Raising A Strong Daughter In Our Tough World
Here is to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.
My baby girl, first born, the one who made me a Mama-just turned four. Four wasn’t a difficult birthday for me at all. I was and still am so happy to see her thriving and becoming her own person. But let’s go back about four and a half years to the time we were about to find out if our first baby was a boy or a girl!
From the moment I found out we were pregnant with our first baby, I swore it was a boy. I just knew it, you know that gut feeling that you know in your heart is right? I had a Pinterest board full of blue, I was only considering boy names, I would refer to baby as a he all the time hoping to somehow magically ensure that baby really was a he. Then came the day we both had been looking forward to so much, finding out that our little growing baby was in fact a boy. Man, did that not go as planned!
After finding out we were having a girl, I was broken. I cried and wept the whole way home that day. I was still so happy to be becoming a Mama but I was so so sad. I always imagined having a boy first followed by a little girl that would adore her big brother and her protector. I felt like God had betrayed me by making our baby a girl. Of course, a lot of that was all the hormonal changes that were happening inside me and after about a day of coming to terms with everything, I was amazingly excited to have a little girl.
My blue Pinterest boards turned to everything pink, we decided on a name quickly, and our families were so happy to be welcoming a little princess into the world!
emilys birth was long, traumatic, resulted in surgery with me not recovering well at all, and once I was able to gain parts of myself back it hit me; God chose me. He chose me to raise this tiny little person in the world we’ve created that can be so hard for girls and women. Why did he chose me for this task? How in the world am I strong enough for this? In our world today with social media and all the pressures to look perfect all the time, how am I going to make sure she knows and believes that her looks aren’t the only thing she has going for her?!
There are a couple things I try to do that help me feel validated that I’m doing the right things and raising Emily to know her worth and value, and that it far past simply her looks.
- I always tell her she is beautiful, because clearly she IS! I make sure to tell her that she is smart, funny, and capable too and that she isn’t defined simply by her appearance!
- I tell her that her beauty along with everyone else’s comes from the inside out. I tell her that being kind and honest and understanding are traits that are so much more important to have.
- I let her know that she can do and be anything she wants. Yes, she has a ton of princess dresses but that’s because she likes to be a princess! We aren’t forcing her into those roles. She likes being girly sometimes but just as often she’s wanting to wear her PJ Mask outfit or her Batgirl or Supergirl!
- We offer Emily the same opportunities as Brody. Does she want to play t-ball? Awesome? She wants to take ballet classes? Awesome, too! Whatever it is SHE chooses to do, we want her to know she is capable to taking on challenges and beating them! I hope by her doing this she continues to build her self-confidence and keeps understanding that she is so strong!
- Something we’re working on right now is getting her to understand that her body is her own. No ones owns it but her and she has the right to chose what happens to it. Of course with her only being four years old, were not pushing crazy thoughts or anything but the basic understanding is what we’re trying to get through to her!
- I tell her that she can talk to me about anything. I never want her to feel that she has to be perfect or that if she messes up she can’t come to me. Just like I know I can turn to God, my Father for anything I need without being judged, I want Emily to feel the same with me and Daddy.
- I tell Emily ALL the time that I believe in her. I know that the way I speak to her is how she is going to internally feel about herself, especially at her young age, and I want to give her all the confidence in the world!
- When she is interested in something, I show interest in that, too. Her feelings and thoughts need to be validated and by simply acting interested and giving positive feedback to her, she’ll feel just that.
i know thisnisnt isn’t a full list of things to do to ensure you raise a strong daughter but it’s a pretty good start! These tips have helped me in my everyday Mama life and no, I’m not perfect every single day, and Emily sees that. Her seeing me mess up reassures her though, that she doesn’t have to be perfect! We all make mistakes!