My entire life I have been surrounded by strong women. From the time I was born, up until this very day, I have been blessed to be in the presence of move makers and world changers! I am very strategic with who I allow in my daughter’s life, I want her to have the best examples in every avenue she reaches. From the dynamic female pastor to our hair dresser, I want my daughter to just inherently know she is strong and can run with the best of them.
Here are just a few things I have decided to do in order to cultivate my daughter’s spirit.
1.) Positive body conversation from day 1.
It was important to me, as someone who has struggled with body image, that I never wanted my daughter to ever think about herself the way I have. Since they laid her on my chest, I have never stopped telling her I love her toes, her head, her beautiful head of hair and her belly (and more)! Each day, I seek to tell her one thing that’s wonderful– and some days it’s just “you are so beautiful and smart, Mellie.”
2.) Giving her an environment to feel her very deep emotions.
Toddlers are feeling these emotions for the very first time and we should give them a space to do so. Yes, sometimes it can be daunting and you are SO over the sobs and screaming. So, put her in a safe place and take some safe space. I try to show Mellie emotions in a healthy way. Sometimes I fail, but sometimes I nail it. And she can see it’s okay to cry (and even sometimes you can yell and be ‘very mad’!).
3.) I tell her about all of the powerful women in her life!
It was quite the emotional day for me to witness our first Female Vice President. I held my daughter in my arms and said “Look! You can do that, too!”. Just to know that everything in my life that I had been told of “one day you can be XYZ” and to SEE it actually play out infront of you? That example is breathtaking.
4.) I show her what it’s like to be financially independent and to care for yourself.
I come from a long line of hardworking women and women who had careers and raised children. My own paternal grandmother quit high school at 16 to care for her brothers and sisters and continued to work until she retired. My aunts (on both sides!) are each incredibly educated and also carried careers and raised children. This heritage is powerful. I want her to know she can do anything she wants.
5.) And I want her to know that if she is able to be a stay at home mom, how to do that.
I want her to be able to multitask and ask for help. I want her to be able to network with other moms and find joy in playdates.
6.) Finally, the wisest and most powerful way I am choosing to raise my daughter strong? A love of Jesus.
I am currently pursuing pastoral credentials and it’s an honor to be able to witness this to my Mellie girl. To be able to live out each day of my life serving a purpose bigger than ourselves. I want her to be able to know she is loved immensely and without limit by an incredible God. I truly do not think that I would be as kind as I am without the love of the Lord that I am able to extend to others. Holding the door open for someone, buying the pack of diapers for the person behind you or even giving a smile. For me, it’s the Lord. I want her to experience that and to continue to be the light I know she is.