Growing Together: Out of the Box


growing togetherI am so excited today to bring you the words of Dana from Kiss My List for our next Growing Together story. Her words are lovely and her story of growth is one I can completely related to – seeing your actions reflected in your children and using that as motivation to grow. Happens to me all the time and Dana captures the feeling of it so perfectly.

Also? I met Dana last weekend at BlogU14, and it feels pretty amazing to have her here today as not just a blogger I know on the internet but a friend I’ve shared a meal with!

Enjoy Dana’s story and be sure to visit her at Kiss My List!


I am my father’s daughter. That’s what my mother always told me when I was growing up. I was like Dad, approaching life in a logical, rational manner. I was guided by my thoughts rather than my emotions, just like he was.

And while I was a bright child, I was not prone to metacognition, so I accepted that succinct description of me. Dana is the thinker, the planner. She makes decisions with her head, not her heart.

I’m still a thinker and a planner. But my heart is now a mother’s heart, and it has as much influence as my head. As my husband and I have been raising our children for the past sixteen years, I have stepped out of that box that I put myself in so many years ago.

Everything used to be black and white, right and wrong. I made a decision and it was written in stone. Now I can put myself in another’s shoes, and I can see the gray. Changing my mind does not make me weak; it makes me flexible and open to better possibilities.

I used to argue for the sake of arguing. I defended my point of view to the bitter end. Now I consider what I want the outcome to be. Why fight to the end if it is going to be bitter? If it’s something worth fighting for, I fight for it. If it’s not, I let it go. Winning an argument doesn’t make me right.

I used to think being right was the goal. Now I know that isn’t always the case.

I used to think an apology made everything better. Now I realize that words cannot be taken back. Apologies can be made, but it’s better to not say the words in the first place. I’m not always successful, but now I try to think before I speak. Choosing words carefully means less apologies are needed.

I see my children looking at the world similarly to the way I used to view it. It’s not uncommon for children to engage in all-or-nothing thinking, or to believe that “I’m sorry” is contrition enough. It’s often a child’s way of seeing this confusing and complex world, and making sense of it. Yet as I saw these traits in my own two children, I recognized that they were both mirroring me. Seeing these behaviors reflected back at me motivated me to change. The strategies that I believed served me well as a child and young adult were no longer what I strove for. I’ve outgrown my box, and I am growing alongside of my children.

I am my father’s daughter, but he too has grown. And while he may disagree, I give much of the credit to his grandchildren.


kiss my listI’m Dana, the slightly obsessive writer behind the blog Kiss my List. I traded a lucrative career in school counseling to stay home and raise two brilliant and well-adjusted children. Now that they are teenagers, I have time to write in between the sports practices and homework drama. My blog is like a coffee date with that friend who makes you laugh, gives sound advice, and will tell you when you have lipstick on your teeth. My tag line, “Wake up, Be Amazing, Repeat Daily,” sums up my outlook on life. Whether I achieve that amazing-ness on a daily basis is another matter entirely. Come visit me at, or connect on Twitter (@kissmylist) or Facebook (


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.

CommentLuv badge