Mom Motivation: Monkey See, Monkey Do

See her? She’s my girl. Well, my big girl, anyway. She’ll be three in November. It’s amazing how much she can do. She can use the potty all by herself. She can put wet laundry in the dryer. She can start the dishwasher — whether I want her to or not. The other day when she and FishPapa finished a snack of tortilla chips, she dug through a kitchen drawer until she found a chip clip, and then she attached it. FishChick watches me and then she does it, too.

She observes and she mimics. When she hears the baby cry, she hurries to their room, calling, “I’m coming, baby.” I’ve even seen her breastfeed her dollies. It’s sweet that she copies me, but it’s also quite humbling.

When I just had boys, I must confess I felt a little less pressure as a mother. You see, the way I looked at it, I needed to be a good mom, but I didn’t have to worry about leading them astray. That was my husband’s risk, not mine. Though they might pick up a bad habit or two from me, they would naturally identify with him, and follow in his footsteps — or not.

It wasn’t until I had a girl that I started to be a little more self-conscious. I knew that I would be her example to follow. And I was quaking in my boots. Being a good mom for a girl has a lot more responsibility to it.

my stove

her stove

Just as she places a “pink towel” on her oven door, just like Mama, she may snap a little too much; she may bark a little too loudly; she may be a little too impatient with her sister — or her children. I do those things! Yet, I don’t want her to grow up and do them.

Who I am as her mother in some ways shapes who she will be as a mother. And that is no light responsibility. My motivation to be a good mom stems from the short-term goal of giving her a happy childhood, but also from the long-term one of helping her live a happy life. I’m not saying it didn’t matter as much when I was the mother of only sons. But, having a someday-woman looking up to me reminds me what’s at stake. And it helps motivate me.

I want to be the woman that I want my daughters to be. The woman my daughters would be proud to grow up like.

And that is great motivation.

What motivates you in your mothering?

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Comments

  1. I LOVE this post. You put it so simply. And the pictures of the stove are worth a thousand words.

    I remember a boyfriend LONG ago who went home for the weekend with his girlfriend. He said her mom was a horrible woman – mean and bitter. He broke up with that girlfriend long after that because he'd always heard that if you want to see how a woman will turn out, look at her mother.

    I know that's never 100%. But I'm sure it's a good bet.

    Hallee

  2. Thank you so much for this post. I have two daughters, one is 15 and one is 3. The responsibility is awesome. Love the stove pictures.

  3. Even boys mimic their mamas…my two year old son came up to me a few days ago with both pockets of his shorts bulging with kleenex, and grinning from ear to ear. Why? Because he sees me keeping a kleenex in my pocket and he was doing what I do. Then I did laundry this week, and I missed a kleenex that he left in his shorts, and now he has bits of kleenex all over his clothes…ah, well.:) Thank you for posting this! I need a reminder every now and again that my actions will speak much louder than my words to my children.

  4. What a sweet post! I, too, am motivated by the thought of my girls following in my footsteps. I so need the Lord's help to be all that I should be as a mom. It seems that I so often need to ask forgiveness for my lack of patience and harsh words with our daughters. I appreciate the reminder that it is not just for today, but for the future, that I need to set a good example.

  5. Amy @ Finer Things says:

    Such a great post! They are definitely watching and listening. Sometimes I catch myself telling my girls to do something, knowing I was doing just the opposite. Ouch!

  6. JessieLeigh says:

    Wonderful, sweet post! I'm so blessed to have two little girls to raise up… and I recognize the responsibility of that too. With my first pregnancy, I know I was almost relieved when I had a boy. And I think it was in part because I felt the "mother/son" relationship was easier. I still think it's easier. But the "mother/daughter" relationship is tremendously rewarding! Thanks so much for sharing this. And I, too, love the towel pics.

  7. I have 2 girls, ages 2 and 4 and this is a constant worry for me as well. I am always praying, under my breath, for the Lord to give me patience and that the girls turn out to be better than me, in every way.

  8. Liz @ Frugally Blonde says:

    I am mommy to two girls, ages 3 and 1. Thanks for the reminder that it is primarily I who will shape the women they become!

  9. Phoebe @ Cents to Get Debt Free says:

    I noticed my daughter acting a little harshly to her little brother the other day. It was only then that I realized she had probably caught that same attitude from me at one point, and was just passing it along. Thanks for the great reminder that WE are their models, and they learn SO very much from us.

  10. So very, very true. I unfortunately see myself in my oldest (11yrs) son a lot lately. (The bad stuff.)It's so humbling to scold your child for something and then realize that you are struggling with the same issue.

    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/kristenph

  11. I relate to this post so much. My oldest will be three in September and she inspires me to be a better person every single day…because I know she is watching me (everything I say and everything I do).

    Thank you for sharing!

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

  12. I have 3 girls and my oldest is 13. I have struggled with my weight for a very long time and I know my oldest has seen it. I am trying to get more in control of it and teach my girls healthy relationships with both eating and exercise.

  13. Laura Quirk says:

    My Mom raised three girls, and now I’m raising three girls. I think the best advice she gave me when they small and I got very frustrated, impatient and lost my temper was – that my daughters will fail to live up to their own expectations some day too sooo unless I want them to feel they need to be perfect … I need to be OK with not being perfect, with failing (even with them), with picking up the pieces as needed and moving on …

  14. In frustration my husband and I will sometimes swat the dog on his backside when he’s done something he shouldn’t have. I got a harsh reminder of what a mimic my girl is when she walked up to the sleeping dog and socked him right across the nose when she was frustrated with one of her toys. I took that to heart. It isn’t okay to hit- even when we’re frustrated. This is a wonderful post and I’m deeply thankful for yet another reminder of why I should dig deeper to find the patience and strength to be the kind of woman I’d like my daughter to grow up to be.

  15. It is a humbling, daunting thing to think about raising a little girl. Mine is 2 1/2 and now that she can talk, it’s especially freaky when she acts like me. She talks to her babies the way I talk to her baby brother. She talks to Daddy the way I talk to him (even the not-so-nice things I say–ouch!). And, she always wants to “hepp (help) you, Mama!”

    I know I’ll never be a perfect example of what a godly woman should look like. But, my prayer is that, by God’s grace, He’ll help me to be good enough.

  16. Thank you for the wonderful post & reminder. I’m the lucky Mom to 3 great kids- my oldest, my daughter will be 10 in Oct. (2 boys follow, 6 & 3). It can be daunting raising little women- messier than raising boys :) But, what an amazing responsibility the Lord has given me in training up another godly woman! While time is still spent protecting, more time is spent preparing her for her life ahead. Thank you for reminding us that our actions speak louder than our words and that raising girls (and boys) is truly a gift from God.

  17. I’ve got some good news for you. My daughter will be 18 next month and even though I had no idea what I was doing for like the first half of her life, she turned out to be a beautiful young woman. She’s modest (even though I wasn’t always) she’s got a great heart and she’s had the blessing of having much younger siblings to help her with patience. LOL!
    But I admit that raising two boys is a lot easier on the Mom because you really don’t feel as much pressure to perform a certain way because they are supposed to grow up and be like dad not mom.
    Either way, parenting is hard and that’s all their is to it, but I wouldn’t trade this for anything in the world.
    You’re daughter is precious and so are you!
    HUGS
    Kim

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