Raising girls with moms like us

As a mom of three young girls I am always worried that I’m doing it all wrong. This parenting thing is no joke and with every opportunity to get it wrong I am often found laying in bed at night worried that I could have handled a situation better or that I missed a chance to impact my daughters in a positive way.

Earlier this summer while at a Bunco gathering I became totally engrossed in a conversation that I have yet to get off my mind. We often share parenting woes and triumphs and this group of amazing women have become one of my greatest support groups over the years. So once again,  in between bites of yummy dessert the topic of mothers came up and how different we are compared to the mothers we grew up with.

At first it’s hard to see the stark comparison but as the conversation unfolded it was shocking to see what our girls are growing up with.

Think back…what did your mom look like? What did her friends look like? What can you remember her doing? I bet it’s not the same way your kids see you.

Today’s moms are like super humans. They run marathons and do triathlons on the weekend. They go to the gym 6 days a week and wear spandex while dropping off carpool. Mom’s today can grocery shop, hit a cross fit class, drop off the dry cleaning, write a blog post, host a play date, pick up the kids from soccer and still make dinner before they go for a 15 mile bike ride.

Say what!!!! When did that happen?

Looking back, I can’t think of one mom from my childhood who had a gym membership! My mom never trained for a half marathon even once in her life. Her and her friends never woke up at 5 am for boot camp or ever once swapped recipes for green smoothies. And how did I feel about this as a child? Well, to be quite honest, I had no feelings towards the fact that my mom wasn’t a super athlete and I’m pretty sure the majority of my generation would come to the same conclusion.

But here I sit now, raising my own generation of daughters and I have to wonder what this super human mom experience might be doing to them. Now I’m the first to admit I’m not the entire “super human mom” I described above but I will say I’m no longer a triathlon virgin and I have been known to hop on my road bike and ride into the sunset. I go to the gym, I wear spandex and I care how I look to some extent.  Holy Crap! What is that doing to my daughters???

Where is the balance? Are we focusing too much on outward appearance? Are we spending too much time on vanity and personal accomplishment? As a society what are are we saying to our little girls? Are we teaching them that the sacrifice of dessert, weekends at races and endless hours of training mean more to us then other important things? Are we showing them that the cost of vanity is measured in time at the gym?

It down right scares me! One of my biggest goals in life is to help my daughters have positive self esteem. Self esteem and self image are totally different in my book but I’m afraid that what we as moms are presenting as example might be super confusing to our own little ones. We are grown women who have an arsenal of life experiences under our belts. We know why we run races. We know that exercise helps relieve stress. It’s not a crime to set a goal, work hard to get there and feel amazing for accomplishing it! I know first hand how healing it can be to cross a finish line but I’m just wondering what our girls don’t know. I’m afraid they might see it as a must do standard. Are we setting them up for body image issues? Are we making them wonder how they will some day fit into this roll?

I’m not saying we should all forget about good health, never lace up our shoes again and give into sweat pants ( spoiler alert: I’m totally in sweat pants as I write this!) I’m just thinking out load I guess. I have no answers. I’m just a mom with three impressionable girls who will one day grow up and be moms too some day. Being a mom is hard. Being a kid is hard too if I remember correctly. I’m just wondering if we can better make sense of this for them.The road through childhood to adolescence to adulthood is already tricky enough. I’m just trying to see if I can help the process a little more.

Maybe sharing more of the “why we do it” then just doing it with little explanation might be a good starting place. If my girls knew that I did my first triathlon to help me heal my broken heart after my miscarriages, that might teach them volumes about the human spirit. If I shared that being on my bike at dusk inspires me and gives me such clarity some times , that might teach them to look for moments of peace. I think maybe we’ve just been missing out on teaching moments…maybe not. Maybe it’s just me. I just don’t want to see a generation of girls grow up and worry about being in enough races and clocking the right amount of hours in the gym.

I guess I’m just wondering what my girls will say when they look back and think of the kind of mom I was to them. Maybe it won’t bother them like it didn’t bother me that mom never became a jazz-er-size instructor! But maybe it will and if that’s the case, how am I going to make my goals and my self image not hurt them in the long run?

