What Kind of Mom Does This? - Christine Kane

Today’s guest post was written by Colleen O’Grady, licensed therapist and life coach.

“This feels selfish. I can’t invest this kind of time and money into my dreams/business. What will this do to my 12 year old daughter, especially since I am a single parent?”

I was a working mother. I worked – and was a mother, and that’s about it.

Despite my best attempts at achieving a work-life balance I was disconnected from my wise, playful, creative, passionate, and inspired self. My energy had flat lined into blah.

For fifteen years I made a steady income as a licensed therapist. Being an entrepreneur was a foreign concept to me, even though I had a private practice. I really never thought about my business. It just kind of worked out.

When I first joined Uplevel Academy, Christine would talk about the importance of being a leader in your life, and business. She would talk about living reactively vs. living intentionally.

It hit me like a ton of bricks. I was not being a leader of my life. Everyone else was driving my life, and I reacted.

And this was very true about my parenting.

A teenage drama princess had recently abducted my precious little girl. At twelve she was already taller than me and would give me a mountain of sass. I REACTED and quickly earned my crown as drama queen.

The ironic thing is that I was known as the all-wise marriage and family therapist and teenage expert. But behind closed doors I was discouraged from the non-stop drama dance.

So here’s what I did. I detached from the drama and focused my attention towards creating my business. (Yes. the amazing Uplevel Academy Platinum Mastermind community, many of whom were moms, gave me the support and inspiration to move forward.)

Six years later, I’ve created a life and business I’m completely jazzed about.

The puzzle pieces of my life came together to reveal my purpose. My transformation from reactive mom to empowered mom was the missing piece to create the Power Your Parenting program, website, e-zine, e-book and podcast.

Now, out of my therapy cave, I’m spreading my message all over the world helping moms reconnect with their teenage daughters and reclaim their life. Recently I received a book deal from a New York publisher for Dial Down the Drama.

But my greatest joy is how this has impacted my daughter.

Who knew that investing in myself would make me a better mom and transform my relationship with my daughter? Behind closed doors, I’m happy and cherishing her.

I discovered how I lived my life profoundly influenced my daughter, not my elegant mother lectures. By taking risks and challenging myself, I set a new standard for my family.

Being the leader of my life gave my daughter permission to be her own person and follow her dreams.

Months ago, I was missing her (a very busy senior). Nine-thirty at night she texted me, and asked me to get in her car. We drove off in her red beetle through downtown Houston when she said, “I was thinking, who could I talk to about this, even though you’re my mom, you’re the best person.”

“Mom I want to make a big difference in the world. I want to inspire as many people as I can to not give up on their creativity. See we’re kind of the same. You speak to lots of moms, and are writing your book. You want to change the world and so do I. I want to learn how to speak. Where would I start?”

My daughter is beginning her journey. I keep seeing signs of a budding entrepreneur. I am excited to see what unfolds for both of us.

Investing in your life is far from selfish. It positively impacts your family in ways you can’t even imagine and raises the bar for what’s possible for the next generation.

I’d love to talk about what your experience has been with this. In the comments below, share with me something you’ve felt too selfish to do, and what’s stopping you, or your great success and how you overcame the guilt around it. 


Colleen O’Grady is a Licensed Therapist, and Life Coach with over 20 years of experience as well as a national speaker. She is the creator of the Power Your Parenting book and program which has now served moms from all over the country, teaching them 7 steps to get back in touch with their own voice, their own power and reconnect with their teenage daughters.

  • Joy Resor

    Colleen, this is a rich, inspiring post, and I’m so glad I ran into it.

    Congratulations on living deeper into your own life and purpose, inspiring parents to love their lives, inspiring their children!

    Bless your relationship with your wonderful, evolving daughter.

    Thank you for being your amazing self.


  • Ginger Meek Allen

    THIS: “Investing in your life is far from selfish. It positively impacts your family in ways you can’t even imagine and raises the bar for what’s possible for the next generation.”
    SO TRUE! My hope is always that my four daughters are growing up to know the value of investing in themselves… in never doubting their own worth, and trusting their instincts.
    Thanks so much, Colleen!

  • Jill Harris

    Love reading about your story, your sweet girl, and yalls journey together 🙂

  • Cathy Harris

    Colleen’s blog was so encouraging. I have felt that I needed to take care of everyone before myself. I see that being intentional about my life is the best thing I can do for those I care about. Thanks, Colleen

    • Colleen O’Grady

      That’s so true Cathy. It can feel selfish to take care of yourself first but in reality every one benefits.

  • Colleen O’Grady

    Thats so true Starla. Your right that by taking care of ourselves we can continue to be bright lights in the world.

  • Starla Fitch MD

    Thanks for sharing this critical message for us all. It’s not just moms who feel guilty. Doctors, nurses and other health care providers have this same kind of concern when we stop to think of our own needs. But, I’ve come to know that taking care of ourselves helps us take care of others better. No doubt.
    And for all those “but, I’m not a mom” folks out there: me neither! And yet, I’ve learned from Colleen’s Power Your Parenting classes and her wisdom for many years. Colleen, I’m so happy your bright light is shining in the world! Thank you!
    Much love, Starla

  • Colleen O’Grady

    Thanks so much Kathy.

