My Strong Willed Daughter: You are Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Parenting the Strong Willed Daughter

"I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14)."   I have been sitting on this scripture for some time now as I constantly remind myself daily of who I am and who my children are. That not only are WE as mothers "fearfully and wonderfully made" but so are our children. That not only did God write out all of the pages of our story before we were made, but the same for our children. 

As the mother of a very strong willed child, I have often caught myself saying things like "Why are you like this?" as I call out in desperation from the antics this child pulls. I  just call out to myself and wonder why does this sweet baby girl of mine do things that her older sister never did? Why does she continually test me and defy me, despite parenting my children the same? Why is she like this and did I do something to make her like this?

I'm sure many of us mothers to strong willed daughters have wondered where on earth did our child get this will from. I know that she didn't get it from me. So often we ask why are they like this and why do they do these things? But rarely do we sit and appreciate that this is just who they are. 

Now obviously there is a line between just plain ole' defiance and poor behavior choices, and strong willed. Some children have a personality that blooms and illuminates light from every corner. Some children have a strong willed personality that often makes you want to cringe. And then of course there are children who are everything in between these two. My three year old is a little bundle of it all, with a whole lot of sweet but a TON of spice. 

Her spice knocks me off my feet sometimes. Her will to just do it her way stuns me. Her headstrong ways make me feel like I'm failing. But never once have I actually just sat and realized that this just may be who she truly is. She'll likely grow up and know who she is, speak her truth and strut her stuff with confidence. She'll be independent and strong and she likely won't take crap from anyone if I can imagine. And she may even throw out a few knuckle sandwiches in the process (gosh I hope not). 

There are obviously rules that have to be followed and parenting that has to happen to help teach our children respect, obedience and compassion (no matter how strong willed they are). Having a strong personality isn't an excuse to just always get your way or be disrespectful to others. But what if these little humans just grow up knowing their truth? They'll know who they want to be, how they'll get there and where they'll go. 

Perhaps they are "fearfully and wonderfully made" because God has grander plans for them than we can ever envision. Perhaps they will lead a fortune 500 company. Perhaps they will actually be the first female president. Perhaps they will be one of those teachers that goes down in history as one of the best. Perhaps they will walk a righteous path speaking God's truth to all. Because let's face it, they know how to make people listen. They'll demand it. 

Perhaps this trait that is often so incredibly frustrating is actually a gift. 

So mamas, when you're frustrated and you feel defeated from dealing with your strong willed daughter, remember that maybe you're not doing it wrong. Maybe there's nothing wrong with your child, she's just learning how to handle the strengths that God wrote in her heart. After all, he knew all of our days before we were even born and he wrote our truths from the get go. He helped make us who we are. 

Parent her the best you can but find the moments to give her the grace and honor to be who she is. Give her the ability to have choices on things, let her get her words out and help her handle her strong emotions. It's hard, oh my gosh is it ever. It's frustrating to the max and it takes a lot of prayers for patience and wisdom on handling her at times. No one said you had to do it perfectly and no one said there was a right or a wrong way. You figure it out as you go with lots of Jesus, a good bit of wine and a few cry fests here and there. And a ton of kisses and cuddles. 

But remind yourself that she is "fearfully and wonderfully made." God wouldn't give you anything you couldn't handle. He just gave you a wildflower in a field of roses. Don't pick the wildflower down, just show her how to handle the wind from the storms. Let her bloom, let her grow and let her colors shine. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Creating a Joyful Home

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Here lately as a homemaker, I have been so intrigued on the actual role of what I do daily. While I am more than just a homemaker because I do actually work from home, it's intriguing to think of all the skills, values, work and thought that goes into homemaking. 

It's so easy as women to just get trapped in the ideas of laundry, cooking, housework and raising children. When you think of all the things that we do day to day, even if we work from home or away from home, all of these things can sound daunting. Yet recently I have begun to realize all of the purpose that it truly serves. 

Keeping a home running efficiently isn't easy, but it also shouldn't always be the daunting task that it can seem. I'm not saying that housework is my favorite, but as time goes on, I realize all of the purpose my role serves in our home. I am helping to lay down the foundation of our home...the memories, the shared moments, the tools I teach down to my children and so much more. 

It's important to me to be a joyful homemaker who helps to create a joyful home. 

Having a joyful home is an inviting place. We want our home to be a place for gathering. Keeping a tidy, organized home means that impromptu gatherings doesn't frazzle you too much. While it's completely (and I mean completely) understandable that homes with young children can't always be tidy, keeping your home presentable for others keeps it inviting and helps keep your stress down when visitors stop by unexpectedly or for last minute plans. 

Having a joyful home is a memory. I want my children to remember the small details of life here. From warm cookies after naps to ice cream on the front porch swing and long summer nights playing outside to making smores in the fireplace during the winter, I want my children to have cozy memories of the place they called home. Keeping a happy, joyful and efficient home is helping to create the same memories for our children. Too much chaos isn't too joyful. Structure in our days and a good rhythm through the seasons helps keep us moving swiftly, even when things do get a little crazy. 

Having a joyful home welcomes the Lord. While everyone has their own beliefs and faith, many of us can say that we want faith within the walls of our homes. How little or how much faith we bring to the table depends on us as the parent. Having a simple home, a quiet life and a reason to seek, allows us to bring Jesus where he belongs. 