50 Comments

Comments

  1. 1

    My daughters are adults now and I am quite sure that they have had many discussions about what I did wrong as a mother. I am proud that I raised self-confident, intelligent, and motivated young women. If there were things that I did wrong apparently they didn’t traumatize my daughters too much. Having worked at an elementary school for a few years after my daughters were adults I observed many behaviors of moms that I hope will not create a huge chasm between them and their children as adulthood approaches.You are the parent, they are the children. Respect for both positions is imperative.
    Someone told women of my generation that we “could have it all” and that belief has become a monster in society. There are only 24 hours in a day. If you feel you need more time to accomplish everything on your to do list you’re trying to do too many things for too many people. Superwoman was a fantasy character in a comic book. Why would a woman want to be a comic book character? Do what you have time to do without being exhausted. Your children will survive without participating in every extra-curricular activity available. Eat dinner together. Go to bed before midnight and wake up well rested. Girls, and boys, need a role model who can exhibit the ability to make the wisest decisions for all family members. Make that role model you! And dear God! quit talking about how “fat” you are!!!

    • 2

      Thanks for this great insight. I love that you as a mom having raised your kids can come out of it feeling confident. That is exactly what I am hoping to achieve. You are right…we all have 24 hours in a day and we are responsible for what we do with it. Being the best we can be isn’t a crime. Focus on what we can.

  2. 3

    I am a total feminist at heart, so I often struggle with what society is telling my daughter rather than what I would have her hear- I have run in a 10K and I am thin, and blonde, and according to the world I am certain things – But if you were to ask my daughter I cried 2 times while running my 10K because it was sooooo hard for me, (and I CAN do hard things) I care about my health not my weight (as evidenced by the fact that I wouldn’t let her write a paper for health class talking about how to lose weight, instead we submitted a paper on the benefits of healthy eating) and we talk all the time about how smart she is rather than how pretty she is (although she is lovely, saying so doesn’t do anything for her character) I think you are right, that it doesn’t matter what we do if we aren’t talking to our wonderful young ladies about WHY we do it. I think that open dialogue about our life’s choices, and open dialogue about being seen at our full potential rather than accepting the value that is placed on us. Feminism has taken on a dirty meaning over the last few decades, as if we are supposed to be ashamed to believe that women are human beings capable of doing anything we put our minds to – I think if we make sure that our daughters understand that the spandex is about comfort and ease of movement, not being a sex object, then they will view themselves differently – as someone deserving of comfort and easy movement. If we talk about commercials, shows, and people that place too high a value on looks, then they will know it as the societal trick it is to make women feel like less (so we will all buy more beauty products right?) For some reason I have never feared that my daughter wouldn’t hear the right message about my feelings on what I do regardless of what it looks like, because I am A. a loud and proud feminist, but also B. because I live my life with a complete belief that I am trying to be a better version of myself, and I know that LIVING that will speak louder to her than anything I could say! (I also think women being kind to other women plays into this, if we all go around being horrible to each other about who’s fat, or dressed like a ho, well that is what our daughters are going to hear about what we value )

    • 4

      I love your last statement and you are so right. Our daughters not only see what we do but hear what we say and that can always be seen as what we value. What a great reminder.

  3. 5

    Great post Beccs! I’ve worried about this too. And as controversial as this might sound I don’t think a woman can “have it all”. Not 100% anyway. Something will end up suffering when you put your heart and soul into one specific goal. Even if that’s your kids. Your flabby bum might suffer. If it’s your job, your kids might suffer. If it’s your free-time your marriage might suffer. It’s just impossible to do all this stuff flawlessly. I’m always reminded of the talk by Elder Oaks about “Good, Better, Best”. The only way to succeed in the world we live in today is to try to pick the BEST choices as much as possible. Even if that means leaving some awfully good ones behind.

