Friday, January 28, 2011

Raising Girls

I often wonder what it would be like to have had all boys instead of all girls. As I read some of my friend's blogs about life with boys, I find myself intrigued. I don't know what it is like to grow up with a brother, and heaven knows I would have no idea what to do with a boy if perhaps by some miracle I actually had one. But, I still dream of my little boy. A little boy who loves to play and loves to get dirty even more, who will play sports with his Daddy and tackle his sisters, and who will one day get that letter in the mail that will call him to serve a mission for the Lord.

Life with all boys would be very different. Our house would probably be a lot louder, the toilets would definitely be grosser, and I'm pretty sure I would learn more than I ever wanted to about superheroes, monsters, and whatever else boys are into these days.

But, I don't know anything about that world except for what I glean from others. My life, at least right now, revolves around barbies, baby dolls, dress-up clothes, princesses, the color pink, etc. I love having girls. I love teaching my girls about the importance of being a mother, having charity, being modest, supporting the men in their life, and acting like ladies (or at least trying to). I find great joy and passion in raising my girls to be righteous women. But, there are also some parts about raising girls that overwhelm me...especially lately. With girls, there are and always will be a lot of emotions involved....hurt feelings, broken hearts, shattered dreams, insecure moments, and sometimes, just plain old bad days. I was prepared for all of those things because I've been there and felt those same feelings. But, I was not prepared for what I experienced yesterday. I was not prepared for the day that my 7 year old daughter would come home, curl up in my lap, and cry out her heart to me about some of the mean things that were said about her at school. As I listened to her, I felt all of those feelings that I felt as an insecure girl, but then they were multiplied by a thousand because this time it was not me dealing with, it was me watching my daughter have to deal with it. As a mother, there is just nothing worse than having to watch your children suffer and hurt. After I listened, we talked for awhile and hugged for a long while, and then she jumped off my lap with a smile on her face and a skip in her step, ready to go outside and climb a tree. After she shut the front door, I fell on my knees and just cried, and prayed, and cried some more.

As I laid in bed last night, I continued worrying and searching for better things to say and more ways to help her. Then I began to think about Cloey and wonder if I had shown her enough attention and love that day. Then my thoughts turned to Hailey as I began to worry about any lasting effects from her fall the other day from her high chair. It is never-ending. The worry and concern that a mother has for her children is constant and can be very overwhelming. I can't even imagine the worry level that will come with having teenage daughters. But for now, my deepest wish and my greatest prayer is that my daughters will be confident and happy with who they are. That they can find peace in knowing that they are daughters of a loving and perfect Heavenly Father. I want them to be able to see themselves the way that He sees them, and in doing so, I know that nothing else anybody ever says will matter. As for Hailey, I just pray and pray each day that my worry will lessen and my fears will fade. There is not a day that goes by that the thought doesn't creep into my mind that somehow and in some way I will lose her too.

Raising children is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is a divine job given to women. This I know for sure. I thank God everyday for my little girls. While raising them, I know that the Lord is refining and molding me into the woman and mother that He knows I can be. This gives me great hope and faith, and yet I also know that along with being a mother and a woman there will always be emotions involved...hurt feelings, broken hearts, shattered dreams, insecure moments, and sometimes...just plain old bad days.


Anonymous said...

I can almost relate but I had five sister's no brother's so when I had two boys it was really different for me cause I never really grew up with any brothers just sister's.... I know how much I love my two boys and my daughter.... I love reading your blog you are an amazing woman...

MommyJ said...

The greatest gift my mother ever gave me was her example of happy mothering. She loved being a Mom, she knew who she was, and she was proud of who she was. As her daughters, we in turn learned to love who we are, to trust who we are, and be proud of who we are. I'm not sure I know of anyone that loves mothering quite like you do. Your girls couldn't have a better example.

(And just for the record, I totally think you're having a boy...)

Mary said...

Bella climbed into my arms crying today from a bad/embarrassing moment at school today. It is heartbreaking.

anna said...

melissa! I can't believe I found you!! Your girls are gorgeous! How are you doing???????

Anna Parker

Mandy said...

The "mama bear" comes out in me when others hurt my's really tough to just let them be hurt and not go correct somebody else's child. You are as always an example to me. I hope things get better for Katelund with the school kids, but we all know how rough the rest of their lives will be.

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