While sitting in the maternity suite a few hours after giving birth to our baby girl, I looked down upon her delicate fresh face and was completely overwhelmed by the feeling that I had a daughter. A daughter! I absolutely love being a mother to a son – I love the responsibility of shaping him into a strong, wise, confident, brave, courageous, passionate, gentle, loving leader – but looking into the eyes of this tiny little beauty nestled snugly in my arms as I sat on that hospital bed, I had a brand new feeling come over me. It was more than the fact that I had just given birth and I was now holding my perfect newborn who I had just been introduced to this side of the nine months of her growing in my body. The feeling that completely captivated my entire heart, mind and spirit was the amazing sense of the responsibility of being a mother to a daughter. I suddenly felt like my parenting had to up the ante. Not in a ‘perfect’ way, or in a striving and trying in the flesh kind of way, but in the sense that how I parent my daughter determines sooooo many other lives in this world in the future. The mother that I am to her will impact who she is as a mother to her children…and how she parents her children determines how they parent their children…all the way forward to my great great great great grandchildren and beyond!
Of course, the same is said for my son, but there’s just something so different about it as a mother to a daughter. While I am going to bring my son up and shape and mould him, it is his father who will deeply and genuinely guide who he is as a man, husband and father himself. And vice versa, the way her father parents her also determines who she becomes as a woman (and the kind of man she chooses to marry, but that’s a whole other post!). The way I mother my daughter continues on throughout her adolescence and early adulthood, and really, never ends. The way I mother her is more in line with mentoring. There are many things I can’t mentor my son in, because I am not the role model he needs. He requires a strong and secure man to really show him how to be the same. Yet my daughter will look to me to learn how to become a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend. It will have a deep impact on her and future generations as the ripple effect continues to flow.
my daughter will look to me to learn how to become a woman, a wife, a mother, a friend
The scary thing is, we do this whether we realise it or not! So if I am not aware of my actions and my daily behaviour (that speaks much louder than my words and instruction!) then I have less of a grasp of who she has the potential to become, because I’m too blasé about it and lack the drive and determination to ensure she can blossom into her absolute potential. It means I have to live at my absolute potential! It means I have to have purpose in my parenting, not just reactive to what the day and my kids throw at me, but proactive to shape and mould them and to be the role model, example and guidance they need.
It means I have to live at my absolute potential! It means I have to have purpose in my parenting
The weight of responsibility of this revelation as I sat in that hospital bed overwhelmed me. I could have turned two ways within myself at that moment – set the bar higher for my parenting and become filled with angst about how on earth I’m ever going to achieve such a huge task and probably put a whole lot of pressure on myself (you know, the first thing you need when you have a newborn)…or, just rest in God’s grace and love, knowing that if he has given me a task, then his grace enables me to accomplish it with excellence. I don’t have to strive! I don’t have to put ridiculous expectations upon myself as a mother. But I do need to be aware of my beautiful responsibility that he has blessed me with, and, as I rest in him, allow his grace to perform its work in me as I implement my faith and act upon it.
rest in God’s grace and love, knowing that if he has given us a task, then his grace enables us to accomplish it with excellence
So here I am, four months later, filled with excited anticipation towards the next 10, 20, 30, 40, 50+ years that I have to not just lead, shape, mould and define a regal woman of strength and dignity, but many more generations of Daughters of Eve, continuing the rich tapestry that the first mother was given – and perfectly enabled with – the task to achieve.