When I was in my twenties, I always thought I wanted boys when I had children. They seemed easier. I wasn’t really a girly girl. I didn’t have many girly friends. I knew that if I had girls, I was going to have to deal with discussing – um you know that thing. I couldn’t imagine talking about something so personal. ICK!
I do have a son – a step son. I inherited him with my marriage when he was five. And quite honestly, being the step-mother got me out of some of the discussion about the birds and the bees by default.
However, my husband and I created two girls.
As a person that doesn’t like surprises – actually, I like surprises if you are crafty enough to be one step ahead of me – I always pry. After becoming pregnant it was only natural of me to find out the sex of the baby beforehand. When I found out about my first daughter, I had some concerns. Mostly, I wondered if I could handle having a girl. Would I have to be girly with bows, lace and foofoo stuff? Could I take the sassy back talk? How many rolled eyes and stomping feet would penetrate my days of a being a mother?
My labor was quick, four hours. The moment I held my first daughter, pride zapped me in the heart. I felt a bond so significant, so natural, so sweet.
During the first years with my oldest daughter, I tried to be girly or my perception of girly. I bought luxury outfits with matching hats. I bought a navy peacoat – ok that was adorable. I painted her room pink. I wanted it to have a chandelier but by the time I got around to it, she grew up, and had her own opinions. Girly went in a different direction. She brought a girly kind of nature to the surface I hadn’t thought of. Twirling, dancing all the time and giggling. I never thought about the giggling. Now, she’s 11, still twirling and dancing. But, she squeals. She squeals a lot and her staple response to everything is, “I know, right!”
When my second daughter was born, I was a little better prepared to loosen my girly perspective. However, my second daughter never liked luxury outfits or peacoats at all – I was totally hoping to get a second wearing out of it, it was expensive! She didn’t wear dresses. Now, she wears ripped leggings under jean skirts. They are ripped because she wears them over and over. Her top is usually a pullover with large open armholes with a tank top underneath. She pairs her clothes with sparkly nail polish. Her room smells constantly of vanilla hand cream and she curls her hair. She’s nine.
I love it all.
While I was observing I discovered I needed to have a mission as a mother. I decided to teach them to always align themselves with joy. What I didn’t know, is this was a lesson I had needed for my own soul. I was going to have to walk the talk and I really wanted to live by example.
I fall in love with them every time I learn something new about myself which is now a daily occurrence. My goal and purpose as a mother is to hopefully glean something of all
the things that went wrong the lessons I learned. Some lessons I wanted to teach them earlier in life, rather than later. Financial planning is a good one. But, the biggest lesson – do what you love. What is your hobby? What do you like to do? Find a way to make it your purpose, source of income or stress reliever. Immerse yourself in as many things that give you joy. And if you discover something doesn’t give you joy, drop it. Fast. A very important part of discovering what brings you joy is knowing what doesn’t! I want them to know to try things, often. If they find they aren’t interested, go ahead and jump to a new interest. This very lesson, started to resonate with me.
Actually, I’ve been a jumper all my life. What others considered a weakness, changing jobs as often as I get my haircut, finding new projects weekly and challenging my own views are my greatest strengths.
When I think back to when I become a mother. I had no idea how to raise a child. I had no idea what my goals, methods or routines would be. I didn’t even think about it when I thought about it. I just went with the flow. It is my girls that taught me to believe in myself. It is my girls that taught me how to give grace both to others and especially to myself.
If not for my need to have a mission for the girls, I don’t think I would have found my joys of humor, event planning, public speaking and tea. Because of them, they made me the best person and mother. This is my greatest joy!