Introduce yourselves! What do you love most about your relationship?
ASTRID (MOM): I’m, Olivia’s mom. Because she’s the baby in the family, my parenting style has definitely mellowed and I have (sort of) stopped sweating the small stuff which has given us space to become very close.
OLIVIA (DAUGHTER): I’m twenty and a sophomore at the University of Miami. I second what my Mom said. Being the youngest has allowed my Mom and I to be open with each other in ways most Mothers and Daughters aren’t. I can honestly say she is the person I go to when I have a problem which happens A LOT. I’m in college now and I call her everyday with even minor of inconveniences.
What are some ways you like to practice self-care together?
ASTRID: We cook together, and eat together...A LOT. Olivia is my youngest of three so we had years alone together. I’m a “don’t mess with dinner” kind of mom, no TV, no cellphones just food and conversation. We catch up on the day, we laugh, we cry...we learn about each other.
OLIVIA: For my 18th birthday, my mom took me to Great Jones Spa and treated both of us to a day of massages and facials. More frequently, we always get our nails donetogether. Also dinner is a major part of our combined self care. No matter how busy we are, we ALWAYS put aside everything for an hour and catch up. These uninterrupted meals together allow us to actually talk about ourselves and what is troubling us. Even while I’m at college, I need my daily phone calls so sort out my life and calm down in the face of problems that seem too overwhelming to deal with alone.
Olivia, what has your mother taught you about self care and self love?
OLIVIA: The first thing my mom taught me about self-care was to ALWAYS take off your makeup before bed. It seems like something little but it can have major effects on your skin over time. Even now, probably six or seven years after she told me that, I never go to bed with makeup on. Second, she has taught me never to underestimate the healing powers of taking a nice bubble bath. Anytime I am home from college and need to calm down, or when I was stressing about something in high school, she always encouraged a bubble bath. And I have to agree, baths have healing powers.
Astrid, on the flipside, what has your daughter taught YOU about self care / love?
ASTRID: The power of highlighter, who knew it’s magic! She’s taught me about “multi - step” beauty routines. Serums and elixirs are now part of my daily routine.
Mom, how did you learn about periods, sex ed and your body?
ASTRID: My mother tried to talk to me about these things but it never felt natural for her so it always felt weird for me. Which in turn never made me comfortable enough to go to her with questions or problems. So I went to friends instead who sometimes knew less than me! It was a mess.
What do you wish was different?
ASTRID:I believe that having open conversations about sex and birth control with your daughter lays the groundwork for all those other intense talks that come up throughout life. I wish the dynamic between me and my mother was different but through that experience I learned what NOT to do so I guess it served me well.
And Olivia, how has your Mom made taboo topics like puberty and sex more approachable?
OLIVIA: My mom always encouraged open communication about sex and puberty. Actually, I was the one that got embarrassed talking about those topics and my mom pushed me to be more open, especially with her. She never made me feel uncomfortable about periods or birth control and made sure her support was always evident. My mom understood that she had the most knowledge about these topics out of anyone is my various social circles so she made a point of bringing these topics up to me.
One specific memory I have was when I was 13 and my Mom and I had been talking about the relationships that were happening in my class at school. She asked “Do you like anyone? Boy or girl?”. This simple question of who I liked automatically made me feel comfortable talking to her. Some parents would have assumed boy to be the correct answer and never would have acknowledged the possibility of me liking girls. Even though I had answered that I liked a boy in my class, I walked away from that conversation knowing my mom would have been equally thrilled if I said a girl’s name. I don’t believe that parents need to aggressively talk about sex and puberty with their children but I do believe that the little sentences said and actions done by parents pertaining to these ‘taboo’ topics are what makes the child more comfortable to open up.
My mom never tried to discourage me from having a boyfriend or the idea of having sex. She always wanted me to come to her with questions and concerns first. When I started thinking about having sex for the first time, my mom encouraged me to come to her about different birth control options and went to every doctor’s visit with me until I felt comfortable going alone. She encouraged contraceptives because she wanted me to be safe but knew that not allowing me to have sex was the wrong way to go.
And finally.. fill in the blank. I’m thankful for my mom because ___________.
OLIVIA: My mom is my best friend
Mom: albeit a BFF who gives you a curfew and makes you clean your room