New Episode! Why Middle School Is So Tricky with Jessica Speer
July 26, 2022

Coming Out, Discussing Gender and Sexual Identity


In this weekś episode, we are joined by Lisa Sugarman, a mom, a parenting author, a nationally syndicated humor columnist, and a podcast host, to discuss the important topic of gender and sexual identity. 

Join me for our beautiful discussion as Lisa shares the story of her daughter coming out, and how that moment helped Lisa to realize and embrace her own identity.

Come join us on our Facebook group on facebook.com/groups/reallifemomz/ as we continue to support one another in being our authentic selves. 

Resources: 

The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/ 

Grown & Flown: https://grownandflown.com/

Vomit Booth: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheVomitBooth

Parenting books by Lisa Sugarman: 

(Note: These are amazon affiliate links at no extra cost to you, but we will earn a small commission on this purchase)

How To Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids and Be Ok with It

Untying Parent Anxiety

LIFE: It Is What It Is

Lisa Sugarman website: http://www.lisasugarman.com

Website: www.reallifemomz.com

 

--- This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/reallifemomz/support

Transcript

Welcome to Real Life Momz, I'm your host, Lisa Foster and Real Life Momz is a podcast that's all about moms having real conversations, sharing resources, and telling their inspiring stories. Our mission is to connect moms by talking about these topics that parents deal with every day and to continue these conversations in our Real Life Momz Facebook group, where we would love for you to become part of our community. This week, I'm joined by Lisa Sugarman. Lisa is a mom, a parent author and national syndicated humor, columnist, and a podcast host creating content that helps empower parents. Lisa is also the author of How To Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids And Be Ok With It, Untying Parent Anxiety, and LIFE: It Is What It Is.  And today we are discussing gender and sexual identity as Lisa shares with us, her own personal story. 

Hi, Lisa, welcome to Real Life Momz I'm so excited to talk to you today about gender and sexual identity. And I know that you have such personal insight into this for yourself, but also for your daughter.

And I thought maybe we can just start with just sharing some of your background and your story with us.

Thank you for having me. And I love that we have the same exact name. So we've got two daughters. My husband and I have been married for almost 30 years. Our youngest just turned 22 and our oldest is about to turn 25. And when our oldest was going into her junior year at Boston University, which she had been out of college for a few years, when she was going into her junior year, she came out to us as bisexual. And it, you know, I know that there are so many parents that I've talked to, you know, in the years since then just sharing kind of our own stories.

So many of them were like, yeah, we had a feeling we knew, we were sure, like we had absolutely no idea. Like it just never, ever saw it coming to the point where, when she actually came out to us one night, it was just, she was like lingering in our bedroom for a really long time. And we were both like, can you just, can you go to bed? We were really like to go to sleep right now. And she was just kind of hanging out. And then all of a sudden she, said it and like neither one of us was really paying attention. And we were like, what? And, and she said it again. And, you know, once it clicked because it was completely out of context and we weren't expecting it. Um, I, of course in that split second immediately started crying, like the deepest purest tears of joy, I think I've ever had as a mom, because in that moment, I was like, I see, I probably won't ever have a more beautiful moment than a moment where your child trusts you, that completely with exactly who they are, even when it's, it's not the norm.

And, and she had no hesitation to tell us whatsoever. And we of course were like, this is, you know, this is the beautiful, we're so thrilled that you shared it with us and we're grateful and all the things. And so, she came out to us, you know, a handful of years ago. And it's just been an incredible journey since then. We've all, I mean, we've all been, you know, allies, all of us, all four of us have been allies of the LGBTQ community for forever. We've, you know, that's how we were raised. Our kids were raised and, you know, we have so many friends who are a part of that community.

So we've always been in that ally place. Now, all of a sudden it was like a different kind of allyship because now we,  had a child who was in that community.

So we were all just kind of soaking it up and she was absorbing it all and learning and, you know, we were just trying to keep up with it. And in the, this is where this is where my story takes a teeny bit of a twist. So, so if you're not sitting down, sit down it's time. Yeah. Um, so about a year ago, just about exactly a year ago, because it was toward the end of pride last year. Um, I actually came out as pansexual and, um, and it was because it was like we had a complete role reversal.

It was actually because of my daughter that I, that I came out. Um, and it's, it's kind of a long story, but the very short version is that I had always known that I wasn't straight, but I've been married to the same guy for almost 30 years.