    • 6

      Love that talk, Lara! I’ve leaned on that one a lot over the last year and you are right. Something will always have to give and it’s not going to be an easy decision especially when sometimes those things that we have to sacrifice are good.

  4. 7

    I love this. My favorite takeaway is the part about teaching them the “why” of all the supermom things we do. For me, the gym is my sanity–it makes me a better mom with more energy and more patience. Blogging is my outlet so my brain doesn’t turn totally to mush. But I have missed out on those small teaching moments, so thank you for the reminder.

  5. 9

    your article is insightful. women have been sold a bill of goods when it comes to ‘having it all’. i’m old enough that when i was in college in the 1960′s few of my classmates had moms who worked outside the home. my mom always worked – usually more than 40 hours per week. when my friends talked about having careers and kids and the white picket fence, i’d ask them if their mom worked outside the home. no was always the answer. my response to them was that then, they had no idea what they were talking about. don’t throw rotten tomatoes at me. i know there is the rare woman who can raise 3-4 kids, keep a clean house, work a full time job, stay trim and married. but, they are few and far between. it is not a coincidence that neither of my brothers would condone their wives working outside the home when their kids were little. part of my ‘marriage contract’ with my husband was an agreement that i would stay home with the kids til middle school at the earliest, barring financial catastrophe. not barring wanting a new car or big screen TV or a cruise. i’ve been blessed. but, the problem i see now with the younger children – my grand nephews (ages 9 and 11) and the teens i taught until a couple years ago was that there was no one home to engage them, to see how their day went, to hold them accountable, to enforce family rules, to teach life lessons, etc. in a family, when anything other than the relationship between husband and wife gets more time, energy, or money than the kids, there is no balance. mom can stay in shape while taking a walk with a kid. dad can too. respect for the family unit, for the grandparents and extended family, is essential for a kid to know his/her place in the world.

    no, my mom never belonged to a gym. the only gym i knew about was the Y. my mom didn’t walk or bike or work out. she worked, cooked, cleaned house, and listened. dad worked, mowed the lawn, paid bills, and coached little league for my brothers. we all came together for the evening meal – no matter what – until my older brother went off to college. at least for that 20 minutes, there was no TV, no radio, no outside focus. we discussed topics that developed our family values – our religion, our politics, our work ethic, etc.

    without the kind of time investment so many are unwilling or unable to make in the lives of their kids that former generations made, kids will continue to flail and founder. they will look to outside influences to determine how they feel about themselves and the world around them without developing an inner life/spirit. so many tweens, teens, and twenty somethings are ‘hollow’. if they aren’t entertained, stimulated, goaded, led – they have no idea how to take care of their own lives.

    so, while i am a dedicated walker, i work about 30 hours a week outside the home, i have my own interests and obligations that don’t involve my kids – but still, if my kid calls (and they are now 27, 28, and 34), they will get my undivided attention to discuss what’s on their minds. active parenting is key to well developed kids/adults. passive parenting, wanting to be your kid’s friend, or passing off your parental obligations to school, church, babysitters, or electronic babysitters will not give you the adult you have set out to create when you gave birth.

    • 10

      I absolutely love this! My very biggest fear is that our busy generation is not going to see the ramifications of our actions until it way to late. I loved how you touched on the things our kids need and the bottom line is that they need our time and attention and I’m so afraid that our priorities, seeming good at times and they are, just might make that attention hard to share. Thank you so much for sharing.

  6. 11

    Wow. Becca when you write from your heart, I always find it to be so very powerful…I don’t have any girls, but here’s what I will tell you. I worry every day that I am raising the boys wrong. I worry that I spoil them too much, that I don’t teach them as I should and at the same time that I am not doing enough. It’s probably just as unhealthy. Sigh. Wish I had all the answers.

    • 12

      Tauni, It’s in our nature to worry. I think it’s actually a good sign that we are doing this right. If we didn’t worry we’d be comfortable with rolling the dice and just crossing our fingers in hopes that our kids survive. I’m not ok with that and it sounds like you aren’t either! It’s all trial and error and hopefully finding the right balance that fosters learning from our mistakes and growing regardless.

