Tag Archives: motherhood

Letting Go of Mommy Guilt

15 Feb

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I love taking pictures of my kids on Instagram.  When we go somewhere or make something that I think is really cool, I snap a picture of them smiling and happy, edit it, and post it, sometimes forwarding it on to Facebook.  I think it’s a good way for family and friends who don’t live close by to keep up with the kids, and I also really enjoy the creative aspect of taking a great picture.

I don’t take pictures with the intention of getting compliments, but people sometimes comment with things like “Your kids are so lucky” or  “You’re such a good mom.”  You would think this would make me feel good, but when people make comments like this, I have a pretty standard stream of negative thoughts that run through my mind: Why would they say that? or Boy, have I got them fooled! or No, I’m not.  I just don’t photograph and publish the bad moments. 

While some of these things are correct (I don’t usually photograph and publish the meltdowns and fights and messes), God spoke to me the other day regarding the other negative thoughts that I have concerning myself and motherhood.  A friend from church commented under a picture that I had put of the kids on Facebook, “You are such a good mom.” I immediately started with the negative self-talk.  She just doesn’t know.  I’m really not. Why would she say that?  God spoke to me immediately.  Laresa, why wouldn’t she say that?  You are a good mother.  Why don’t you believe it? 

This was a powerful moment for me.  What if what everyone says about me is true?  What if I AM a good mother?  What if my kids ARE going to be ok?! Why should I not believe that?  I realized that it is time to stop carrying around this mother’s guilt that has been plaguing me, and rest in the knowledge that I am good enough. A weight was lifted from my shoulders immediately.

Mother’s guilt is the worst type of guilt. It begins the day you bring your baby home from the hospital.  We feel guilt over how we feed them, where the baby sleeps, and what type of diaper we are using.  Then the baby gets a little older, and the guilt changes a little.  Working moms feel guilt over working and stay-at-home moms feel guilt over staying at home.  We feel guilty about the choices we are making about our children’s education, where we shop for their clothes, what food they are eating, how many cartoons they are watching every day, and how many stories we are reading to them at nighttime.  We even feel guilty about the number of children we have! I am sure that as my kids get older, different things will spring up for me to feel guilty about.

I know that I am not alone in this.  I hear my friends lamenting over their guilty consciences and the decisions they are making for their families.  Even women who I know to be very confident and self-assured feel mother’s guilt. I once overheard a woman warning a mother-to-be about mother’s guilt at her baby shower! All of the women standing around the unsuspecting woman were nodding their heads in understanding.

There is nothing wrong with the feeling of guilt in itself: it can be an important warning when there is a problem.  In Romans 2:14-15, Paul tells us, Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.”  God gave human beings the feeling of guilt to alert us when we are on the wrong path, so it is an important thing to pay attention to.

The mother’s guilt that I am referring to, however, is not God-given.  It is a self-imposed feeling of not being enough, a form of self-condemnation that comes from the devil himself.  According to Revelation 12:10, Satan is our accuser.  1 Peter 5:8 explains that he is our enemy and that he prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” The devil is using our feelings of mother’s guilt to hold us back and to keep us from being the women that God intends us to be!

Mother’s guilt can have a negative impact on our entire family.  We can over-compensate with our children by spoiling them or not disciplining them when we should.  We can depend on our husbands to make us feel better about ourselves, something that is not their duty, and then get angry when they can’t. This isn’t what God wants for us, for our children, or for our husbands.  In John 14:27, Jesus says, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” He sacrificed himself for us and sent the Holy Spirit to indwell his believers so that we could live a life of peace, not full of worry.

How do we let go of our mother’s guilt?  Let’s look to Philippians 4:6-9 for a solution:

6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

8And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. 9Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

First of all, we need to take this issue to God in prayer.  He is waiting to hear from us and wants to help.  He will give us peace to guard us as we go about the difficult task of being mamas.

Then, we need to change our thought process.  When our minds start going in the direction of self-condemnation and negative self-talk, we need to stop ourselves.  Think about good things we have done today (I know there are tons), and tell ourselves we are good enough…because we are…because Jesus made us good enough. We need to remember that Jesus freed us from the burden of having to be good enough when He died on the cross for us.

If you have experienced some sort of trauma in your life that has caused you to suffer from serious self-condemnation, I urge you to find someone to talk to.  It could be a trusted friend, your pastor, or a counselor.  Sometimes we have to allow God to work through other people.

My prayer for you all, fellow mamas, is that you find yourself free of mommy-guilt, that you break free of the stronghold that the devil has on you, and that you allow God to fill your heart and mind and home with peace that only He can give.