We've been together since we were 17. He is,  whenever I talk about Dave, he, is, my person always has been, always will be, um, in all the ways, you know, I mean, in all the ways, you know, I'm attracted to men. I knew, of course, I also, you know, have had other experiences when I was much younger, like pre-marriage in college. And so I knew that I had the capacity to, you know, to be attracted to more than just men. And yet I also knew that it kind of extended beyond that, but usually we're talking like we're talking about 20, 30 years ago, like more than 30 years ago.

And like, there were three words, you know, it was like gay, straight BI and, and there was nothing really in between that was mainstream enough that it found its way to me.

So I just kind of had, like, I knew I was in the right place with the right person and that's where I belonged, but I also understood that I did have a different capacity. I just didn't have a name for it. And so flash forward, you know, almost 30 years and I'm having all these incredible conversations with my daughter Riley at, you know, about her own sexuality and she's educating me and the word pansexual came up and she was trying to, because she's bisexual, she was just kind of explaining the nuances in between the different, um, you know, the different terms.

And I really didn't know very much about pansexuality. And so she explained it to me and my mouth. My jaw, must've just like hit the table because I just looked at her and I said, I think, I think I'm pansexual.

And she was just like, delighted. She was like, oh my God, no, I'm like, that's so that's amazing. Like, let's talk about this. And then, you know, of course like my husband and my other daughter and my family, and I decided last year that I needed, I needed to do the thing that I had always told my kids to do, which was to, to be authentically who you are, whatever that is to be yourself. And, and clearly it worked because my child felt like she could be herself and move about the world that way.

And I was like, you're not being that way if you're not owning this. And like, what was the point? Because I'm married and I have a family and it wasn't about going and like starting another relationship with somebody else. That's not what this was about. It was internal and kind of taking this thing out from the inside and not being afraid to show it to the world, but it was also about representing the community that she was a part of that I was now a part of. And so all those things took me to a place where I was like, Nope, I have to do the same thing.

I want to do the same thing. So I did. So now, you know, I'm just a super, super proud member of the LGBTQ plus community. And, um, and I honestly have never felt more peaceful.

I love this story because  I just picture this story of you and your daughter just sitting there and what an amazing thing for her, you know, because she's there teaching you something, right. You're learning like roles are so reversed, right. You're learning from your daughter. And I can, I feel that because my kids will sit with me and they'll talk about, you know, all of the things that they're learning and the vocabulary behind all this, that I feel like I'm so old in this because I don't, it takes me a lot of more time to grasp, all the terminology.

And I still can't say I know everything, what everything really is.

I don't.

Just, I can picture that conversation totally. And feel it. And I mean, what it must've felt like for you and for her in that very moment where you discovered that identity that really fit you, you know, and described you and that she gave that to you. How cool.

It was the coolest. It absolutely was. And it's a moment that I've replayed over and over and over again in writing that I've done in conversations that I've had, like this one. And it just, every single time, it just, it's almost like I add another layer to the, to the powerfulness of it, because it's just such an unusual situation. And yet I wouldn't have had it any other way. I mean, it was just, you know,  it was almost like the, you know, the, the opposite of what would normally happen.

You have a child that usually comes up to a parent it's typically not the other way around. And, you know, I say this all the time, you know, my children are grown women and I've learned so much from my own children. And, you know, this was just, you know, just one more thing that, you know, that I learned, you know, because of my kids. So, you know, and at the same time, it, you know, it could have gone really badly.  I guess when I look back on it now, I mean, there's always that possibility as much as, you know, someone as well as, you know them, your best friends or your family or immediate world, you think, you know, how they would react to something when it really happens. Sometimes it doesn't happen the way you think it's going to. I think I'm actually thinking about this for the very first time with you right here.

Um, that like, wow, that could have gone south and it would have been ugly. And, but it wasn't, I remember we were in Florida on vacation with our parents and family, and we were in the car and I was posting something about pride and just, you know, in the context of being an ally for my child and I'm like sitting quietly in the car and I'm just going to put it on Facebook cause it's pride month.

