Monday, October 29, 2012

on stage.

Time and time again, I've stated my thoughts on how important I think the father/daughter relationship is. That I truly believe it is one of the biggest deciding factors in how a girl will decide her self worth and what kind of man she will eventually fall in love with. It's huge.

Sometimes I think maybe I just chalk BG up to being a "Daddy's girl" far too often and I often forget the influence that I, her mother, have on her.

Too often lately, BG says and does things that are straight out of my mouth and actions. The way she talks to the cat, the "you're making me nuts" statements, and even the way she dresses are becoming more and more influenced by me.

The other day she came sauntering out of my room with one of my b*ras wrapped around her. After I died laughing, I asked her to take it off to which she replied "No Mama! I have to wear this like you!". And it hit me; every single second that she is awake, she is watching her Dad and I. Right now, she is with me 24/7 which basically means that 24 hours a day, I am on stage. I have an audience.

Everything I do, she takes in. It is a huge, and slightly terrifying, realization. And while I didn't just figure this out, the older she gets, the more this fact smacks me right in the face.

How do I want her to respond to situations? To disappointment? How do I want her to display that she is upset? I know too often when I get mad I shut down and get really mean to those I care about the most and I do not want that for her. I want her to know how to share what she's feeling in a healthy, and respectful, way.

Right now our church is doing a study on women and it is far too often hitting so close to home. See I have a past, and while some parts are pretty and unicorny, some parts are downright dark and very, very ugly. And it terrifies me more than anything on this planet that my little girl might someday make some of the decisions her Mama made.

I made it through to the other side (obvs), but it wasn't without a lot of hurt and a lot of destruction to myself and to many others. Thankfully I do love a God who wiped that slate clean and I'm no longer hindered by my past, but it's still there. And I think because of that, I am more determined to show BG a way to stay out of that.

Every single thing she takes in. My words, my actions, the way I love her Dad, the way I love my God, the way I dress; she takes it in.

Before an actor goes on stage, there are hours and hours of prep work. There are weeks of learning lines, there are multiple practices, and there is hair and make up. To me, my hours of quiet time with my Father, my talks with her Dad, my runs, and even my time with my friends are my "before show necessities". Those things make me ready to show her the kind of woman she should be. Those are my prep work.

I'm not perfect. Nor will I ever be. I snap far too often. I yell. At her, at her Dad, at the animals. I have a very short temper and I lose it often. I've made her cry multiple times because I have done something to upset her. I'm not perfect.

But when those things happen, it's up to me to swallow my pride, apologize to whom I have wronged, and to work to make things right. Because that's what should be done and because she also needs to know that I am not perfect, but I do try very, very hard to do what is right.

The responsibility of raising a daughter sometimes buries me. It seems so hard and when I think too far ahead my chest gets all tight and I simply can't breathe. I've seen some terrible, awful things that I never want her to experience. My constant prayer is for God to guard her heart and for her to find Him early in life.

But in the meantime, she's watching me. Me.

So I get up and do my quiet time. I dress in ways that are appropriate. I engage in activities that I'm okay with her engaging in. I laugh a lot. I run. I hug and kiss her Dad in front of her. I hold her hand. I smile a lot. I go to church with her Dad every week. I make time for "me" time (though not often enough!).

I'm trying. I'm trying to instill self-confidence in a world that tears it down. I'm trying to show a love of God is awesome in a world that says it's not. I try to show that parents love each other in a world where so many kids don't have that. I'm trying.

It's not always easy and I don't always want to do it, but it's always showtime.
IMG_4256

12 comments:

Sarah said...

Megan! I am DEAD over this picture.

Heather said...

I am starting to realize this as well in the past month or so- and it is so true, how it makes you evaluate yourself and how you come across to your child. Apparently I need to stop yelling "MOVE" at the dogs...it's not as cute when your 2 year old says it to random people at the grocery store! ;)

P.S. That picture- I die. You need to blow it up and hang it all over your house.

Meg said...

great post! love, love, love that picture!!

I thought the same thing yesterday, except along the lines of "going out with my boots on" takes a whole new meaning when its my 4 year old who wants to wear hers like mine we we leave the house! : )

~Kristen~ said...

Before I can even get to my comment, I must first address the cuteness that is that photo. The way Ella is staring up at you? Dying. Absolutely adorable!!

I loved this post, Megan. I love you and I love your blog. I feel like I could have written this; I’ve so been there. In fact, I was there yesterday afternoon. Wynn threw a mega-tantrum as we were getting ready to go to a Halloween party I had really been looking forward to taking him to. He refused to put on his costume, refused to do anything except sit in the middle of his room and scream/cry. It was a hard situation and I didn’t handle it perfectly. And while talking through it with my mom, she said, “It’s impossible to be a perfect parent, so instead just focus on being an effective parent.” That’s my new mantra. Even mistakes can be effective in the long run. ;) What’s important is that I am trying!

Hope you and that gorgeous girl of yours have a fantastic week!

Maria said...

LOVE this post! It's overwhelming to know the kind of influence we have on our kids. I try to be a good example to my son and now that I have a baby girl in the picture that responsibility is HUGE! Thinks for being so introspective- BG will thank you someday for your efforts.

P.S. That picture is PERFECT!

Anna said...

This is such a perfect post! I've been thinking so much about how we live and how I want my life and our marriage to influence the boys positively. While I don't have a little girl, I engage in all things boy. I want the boys to see how valuable they are to me and one of the ways I can show them this is through playing with them doing things they like to do whether it be football or Thomas the Train.

Speaking of me time, we have to make a date soon now!

And this picture is precious!

Shannon Dew said...

Right to the heart, this one. I mean whoa! I, too, have a very unpleasant past, one that I hope KP never has to experience. I know these days she has been mimicking me and even said, "damn it!" the other day and that's when it hit me! OMG! Thank you for this!

Jillian said...

I know! I grew up with a mom that did everything for her kids but never took care of herself. She had low self esteem and I grew up with the same self esteem issues! My big thing for my girls is to focus on what's inside and not what's on the outside! But as their mom I focus on the outside so I'm always worried that's going to rub off on them:( raising girls is tough stuff!

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

I LOVE this pic!! And I so agree with you on all these things. But remember God has grace on all of us and we wouldn't be who we are without going through different circumstances and He'll use them for good because your faith is in Him. I have had a post drafted about this for months and haven't posted yet! ;) Hugs! She is blessed to have you as her sweet mama!

Lindsey said...

I'm dying over this picture and how she is looking up at you. So precious!!!

Melissa @ I Pick Pretty said...

Beautifully put, as usual, and that photo is definitely something to be framed. Thank goodness for grace, eh - we all inevitably fall short, but it's the trying that counts. Ella is clearly lucky to have a mama who is trying and full of that grace stuff :-).

Amy @ Forever 29 said...

Ok, yes this picture. And the fact that you even think about all this makes you an awesome mama. Miss E is one lucky girl.

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