  7. 13

    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been stressing out about whether or not I take enough “me” time and whether or not I should join a gym to get back into shape and whether or not I should do this or that, but after reading this post and the comments, I’ve decided I’m doing just enough. What I have going right now is what I can handle. If I tried to do more, it’d be too much for me and take me away from my kids more than is really necessary. I already walk (nearly) everyday with the kids to a park where they can play and have lost 20 lbs this summer, I have a weekly reflexology app’t that’s helping balance my hormones, and I stay up (too) late at night reading blogs like yours and Pinterest. Not to mention I am homeschooling my pre-k/kindergartner, feed my kids balanced meal (most of the time), don’t eat take out too often despite living in the middle of town, am still unpacking from moving 850 miles to a new city, and am a single parent most of the time. After seeing it typed out like that, I really do have enough going on, should be more thankful for what I have, and should try to appreciate my girls more. So thank you for bringing that to my attention.

    • 14

      Bless your heart! You are doing a fantastic job. Sounds like you are focused on the important things and a great example to me on what matters most. I really appreciate your comment and know that we as moms can only do what we feel is best for ourselves and our kids.

  8. 15
    Amber @ Posh Ideas says:

    Thanks for such an inspiring post! I seriously get scared thinking all the things and pressures my little girls will go through! They are 4, and 6 and I want them to be so many things, they are strong and beautiful! I want them to have the courage to do anything they want, but not feel the pressure to be everything.

    • 16

      That is every moms dream and I too hope for those out comes. Just praying that the things I do don’t get in teh way of that dream for them!

  9. 17
    Grammy Deed says:

    First of all quit worrying if you are doing it right—do it your way. Also being at home and teaching your children responsibility for their actions is the most important part. Kids with no regard for a human life are the ones taking the guns to school and shooting. No one is listening to them and the 24/7 go go going is not what they want. They want calm and routine they can count on. Be there for them, talk to them and most of all show them by example. I can remember the few times my Mom had a job and how tired and grouchy she was while doing it. I will take a stay at home Mom any day-over a stressed out working Mom.

  10. 18

    Great reminders that the things we do contribute to our mood and that can be more influential at times then the actual things that take our attention away.

  11. 19
    Diana Wakefield says:

    Love the post!! I think it’s important for our kids (both boys and girls alike!) to realize our bodies are a gift. They are sacred, and special. We rely on their efficiency to do so much more than exercise! Taking care of them is a stewardship. For me that means more than an occasional oil change. I am not a marathon runner, or triathlete, but I do care about taking care of what has been given to me. And, right or wrong, I do care about what I look like in skinny jeans.

    • 20

      Love your view on this and totally agree. That explanation is what our kids need to hear. They need to hear us say those exact words. It gives justice to the time we spend on ourselves. I’m just afraid that without that clarity all they see and hear is that our bodies rule our time line at times. It makes complete sense take of ourselves, we just need to explain why.

  12. 21

    This has been on my mind a lot lately as well! And your post helped give it clarity. I’m always so worried about making sure I teach them to avoid and supercede the “bad” things in life (stranger danger, porn, fire and gun safety, bullying, etc.) that I don’t take as much time to focus on the positive and the direction they can take their lives. I love how you pointed out that maybe we can teach them the “reasons” why we do what we do. Help them find a passion in life, help them realize that there are ways to deal with emotions and stresses and hardships. As a woman and a mom, you know what’s best for your children. And knowing what I know of you Becca, you have nothing to worry about! You’re doing the right thing! And thank you for shedding light on the subject for the rest of us moms who may be dealing with the same questions/worries.

    • 22

      Thanks Camille! That list of things we drive home on a regular basis are thing I too have driven home. We forget that our hobbies and goals are huge teaching moments as well. I know that every thing can become a teaching moment.