Having a joyful home brings us together. Some people love to cook and others not so much. I for one dread the task of beginning a meal and cleaning after a meal, but when I'm in the middle of preparing a meal for my family I love it. Cooking wholesome food for the ones I love and care for makes me happy. Having us all gather at the table or on the patio is the perfect end to what can often be busy, long days. I take pride in serving my family real food as much as I can. 

Having a joyful home teaches. Whether you're teaching your children how to cook, how to fold clothes, eat healthy, bake cookies, etc... , our children are learning from us on how to do so much in their own lives one day. Values are learned and skillsets that one day they will need within the walls of their own home is taught as well. We are setting a huge example for our children, even if we do not see it right now. 

Homemaking isn't easy and it looks different for each family. However creating a joyful home with organization, simplicity, laughter, love and faith will instill more in all who enter our home and especially those who live within it. When the days seem long and the laundry seems endless, remember to find the joy in it all because you are creating the foundation of joy for so many. 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos. 

Mommy Can You Color With Me?

The Mushy Mommy farmhouse living

"Mommy can you color with me?" That's the third time I've heard that question just today. And there's no telling how many times I've heard that question this week, despite the fact that I have indeed colored in the rare moments that I can actually sit and do so. 

My five year old has a knack for asking me to play with her or do something fun right when I'm elbow deep in a sink full of dishes. It never fails that when she asks me to do these fun things with her, I'm tackling the never ending list that comes with homemaking. Or there's a one year old running around climbing every thing he can find that needs my attention. Not being able to be the coloring enthusiast my daughter asks me to be makes me a little sad sometimes. 

As mothers our lists are never ending. Laundry needs to be done. Someone really should mop my floors (oh that's me) and I'm pretty sure the sheets need to all be washed and changed. And that's just the start of it. If we slip up just a bit or pause things to have some fun, in the back of our minds we know that there's so much we really need to be doing to keep things running smoothly. 

When you have chores, work and adorable little people begging for your attention, that feeling of not being enough, of being stretched too thin arises and you suddenly feel like you're sinking to the bottom of the fish bowl. You're exhausted, you're annoyed and quite frankly, you really just don't want to color right now. Doesn't that make you a horrible mother? 

You begin to wonder if you're enough. You begin to question why does this always play out like this. You wonder how all of the people say, "let the chores wait." Do those people just live like slobs or something? I simply can't just let it wait. You begin to wonder just how much damage are you doing to your child each time you say, "Mommy can't right now." 

You try to explain to your kids that mommy has work to do. Whether that work entails a full time job, a work from home job, or even just the work of a homemaker, you see those big eyes staring back at you, grasping onto a slither of hope that you'll just say yes. And when you say yes, you're often left feeling like you're neglecting someone or some other thing within your home. Even when you say yes but your mind isn't truly in the game (because as women our minds are always multitasking), you think there's something wrong with you. Why can't you just release all of the "have to do's" to just enjoy the moment?

This post doesn't have an answer for you. I'm not here to wrap this post up with some grand advice that makes everything seem better. I'm here to tell you that when you feel like you're not enough, that when you feel so stretched thin to the brinks of tearing apart, when you feel like you're failing, I'm here to tell you that you are not alone. 

You are not alone in being trapped under the mile long to do list of being mom. You're not alone in feeling unworthy for such beautiful, little people begging for your attention. You're not alone when you feel like you're failing them. You my friend, are not alone. 

There's no magical cure. There's no rainbows and unicorns to just make the hard go away. All we have are moments. Moments in time to try and grasp the joy of what we can before the time fades away. We have moments here and there to sneak in the play, to stop what we're doing to give all that we can. We have moments to create memories. 

No one said it would be easy. In fact, it's really freaking hard. But I write to you today to tell you that I hope you (and I) find more of the moments. I hope you squeeze in the time to find the joy in the mundane, to find the joy in the hardships of the day and to find the light in the long days of it all. To find the moments to pause.  

There is plenty of light, joy and love in our days. And it's all wrapped up in those little humans begging for us to just sit and color. 


While I don't have the answers here's some tricks I try to do to allow me the moments to sit and do these things with my kids:

  • Save them for when the baby goes to sleep or naps.
  • Have daddy be on standby with the baby while you color or play with the older ones.
  • Involve the older ones in chores to help teach them about everything you have to do and to have "help," which can speed up the time it takes to complete things.
  • Do bath time earlier and make these activities the last thing you do before bed (coloring, board games, movies, etc...)
  • Give the baby a snack in the highchair and color or play games at the kitchen table with baby close by.
  • Go OUTSIDE. When you feel like your home is a wreck but your kids need your attention, get some fresh air! 
  • Go do something fun, away from home. Sometimes stepping away is a good refresher for you and the kids. 
  • Give yourself some grace. Even when the tears fall, the feelings hit hard and you feel overwhelmed. Find your grace. 
Mommy Can You Color With Me?

 

 

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Sasha Savoy

Sasha is the owner and founder of The Mushy Mommy, a natural mother and baby boutique and The Mushy Mommy Village. She is a SAHM who works hard at living as minimal and unprocessed as possible, but never claims perfection. Her mission is to inspire, encourage, enlighten and empower mothers all over to feel good about their choices, to make healthy choices and to enjoy motherhood and all of its beauty and chaos.