What girls really need
I say this without a hint of doubt, I grew up with the world’s best mom. She was kind, giving, selfless, and I saw her climb mountains of grief. With two girls of my own, I have 5 things I know girls need from their mom. No, it’s not the designer clothing, the latest hair style, or even the car when they turn 16. Here is what little girls really need from us.
This weekend we stood in line for some back to school shopping as I watched my littlest girl move toward something sparkly that caught her eye. She picked it up gently and looked at me with hopes that this new found thing she held in her tiny little hand would be placed in our cart of clothing. I looked at her big brown eyes and asked her if that was what she wanted to spend her own money on. Keep in mind these were hair ties. Nothing fancy, but they were a whole 5 dollars and that would mean it was all the money she had to spend.
I reminded her that we still had a few more places to drive to and she may want to wait just to be sure that was truly what she wanted. She placed them back and grabbed my hand to move forward in the line.
Could I have just bought them for her? Of course I could have, but what lesson would that have taught? Do you know how many times I have just given in to every small trinket they have wanted? Too many times to count, but today I made the decision to let her make the choice. I wanted her to have the capability of making a hard decision for herself. To create autonomy. This had me thinking about what I believed my girls really needed from their momma…
1. A safe place to land
These young women who I have been given the honor of raising need a safe place to land. A place to call home. This space should be filled with not only boundaries, but grace. These walls should fill with laughter, but room for reconsiling mistakes. Little girls who will come to you when they have had their heart broken, their faith shaken, and their hopes shattered. You will be there to rise them up, dust the dirt off their boots, and then push them to try again.
There is so much wrongfulness in this world, but your arms should fill them with kindness, guidance, and unwavering love. This is by far the top thing a girl needs from her mom.
2. The knowledge that they are powerful
Women are extraordinary. We have strength unlike anything else in this world. Being a girl doesn’t mean we are not strong, it means that we are powerful. We have the hands to heal the sick, the heart to fill a void of someone suffering, and the ability to bring light to any darkness. We are teachers, scientists, lawyers, doctors, senators, astronauts, singers, dancers, chefs, military personnel, aviators, artists, and writers. We not only can do anything we dream of, but have the ability to do it better because we are women.
3. The tools to take them into young adulthood
Yes, they all need to know how to wash clothes, make a meal, and change a tire, but I’m talking about tools to handle real life issues. What “no” really means when you say it. What to do if that “no” hasn’t been heard. How to handle sexism, fighting for the weak, letting your own voice be heard, believing you are worth it, and letting go.
“By the very nature of being a woman, she is vulnerable to the manipulations of others. Teach your daughter the beauty and strength of her body, no matter size or shape. Teach her the sacredness of sex. She was not put on the planet to be an accessory, or solely for someone else’s pleasure.” ~ Source
4. the love of a man does not define you
My beautiful daughters, I adore your daddy to my core, but he does not define my worth. I am worthy simply because I am who I am. You are worth waiting for. You are worth having the door opened for you. You are worth monogamy. You are special, unique, and no man can ever define that part of your soul. She is more precious than rubies…Proverbs 3:15
Sweet girls, you are worth it.
5. The unique you is the best you
You were created to be exactly who you are. Love frilly dresses while playing baseball? Amazing. Go do it. Do you love all things little girl? Relish in digging in the dirt and having bugs in your pockets?Just don’t bring them in the house, but you do you 😉 Want to try out for the football team? Great, where do I sign you up? My point is that my job is to watch you fly no matter who you are. My job is to guide you yet let you create who you were born to be.
It’s not your job to make someone else comfortable. Another time for the people in the back…IT IS NOT YOUR JOB TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE COMFORTABLE. Do people stare at the choices you make? I’m delighted. It means you are changing the way people view the world.
I realize that raising girls can be frightening, but dang is it worth it. I look at my oldest and I’m so proud. She is strong willed, open hearted, and the most giving person I know. She is worth it. They are worth it.