  13. 23

    Maybe it’s just the PMS talking but this post brought tears to my eyes. Parenting is so hard. I think if we care enough to worry about these things we must be doing something right. It doesn’t mean we have any answers but at least we’re searching and communicating. Ironically enough, I worry that my daughters never see me go to the gym. What kind of message am I sending them? Will they grow up to think that taking care of their bodies isn’t really that important? The “fear” we feel is synonymous with good parenting – at least that’s what I keep telling myself.

    abi

    • 24

      Hope that’s what it means, Abi cause I sure do worry a lot! I don’t think I was prepared for the amount of worry motherhood causes. WE are all just figuring out along the way and I think that’s how it was intended because I sure have learned a lot from my mistakes, lessons I’d never trade for anything! Everything makes us grow!

  14. 25
    Valerie (married to Nathan) says:

    I’m a first time reader on your blog. Your fb post drew me in. Good job. Regarding the “why” aspect, Elder Uchtdorf gave a great talk on not just knowing the “what” aspect but understanding the “why” aspect. Even though he gave it in the Priesthood session, (May 2012 Ensign) what he taught is applicable and very motivating for men and women. You have probably already read or heard it but it might mean something different to you if you get a chance to check it out again. Great post. Gracias!

    • 26

      Thanks for that article recommendation. I look forward to reading it! Uchtdorf is one of my favorites. He really knows how to say what I always need to hear!Thanks!

  15. 27

    Thank you so much for putting your heart out there and writing this post. I have two daughters who are 4 and 8 and I struggle with all of the same things that you talked about. As they get older, I sometimes feel so paralyzed by the fear that between my failures as a mom and woman combined with the big bad world out there that I just desperately want to freeze time and keep them little forever. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way and time is just flying by! I have finally just realized that if I do nothing else in this world, if my children feel loved and know that with God they have everything, then I have done my job. The tough part is living that way myself ! I am getting there, though… one mistake at a time! Thanks for sharing!

    Take care,

    Trish

  16. 29
    Sarah Monson Walden says:

    I appricieated your article Becca, I can relate with how you worry at night with reguards to your decisions in parenting your girls. After divorcing who used to be the love of my life, the family splitting, and having to move, to start over alone with my children, I really do know what it is like to have callused knees from prayer and sleepless nights over worry. If you remeber I have one girl and one boy, both under ten. I want my children to have every opportunity, and I want to expose them to how amazing life can really be if you have delayed gratification, I never want to limit my kids, and have just found that by example they see and learn.
    I run triatholons, host play dates, soccer mom, work two jobs, went back to school for another degree, and keep a clean house. I just budget the 24 hours I am given. Most of the time I can get all the things that need to be done, done, occasionally I don’t. But the chilren are apart of everything -no child left behind in my house \”/.

    • 30

      Sarah,
      If anyone can be an amazing single mom, It’s YOU!!! YOU have always had a incredible ability to work hard, love life and get the job done. I love that about you and love that your kids have this amazing example to learn from. I have no doubt that you are involving your little ones in so many of your activities. I wish I would have figured this out sooner, so here I am trying to correct my train of thought and improve. Life is about learning! Love ya!

  17. 31

    My Dear Becca, I miss you so much! I had an interesting conversation with Bella the other day, and then with Ben later that night. Bella came into the kitchen crying because she didn’t like the way she looked, she said her tummy looked big, and she didn’t want to be fat. She is almost 7 and I knew this day would come, but I didn’t realize it would be this soon. I told Bella that the most important thing was that she felt like her body was healthy and strong. I told her that she is strong enough to climb trees and strong enough to do a really good back bend, but if she felt like she wasn’t eating healthy that she had the power to make a better choice. I remember my Mom thinking she was fat, and vocalizing it often. I didn’t think all Mom’s were like mine, but I knew that mine had body issues, and I started thinking I was fat pretty early on. I have tried really hard to make sure that my girls never hear me say that I am fat, but the reality of the situation is that Ben and I are kinda big people, and we aren’t going to have little stick children, and that’s okay. Three weeks ago Ben and I ran the DC Ragnar together. It was exhilarating to have him by my side after all that we have been through in the last year. Our kids were at the finish line waiting for us with a great big sign that they had made. It felt wonderful to know that they had seen their parents accomplish something like this together. We are not skinny people, but we are strong people and that is what I want for my children. For them to understand the importance of being strong. I agree with you… It’s so hard to find balance every single day. All we can do is keep trying, day after day. But I think the most important thing is not only for us to talk to our children about why we do these things, but also for us to remember why we do them. If we are doing the things we do only for the praise of men, or women, then we are doing it for the wrong reasons. Thanks for your post. Its always nice to have good reminders. Love you! xoxoxo Di

