Monday, May 04, 2009

raising cinderella




This last week my heart has been focused on a couple of important issues. Over on my sidebar i had a widget linking to several bloggers who traveled to Calcutta India with Compassion International. I was almost obsessed with their testimonies and so touched by the faces of these children. Children living in such poverty my mind can't even get around it. More on this later.





Secondly, my heart was focused on my relationship with my teenage girls. Three of them, each so different in temperaments and personalities, with different strengths and weaknesses. I feel like this is such a crucial time in our home. When they were little, if I blew it as their mom, lost my cool, said the wrong thing....they were so resilient, so quick to forget my mistakes. Now that they are older I feel such a sense of urgency to "get it right".



When they mess up, when they are caught making bad choices, when they disappointment me ~how i respond and what I choose to say are so very critical. My words carry the power to tear them down , make them feel unworthy of my love, or to make them feel like failures--this world probably does a good enough job in that arena. Or my words can let them know I'm always on their team, I always have their back, I love them not only when and if they make all A's, never drink alcohol, and marry as a virgin......but that I love them, unconditionally. My words have the power to heal and to bridge the gap in our generations. At this time in their life , my words can stick with them for ages. They can play over and over in their minds, affecting choices they make, men they might one day love, and most importantly how they will parent one day too.





Yet as their mom, I need to instill a sense of right and wrong, let them know what behaviors will not be tolerated. To let them know I expect the best from them, yet not be shocked when they deliver far less.



Our home needs to be the safe place. A place where they can be honest and still loved at the same time. That's even hard for adults. So many of us hide who we really are, what we really think. Hiding behind superficial chit chat because what's really in our hearts is more than we think someone can handle. Or even worse, living in denial of true thoughts and emotions. I want to raise emotionally healthy girls. Girls who have a solid base and have their own convictions and faith, not just following what mom and dad do.





Sometimes I wonder if I expect too much from my girls, especially my oldest. She was only 3 years old when her daddy died, yet she seemed so much older. I never had to 'count to 10' to make her obey, she just did. When my youngest was born, at the young age of 8 she was already a huge maternal helper. I would have adult friends come over...I'd observe how they interacted with the baby. I vividly remember thinking Savannah was even more of a natural then some of them. I've written posts about her before....straight A's--all the way from kindergarten to currently in her sophomore year, a natural leader, varsity athlete...the list goes on. She's been a breeze to raise, but she's not perfect.



This weekend we had our first real issue. How I chose to handle her 'first offense' was going to be monumental in both our relationship and in her own maturity. I spent my free time reading several parenting teenagers and mom/daughter books -a parenting crash course if you will. I spent several hours trying to share my heart with her, acknowledge and apologize in areas where i clearly blew it. I wanted to spend time listening to her. You know, when they are younger I think we really do so much talking and teaching, yet when they cross over into adolescence its so important to make the decision to hush and really listen to them. If i respond to quickly in accusation and anger or even passive aggressiveness, i ( me, not her) i shut the door. I end the opportunity to connect with her, to hear her heart, to hear what might have happened before she made a bad choice.





16 years old...such a fun age. Such a great time to watch this baby of yours become an adult. She has a million friends. She doesn't' need me to be another friend. I need to be a solid, consistent mom to her. I feel like parenting is a waltz...trying to look graceful yet fearful i'll step on their toes and we'll crash to the ground. I'm walking a type rope, trying to balance being there but not hovering. To encourage, but not patronize. To show my support yet instilling punishment or consequences when there needs to be. "Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight......and she'll be gone." I only have a few short years and I want desperately to be the best mom I can be to these girls. What good is it to have a wonderfully decorated home, volunteer at every event, have my hair colored every 6 weeks, count weight watchers points, or even have dozens of blog followers--what good is it to be a success in those things, if i fail at my most important call in life?





Many of you are familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman. I have a link to his wife, Marybeth's blog over in my blogroll. They lost their adopted baby girl in a horrific event when their teenage son accidentally ran over her in the family driveway. I have respected and followed them for as long as i can remember. Their faith and their raw walk with the Lord during this unimaginable time is such an inspiration to me.



This year Steven was awarded Artist of the Year and Song Writer of the year in the christian music awards , the Dove Awards. The song I've linked is a beautiful song about raising daughters. Its from the perspective of a daddy, but I tear up every time I hear this.



May it bless you....



Because all too soon, the clock will strike midnight.....



(don't forget to pause my playlist first)













37 comments:

Jen said...