And then I'm thinking about it. And I'm like, this doesn´t feel right. Why doesn't this feel? Right. And I just kept like reflecting on it and reflecting on it. And I was like, it doesn't feel right because I am no longer in the position of being an ally. I'm now part of this community and it's a marginalized community. And what do we always say about marginalized communities? Like the way that we change that narrative is to come out and say, I'm a part of this community. And that's how we normalize it. And you know, when all shapes and sizes and colors and flavors, and when everybody comes out and says that it, it just, it just erases the stigma.

So I was like, I have to do, you know, for me, like I have to do this. And I kind of turned to my husband and I was like, Hey, I want to do a thing. And he was like, oh boy, oh God, what are you going to do? And I said, I think I want to do this. He's like, babe, do you? That was exactly what, like, that is literally exactly word for word what he said. He was like, babe, do you, I love you. And then I kind of turned to the girls in the back and I said the same thing. And they were like, love you mom, do it, go for it. Totally, totally down.

Amazing. That's support. Amazing. Yeah. And, and what I'm hearing about your family. Okay. Cause you created this right with your husband. Um, you created this amazing environment and safe place for not only your daughter to come to you and talk to you, but for you to come and talk to them, like, how did you do that? 

Magic. No, I mean, first of all, that's very sweet. I appreciate you saying that a lot. Um, I feel that way, like I, you know, everybody has their own special, beautiful feelings about their own family. I hope. And I, you know, there, isn't a second that goes by even like the shittiest of moments when you're just like, you really just want to like rip someone's head off. I still, I still am so very acutely aware of how lucky I am. And I don't know. I mean, I think you just kind of a product of your environment in a lot of ways. And we were very look, you know, where you look, we get to pick our friends, not our family.

My husband and I happened to just be super lucky, you know, with the families that we were born into. And, um, I think so much of who we are as humans and who we have become as parents is just a trickle down. And so I think we got the most important pieces from them and, you know, you take those and you spin them your own way because everybody's different. And we did what every parent does, which is basically like fly by the seat of your pants.

And do the best you can.

Yeah, exactly. And you know, you just go, it's common sense. It's instinct. And I think, you know, looking back now, now that I have grown kids and you know, obviously like everybody does dumb stuff and you get pissed off and whatever, but I mean, overall, we've been lucky that, you know, here they are 22 and almost 25. And, you know, because of COVID, everybody's living at home still and, you know, and working, but it's like, we just, we just really love being together. Like everybody does their own thing and has their own lives and their friends and, you know, comes and goes, but we do most stuff together because we choose to and yeah, I guess, you know, looking at it now, clearly we did some stuff the right way.

Something right. For them to feel comfortable for them to talk to you, which is so important, knowing that you're a talker, you're open to talking about anything. I think that probably also trickled down.

It did, but I'll tell you, it's really funny that you say that because my kids, my kids never read my books or listened to my podcasts. I love you guys, but you know, you don't do that. So if they're ever someday listening to this, it's funny because what I actually prefer to do is listen, I would much rather either hold space or listen to someone, but I also, obviously I enjoy talking, but the funny thing that my whole family would completely rag on me for right now is that, when something is wrong, like if there's an issue and we've got to work through something, I'm like, I'm like down to figure it out.

I will stay up for 13 days and like, let's, let's dive into it. Let's figure it out. Let's work through it. And, and both my girls, my oldest in particular was always just like, get away from me.

Not now, no, I need, I need to process something or I need space or I need to. And it took me a really, really long time before I got to the point where I was like, oh, so what you're saying is you don't do things the way that I do. Like, I couldn't understand how, like, what do you mean you don't want to just fix the problem now? Like, why can't we just, and she was like, Nope, get away from me. And it was when I finally heard her, I listened and I heard her, you mean, you want me to walk away now and we're not going to talk about this tonight or till tomorrow or whenever.

And she was like, yup. And when I started doing that, there was such a dramatic change in our relationship. Like we've always had a great relationship, but I got it. It leveled everything up to a different place. And um, because my oldest and I in the way that we like emote and express are polar opposites. So we would literally like clash. We would say hello to each other in clash. You know what I mean? When she was like in college and I understood, what the work was that I needed to do.

And I did it and she did her own work in terms of like what she knew I needed. And it changed everything for us.

Your next book should be called the magic of listening.

That's a good idea.

Just put me in there somewhere.

I'll give you like a little, I'll give you a copyright.