 

5 (Not 26) Random, Hilarious Things That Have Occurred in My Home Today

26 Jan

Today’s writing prompt from The Daily Post was to write something incorporating the number 26.  I started out this morning with the intention of recording 26 funny things that happened in my house throughout the day.  However, it is the end of the day, and I could only come up with 5.  

Sorry, but I am sick, and I was just trying to survive the day.

Some funny things did happen, though.

At least, I found them funny, but I am taking heavy doses of Mucinex, which tends to make things funnier to me…

1. Charlie runs into the bedroom with Maddie’s magic wand, points it at the TV and says, “There will be no more grown-up cartoons on this TV!”

2. Jason, who has been into coin collecting lately, says to me, “Honey, did you know that coins made after 1965 are worth much less than coins made before 1965?”

“Yes, of course I know that.  You didn’t?” I respond sarcastically.

 “Quit being phaeanicious,” he says. (I am still not sure if he was telling me to stop being like a Phaeacian or if he meant facetious.)

3.  Charlie, upon finding an empty popsicle wrapper on his dad’s nightstand:  “What happened here?”

4. Maddie has been replacing random words in songs off of her Sunday School Songs DVD with the word “Poopy.”  Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and poopy, poopy!  I have to do something about that…soon, I think.

5.  Baby Kitty, who I didn’t know was in the house, suddenly appeared in the kitchen, covered in dust and dust balls.  I need to figure out where he was hiding, because obviously that place needs to be cleaned. 

So I didn’t reach my goal of 26, but I think my five are pretty good.  Have a good night, everyone!

 

It’s a Jammie Day!

22 Jan

That’s right, it’s jammie day at the Watkins’ house.  This is what we call it when we go the entire day in our pajamas (Well, the kids do at least.  It is a little after 2, and I do have clothes on now, much to Charlie’s disappointment!).  Charlie and Maddie love jammie days, and want every day to be jammie day, so they were really excited when I agreed to skip story time today and have a jammie day.

And it really is a great day for a jammie day, with it being so cold outside.

What do you do on a jammie day, you ask?

Lots of playing!  The kids have played with stickers, Legos, their doctor kit, and have dressed up in lots of superhero outfits.

Lots of playing! The kids have played with stickers, Legos, their doctor kit, and have dressed up in lots of superhero outfits.

We've read lots of books.

We’ve read lots of books.

And we made these wonderful strawberry cookies!

And we made these wonderful strawberry cookies!

We have tons of strawberries from my  mom’s recent trip to Florida.  These cookies are so good, so here’s the recipe if you want to try it out.  Don’t make them too far ahead of time, though-they are best when they are fresh.

Strawberry Cookies

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar and 2 tbs white sugar

1/ 2 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 1/4 cup self-rising flour

1 cup strawberries, cut up

1. Mix your strawberries with the 2 tbs. sugar and set aside

2. Mix the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together.

3.  Add the vanilla and egg and mix well.

4.  Add the flour and mix well.

5.  Gently stir in the strawberries.

Drop by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for a13-15 minutes until brown.  This makes about 2 dozen cookies.

Do you and your kids ever have a jammie day?  What do you like to do on a day like this?

Finding the Perfect in the Imperfect-A Mommy Blogger’s Deceit

14 Jan

I am getting ready to reveal the biggest secret of lifestyle bloggers everywhere…..we are not perfect! It’s all an illusion. A lot of mommy bloggers and lifestyle bloggers in general tend to perpetuate the myth of perfection, which is not good for us normal, hardworking mamas who are just struggling to make it through the day, and may have a minute to catch up on our favorite blog before we collapse into bed at night.

It has been on my heart lately to show my imperfections so that God can use me.  He does not, after all, use the perfect.

I hope you all realize that when you read a blog, you aren’t getting the whole picture of someone’s life.  You are getting what they want you to see and believe about them.  To illustrate my point, I snapped some pictures of my house when the kids and I got home from Bible study today.  I didn’t change anything about my house or the rooms I was photographing, just changed my point-of-view or zoomed in or out.

I am enjoying a nice hot pot of green tea today!

I am enjoying a nice hot pot of green tea today!

 

Can someone come over and finish unpacking my groceries, unload the dishwasher, take out the recycling and compost, and put the kids' things away?

Can someone come over and finish unpacking my groceries, unload the dishwasher, take out the recycling and compost, and put the kids’ things away?

 

I love this lampshade in my living room!  So colorful.