    • 32

      Di,
      There is no easy answer for raising kids. I mess this stuff up all the time. I think every moms heart breaks when they see their kids unhappy with how they look or feel in their bodies. One of mine falls into that category at times and it sucks. I guess the whole point of my post was a self realization that my words and explanation have more power for good if I just would open my mouth more and share the why. My kids watch me do everything and I’ve been missing the chance to help then understand.

      And I need to see you! Come play!!!!

  18. 33

    Wow, this touched a chord with me! I am so glad someone recognizes that there really is a difference between what our moms did and what I see everyone doing today. My biggest concern is the crazy amount of breast augmentations that a huge amount of the women I know are getting done. When I was growing up, a boob job was unheard of, except for porn stars. Now, it’s my sisters, my neighbors, even young women who haven’t had babies yet. What does that say about us and our society? What does that say to our girls? I understand that it is a boost of self esteem for women. I know, because I know what I look like post 5 babies myself. But I am having a hard time with it. The message I am getting bombarded with daily is, you are not good enough. You are not desirable the way you are. As an adult, I can get the plastic surgery and it will solve my problems. But, do I want my girls to follow that same path because that’s the example I set for them? I know this conversation was about gym memberships and such, but isn’t this the next step and path we seem to be going down? Where does it stop? I think our generation is a little obsessed with the way we look.

    • 34

      This generation is definitely different and vanity and beauty are more readily accessible with other ways of attaining it. I fall into the trap of wanting a different body but the worry of setting an example is on my mind but I can’t say I can’t say I haven’t not considered it! But it does make me think twice when I wonder how it will effect not only me.

  19. 35

    When I’m off to the gym, rollerblading or even working out at home and my children ask why, I tell them it is because I want to be the healthiest I can be so I can live a long life and be around for them for as long as possible. I encourage them to stay active a well. I work FT, have three children, blog, have a blog design business on the side, work out, hang with family and friends. I live a busy life but I make sure my kids know that they are front and center and are the most important part of my life. :)

  20. 37

    This article made me think about the things my mom didn’t teach me. Not that I view that in a negative way, but she was the breadwinner so she was traveling a lot as I was growing up. So she missed out on a lot of things and honestly seeing her drive to succeed (being the only daughter in her family with 6 brothers) in a time where the women’s place was to be a homemaker not the breadwinner I have taken away the strength and confidence she has shown. The strength to accomplish something no matter how hard, on the flip side the things that were missed. The conversations that were lost, the advice that was never given. Yes I could have left it to myself to better educated myself on healthy eating as a teenager. I always thin as a teen because I swam all the time, but as I got older and there was less time for swimming I continued to eat the crap I did when I swam regularly. Now we talk about healthy eating and I think gosh if I would have had that information when I was growing up then maybe I wouldn’t be the weight I am today and deep down disappointing my mom. In no means do I resent my mom, but there are lessons that I will want to instill in my children regardless of what their gender may be. I agree with a commenter above that there is no super mom that can do it all. I know my mom tried and things suffered growing up but I still love her fiercely. So I will make the best choices and understand that I can only do what I am physically and emotionally capable of doing, but will take the time to explain why. Thank you for this blog post, it has just made me think of a multitude of things as I move forward in my own life!

    • 38

      I think it’s just a reality that all us moms will have regrets throughout our mothering years. Just like as kids I have regrets that I learned from, hopefully as a mom both my own girls and I will take a life lesson from everything…the good and the bad. WE are all just trying to figure this out as we go.

