Monday, August 18, 2008


The mothering of girls is no small task. Not only are girls relationship driven, but they are filtering life through a range of emotions that is constantly changing. On top of that, they are watching their mother with they eyes of a hawk and becoming intuitive to any feeling that I am experiencing.

I've never considered myself an overly emotional person. (Those who know me are laughing right now. Can you say, "Understatement"?) It was actually very difficult for me to share any emotion growing up. I'd easily share my ideas, dreams, thoughts.... but I would keep the feeling part to myself. Once I had processed everything then I would share it with my mom or my best friend. Emotions just didn't flow freely. Sadness, anger, bitterness, disappointment, nervousness.... just welled up inside me and I pushed it back somehow.

I've certainly outgrown that dilemma. It is in large part to the Lord's work in my life. The Lord has softened me in many areas and when dealing with matters dear to Him, I simply can not hold back emotion, though I might try. It's a good thing. Allowing myself to actually go through the process of emotions has lead me to call out to Him for help instead of waiting for my brain to figure it all out.

Of course, I expect my girls in their hormonal fluxes to be more emotional and difficult at times. It is the walk of a woman to learn to control reactions and extremes. I don't expect my girls to be perfect at this. It's a lifetime process and a little grace needs to be given.

But I know they are watching me. They are picking up on my emotions a bit more everyday. "Mom, are you frustrated?" "I was going to talk to you, but you seemed too busy." "Are you worried about something?" "I think that you are mad at me." I know that my time has come. They are waiting to see if this woman, their mom, is able control her own reactions and extremes. I am the example God has seen fit to provide.

Today has been a tiring day emotionally for us girls. Several bouts of tears and frustrations related to school, along with some discipline for disobedience, has worn this mom down. I admit that I've lost it a few times and spoken harshly. I've asked for forgiveness and received some much needed hugs.

Before bed I announced to Lydia that in the morning I expected to see her in clean clothes. She was not only to wear clean clothes, but something from her drawer that she has not worn in a month. She has favorites and has been known to wear them for days on end if no one is watching. I've attributed this to the fact that she must be comfortable to be happy. But I know that she will miss out on much in life if she is only willing to stay with what is familiar.

I told her to pick something out or I would. Surely that would be motivation enough, right?I found her in her room sobbing and looking through her drawers. Frankly, I wanted to scream, "JUST TRY SOMETHING ON!!! I want to end this day!" But, by God's grace, I did not. We looked through the choices. We talked about why she liked some things and not others. I was literally biting the side of my mouth in order not to freak out. She cried some more. "Mom, I'm glad I have clothes to wear. But....I just want to wear something that looks.....more grown up. I'm so sorry.... Nobody cares. I mean, I talked to Miriam and she cares, but she just doesn't understand what I'm going through. Mom, everything is changing." (sob, sob, sob)

Come to find out, she has been trying to talk to me about it for a while and when she got up the courage last time, I blew her off. So she's been wearing what she has and doesn't know what else to do. My girl is changing. Her tastes are changing, her perspectives are changing, her hormones are changing.

And thus, my mothering of Lydia is changing as well.


Jenny B said...

"I've never considered myself an overly emotional person." :) Yes.. that would be an understatement! My sisters and I laugh at how emotional your children are compared to you and Sean.
Miss Lydia... I love you! I love your sweet hugs. I love chatting with you. Don't let your outfits get you down!!

Heather L. said...

I'm glad the Lord has provided moms who are just a few steps ahead of me to give me an idea of what it will be like in the next few years! I'm sure I'm going to have a lot of questions and someone to bounce things off of. Of course at this point I only have 1 girl! But, I think it will still take patience and wisdom.

mom24 said...

So glad that you are willing to post these things for us to see (we are watching you too - lol!).

I only have one girl, but it seems to have taken me forever to figure out things like this about her. And it also took me awhile before I learned to hold my tongue instead of pushing her to be a little robot ("Just DO it Rae!"). I never even offered her choices! She was 4yo and a little mess before I accepted her for what God had made her - a strong and emotional girl who needs me to understand her better.

I can see from your post that I still have a long way to go too! :-) He is still working every day in us through these kiddos.... Yours are truly blessed!


Cindy-Still His Girl said...

Beautifully written, my friend. This MUST go in the book. There were several lines, especially, that I know moms will underline and highlight. :)

So glad you got a glimpse into her mind and she was able to articulate it! Praying for you both right now. Love you.

Saralyn said...

Apples of gold in settings of silver. Lovely words from the heart that your daughter will cherish.

This is another area where I'm so glad for people like you who go before me. I also don't often emote and am going to need patience and understanding lessons as my daughter gets older. Thanks for giving some signals to look for!

eally said...

Oh bless her heart...and YOURS! This all will pass, (much quicker than you realize) and you both will look back and laugh at times like this. We are all human and we are definitely not supermoms - it's great when our children see our flaws and see us apologize for our mistakes. They realize they can make mistakes too and learn from them just like we do. Hang in are doing an amazing job!

Monica said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Mothering is a daily learning experience. I find that I am making mistakes daily, but oh how I am trying. The demands are huge each day and I am finding that I am depending more and more on God. I am learning to nurse a teething baby, train two toddlers, grade algebra tests, cook huge meals, run a washing machine nearly 24 hours a day, and not miss a precious moment with each child because "I'm too busy". Only by God'd grace...

Mary@notbefore7 said...

I am so glad I stopped on my way to bed to read your blog tonight. I had a particularly frustrating day with my oldest (though only 5). Tears, sobbing, and emotions were flowing freely from my sensitive child. It was a school driven battle that we did work out, but it just felt so draining.

This was a perfect reminder that they are watching. My little gal will be growing and changing as she enters these early elementary years. I have seen her begin to enjoy and blossom in her new found freedoms and abilites, yet she often is overcome with fear, sadness, or unexplained emotion.

God is so good and equips us perfectly to handle these beautiful women we are raising. What a wonderful moment He gave you today to guide your little gal, even as it tried your patience.

Thanks for sharing.