I love this lampshade in my living room! So colorful.

 

This gorgeous lamp sits on the table that Charlie now exclusively uses for Lego building.  Goldie is going to have to be relocated sometime soon.  And be careful to not walk around that table in bare feet-Legos are dangerous!

This gorgeous lamp sits on the table that Charlie now exclusively uses for Lego building. Goldie is going to have to be relocated sometime soon. And be careful to not walk around that table in bare feet-Legos are dangerous!

 

The Madster getting in her mid-afternoon cartoon.

The Madster getting in her mid-afternoon cartoon.

 

Why didn't someone come make my bed while we were gone this morning?  And at what age will the kids start hanging up their own coats?

Why didn’t someone come make my bed while we were gone this morning? And at what age will the kids start hanging up their own coats?

 

Maddie's cute little headband that she wore to church Sunday.

Maddie’s cute little headband that she wore to church Sunday.

 

Hey!  I folded that laundry before I piled it on the stairs!

Hey! I folded that laundry before I piled it on the stairs!

 

My dad got Maddie this beautiful little piano for Christmas.  I love it.

My dad got Maddie this beautiful little piano for Christmas. I love it.

 

Maddie's bed stays piled with her toys that she insists on sleeping with!

Maddie’s bed stays piled with her toys that she insists on sleeping with!

 

I am not a professional photographer, so just imagine what I would be able to do if I was! We catch perfect images, then write catchy tag lines with lots of exclamation points, then start Pinning, Tweeting, and Instagramming.

No one is perfect, so please don’t read these blogs and think that you are less or need to do any more than you are already doing.  Give yourself a break, and just focus on the good!

That is the real secret of bloggers-we find the beauty in the mess, then enjoy sharing that beauty with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons I Have Learned from Legos

6 Jan

It is a new era in our household-the Lego era.  Charlie got a Batman Lego set for Christmas, and it has probably been his favorite, most played with toy since then.  It has not yet left our living room to make the trip up to Charlie’s room because he plays with it so much.

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

This is where Charlie now spends a lot of his days!

I spent 3 hours putting that thing together during Maddie’s naptime on Christmas Eve, with Charlie sitting next to me on the floor hanging onto my every move.  It is honestly a memory I will cherish.

What I will not cherish, however, is the fallout from the Legos.  I noticed on the box that the recommended age for this particular set was 7-14.  I had no problem putting it together and it really was quite fun to do-kind of like putting together a puzzle. There were several characters included like Batman, the Joker, and the Riddler, and there were two different vehicles to assemble, and the set itself is really cool.  There are trap doors and ropes that dip people in vats of acid.

But, let me tell you, there is a reason that the recommended age for this particular toy is 7-14.  Charlie loves his Legos and spends a great part of his day playing with the set-and I spend a great part of my day reassembling it. He is constantly tearing it up or knocking part of it off, and he can’t put it back together by himself, so I have to do it.

This has had a couple of negative repercussions…

1.  It has made one of my New Year’s goals (not yelling) very hard to reach, and while I don’t think I have yelled about the Lego set, I have used a not-so-nice tone after assembling Joker’s funhouse for the gazillionth time.

2.  It has made another of my New Year’s goals (saying “yes” more often) harder to reach.  I really, really, really want to say “No, I will not put it back together again.”  I did tell Charlie that if he tore it apart again, he would have to reassemble it himself (That was yesterday-I spent approximately 2 hours on the living room floor reassembling it for him this afternoon, so obviously I didn’t stick to my guns on that one.).

…and also some positive repercussions:

1.  It gives Charlie and I something fun to do together that we both enjoy.  It really is fun to put together, and he loves playing with it so much, which brings joy to both of us.

2.  It caused me to examine my actions and reactions.  I was getting really upset over Charlie destroying the Lego set.  I finally told Jason last night (after Jason accidentally stepped on the funhouse and Charlie got teary because I had told him I wouldn’t put it together again) that I just needed to let go.  It wasn’t a masterpiece that I had invented; I had assembled a set of Legos made for children.  It is a toy that is meant to be played with.

3.  I have realized that one day soon Charlie won’t need me to put together his Legos for him anymore.  One day he will take his Lego box up to his room, dump it out on the floor, and do it himself. That day is coming quickly, guys, and even though I always want him to need me to assemble his Legos for him, he won’t always need that.  I need to cherish these moments and take advantage of them while I can.

4.  It has opened up a whole new world to us!  Legos are awesome, people. Did you know that there is a movie coming out next month?

