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what girls need from their moms

Hello friend! Pull out your favorite mug (most of mine have something to do with cats) and enjoy a seat on my patio! My kitty Noelle is napping out here and we hear the birds going crazy in the trees this afternoon. After celebrating my own Mother on Mother’s Day, my girls and I have been talking about moms this past week.

My mind vividly remembers November 2019 when dear old Daddy left for a Chick-fil-A business trip for TWO weeks and left me with four daughters and seven months along with Baby Boy. That was plenty, right? He left on a Sunday night and that first night, I was in bed with a Hallmark Christmas movie playing, planning to go to sleep by 11:00 p.m. and had just closed my eyes, when Linley came to my bedside and said she was sick. Oh the horrors of what I saw that night. I went to her room. It was awful. I stood there with my eyes wide open and tried to figure out where to start. IT was everywhere. I wanted to call a mom and then I realized I was HER! I really just needed a more “momly” mom. I got her in the shower and Jenna got up from the other room and she was sick too. I cleaned people, I bleached toys in the bathtub, and I had stacks of dolls, teddy bears, and doll clothes in line waiting for the washing machine like they were drafted for war. I wiped down every bed, changed sheets, and pulled dirty mattresses off. I hate bunk beds. Way too much trouble to change sheets, and especially mattresses! I was too large to get right up next to the beds to change and wipe and clean too! I scrubbed stains off the carpet and switched sleeping people around to arrange for the two sick to be together in quarantine and the two healthy to stay together. I finally went to bed by 6:00 a.m. - just in time for the healthy girls to wake up for the day. Whew! We ended up having some fun those two weeks and totally planned for Thanksgiving dinner too, although I am pretty sure I cried every day for one reason or another. That was a tough two weeks but we survived, praise the Lord! Girls are just amazing, aren’t we? LOL

Mommyhood is a calling, not just a task or a job fallen into. Mommies change the world! Moms really determine how a girl feels about herself. The month of May reminds us of moms and the important women who have shaped our lives. Talking with girls and moms who have been clients of mine over the years, and most recently my own sisters, we have noted a few needs girls have from their moms.

Ask questions. Everyone, girl or boy, young or old, enjoys being asked about themselves. Try it. Watch your girl beam when you ask about her practice, what she thinks about the supper you cooked, or how to make a friendship bracelet. Asking questions gives her confidence as she realizes that her own mom values her thoughts. This can give her confidence outside of home to try out for a team or simply answer a question in class at school without worrying about what others think.

Take part in her world. Cheerleading may not be your thang, but if she is in it, attend a competition and support her at a football game. Ask her to play a piece she is learning in piano lessons. If you both enjoy baking, head to the kitchen and try a new recipe. Time spent in what she enjoys shows your love for her and gives confidence to take on new opportunities. As she gets older, she will also take note, even if not out loud, that you care enough to participate in her world even when it is not your favorite thing.

Touch. Not everyone is a “huggy” kind of girl, but touch can still be appreciated. Touch her shoulder when passing by, give welcome home hugs, or simply touch her hair. It seems easier to practice these when girls are babies but might seem more difficult as baby girls turn into teenagers. Meaningful touches are still important even when girls grow!

Apologize. Uh oh. This is a toughie. Who wants to apologize to anyone, especially when they might not even be in school yet? Yikes! There have been times we load into the car and it has been a…hectic day I will call it. I have had to humble myself and apologize for losing it, ask for forgiveness (which has always been readily given), and resolve together to have a better day. No matter how young, practicing humility and apologizing truly shows respect and an example of how to treat others. It is okay to let our girls know that we need God’s help when we mess up too.

Tell her she is pretty. Verbally complement her curly hair, her athletic legs, or beautiful freckles. If you do not, someone else will. Even if it is never said, it means more coming from her mama than anyone else. She needs to know YOU believe it. If you have more than one daughter, be sure to speak your belief in their beauty to each of them!

Encourage her to be like Jesus. Character counts! Help her learn that being like Jesus means more in the end than owning the cute jeans and having a great haircut. Remind her that Jesus’s calling in her life is everything. Being the nice girl beats winning an academic award. Jesus is often counter-cultural. Remind her to treat others how she would appreciate and she can ask God for help. Sit with the new kid and look for opportunities to reach out.

Remind her to be gentle and gracious. Remind her of how Jesus is gentle and gracious with us when we sin and make mistakes. Speak kind words and practice forgiveness. We can learn to share the same with others in our own families and people we meet.

Lover her with boundaries. Even with my toddlers, I literally tell them that I love them too much to let them act “that way.” Keep your word, even when it comes to consequences. It may never be said, but even little ones recognize love when adults lay out clear rules and expect them to be followed. She can believe you when you tell her she is pretty when she knows she can trust you to keep your expectations regarding rules. Let your girl know that you love her too much to allow a certain behavior. She may get angry, but deep down, she will recognize your love for her.

Remind her she does not have to be the center of attention in the room. People who receive respect do not demand it. If she naturally is loud and captures the attention of the room when she walks in, great, and if she is naturally reserved, let her be that girl.

Let her know she is enough. She is wonderful and beautiful simply because God created her! He never makes mistakes and she is a joy. Let her know that despite any conflict, she is loved. Assure her that no matter the plans she makes that fail or the dreams she achieves, she is still enough. She matters to God and to her mom.

How do you love on your own “baby girls?” I would love to hear ways you have connected with your own daughters out there. Each daughter God creates is unique in personality and family dynamics that each mom gets the privilege to discover the best way to connect and love on her own daughters. What a task but what a treat at the same time! I definitely put a lot of prayer into being a mom to my own daughters. Conflict comes for sure! There will always be eye-rolling, door-slamming, and stair-stomping but the steady, constant, affection for her will protect your relationship through all of it.

To all you boy moms out there (I am one of them too), these ideas can be tweaked to apply to boys or implemented with girls whose lives you speak into. Maybe some girls at church need your wisdom and love. Change the world out there, ladies! Let’s enjoy the ride together!




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