Before I had kids I always thought I would be a mom of all boys. Actually I remember thinking I would have four boys. Not really sure why other than I was and still am kind of a tomboy. My closest friends growing up were boys and I felt like I could relate to boys better than girls.
Then…. I had my first girl and then right after that I had my second girl:) When they first announced that Journey was a girl I remember feeling utter shock, as I had no idea what to do with a girl! We had bought all boy clothes and had a boys name. Of course I dressed her like a boy because I didn’t know how to dress like a girl myself lol!
As I have watched my girls grow I have been amazed at how much I enjoy them. I am amazed at the bond they share. There is something so special about sisters. We have also been very intentional in the way we are raising our girls ( our boys too ) but in a society where the emphasis is on outer beauty, image and appearance it has taken a different approach to parenting than maybe I was expecting.
I have always been very strict on what movies and shows our kids watch. I have really wanted to make sure that the content was age appropriate and that it wasn’t more than what they could handle. I do believe this has a played a part in my girls “innocence”. I know it is hard in our society to say “no” to cell phones, certain books and movies when everyone else is watching them and reading them. I have always told my kids that I am here to be their mom, a guide… not their friend. Yet I do hope when they are 20 that we will be friends and that we will hang out and drink coffee together. My girls have always accepted that.
As we are approaching the teenage years it has been a time of re-evaluating our parenting. I know that I am doing what many parents are not at this stage. That is pressing in as opposed to letting go. There is a lot of gigging… and a lot of talking… A LOT. The conversations I am having in bed with my girls at night are so important. Topics like self esteem, body image, body odor:), spirituality, periods,changing bodies,changing friendships, exercise etc. All things I didn’t really talk to my mom about. I never want my girls to feel alone. This time in life can be so scarey, so lonely. I so desire my girls to love themselves for exactly who they are. The beautiful, strong, incredible girls others see them to be. They are so very, very different. My oldest loves to read,sing and will be found in funky glasses and skinny jeans. My other is a complete tomboy and has been since the minute she came out. Board shorts and t-shirts, bare foot in a tree or on a skateboard. One is out-going one is painfully shy. They are both sensitive and tender and the bond between them is beautiful. We celebrate these differences. We might not get them but that is one thing I am learning. Why do I have to get it? Why does she have to wear shoes or wear her hair the way I want her to? It’s about celebrating who they are, their beauty inside and out.
I also believe it is so very important to surround my girls with strong, beautiful creative women. Their Aunties. My girls are blessed to have wonderful aunties in their lives. I know in a hearbeat that they could go to any one of these women with questions or thoughts, with worries or concerns.Especially in the years they may not want to come to me. At least I know they will be welcomed, surrounded with love a hug and a listening ear. It’s just so important.
The realization I have come to is if I as their mom learn to love myself, to think I am beautiful then they will too. If my girls grow up to love themselves, to think they are beautiful even if the media or others are telling them they are not what beauty is. If they are confident in who they are then I have done my job and I really do hope that when they are 19 and 20 that we are still talking a lot… our conversations will look different..boyfriends, travels, life decisions, spirituality (still) saggy boobs (mine) and yes we will be drinking coffee lots and lots of coffee. Cheers to raising healthy, confident beautiful girls and celebrating exactly who they are today and who they will become in the future.