|She's got spunk.|
My daughter loves to hear the "stowy" of when I was pregnant with her. I love to tell it, because it was one of the best times in my life. It was also the last few months of my "normal", before the truth of her dad's infidelity began to unravel.
On a summer day in 2007, I went to my doctor for a routine sonogram. I was 19 weeks pregnant and knew they'd be able to tell us the baby's gender. I walked into the examination room, cautiously optimistic. I wanted a little girl so badly. I'd lost my mother as a young girl and really wanted an opportunity to have a mother/daughter relationship I'd seen others enjoy, even if it was from the other side.
When the nurse casually announced "you got your girl", I was beyond thrilled! That weekend, I went shopping for all the cute little outfits I could find. And in four years, the shopping hasn't stopped. Really. It's the most ridiculous kind of fun.
On a windy Monday morning in November, she finally arrived. The first time I laid my tired, puffy, a-human-just-came-out-of-my-body eyes on her perfect little face, the dreams I had for her filled my mind. Fun dreams of bows and ballet, sharing shoes, and shopping for prom dresses. And then the more intent dreams. I wanted her to have a "normal" family, a healthy upbringing.
Yet, even before I had given birth, the "normal" had already begun to unravel. At age 4, the idea of a mommy and daddy living together is foreign to her. A broken home is her "normal". And that's not what I wanted for her. Ever. Who does?
If there's anything I've learned in the past few years, it's that I can't control some events that happen in my life, never mind theirs. At first, it was easy to get wrapped up in the statistics of children who grow up in broken homes. I mean, google them (at your own risk). They're heartbreaking. Divorce affects kids physically, socially and psychologically. Single parent households are at risk for a number of different things.
I also become concerned when I look back on the issues I was dealing with when I was young, and how they affected my relationship choices. I met and married my ex-husband seeking emotional protection and refuge...looking for what my heart needed in a human, and not in God.
However, greater than those statistics and experiences is a God who loves her more than I ever could. A God who has her best interests at heart and has already given her all she needs to deal with life's joys and hurts.
Even though I've had to let go of some of the dreams I had for her, that's not going to stop me from dreaming new dreams. Above all the new dreams I have, my greatest dream is this: when she faces life's storms, I hope she rests in knowing that God is carrying her through them.
And she is watching me. She's watching to see if I trust, if I rest, if I make it through life's storms. Dr. Phil (who I love...don't judge!) always says the greatest role model a child has is the same sex parent. Even if I don't notice it, she's observing every thing I do, learning how to be a woman. That alone makes me want to do better, try harder, and most importantly, trust God more.
What are the new dreams you have for your children?
I thought I'd share these tips for single moms raising daughters. They were taken from the same site I used in my post about single moms raising boys. What are
1) Don't punish the girl because you see things in her that you hate about yourself. Learn how to deal with YOU first so you can more effectively help her.
2) Being hard on her doesn't automatically equate a virtuous young woman. I'm not implying to let her do anything, heaven forbid, however; I'm implying that you should provide structure and boundaries, but not act as a prison warden.
3) Don't live your life through your daughter. Just because you were a cheerleader, doesn't mean she has to be one. Just because you were in the band, doesn't mean that she has to play an instrument.
4)When it comes to boys, she is looking at you to see how you treat (your husband, boyfriend, etc). She is listening to how you talk about men (good or bad) and this is what she is going to model in her life.
5) You can control what she wears. It's important that you train your daughter to have value in herself, long before someone "whispers in her ear." Don't say, I can't help what she wears or does. This is the door way for a long life of regrets for your daughter.
6) Just because you may have had bad experiences with men and/or relationships, don't raise your daughter to hate men, or be distrusting of everyone that she meets for the rest of her life. She is not you, even though she may have some of your traits and attributes. You can't raise her to be a "second you."
7) Build her self esteem continually with positive words and affirmations. She needs to know that she is complete all by herself and that she doesn't have to go looking for wholeness in another person or thing.
8) Spend time with her outside of school, housework, and the day to day, especially when she get older. She may not say it, but she still needs you. Spend some quality time, go out to eat, to the park, for a walk. You can't get those moments back once they are gone.
9) Raise your daughter in love and NOT fear. When you fear if she is going to get pregnant, meet the wrong guy, make the same bad choices you made, that's often what we attract. Raise her with the love of God and the faith to know that after you have done all that you can do, God will intervene and bring it all back to her remembrance.
10) Teach her how to love herself, love God, and how to remain pure and virtuous in a society where everyone is compromising. Remember, when you teach your daughter...you teach your daughter's daughter.