The Conversation on Lifetime might be one of the smartest, most innovative interview concepts I’ve ever seen — all while being stripped down, simple, basic. The celebrity women are often barefoot on their own couches, chatting like humans — not like a predictable press-junket version of themselves. They’re real, they’re vulnerable, and they’re incredibly smart. Even Miley Cyrus (sorta).
And Diane von Furstenberg’s interview is even more insightful than I imagined it would be.
I knew that Diane von Furstenberg started having children in her early 20s, around the same time she launched what would become one of the most successful, iconic fashion labels in history. I also knew that she married a prince.
What I didn’t know before watching this interview is that she accidentally got pregnant — which she admitted to being completely freaked out about — and then married her prince. And while I assumed it was her royal status that jump-started her career, it was actually her desire to be an independent woman, apart from a mother and princess.
“I did not know what I wanted to do, but I knew the woman I wanted to be, and that was an independent woman.”
That’s such a mature and insightful realization for such a young woman to make — especially because she could ride off on the back of a white horse toward her Happily Ever After. But she wouldn’t play that role.
So her advice for mothers (and women in general) is to absolutely have an identity outside of the family. It wasn’t her passion for fashion, but her desire for independence — her need to not be defined as a mother and a princess, as easy as that would have been — that fueled her success. And I assume that’s made all the difference.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: The most challenging part of these last three years hasn’t been becoming a mother; it wasn’t committing to wifehood; it wasn’t maturing into adulthood.
It was doing all three things at once.
At first I was consumed with my new role as “mother” — it was the sole source of my insecurities, my hopes, my goals (as evidenced by my earliest blog posts). Then as Noah got older, my focus shifted to my marriage. I knew I was a good mother, but what did it mean to be a good wife? Enter new goals.
And now I find my focus shifting once again, inward. There’s a common denominator in all three roles: myself. And if my self isn’t strong and healthy, then that compromises…everything.
Diane said that her biggest piece of advice for anyone, anywhere, is that the most important relationship in your life is the relationship with yourself.
She spends time with herself, alone.
She trusts herself. She’s kind to herself. She winks at herself.
And I assume that’s made all the difference.
[Watch the entire interview from The Conversation.]