  21. 39
    Anjanette says:

    I read “Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement” this summer and I changed the way I was parenting my 4 kids. Now they earn the things they have and we have seen an increase in self-worth (different than self-esteem) that is based on how they feel when they tackle difficult tasks. I was shocked to discover my compulsion to help them by doing things for them was severely limiting their opportunities for growth.

  22. 41
    Jennifer Kreipl Lambrigger says:

    Becca Box, you are amazing! What a way with words!

  23. 43

    I want to give you a hug and tell you to stop beating yourself up about this. I had a stay at home mom, I was a working mom, my daughter is now a stay at home mom to three kids. SO WHAT! What we all have in common is that we raise our children with faith in God and the knowledge that our parents love us unconditionally. Can we do it all? NO! But, we are supermom nonetheless. We are because we want only what is best for our children and that’s what we strive for. It is important to teach your children to think of others, but also to love themselves. That includes doing things to make themselves happy whether it be exercise, hobbies, etc. If momma aint happy, aint nobody happy- as we say in the south! It is important to take care of your body both physically and mentally – those kids are going to need you for a lot longer than you can imagine. Keep doing what you are doing and your girls are going to love AND admire you!

    • 44

      I’m not beating myself up over this, I’m just wondering more so what the impact might be down the road and trying to find a healthy path of more explanation. I know I am a worrier. That is something I do need to work on but thankfully I worry about things that effect my family and in doing so have been able to solve a lot of problems. I loved what you said about teaching our kids to think of others first. That life lesson can do wonders for them and the world they live in. Thanks for that reminder.

  24. 45

    Your aticle and all of the comments have really made me think. I am also a mother of 3 girls (with another on the way!) The Gym is not an option for me right now (going up the stairs too fast can start contractions- and it’s way too early for that) but your thoughts have made me think about my children’s perception of us as women, and if they understand why we do what we do not matter what it is- going to the gym, or book club, or working, or whatever. I was one of the few kids I grew up with who had a mom who worked outside the home. What I remember is that working made her happy. Staying home with us all day did not. My sister and I have talked about it, and we just accept that we had a working mom because she could not have been happy without her job. You might not be as happy without the chance to run and excercise. Childeren can understand and accept that idea. As long as they know that they also make you happy. That might be one of the most important things to put accross to them- that they bring us joy also. That we love being their mom.
    The whole body image thing I think is a whole ‘nother battle. My oldest daughter is struggling with this. Say what you will- girls want/need to feel pretty. We try to emphasize health over looks when we encurage exercise,but I think it’s ok to induldge her in cute earrings and hair accesories, and tell her how beautiful her eyes are so she doesn’t spend all her time thinking about the size of her waist and realized that she has other qualities (inside and out) that are beautiful, and she can focus on those.
    Lot’s of things to think about from this post… I’m not in any danger of being super mom, though. We have a running joke at our house that when there’s something mom doesn’t know or do- we can just “Add that to the list of things I don’t know or do” I’m ok with my limitations, and I think my kids are too.
    Good luck to you. The fact that you care so much marks you as a wonderful mother.

    • 46

      You have a beautiful view on raising girls and being a mom. I appreciate your comment and totally agree that this flows into all categories. If our kids understand why we need certain things it really can help them understand more.

  25. 47

    What a seriously thought provoking post. As a first time mother to a 10 month old chunk of sugar and spice – and having waited 8 years to have her – I’ve been thinking a lot about some of the things you’ve written about. I recognise a lot of it as cultural. Having time to go to the gym, having the income to fund manicures etc. is something I never witnessed until I moved here from the UK. Luxuries! Everyone with drivers licenses and degrees, jobs, two jobs, kids, lunch dates, play dates, time to sew and to have dinner on the table by 5pm… !!

    I do recognise that I want to do “more than” my own mother because she raised me to “be better” which somehow translates to “do more”. I’m wondering now if that’s something that each generation will be raised to do and the impact that “more” is going to have on our daughters. Today’s “more” is a LOT, how much more can be done in one day?!

  26. 48

    Whats up! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for
    the good information you

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