But anyway, I mean, looking back at my kids, so I have a middle schooler and I have a high school. So kind of really in that teen and just looking at like middle school, I feel like middle school for us. I don't know if this was for you is just a big time where they start to kind of question their identity a little bit. I know my kids, you know, they're both right now identifying as straight. Um, but they're good friends or not. They, they have friends that are transgender, they have friends that are bisexual and just kind of choosing what they feel comfortable with. So, but when they start coming home, cause they just have so much more exposure now. And for us, for some reason, it's middle school. Do you have any advice for parents how to talk about it with their child, you know, as they start bringing up these topics?

Yeah. Yeah. There are a lot of factors in play. Like it's, you know, are they talking about friend? Are they talking about themselves? Are they questioning? Are they, you know, how old are they are? You know, I feel like I've been saying this an awful lot lately and I've definitely been writing it an awful lot lately that I really feel like we need to meet our kids exactly where they are right now, wherever now is, kind of on that, you know, that age spectrum, we have to meet them right there in that place.

And I, and I think that one of the best things that we can do for our kids, in general and certainly with this kind of a topic is really just ask very simple questions and ask them what they know, ask them, like, what does it mean? Like, what does bisexuality mean to you? What, you know, what is being, you know, what is cis-gender mean to you? Like what, what do you know, what, what don't, you know, and, um, you know, honestly, chances are probably that your middle school kid knows an awful lot more than, than you do.

Oh yeah. 

Yeah. I mean, I think that's actually a good time to kind of hop on the internet and go to, you know, to some resources and, and kind of share that information, seeking with them, sit down and be like, Hey let's, if you're curious about X, Y, Z, well, let's look up XYZ together and let's, you know, I'm not sure I know everything that there is to know about it. So let's figure that out together. And that starts conversations, but we're so our kids are so used to us being the ones, doing all the talking and asking all the questions.

I think it's, it's really nice. We flip that narrative and we let them do that and kind of let us know what they know. We can either fill in the gaps if we do know, or if we don't, like I said, that's a great opportunity to be like, Hey, okay, cool. Let's find out together what that means.

Yeah. And I love that you said ask them how they feel about it, because we definitely have conversations, but our conversations are definitely more about, because I think my husband and I, we are very open-minded, we're kind of like, yeah, whatever, whoever, you know, it doesn't matter to us, you know, it's all good. Is our feeling. Um, but we don't understand the terminology a lot of times, like just not up on it. And so

It's a lot and it changes too. So when I feel like I almost got it, it's like all of a sudden there was another thing added and I'm like, oh wait, I don't have it. Um, but our conversations are a lot about that. Like the pronouns or the terminology and things like that. And what I love at the end of our conversations is that our our kids are teaching us. Yeah. I mean, we're like, I always think of those commercials where like, you know, the people are acting like their old parents, you know, like, no, you don't need to bring your own popcorn to the movie. You know?

It's so funny that you say that because that's literally, that's our favorite commercial, those little series of our absolute favorite commercials. Yeah.

Yes. I feel like that. I feel like, okay, now let's talk about it. Yes. He's born a boy, but now identifies as a girl, you know, like, it's very like, okay, I got it. I got it. What's next. Okay. So we're really open to hearing it, but don't always, it takes us a long time to process it sometimes. But what I really love about our conversations is that it's second nature to them. It's a no brainer. It's like, you know, they go by she, Why wouldn't they, you know, like, it's like, oh, okay.

Yeah. That's amazing. Like, I'm so like, proud that it's not even a thing. It's not,.

It isn't. No, it isn't. Which is exactly why. When I came out to my daughter, she was just like, it was just, so it was, it was just so natural and so comfortable. And she just kind of took it. Like, it was always going to come out at that moment. You know what I mean? It was like, she was just, so it was so much a part of her world already that it was like, oh yeah, cool, great. Like pass the salt.

You know what I mean? Exactly.

Exactly. Oh, yeah, of course. Yeah. Definitely. Now let me ask you this. What about, um,  your mom or your parents?

It was really the same, um,.

Good.

Meaning my coming out or my daughters, or both?

Both, I guess. Yeah.

Well, they, I can say this, that both parents, they were amazing parents, siblings, like everyone, like I'm an only child, but my, my husband has, um, has a brother and a sister. And I'm very, like, we're all like one big pool of siblings, you know, they're, they're like family, it's all seamless. Um, it's like, I literally have two sets of parents. I don't even use like the in-law prefix with my in-laws that's how much of a unit we all are. So they all reacted exactly the same way.

