Raising Strong-Willed Daughters

When we decide to have children, many thoughts run through our head. Is it the right time, can we afford kids, will we be good parents, what will we name them? The list goes on and on. A lot of what we worry about is just the unknown, uncharted waters as it were. The truth is as parents we don’t have all the answers. We will make mistakes, and all we can do is hope our children grow up and understand that we did the best we could with what we had at the time. When I say with what we had at the time I mean our knowledge, money, time, patience and understanding of any given situation.

I was blessed with two daughters. I was 25 when I had my first. Unlike some new moms, I wasn’t afraid or nervous to bring my bundle of joy home. You see, I had always wanted to be a mom and felt confident in the basics of taking care of my baby.  I wasn’t worried about loving her enough, feeding, clothing, changing diapers, other people visiting or her eating dirt. My biggest concern for my girls was that they become strong, self-assured women that were able to handle anything presented to them in their lifetime. I wanted them to know how much I loved them and that I would be there for them until the day I die.  It was also important for each to understand life wasn’t easy, things wouldn’t always go their way and they would not always be right. If you start something, you need to finish. You don’t always win, and it’s ok to lose. There is no “I” in team, and when you receive a gift, you send a handwritten thank you note in return. I wanted my girls to fight for what they believed in, but be open and listen to other people’s views and ideas. I wanted them to be self-sufficient, have savings, a retirement, buy a home, travel, and when the right person crossed their path, treated them like the strong, intelligent women they are, they would open their heart and let him in.

I had some lofty goals as a 25-year-old mom. I wanted and expected a lot from my girls. Some might say I asked too much of them. I expected help with chores around the house, and no they didn’t get an allowance. Let’s face it, whatever they needed we provided for them. Staying physically active was also mandatory in our home. Sitting in front of a television all day and night didn’t happen. Fresh air, getting dirty and trying all types of activities and sports is good and builds character and self-esteem. We also shed a fair amount of the real world on them, letting the girls know what was happening outside of our town. It was vital to understand that just 30 minutes away was not a great area to hang out. We wanted them to be aware of their surroundings at all times, know that not everyone was their friend or would be looking out for their best interest. We felt they needed a clear understanding of what to expect when leaving the protection of our home. We didn’t agree on everything when it came to raising our girls, but this was a no brainer.

All in all, I feel both of my daughters turned out remarkably resilient and strong-willed. I know this because they never cut me any slack!  When I am having a rough time or having a pity party, they swiftly remind me that’s not what we do. We are not quitters, we are strong, and when things get us down, we take a breath, get back up and try again. They remind me I am strong and I raised them to be strong.

I sometimes wonder if I was a little too hard on those babies….nah, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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