Last week I wrote a post “Raising My Sons to be Gentlemen“… and, while I was writing that post, I confess that I was imagining what gentlemen my daughters would end up marrying one day. It’s hard to separate the idea of what kind of men you want your boys to be, from the idea of what kind of men you want your daughters to marry.
And that led me to thinking more deliberately about the kind of women I want my girls to be…
I want them to be ladies!
In the best sense of the word, of course. When I say “ladies”, I mean that I want them to be gracious, kind, and compassionate – to notice others, and to care deeply for the needs of others. I want them to be courageous, strong, and determined – to chase their dreams through hard work, and to stay the course no matter the obstacles they may face along the way. I want them to be fiercely loyal, and to honor their families (the one they’re growing up in, and the ones they will one day raise themselves – if they choose too).
How do I intend to raise such beautiful ladies? Well, in the same way that I intend to raise my boys to be gentlemen… by trying to model for them what it looks like. (I am by no means perfect, that’s why I say try)
- I want them to see in me the kind of woman who cares for the needs of others by reaching out and offering help and support whenever I can. I want to be generous with my time and skills – both towards my family and to others – so that my girls will see what it looks like to offer ‘self’ for the benefit of the ‘other’. And I want to create opportunities for them to put this into practice… I want to find ways for them to share and give. And I want to praise them when they do.
- I want them to hear me talk about my dreams in a way that makes it sound possible. I hope they never hear me say things like: “I can’t do it”, or, “I’m just going to give up”, or, “I may as well just not do anything.” I want to tell them – often and loudly – “You’ve got this!” I want to let them run with their brothers, and wrestle their brothers, because sometimes they win! And when you can beat your older brother, well, then you can do anything! 🙂
- Finally, I want them to come to know me as a wife and mom whose first priority is always her family. Not because nothing else matters, but because this matters most!
In this way I hope to raise my daughters to be ladies one day… I believe all moms would want their daughters to be ladies who are compassionate and courageous, who fight for what is right, but in a gracious and loving way! I would love to hear from you how you are striving for that to happen…
Jacqui Bester is firstly a wife, and mom to five rambunctious children who drive her nuts and fill her heart with unspeakable joy all in the space of a single day. She writes about her day to day adventures and misadventures in parenting, life and marriage. Jacqui is known for sharing a brutally honest account of her MESSY “mamahood”… the joy, the fun, the laughter and the tears. She enjoys a good mystery-crime novel with a lovely glass of red wine, trying out new foods and restaurants with her hubby on the odd date-night, exploring new places, learning new skills, and generally anything else that calls for a more adventurous approach to life. You can find her over on One Messy Mama.