So event though it has been a little difficult for me and challenged me right away on some of my New Year’s goals, I am so glad Charlie got the Legos for Christmas.  And guess what he picked out today as his prize for being so brave at the doctor this morning?

That’s right….

Already put it together....twice.

Already put it together….twice.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/01/04/daily-prompt-new-2/

Jumping in the Leaves

5 Nov

It’s turning cooler, the days are shorter, and honestly my first instinct is to hibernate in the house!  However, with 2 kids, I just can’t do that.  They need to be outside, even if it is cool.  They need to run and play and breathe in the fresh air, and I do, too.  Some days, like today, I have to make us go outside, and I am always glad when I do.

We went out today, raked up a pile of leaves, and destroyed it!  Then we did it again and again.  I will probably be sore tomorrow from all of the raking, but it will definitely be worth it.

This is my favorite picture from the day:

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Isn’t that deep belly laugh just the best?

 

The “D” Word

4 Sep

Jason made a comment one day last week that I have been thinking about quite a bit: “It seems like we’re always saying ‘Don’t do this! Don’t do that!'” I took that to mean, “You don’t let the kids do anything or have any fun,” which is totally not what he was implying.  He was just making an observation that we (mostly I) say “don’t” a lot.

With 2 young children, saying “no” is a necessity for their well-being, but I have been making an effort to notice exactly what I tell them not to do, and what I should maybe just let them do.  I will admit that sometimes I tell them not to do something because it will make a mess that I don’t feel like cleaning up, but I do try to avoid that because sometimes learning is messy, isn’t it?

I documented this morning what I just had to say “don’t” to, if only to provide a little comic relief for a tough post-vacation day!

1. Don’t zip yourself up inside of the luggage unless Mommy is in the same room and knows what you are doing.

2. Don’t go outside to shoot your bow and arrows naked.

3. Don’t pick up Baby Kitty by the neck.

4. Don’t attempt to pick up your sister by the neck.

5. Don’t try to run away from me in this parking lot.

6. Don’t tear the leaves off of the only plant that you or the cats have not yet destroyed.

7. Don’t eat that bright yellow mushroom you just picked from our yard, and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.

8. Don’t stick your hand in the baby Vapo-rub, and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.

9. Don’t attempt to pick up your brother by the neck.

10. DON’T SUCK ON YOUR FINGERS!

11. Don’t try to pet Goldie (our fish), and don’t suck on your fingers until we have washed your hands.

12. DON’T TRY TO PICK EACH OTHER UP BY THE NECK!

13. Don’t touch the toilet in the Wal-Mart restroom, and don’t do anything until we have washed your hands.

You get the picture, right?

Most of my “don’ts” are hygiene or safety related.  Gotta keep them healthy and alive, right?

Google “Saying no to your children” and see what comes up.  It is amazing!  My favorite article is “How to Say ‘No’ Without Saying ‘No.'” Are you serious?

Say no, people.  There is nothing wrong with it.  Do we not, as adults, hear “no” in some form or fashion every day?  What if our parents never ever said no to us, then one day we got a letter in the mail saying “Thank you for the application, but NO”? This is what would happen:

Am I the only one who doesn't want my child to end up like Miley?

Am I the only one who doesn’t want my child to end up like Miley?

“Don’t” is necessary to child-rearing.  So is “NO.”

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11

If we take the time to discipline and say “don’t” and “no” now, our lives and those of our children will be better.  If our ultimate goal is to raise up well-adjusted, peaceful, joyful individuals, it is our responsibility to teach them that the world doesn’t always say “yes.”

Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol. My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad. Proverbs 23: 13-15

I for one will say “don’t” and “no” as much as it takes to teach Charlie kindness and gentleness towards animals and other people, and to teach Maddie that she has to wash her hands after she touches poisonous objects and uses the restroom.  These are important life lessons, after all!

I will continue to say “don’t” and “no” when my children face life’s more difficult problems, when we’re talking about drugs and sex instead of holding kittens and washing hands.

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15

Parenthood (like Christianity) is not for the faint of heart.  It is not for the fearful.

A Day With Our Story Time Friends

22 Aug

Hello, everyone!  I hope you are all doing well.  Is everyone ready for the weekend?!

We have a busy, busy few days ahead of us, but I am really looking forward to them.  Tomorrow we are taking a road trip to Marbles Kids’ Museum in Raleigh, then Saturday we have a birthday party and a church pool party to attend, and then on Sunday we have our normal Sunday stuff.

