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. 

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. 

Dear Daughter

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You are now a big ole' five year old. You're on the brinks of Kindergarten and entering into "big kid" school and you have a lifetime ahead of you. You don't know it yet, but these years you are experiencing in your childhood and the years ahead in young adulthood, are going to be some of the best years ever. 

I watched you swinging outside tonight and it took me back to my days of swinging in my parent's backyard on the long summer days too. I remembered how it felt to swing while watching the sky turn all shades of pink and orange. I remembered how simple life was. I remembered how beautiful my childhood was. I instantly thought of you, and hoped that in 10 or 20 years you'll look back onto these long summer days with the same sweet emotions. 

I look at how big you're getting and realize how quickly all of this big kid stuff is happening. Soon you'll be starting school, something that I know you will succeed at. However I can't help but feel all sorts of emotions when I picture you, my baby girl, out there in that big world. A world that while beautiful and enchanting, can also be dark. 

I think of how things in our modern lifestyle are always changing. Technology provides portals for things that scare me. Bullying. Comparison. Luring. And so on. I realize that I want nothing more than to shield you from it all. But along with being an overprotective parent, I hope most of all that I can be a teacher for you. I hope that I can pass down things to you that you can walk with daily in life to get you through the hard and scary days out there. 

Love yourself. You're stunningly beautiful and you always will be. Love yourself no matter what any idiot out there says. Never compare yourself to others, because chances are, they are already comparing themselves to you or they may not have it all "together" like you think. Love yourself no matter what size you are, no matter your test score and no matter if you get picked last for dodgeball. Dodgeball kinda sucks anyway. 

Be kind. Be kind to everyone you meet. Be the kid the who talks to all the kids. Be the kid who makes everyone feel important and special. Be the kid that the other kids are never afraid to talk to. 

But be cautious. Always remember to protect yourself. Be cautious of this great big world and some of the people in it. There are people in this world that are not so kind and that are harmful and ugly. Stand up for yourself and always walk your paths with caution. Walk with your head up, not in your cell phone. Always be mindful of your surroundings. And when you're a teenager, a phone call to pick you up from some party if needed is okay. 

Be righteous. Always try and walk with Jesus. He may come and go in your life here and there, and you may rely on him more at different times. But always keep him at the core of it. Live your life with him in mind, I want your little butt in Heaven one day. And don't be afraid to speak about him. 

Be simple and humble. Labels don't mean much. You'll think they do here and there and you'll beg me for whatever designer purse is in style and you may want some outrageously priced tennis shoes, but take it from someone who "thought" she heard angels singing when she purchased her first Coach bag. A few years and a few kids later, and you realize how silly all of that really is. Buy quality for it to last, not for it to be showy. Be simple, be humble and be proud of that. 

Be YOU. Stand up for what you believe in, but only because it's what you believe in and not because you think it is expected of you. Don't be a follower, be a leader. Be the person walking her own path and paving the way for YOU. 

Be wise. Learn what you can, enjoy life and laugh a lot. Find joy in the simple things, because those are what truly matters. 

Be a child for as long as you can. You'll be in a rush to grow up, I can promise you that. You'll be in a rush to have boyfriends and go to prom, to graduate and get your first car. But enjoy being a kid. Your life is carefree, innocent and beautiful. Run through the sunshine and dance through the sprinklers and enjoy this time. Don't rush it. 

Lastly, always come to me. I will be here to hold your hand through it all. The breakups, the makeups, the proms and the trips to the mall. We will laugh, we may cry and we even may yell. But at the end of the day, you'll always be my little girl. And I hope to always be the one you need and the hug you crave. 

Daughter, I could say a million more things. But this is just the basics. I hope you rock this beautiful life ahead of you and I can't wait to watch you do so. 

As you would say, "I love you to the moon and back 180,000 times." 

 

 

 

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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.