Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Encouraging My Daughter

Something I am trying to reconcile in my mind is about my daughter. I know, for right now at least, that I am the biggest influencer in her life. I don't want to get this wrong! My question is how should I influence her??
This weekend after I got dressed, she said she wanted to be my twin and went and got matching clothes from her closet!




I want her to know and to believe that she can do anything she wants to do. Can be anybody she wants to be. OK, Meri Hobbs, you want to cure cancer? You can do it! Want to own your own company? You got it! Want to fly a big airplane? No problem! Want to teach 5th graders how to conjugate sentences? Easy! Want to perform complicated brain surgeries? Piece of cake! You can do whatever you set your heart and mind to do! I believe in you!

But here's where the flip side is. What if God wants her to be a wife and a mom? What if that's her heart's desire? I think that's awesome!! But how often do I encourage that?

I don't want her to think that just because I chose to quit my job and stay at home, that's what she has to do. I want her to find her own way. And I know that a lot of people think that staying home is the only thing a Christian woman needs to do. (See my thoughts on that here). 

I don't want to encourage her so much to be a successful businesswoman that I discourage anything else. I mean, let's face it, it would be harder for her to quit a job as surgeon than it would to quit a job as a teacher. (Harder because of the money she would lose is a lot more...harder because the years she invested to get her education would be a lot more...)

So here's where I am in it right now. I am trying to, sort of, balance my encouragement. I will encourage her to do her best, succeed in school, get involved, find what she loves and pursue it. But I'm also trying to find those moments that's she's doing wife and mom things, and encourage those. For example, when she's helping her little brother zip his coat...."Oh, Meri Hobbs, you are such a thoughtful sister. You are going to be a great mom one day!" When she wants to help unload the dishwasher...."Meri Hobbs, I love how eager you are to help in the kitchen. One day, you're going to have a husband who appreciates the things you do for him." I also need to model to her how to be a wife and a mom. She needs to see that I view my "job" as a joy, not a burden. I need to show her that serving my family makes me happy, and that it makes God happy. She needs to see that I am not less of a woman or less important than working women because of my choice to be home.

More than anything, though, I want Meri Hobbs to learn to seek what God wants for her. I want her to learn to pray through her decisions. To search the Bible for answers. To have a peace that she is following God's heart in the choices she makes for her life. In the end, if she's doing that, it won't matter if the only thing I ever told her was to become a circus clown. She will do what God wants, and that is what this mom wants for her!

How do YOU encourage your daughters?

11 comments:

Sunkissed and Southern said...

that was such a sweet post. i hope meri hobbs becomes a brain surgeon one day (only if God wants her to!) hehe. shes lucky you are such an encourager.

Mrs. Mama said...

very beautiful post!! and i could't agree more.

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

omg u were a surgeon! (hee hee kidding)

honestly i'm teaching my daughters to stay home and raise babies and serve their hubs! i can't think of any better job in the entire world of keeping house and knowing how important that is to my husband. my girls (boys too) see me doing all my duties with a happy heart ...i pray that my daughter's will follow in those footsteps too!

Laura@Cowboy Boots said...

omg u were a surgeon! (hee hee kidding)

honestly i'm teaching my daughters to stay home and raise babies and serve their hubs! i can't think of any better job in the entire world of keeping house and knowing how important that is to my husband. my girls (boys too) see me doing all my duties with a happy heart ...i pray that my daughter's will follow in those footsteps too!

Lindsey said...

Such a great post!!! I often feel the same way with both of my girls because I gave up my career as a nurse to stay home with them- something I didn't think was feasible and now I M struggling to find the right way to encourage them! Thank you!!

Ali - My Suitcase Full of Tricks said...

I was just talking about this with someone this morning. I worry so much about Natalie as she gets older. I just want her to know how awesome she is. But how would you deal with this: I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up and she said "A Garage Cleaner." I told her she could be anything she wants to be, but really she stumped me.

Ali said...

Just the mere fact that you're thinking this makes you a wonderful mom because I'm quite certain there are millions out there who never think about this stuff. You rock & Meri Hobbs will turn out wonderful no matter what. Ps. You look adorable in the picture- you both do!

Jo said...

I think, in the end, you just encourage her to be the best "Meri Hobbs" she can be. Experiment and find out what her strengths are as she grows and develops, and encourage her in those things. And actually, encourage her to succeed in the things she's not great at, too. For me, I was less worried about molding them into what they would be as adults. God and time will take care of that. But I wanted to be careful to allow my girls to be individuals. I have identical twin girls and I wanted to be very careful that I wasn't forcing them to be the same, but that I also wasn't forcing them to be different.

Angie said...

I have a 13 year old & I've always told her to follow her heart. Regardless of if she's a brain surgeon or a stay at home momma, if it makes her happy it makes me happy! Sounds like you are leading Miss Hobbs in the right direction.

Jen said...

Really good post. Lots of good questions. I say Go with your gut. You know her best and you need to let her decide what makes her happy and support her decisions and let her know all her options.

Much love, Jen

Brooke said...

You are a great momma, I can tell that much! Loving on your girl, encouraging her...and remembering that in the end, God is in control of our kids. She might end up a garbage cleaner like ali's kids;)