Time is passing so quickly, but I am really looking forward to fall.  I am trying to speed it up a bit and invited our friends from story time over for a weenie roast after story time, but it was too hot to build a fire, so we ended up just cooking hotdogs on the stove! Maybe in a few weeks we can try again…

We had a great time anyway.  I am so thankful for the friends I have made at the library.  I began going to story time when Charlie was about 18 months old and I was about 7 months pregnant with Maddie.  I didn’t have many friends who had young children, and I definitely didn’t have any stay-at-home mom friends, so I started going to story time more for myself than for Charlie, and it has been such a blessing to me.

The women at story time are quite a mix!  We are different religions and races, we educate our children differently, we all have different backgrounds, and we are all from different places, but we are all moms of small kids and that is all that matters.  We just need each other!

Here are some pics of the kids playing this afternoon:

Emery is so sweet!

Emery is so sweet!

The Madster loves the big girl swing.

The Madster loves the big girl swing.

Kadeen-love that face!

Kadeen-love that face!

Idris started Kindergarten this week!  We will miss him!

Idris started Kindergarten this week! We will miss him!

Loxme is cute and tough!  She and Maddie are arch-rivals!

Loxme is cute and tough! She and Maddie are arch-rivals!

Evan showed Charlie how to use the new swing set!

Evan showed Charlie how to use the new swing set!

John and Chris.  We miss Emily, who also started Kindergarten this week.  Maddie just can't understand where she is.  She asks about her at least every 10 minutes!

John and Chris. We miss Emily, who also started Kindergarten this week. Maddie just can’t understand where she is. She asks about her at least every 10 minutes!

The boys playing with an albino tree frog.

The boys playing with an albino tree frog.

It is so great seeing all of the kids growing up together, and seeing all of us moms growing up together, too! Love those ladies!

 

Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble.    Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

 

Our Weekend and Calendars for Preschoolers (and a little adventure in Candy Land)

19 Aug

What a nice, rainy day we are having here!  Even though I would love to be able to start a fire in our fire pit this afternoon and roast the HUGE marshmallows and hotdogs we bought today, I know there will be plenty of time for that this fall.

We had a great weekend as well.  The kids and I got to spend Friday night in Mt. Airy and went to VBS at my dad’s church, which was a lot of fun.  While we were gone, Jason was busy assembling the kids new (to us) swing set so they could be surprised by it when we got home.  They haven’t been able to enjoy it too much yet because of all of the rain we have been getting, but they have loved it the few minutes they have been able to play on it.

I just love this peaceful picture of Maddie that I took Saturday afternoon.  She was worn out after our traveling and playing a little in the rain on the swing set!

Maddie fell asleep in the chair while she was watching Silly Songs-too precious!

Maddie fell asleep in the chair while she was watching Silly Songs-too precious!

Charlie and I just finished up an exciting game of Candy Land.

A cozy rainy day game on the couch.

A cozy rainy day game on the couch.

You will notice that we are not sitting on the couch.  That is because Charlie refuses to play a normal game of Candy Land.  He turns all of the pieces into superheroes (I always have to play with the yellow man, called “Cheese Guy.”). He plays with the red and blue men (Batman and Superman).  We hold them on the game cards and fly them all over the house.  Every so often we return to the game board to fight with Lord Licorice, the evil bad guy.

Here is Charlie playing Candy Land.  The heroes are in the Bat Cave.

Charlie playing Candy Land.

Charlie playing Candy Land.

 

I am starting to do some preschool stuff with Charlie.  This morning we made our calendars for the week.

Charlie's calendar-he's a busy boy!

Charlie’s calendar-he’s a busy boy!

Maddie made a calendar, too!

Maddie made a calendar, too!

 

I added a spot for a weekly Bible verse for the kids to memorize and also added a place to put their chores.  They are really excited about doing chores right now.  I wonder how long that will last?

Click here for a template of the calendar: Weekly Calendar Template

These websites have great suggestions of Bible verses for children to memorize: http://www.ministry-to-children.com/easy-bible-verses/, http://www.tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2011/01/50-most-important-bible-verses-to/.

And here is a great list of suggested chores for your kids according to their age: http://www.parentingsquad.com/43-chores-young-children-can-do.

I am hoping that this helps Charlie learn his days of the week, memorize some scripture, start doing some chores, and just shows him about planning, and Maddie might pick up a little, too.

Enjoy!