It was all like individual. It wasn't like I sat everybody down and have like a group talk, but it was, it was like everybody individually, but it was so funny because they all said the same thing. They were like, okay, thanks. Like, love you for sharing. Like, what does that mean? Because again, they're like another generation removed and for them, it's, you know, even, you know, less a part of their, their life and vocabulary and world. So it, you know, they needed, you know, an explanation, which is of course great.

And both my mom and my mother-in-law said the exact same thing at different times. They were like, I love you so much. Um, this is, you know, I love that you shared this. And so what, yeah, my mother-in-law was like, yeah. So.

You know. Yeah. And you know, it's, um, it was just beautiful. It just, uh, you know, my sister-in-law like, everybody was just like, love you. Like that's, that's great. I mean, I think, I think would be right in assuming that if I had come to them and said something different, like, Hey, I'm not going to stay married anymore to Dave that would've probably had a different response, but it's like that, that wasn't a part of it at all, um, in, at all.

So it was, um, it was more just like, Hey, everybody was like, do you.

Do you that's the logo. Yup.

Yup.

So what would you say to parents who are not supportive?

I would say, wow, shame on you. I would say you brought a child into this world, and if you expected this child to be all the things that you wanted this child to be and did not allow them the space and the opportunity to figure out who they are. And by that, I mean, what sport do you want to play? What college do you want to go to? What language do you want to speak? Do you even want to take an art class?

What do you want to like, whatever it is, whatever the thing is and sexuality and gender expression and all those things are all just like pieces of who we are. And if a parent is going to look at their child and say, not my child, I no way. Nope. Well then shame on you, shame on you and you shouldn't be a parent as far as I'm concerned.

I don't care. Like I, I look, I know that there could very well be some conservative and you know, religious folks who are listening to me right now who were probably shutting off the podcast and sorry, but I'm not sorry because that's just look at the end of the day, raise a human being who can be comfortable in their own skin, who can treat people with respect, who can embrace who they are, who the people in their life express themselves.

I mean, all these things like let, let your child be who your child is. 1000% don't pick and choose what that means, who that you don't get to decide how they view themselves. You don't get to decide who they choose to love. We don't, I don't, I would never who, who would ever in my opinion have that, right? No one has that. Right.

So look, I said this to somebody recently who came to me and they were, they were really struggling. They're really struggling because their child came out to them and they felt like they did not handle the situation. Well, and I was like, okay, so cool. That you're acknowledging that. And like that, that was actually great that they were like, reflecting enough to be like, dammit. Like I did not handle that. Well, I was like, okay, can't go backwards, go forward, go forward, apologize and do the right thing. Keep doing the right thing.

And the right thing, I think, and look, it's all subjective, but in my opinion, the right thing is to, you know, encourage your child to be true to themselves because do you want your child to live their life, hiding who they are being miserable because of that. And, and then carrying around all the baggage that someone who has to do that will carry with them for the rest of their lives. That's, you know, that's what I would ask any parent has to ask themselves, like, do you truly care about your child's happiness?

Yeah. And if you do be grateful that you have a child who loves you enough and trusts you enough to tell you exactly who they are.

What about those kids that know that their parents aren't going to be supporting?

Uh, I really hope that those kids have an outlet. I really hope that they have a great support system in their life. I hope that they have the wherewithal to reach out to, um, you know, all of the incredible organizations that are out there that are offering support within the LGBTQ community. Um, you know, I  just, I hope that they can surround themselves. This is a case of like,  you're friends with the family that you choose.

And I also have a friend who has, you know, made a huge, huge transition in his life. And he is one of the most remarkable human beings that I have met probably ever. And I absolutely adore him and he's become family to me. And I know that he has really had to embrace the friends in his life because his family, um, is not, is not embracing him for who he is. And it just, it like, it literally shatters my heart into a million pieces and you can't replace that family piece, but you sure as hell can, can find, um, you know, all the right kinds of support elsewhere.

And, um, you know, and it does, it does kind of turn that table. It definitely, um, it makes an impact. So hopefully the kids who can't talk to their parents have other people yeah. They can talk to.

Do you have, um, support groups that you know of that you can share?

