Confession: Luke and I really wanted a girl with my first pregnancy. Not only was I obsessed with the idea of dressing & cuddling a cute little mini-me, but we both come from families with firstborn girls so the news that we were expecting a boy was a big adjustment for us.
Fast forward 4 years and we had 2 adorable little boys. I really loved being a “boy mom” and truth be told, I kind of expected to have another 1 or 2 boys before any girls. So when we got first Juliet and then the twins, I was in girl heaven, buying up all the bows and the pink things! Fast forward even further and we now have FIVE girls. It’s a little hard to believe that there was ever a time when girls weren’t a part of our family.
Now we know all about girls, from the princess dressups to the My Little Pony underwear to the tear-filled dramatic meltdowns…and I love every bit of it! I really do. But as I face an uncertain future of raising these little girls to become little ladies, I’m confronting some real, deep-seated fears about what kind of mother I can and will be.
Today over on Instagram, I opened up about my past and present body insecurities and how badly I want to spare my daughters the pain of carrying around body angst. The pressure to look and dress a certain way is everywhere: movies, social media, magazines, etc. and it seems almost impossible for a perfect little girl to emerge from such a body-centric world with her self-worth unscathed.
How do I teach them that they’re perfect exactly how God made them? How can I possibly communicate that if I’m not sure I believe it myself? Is it possible to teach my young daughters to be polite, kind, caring, refined and beautiful on the inside when I have so many (OH, so many!) flaws myself??
I’ve concluded recently that most successful people, be they world-renowned scientists or political thinkers or revolutionaries or really exceptional parents, rarely set out to be amazing; they’re simply willing to TRY the impossible and to never give up. And if I have a strength, it’s a stubborn persistence to try something that everyone else things is crazy (you know, like raising 8 kids).
So that’s my commitment to my children, especially my daughters: to simply try to be the amazing, poised, kind and gracious mother they deserve, even if I feel like I’m failing on every front. And while the pessimists of the world would convince us that it’s impossible to raise good humans in a world full of anger and hate, I think we mothers can probably teach the world a thing or two about inspiring good.