  • Kathy Briggs

    Your helpful and intelligent advice has me looking forward to the new book!

  • Dina Gustin

    My daughter is 12 and my ears to Colleen’s wisdom are wide open. It is a turning point in the development of a young girl to a young woman. Things are redefining themselves on both sides of our relationship more at this age than ever. And for moms, taking charge and not being reactive is a concept that I want to know more about. Thanks Colleen and am looking forward to learning more!

    • Colleen O’Grady

      Thanks Dina. Yes it is very easy to parent reactively, but this is the time to think about parenting intentionally.

  • Lorna Brindley

    Your wisdom is inspiring and your honesty and life experiences in this journey of parenting always gives me tools that help to keep me focused in the right direction! I too cannot wait to read your book. Thanks Colleen

  • Nikki owen

    Wonderful for all parents….a must read.

  • Jenny

    Love this post! Thanks for letting us be a ‘fly on the wall’ in your daughter’s little red beetle! .

  • Elizabeth Barbour

    Colleen – I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! You are such an inspiring role model for moms to take care of themselves so they can teach their daughters to do the same! I can’t wait for your book to come out and even though my daughter is only a toddler, I know that your wisdom applies to any age and stage in the parenting process.

    • Colleen O’Grady

      Thanks so much Elizabeth. You are right what I am sharing is appropriate for all ages.

  • Joan Moody

    This is a wonderful story of many stories that I have been honored to watch unfold as you have dared to have great courage! Way to go! I have learned much from you.

  • Liz


    You are wise and I love this blog. I am so glad to be finding out how even more amazing you are!

    Living with spirit and intention,


  • Rosanne Trost

    Excellent reading for mothers of any age.

  • Amy McCarty

    Much truth contained here. The smaller families of today’s world seems to make it too easy to be hyper-focused on raising perfect kids in a perfect home environment. How much better to raise fabulous people in a positive and supportive environment, but one where the kids are aware they may not be the center of the universe. They learn from their parents how important it is to maintain one’s personal health. As a frequent flier, I love to use the example of putting on your own oxygen mask first before assisting your child with his. That approach seems to be a better preparation for the “real world!”
    Keep sharing your wisdom and experience, Colleen!

    • Colleen O’Grady

      Thanks Amy. Yes there is much wisdom in the oxygen mask metaphor. Your absolutely right about perfection. Perfection stops both mom and daughter from taking risks–believe me my daughter is well aware of my imperfection. But she did see me risk, fall, and get back up again.

  • Jane Friou

    I love watching you follow your dreams! Thanks for letting me part of your success.

  • Gina Underwood

    I loved the “real story” of your card ride with your daughter. What a sweet reward for the investment you made in her, and what a great complement she gave you! Very encouraging story!

  • Jen Uteda

    I love this blog post and the weekly emails I get from you. Love the part in this blog about you and Erin too. You’ve helped me so much through the years with your Power Your Parenting Program. It saved my relationship with my teenage son and now, it’s helping me with my extremely active teenage girl! It was a great investment that helps me every day.

  • Sherry Duson

    Your story is just amazing! Thank you for setting the bar high for yourself, and showing all of us moms of teenage daughters how to keep to drama dialed down. It DOES pay off in the end–you end up with a real, authentic connection with a fabulous young woman who used to be your little girl.

    • Colleen O’Grady

      Thanks Sherry. It’s amazing how it can seen that our daughters don’t listen to us, but they are always watching us. I think because my daughter watched me risk imperfectly she feels permission to do the same.

  • Julia Wolf

    I so love this reflection on your story of change as a woman and a mom and how it impacted your daughter’s development and relationship with you. You continue to inspire me to take risks toward growth and from this my children have learned to take risks and become who they are meant to be in the world! Can’t wait for your book to come out!

  • Teresa Koops

    Great job. I loved hearing about you and your daughter. You inspire me. I look forward to seeing what God does in you and your daughter’s lives in the coming years. You Rock!!!

  • Cookie

    Colleen, everything you write about parenting my girls is SO helpful!

  • Colleen O’Grady

    Thanks so much Sue. You are living this out with your daughter and son. You have modeled amazing things for them.

  • Sue Ludwig

    Colleen –
    LOVE this. Just shared it on my FB page and Twitter in hopes of all moms reading it. I felt every word and should tape this to my forehead so I don’t forget the power we have. Your wisdom, wit and real life-ness makes me feel relieved and inspired all at once. Thank you!

  • Teri Beckman

    Dear Colleen –
    Your post is so inspiring! I love the conversation you had with your daugher in her beetle. Wow, you must feel so proud. Your blog post encourages me to keep going for the bigger dream, to keep investing, to know I too am now and can continue to make a bigger and bigger positive impact on the world. Thanks so much for the inspiration! Can’t wait to see your book published…:)