Yeah, I, I do. In fact, um, you know, one of them, um, the, the one that I would probably share most often is because I have a very deep connection to it now is called the Trevor project. And I don't know if you've heard of it very much in the mainstream right now, uh, it's been around for over 20 years and they are the largest support hotline. They have, uh, they have three different components. They have, um, a chat line, which is your typical, you know, lifeline you call in.

And there's someone on the other end of the phone they're texting line. And they also have something called TrevorSpace that's, um, a social network. It's the largest LGBTQ, uh, a plus four for kids 20, uh, 25 and under to 13 to 25 years old can go on this safe chat space. So Trevor project is the largest LGBTQ focused crisis support network in the world right now. And yeah. And, um, so it's, it's certainly is, is not just for, you know, kids who are struggling with gender identity and sexuality.

It's, it's all the things it's, it's, you know, someone we may feel suicidal, someone may be homeless, someone may be, um, experiencing abuse. Someone may be abusing substances somewhat. I mean, I mean, there are so many different reasons why someone would use Trevor project. Um, but it, it is an LGBTQ plus focused group. And I actually, um, just got certified last week, a crisis counselor.

Congratulations.

Thank you.  They can call in and maybe even talk to you.

They could, they could, um, they, they won't, they won't get me by my real name, but they can. Yeah. So if they go to, um, if you look up Trevor project.org, the Trevor project.org, um, anyone who's listening to this, uh, um, a child, a parent, anyone who's struggling, um, and maybe, you know, a parent who knows their child is struggling call, call the Trevor project. And, um, or at the very least go onto their website, they have incredible, incredible resources.

Um, they kind of run the gamut, those, those crisis situations. So that would be the number one that I would recommend.

Yeah, that's, that's an amazing resource. So thank you.

Sure.

So what message would you like? Our audience can know.

That's a big one. Um, I there's so many messages, you know, I guess at the end of the day, I think the it's really pretty simple. And I, and I really have actually kind of already said it earlier when we were talking, I, I would just say, meet your children where they are right this minute, and just embrace them for who they are or who they're becoming. And we have two choices. You're either going to go with them on that journey, or you're going to alienate them and they're going to go by themselves and you may not agree with everything they choose to do.

You may not support everything that they choose to do. You may not understand everything that your kids are going to do. Just like our parents didn't with us, but when we at least meet them where they are, and we ask the questions and we seek the answers, that's when, um, those lines of communication stay open. That's when you know, that that relationship can continue to grow in, in the right ways. And, you know, I think if you've got your child's best interest truly at heart, then, um, you're going to go anywhere they go.

Yeah. Because that's what we do when we're parents and we love our kids.

Yeah. It's funny. Cause um, I had interviewed my daughter back in the day and one of the things that, um, she said that really stuck with me was that, you know, for kids, they trust their parents automatically, you know, there's  that's it, they trust they get in a car with them, they drive, they go, but for parents, it really takes time for them to trust them. You know? And it just really stuck with me just as you were saying that too, because it's so true. It's like we can learn from them as much as they can learn from us.

it's just another adventure. It doesn't, you know, we can, we can learn on their, we just might not know enough about what they're doing, but it doesn't mean that can't be a beautiful adventure, you know?

Right. Exactly. And, and look, you know, not every single thing that our child decides is right for them or thinks is right for them, I should say is right for them. And, and that just speaks to a whole other conversation that we could have about, um, teaching your kids to accept the consequences of their actions and to grow from them and to that's how we grow that resilience in ourselves is by, you know, making hard decisions sometimes, or, you know, maybe it's intimidating or scary or you just, you're just not sure.

And sometimes it's the greatest thing that ever happened. And sometimes it's the worst thing that ever happened. And it's within those moments where things did not go well and, and the decision was a terrible one that they need those experiences to, to teach them how to course correct and how to, um, figure out another solution or, or what is right for them.

And you know, it, at the end of the day when we are there with them, not making the choices for them, but, but we're, they're saying, look, we we're going to trust you. We're going to trust you right now. Because at some point we have to trust our kids to know what, to know what's best for them. And sometimes they will and sometimes they won't, but when we can be there and support them when it's not the right choice that's a true collaboration. That's and that's what you, that's what we're doing here.

That's where, we're building a, uh, a relationship and a collaboration. That's going to last a lifetime where they depend on us and, and we end up depending on them too. So.

Yeah, we do. Yeah. And sometimes we don't make the right choices I have.

