show it.

Uh, my parents didn't like the idea of boyfriends before college. They thought boys were a distraction and that we should focus on our grades and extracurriculars instead. So I didn't feel like I could talk about how crummy it felt to not have a boyfriend who could give me something on Valentine's day. It sounds so trivial now, but that's where my head was when I was 14.

hed the thoughts aside as my [:

"Happy Valentine's day!" My mom said as I settled into the front seat, and then she reached behind me to grab something. And a few seconds later, she presented me with a small bouquet of a dozen miniature peach roses. I can vividly remember how they looked.

They had sprigs of baby's breath, peeking out from the sides. And it was this clear cellophane that had some writing on it that said like fresh flowers for you. And the tag read, "Love you Pretty Rosebud!" which was her nickname for my sister and I.

My eyes started to sting as I teared up in that moment.

a horrible Valentine's day." [:

It wasn't until I think several years later, when I told a friend about my mom's gift, that I had a huge perspective shift. Instead of scoffing, like I expected her to, when I told her the story.

She. She said, "Aw, how sweet." Sweet. I mean, yeah. But wasn't it more pathetic than sweet. "Your mom was so thoughtful." My friend said almost wistfully.

orry for me. But because she [:

They reminded me of how grateful I was for her, for my family, for the power of small acts of kindness. By giving me flowers, she nudged me to rethink what Valentine's day meant and could mean. Her Valentine told me that whether or not I was liked by a boy, I was worthy of love. I was worthy of flowers.

And though those flowers are long gone. I realized now it was the best Valentine ever.

So revisiting this story. Not only did it make me want to give my daughters flowers on Valentine's day. It also made me want to share some of what I've learned, reflecting back on it. It's never too early or too late to encourage your daughters to be more mindful and think critically about the world around them and the messages they're receiving.

I want to tell my daughters.[:

Number one. Your worth is not defined by your relationship status. Being single doesn't mean you're unworthy of love. You are enough just as you are. If you're not in a relationship. Choose to see that as a time to continue focusing on yourself and loving yourself. Similarly being in a relationship doesn't mean you or that person are more lovable or worthy than the next person. Everyone has worth, regardless of their relationship status.

And you're not. Side note: I [:

Or she doesn't see women that look like her represented in the media. She needs to hear that she is beautiful even on the outside. Because when the media idealizes something she's not, and excludes anyone that looks like her, she gets the subconscious message that she doesn't look good or pretty. And we, as moms can counteract that.

Okay. Back to what I'll tell my daughters.

Number three. Focus on the good in your life. Reflect on the things you're grateful for the qualities about yourself and your life that make you appreciate. And remember that you are already blessed. Valentine's day may make you feel like you can only be happy if you're in a relationship and receive lavish gifts. Don't fall for it.

Number four. Don't be [:

y normal as I can attest to. [:

Number six. You get to decide how or whether to celebrate Valentine's day. While Valentine's day has muddled origins, it's commonly held that its aura of heterosexual coupling started in Roman times when young men would draw the names of women from a jar, then pair up with them for the duration of the feast of Lupercalia, which ran from February 13 through 15.

Today it's become a day to celebrate romantic love. But if you want to make it a day to spend time with your family, do it. If you want to celebrate your friends, do it. Find what works for you and own it.

's so worthy of celebrating. [:

If you liked what you heard, please tell a friend and hit subscribe or follow in your favorite podcast app. And leave a review on apple podcasts or Spotify. Follow @knowberaisethem on Instagram or Facebook for quotes from wise women reminders, tips, and podcast updates. Also every quarter, I'm going to start doing giveaways for Instagram followers and podcast subscribers, so do follow and subscribe to be in on that fun. Also feel free to direct message me on Facebook or Instagram. If you have questions, comments, topics, suggestions, or just want to connect. I love interacting with you. And hearing what you have to stay. Again, I appreciate you for listening.

And here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them and may we raise them.

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About the Podcast

Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them
Helping moms be & raise strong women
Are you a growth-oriented, mindful and busy mom who wants to raise strong daughters? Me too!

Tune in for short episodes (under 25 min) filled with inspiration, insights and actionable tips from experts, moms who’ve been there, and host Carmelita Tiu (a mom of two girls herself).

Hear about timely (& sometimes tough) topics: boundaries, self-care, creating safe spaces, self confidence, intuition, negative patterns, body positivity, friendship, body image, gender stereotypes, stress, and more.

Follow @knowberaisethem on Instagram for more info.

And here’s to strong women -- may we know them, may we be them, and may we raise them.

About your host

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Carmelita Tiu

Service, creativity, and human potential -- these things inspire Carmelita Tiu as an attorney, podcaster, creative, educator and parent. After receiving her art degree and law degree, she worked as an attorney at The Oprah Winfrey Show and OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network for several years, then pivoted to the design and advertising world. She's also held adjunct professorships at DePaul University and Columbia College Chicago, and served on the boards of numerous cultural and community service organizations.

As a curious and committed mom to two daughters, Carmelita recently launched the podcast, "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them," a show that informs and inspires mindful and growth-oriented moms of girls -- so they can show up for themselves and their daughters the way they want to. "Know Them, Be Them, Raise Them" is on all the major podcast platforms, or head to knowberaisethem.com.

Though she's based in Chicago, she's currently looping around the U.S. with her family for the 2021-22 school year -- a bucket list dive into memory-making, hyperfocusing on the family, and pouring into passion projects.