My Little Princess (Yes, I said Princess)

17 Aug

I have been seeing this visual pop up over and over again on Facebook and Pinterest:

daughter-labels

It has made me think a bit about how I refer to Maddie.  She is our “baby girl,” our “honey,” our “sweet girl,” and our “little princess.” I also point out to her when she does something smart, kind, or that Jesus would like.

I looked into this a little more.  When I typed in “Do not call your daughter a princess,” tons of articles came up, several containing this exact same visual.  Most of them were articles saying not to refer to little girls as princesses, and quite honestly, I just had to stop reading.  Not because I found the articles and their authors ridiculous, as you might expect, but because I am the queen of this household and there are lots of things to be done.

Do you know the role of a princess? A princess is a representative of a monarch and her country.  She leads huge charitable organizations.  She is also sometimes a wife and mother.  I found this interesting article concerning the many activities of Princess Anne: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081002035350AAOeKFB.  She sounds like someone that I would love for Maddie to strive to be like!

I would say that a princess is pretty awesome!  To fulfill the role of a princess would require intelligence, kindness, patience, love, generosity, leadership abilities and every other word listed on the picture above.

So what’s the problem?  IF YOU WANT TO CALL YOUR DAUGHTER A PRINCESS, CALL HER A PRINCESS AND BE PROUD TO HAVE A PRINCESS IN YOUR FAMILY! I know I am.

Our little princess.

Our little princess.

I know that some of you are thinking, “But, Laresa, you know that when people call their little girls princesses they are referring to the typical Disney princess.” You are probably right, and there is nothing wrong with that.  The Disney princesses are kind and virtuous women.  And if that is something that you have a problem with, perhaps you should turn off the DVD player and sit down with your daughter and discuss the merits of a real-life princess. Or better yet, do a search of princesses in the Bible (search for daughters of kings in the Bible) and see what shows up! Now that is really interesting.

Here are some reasons that I will continue to call Maddie a princess:

1.  I want her to be proud, like a princess.  There is nothing wrong with being a girl and there is nothing wrong with being a woman.  There is no shame in having a husband who takes care of you like a husband is meant to do. We need to embrace the fact that we were created by God to fulfill a certain role, that of a princess and eventually a queen.  Our role as princesses and queens is one of the most important in the world and we shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

2. I want her to have high expectations, like a princess.  A lot of girls and women today have such low expectations!  I know I certainly did at one point in my life.  If a girl has a father who treats her like a princess, when it is time for her to have boyfriends and choose a husband she will expect the same.  I want Maddie to be called a princess and treated like a princess and then a queen by every man in her life!

Which leads to…

3. I want her to be virtuous, like a princess.  We send the wrong message to our daughters today.  We tell them that they need birth control in case they decide to have sex, that they can have abortions in case an accident happens, and that they can get a shot in case they get an STD.  Instead, we need to teach them that they are princesses, and that they need to search for their prince.  They are that important.

One of the best traits of the Disney princesses is that they wait for their prince charming. They long for him and they search for him, and that is what we need to teach our daughters to do as well.  That is what God wants us to do, and there is nothing wrong with or uncool about that.

4. I want her to beautiful, like a princess. Yes, I said it.  I want her to take care of herself and be healthy, and there is nothing wrong with teaching her that.

5. I want her to get to be a little girl, and little girls like princesses. When she wants to put on her princess dresses, I will let her.  When she wants to read about Cinderella, I will get out the Cinderella book.  

On the flip side, when she wants to put on her Superman consume (which she does have) I will let her do that.

I will let her enjoy her childhood and not clog it up with societies issues.

And most importantly…

6. She is God’s princess, and I want her to know and understand that.  God made women in a special way, and Jesus loved women in a special way during his short time here on Earth.  We are special to him, and we need to start feeling that again.  I want Maddie to feel that and know that, so she doesn’t have to search for that acceptance in other places.

“God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7

You know, I am a firm believer that we are making life a little too complicated. We absolutely analyze every little thing, and I think it all goes back to our quest for happiness, which is not something that we will ever consistently have in this broken world.  We have got to stop holding other people responsible for our lack of happiness (in this instance our parents who called us princesses) and instead accept the true peace and joy (not happiness) that comes with acceptance of Jesus.

Let’s stop wasting our time and give some power, love, and self discipline to our little princesses.

And just one more thing…

The next time you come over and see Charlie dressed up as Batman, please do not refer to him as Batman.  Instead, just remind him that he is very kind or courageous.  Thanks for your help!

My two sweet, intelligent, funny, beautiful children, AKA Superman and Batman.

My two sweet, intelligent, funny, beautiful children, AKA Superman and Batman.