Some of my favorite bloggers and writers are sharing their stories on mothering daughters and being daughters themselves. As the mom of a newly arrived bit of sugar and spice, I can’t wait to see what insights these ladies have to offer.
((This week’s post comes from Carley Morse))
Before kids, I had all kinds of ideas about parenting. No screen time until age 2. No meltdowns in Walmart. Back to pre-baby body within a few months of giving birth.
And I would have boys.
I mean, girls are complicated, right? There are emotions and feelings and make-up and hormones. Blech. Boys seemed more up my alley. More straightforward.
Fast forward a few years, and I’m a mom of two! (Yay!) Screen time saves my life on a daily basis. There have been many meltdowns in Walmart. My pre-baby body is a distant memory.
And I have two girls.
I’ll be honest—I was disappointed at both ultrasounds. I mean, I was excited. But I was bummed. [See? Female emotions are complicated. Disappointed, excited, and bummed—all at the same time! I feel like I’m proving my point.]
I barely understand me. How on earth could I raise girls? Raise young women? Oh my.
Then, thankfully, I met and fell in love with my little girls. My confusing trifecta of emotions from the ultrasounds became a distant memory. Turns out baby tights and baby girl swim suits are pretty much the cutest things on the planet. Even for a fashion-phobic person like me, it was fun to dress a little girl.
But my enjoyment of my girls goes far beyond wardrobe. I love the way they play and imagine. I love that my three year-old hides behind a pillow for the duration of “Love is an Open Door” out of sheer embarrassment. I love how they didn’t need to be taught to twirl in fancy dresses or to like purple or to care for their baby dolls. I love the way they are intrinsically relational—waving to random elderly folks at Walmart and investing in their toddler friendships.
Girls can be kind of awesome.
Yet, I still struggle with being a mom of girls. I often feel like maybe I should have had boys. I feel vastly unqualified (like more unqualified than the normal I’m-a-mom-and-I-don’t-know-what-I’m-doing unqualified).
I’m not a girlie-girl. I missed that window in middle school when everyone else learned to apply make-up, so now, I have NO idea how to apply eye liner without looking like I have a black eye. I have never felt very comfortable in my body. I struggle to know where I fit socially. I compare myself to others….all the time in every way.
Therein lies my greatest fear as a mom of girls–that my insecurities will become their insecurities.
I want so much more for them. I want them to be confident young women. I want them to be secure in the Lord, seeking His approval above all else. I want them to be confident in their gifts and talents and purpose and relationships.
And for crying out loud, I want them to be able to apply eye liner! (But not for many, many years.)
So, how can I teach my girls to be something I am not? Simple. I can’t.
I can’t teach them confidence when I struggle with insecurities. I can’t teach them not to compare when I do it all the time. I can’t teach them that they’re beautiful regardless of size and shape when I struggle to believe that myself.
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. (Otherwise, this would be the most depressing blog post of all time!) I can teach them what it looks like to be a woman of God. My struggles don’t have to be my struggles forever. I believe that the Lord can (and will) transform me as I seek after Him.
This gives me hope as I raise my girls. And it has motivated me to pursue my relationship with Christ more seriously, allowing Him to change me so that I can change the legacy I pass down to my girls. I want to be able to teach them the things that it took me 30 years to learn. (Though it’s possible the eye liner situation is beyond help, but they’ll have youTube for that.)
Hey there! I’m Carley—follower of Jesus, wife of Ben, mom of two sweet little girls, and lover of reading, coffee, being real, M&Ms, and math (not in that order). Relatively new to the blogging world, I hope that my words will stir your affections for the Lord and encourage you in your journey. Find me on IG at @alifestirred.