Episode 9
Hard on the Heart, Surrender and Vulnerability in Parenting

Brené Brown describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure.” I don’t know of anything with as much “emotional exposure” as parenting. When we love big, we risk loosing big. And foster parenting is emotional exposure on steroids. We throw our whole selves in and then we have to let go of the results. Brené goes on to say, “Vulnerability is the core, the heart, the center of meaningful human experiences…” I don’t know about you, but that’s what I want… meaningful human experiences, especially with my children.

For me, right now, I am in a season of letting go which is requiring great vulnerability. My 2 oldest sons are getting married within 3 months of each other. As a matter of fact, my oldest was married this past Saturday. Here are the newlyweds now! Meet Brooks and Gigi.

Over the past several months I have experienced all kinds of heavy emotions… leading to a few subsequent meltdowns. At the core, I think I’ve been processing the launching of my oldest boys, and gained some clarity after a recent dream….

A couple of weeks ago, I woke at 4:30am in a panic from one of those dreams that feels so real it takes a few moments to realize it wasn’t real. In the dream I was being forced to place my youngest son, Carter, at around 3 years of age, on an airplane, alone, for some unknown reason. I stood there crying, and watching the airplane take off, then suddenly from out of nowhere a smaller plane or drone or helicopter of some sort crashed into the plane with my baby on board. I took off running in the direction of the crash. I ran what seemed like a long way towards the plane, through a maze of larger buildings. When I finally made it to the wreckage, survivors were walking off the plane, one of which was my son, only he was no longer 3 years old, he was in his 17 year old body. I watched him do a back flip as he exited the plane and we ran towards each other hugging and of course I was crying…but he was smiling as usual, and saying, “ I’m totally good mom…see”, pointing to his body. Then I woke up….only I didn’t wake feeling the joy of my son being alive. I woke with dread and worry and fear over my children….

What the heck was that all about? Well, I’ve heard dreams are never really about what they seem to be…so, since it was only 4:30am, I had the time, so I sat and journaled to see where my thoughts would take me. As soon as I gave myself permission to ponder what my dream might be trying to tell me, I seemed to just intuitively know…I am feeling powerless…. in my role as mother. I am struggling to let go of my boys… While I’m excited for their new adventures, college, marriages to beautiful young ladies, I’m also sad. I will no longer the first women they turn too for comfort. I no longer hold the influence in their lives I once did. I will never again play the same role with them that I have for so many years. They will no longer come to me first when they need a hug or want to talk about something that’s bothering them…they will go to their wives, as they should, just like my husband and I have modeled for them. They are doing exactly what we always dreamed they would, but it requires me to let them go, as I have done many times before, but this one feels so final.

Deep inside I know the answer, surrender and vulnerability are the gateway from what “has been” to get to what “will be”.

I am proud of my boys, they are incredible individuals and are ready to step into their new roles as heads of their own homes. I know they will be great husbands to their wives because that’s kind of men they have become… and as for me, my dreams have pointed me to the work I will continue to do….SURRENDER… and embrace the vulnerability it takes to create meaningful human experiences.

So take a deep belly breath, let go, and enjoy this weeks episode.

Audio only


If you haven’t seen Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability, it’s powerful and worth the 20 minutes it will take to watch it…pinky promise!
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Pam Queck
Pam Queck
3 years ago

Thank you Tara ! 😊

Live & let live ! Yes vulnerability opens doors and such freedom !
Enjoyed the podcast as always!

Tara Hutton
Tara Hutton
3 years ago
Reply to  Pam Queck

Thank you Pam…

Cindye Sablatura
Cindye Sablatura
3 years ago

Tara, I have been listening to your podcasts, and I have been wowed by the parenting wisdom you are offering. Even though my own daughters are grown, I find that practices like vulnerability and surrender still apply. Thank you for sharing your own doubts and struggles about doing a podcast. I am trying to get up the courage to start a business idea I have – one that helps others – and you sharing your journey helps me to believe I can do it.

Tara Hutton
Tara Hutton
3 years ago

thank you Cindye…I know what a strong women you are…your words mean a lot to me, thank you! I know you will find the courage. YOU HAVE DONE MANY COURAGEOUS THINGS ALREADY!

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