Raising daughters

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Raising daughtersFrom the very moment I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I expected to have a boy. First, there was the fact that we already had a daughter, so a son seemed like the logical way to balance out our family. Second, the conception timing led me to believe that the faster swimmers were likely to have won out.

In some ways I really wanted a son. I wanted my husband to have a boy to play sports with. And as our children got older, I wanted equity when it came to things like bathroom trips and sex talks.

We didn’t find out the gender of our first child during my pregnancy. Actually, we didn’t find out until a few minutes after birth when the little new human bundle almost slipped out of my arms into the birth tub and I saw – GIRL!

It took awhile for the reality of being the mother of two girls to sink in. It completely shifted my perspective about the work I had to do to raise my children and the person I wanted to be.

In the days after our second daughter’s birth, I read Lean In. I love Sheryl Sandberg’s work, but read with the weight of postpartum hormones and in the overwhelm of embracing a life of raising two daughters, I found it disheartening.

In those early postpartum days, I realized with all my heart that I didn’t want my two daughters growing up in the same corporate world I had to deal with. I realized that my work was more than simply my work.

My work is and was and will be about changing the opportunities my daughters will have. Opportunities to have careers, businesses, children, experiences…whatever it is they want from the deepest places of their heart and decide to go after with all of their soul.

In the slightly less blurry months and years following my second daughter’s birth, I’ve realized that raising daughters does call me to step up in new ways.

  • First, I’m their chief role model of what we can do as women. They will learn to honor their creative souls by watching me honor mine. As I build my Momstyle Business they will see me eclipse my own expectations of what’s possible and do work that matters to me in an economically empowering way.
  • Second, I’m their chief encouragement officer. Already, I see my first daughter step back from risks, quiet her own voice, and dim her light. I call her out. She throws a tantrum. We move on. But we’re working on it and I know this is my special work to do, to help both of my girls step into their own power, find their own voices, and simply be themselves.
  • Finally, I’m their mom. I get to love them and nurture them. We get to go to parks and read stories and do craft projects. I get to hug them and, yes, sometimes correct them.

More than this, raising daughters has challenged me to be the woman I want to be. To find the courage to be their best example. To find the words and actions to empower them on their journey. And to create the space to love them with all my heart.

I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, becoming a mother has empowered me to be more me than I ever thought possible. And, in case you were wondering, it turns out my husband is totally paying his dues with bathroom trips now. I know my turn is just around the corner.

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