Right. Well, that's the thing too. And that goes, that, that speaks to, you know, all the modeling that we have to do, you know, from, from beginning all the way through their lives, where we're modeling, that's why it's so important that we own the mistakes that we make as parents, whether it's like our own personal decision or it's a family decision. Like we've, you know, we've got to own that stuff. We've got to say, we're sorry, we've got to make it known when we screw up so that they can see how we handle it, that they have some way to understand how they should handle things.

So it's all just like one big, little cyclical experience going through it with them. That's not, you just don't want to miss that.

Yeah. You don't want to miss that. I think there are big takeaways today are meet our kids where they are and the magic of listening.

Yes. I think if you've got that, that's your foundation right there.

Right there. Yeah. So what has been your favorite moms resource that you want to share with our listeners?

Wow. My favorite mom resource, um, for the vomit booth has definitely been a great resource for me. Um, for anyone who's wondering what the hell that could possibly be. It's a Facebook group that I started several years ago that just kind of interconnects all the content that I put out in the world side I'm on the radio. And I also write books and I read a column and I talk a lot about parenting and, and life. And so I put together this group that would allow people to,  come in and kind of share their experiences, kind of the highs and the lows, and kind of, for lack of a better word, you know, vomit up whatever is on their mind.

Like, you know, all the good stuff, all the bad stuff and scary stuff and, um, share, or even just a lot of people are a part of the booth and they just observe and it's, it actually has been an incredibly active group.

There's so much great content that's come. I've got, I've so many of the columns that I write so much of the content for my books has come from the booth and from the conversations that have happened in there. Um, so for me, that's been a great resource. I would say any mom group or most mom groups, um, you know, are absolutely great resources. Um, I'll tell you another really great group. And, and I'm not, I swear I'm not just saying this because I write for them. Um, I'm, I'm not, but, um, I'm picking a very specific age.

Um, any parent listening with a child age 15 to 25, if you have not heard of, or visited, grown and flown,you need to go there right this second. Um, yeah, you need to go. They, um, they've been around now for quite some time, probably I would say seven or eight years.

I started writing for them maybe when they were in like year two or three and they were really just emerging and exploding. And so these two moms, um, brilliant, brilliant women, um, Lisa Heffernan and Mary Dell Harrington, they started this platform for parents, with children within that age bracket, they're grown and, or kind of flown like heading toward high school and college and beyond. And they have got some of the best content for dealing with high school and, and getting to high school and, um, navigating high school and navigating the college process and, you know, the, the admissions process and going to college and post-college all of that stuff.

So, um, I mean, for older, you know, parents of older children, I would say go there as soon as you stop listening to this podcast,.

Oh, I'm going to check it out. I have kids in that age group, so.

It's grown and flown.com.

Awesome. Well, Lisa, thank you so much for being just vulnerable and sharing your story. I just really loved it. I love what you stand for and I love all that you do because you do do a lot. So people should go check out your website because you have so much great information as well on just so many topics.

Oh, I appreciate that a lot. Um, you know,  there's never a shortage of things to talk about when your mom.

Thank you for listening to today's episode. Lisa shared with us such incredible insight and resources. Remember the Trevor project is an organization that is working hard to help those in need. Our Real Life Momz Facebook group is always here to welcome and connect parents. And don't forget let's meet our kids where they are, and don't forget the magic of just the power of listening.



Lisa Sugarman Profile Photo

Lisa Sugarman

Author | Syndicated Columnist | Podcast Host | Mental Health Advocate

Lisa Sugarman is a mom, a parenting author, a nationally syndicated humor columnist, and a podcast host, creating content that helps empower parents, especially moms, by giving them permission to embrace their perfectly imperfectness. She’s also a survivor of suicide loss, losing her father at age ten. Lisa writes the syndicated opinion column It Is What It Is and is the author of How To Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids And Be Ok With It, Untying Parent Anxiety, and LIFE: It Is What It Is, available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and everywhere books are sold. Sugarman is also the co-host of the podcast LIFE Unfiltered on iTunes and iHeartRadio, and a regular contributor on Healthline Parenthood, GrownAndFlown, TODAY Parents, Thrive Global, Care.com, LittleThings, and More Content Now. Lisa lives with her husband and two daughters just north of Boston. Visit her online at www.lisasugarman.com. She digs company.