Hi. I’m new here. So are you, it seems, and introductions are in order. I’m Sarah. I am and have been a lot of things in my thirty odd years on this planet. The impetus for this blog in particular, though, is my being a mother to a daughter. The youngest of my three children, Penny, arrived about a year and a half ago and was, shockingly, a girl. Having already birthed two boys, I was convinced that the third would be alike in gender. But the pronouncement from the ultra-sound tech that our youngest child was, in fact, of my ilk, sort of rocked my world. It was an almost immediate impression of, wow, I now have to be THE example for this tiny person.
I come from a family of only daughters and had parents who always told me I could do all of the things. Girl power was not overt but definitely present. However, when I thought about raising my own girl, so many questions without answers went swirling through my brain. How do I make sure she’s confident without being bossy (or another not so nice word for that…)? How do I promote beauty without fixation? How do I share my goals and desires while also respecting hers? How do I encourage her to try all the things and help her not be afraid to fail?
See, raising girls is different than raising boys. No less important to be sure, but as a woman who was once a girl, I’ve experienced all the negatives that can come from being my gender and I want to help my daughter avoid as many of those as possible. My dreams for her include embracing her brains before her beauty, but still exploring her style and looking amazing; stretching her wings so far to achieve the big dreams, but also being realistic about her strengths and giftings; being vulnerable with herself to feel the big feelings, but not be overwhelmed by them; not letting herself fall into the trap of defining her world by a man, but still loving the men in her world well; caring for herself so that she doesn’t forget herself in care of others, but making serving others a priority too. This is the dichotomy of being a girl, right? And especially a girl who has all the big dreams and big goals for all the things.
My first seven years of parenthood was all about the boys. I had to get over my female tendencies in a big way. Boys are dirty, boys are physical, boys live life by doing. My boys are always described by everyone we meet as “all boy,” and the essence of that is they are rough and tumble and always on the go. They both come with a side of tender sweetness though. They love their mama, they love their sister, they look out for other kids, and they have great wonder and awe for the world. But they also climb, run, take apart, create, mess up, yell, wrestle, and fall. I didn’t realize how much that was true of them until Penny, who loves to wrestle, but is much more inclined to help, put away, listen, snuggle, kiss, and be wary. She’s the girl to their boy to be sure. And the combination of the two genders under one roof is so growing and fulfilling in ways I never anticipated.
So being confronted with raising two boys and a girl and having a bent towards wanting to express myself through both words and pictures, I decided to share some of myself and my journey as a mother here. Essentially, how to raise a beautiful girl who is not just a pretty girl, but ever so much more. And along with that, how to raise two boys to be strong and understanding, big dreamers and helpers of other who want to dream, decision makers based on their values and loves, problem solvers and go getters, and never being afraid of contradicting what someone has told them they “should” be or do.
Thanks for joining me in the journey.
In these images, Penny and I are wearing Mommy and Me Sweetheart sets from Hen House Apparel. You can save 20% using code PENNY20. Penny is also wearing a bow from Prairie Blooms Boutique. The boys are wearing shorts from 925 Kids.