You have expressed my fears/struggles with parenting so well and I have just begun. God has bless us with a three year old girl and a five almost six year old boy. Thanks for your transparency.

the wild raspberry said...

oh paige...this is so touching and pulls at my heart strings. this weekend i spent time with my whole family and my niece {who is 14} is going through that rebellious-i'm-cooler-than-everyone phase and i was so sad about it. my girls are only 7 and 5 so i'm years away from that but i talked to them and told them that i pray they never act that way. i hope that we are always able to have fun together and that they will respect my opinion..even if they don't agree with it.
keep talking with those girls of yours with true honesty and love and i think they will get it.
you are right...they don't need a best friend they need a mom. a mother provides them with something completely different and fulfills a role that they need even if they don't admit it.
best wishes to you...
with all my heart.
chasity

Kristin said...

Precious thoughts from a Mother of four girls that I have watched carefully hoping to be as good a mom if ever the opportunity in life. You are a really good Mom and always try hard! I want you to know that and see how your girls look at you through my eyes, consistent, and solid and at times lovingly (yes, even for teens!). Always praying for your girls and you in this area.

xo-me

Farmgirl Paints said...

What a touching post! I struggle with the same thoughts and my girls are only 9 and 5. I know there will be a shift as they get older and I dread it. I love this age of being their everything and that they do forgive so easily, like you said.

I think you are doing a wonderful job raising your girls. From what you've shared you seem to have a great grasp on the balancing act of mom and friend. Kudos to you. And I know that you are relying on God to help guide you and that's the number one most important thing. Love the song too by the way!!

Kristin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cori said...

I have followed your blog for awhile and always LOVE your posts!! Just wanted to encourage you that even if you do not get it exactly right, your girls will know that they are loved and they have a mom willing to put in the time and effort to do the very best that she can. The effort and love you put into "getting it right" will not go unoticed.

Janelle said...

Your daughter is just beautiful. You are so very wise. Everything you said I could totally relate to with our 11 year old. It is very different with older children than younger ones. Our words and actions are so very crucial to their heart. Isn't it the hardest balancing act ever? I always tell people that we only have 7 more years to fix what we have screwed up. They will be gone before we know it. All we can do is trust that they are in and will always be in the Lord's hands. Thank you for sharing this as many moms feel this way including myself.

Miss Priss' Momma said...

Paige,
While I don't know you, I feel as though you're a mothering mentor. I've been reading for quite some time. When I first found your blog, I went back and read from the beginning.

I'm just starting the mothering journey... My daughter is 19 months old and I'm 23 weeks pregnant with another girl! I pray daily that I, along with my husband, can shape them into Godly women... that they can learn from my mistakes, and come out better for having me as a guide.

Thank you so much for this post. It brought tears to my eyes. Time is going by so quickly and I know I'm going to blink and Miss Payton will be Savannah's age! Your posts always make me pause and think about the decisions I'm making.

Courtney

Wacie's Way said...

What a wonderful and true post. I hit panic mode when I start to realize in 5 very short years my daughter will be leaving for college . . . 5 years will be here before I know it and I'm not ready for her to be away at school. It's a tightrope that we parents walk.

Jboo said...

Oh Paige -- what a true and touching post. Though my two boys are grown, I know I made many mistakes during their teen years and wish I would have had this post to read back then. You are truly an inspirational mother. Take care.

Janet

Lissa said...

I haven't listened to the song yet but this post is so heartfelt, so touching, so encouraging. I just need to be spending more time with you girly! You are a blessing indeed! Your tender heart, your willingness to be used of God to raise those tender, young hearts. You minister to me, set an example for me, and bless me through and through and I only know you through my computer. God will give you the strength you need to raise valiant women of God!! My older of my 2 brothers and I were not always ones to make choices that would make my parents proud but they always stood by our side, always prayed, always loved, never judged... All 4 of their kids are serving Jesus today! I know the same will happen for you if you keep fighting the good fight on your knees! I'm so thankful for you Paige!!!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Perfectly said my friend...another beautiful and touching post!! You are a wonderful mother to your girls...I know these are the tough years where they might make decisions that we wish they did not.....but we learn from our mistakes....And with the love and support from a Mom like you....they will be just fine!!

Lisa

Kasey said...

Paige, what a wonderful heartfelt post.
I've always loved this quote:
"first you give them roots,
then you give them wings,
and let them use their wings to soar....."
{don't know if thats quite the wording..}
but i parent like that.
for every decision there is a consequence...
You've raised wonderful lovely girls.
kudos to you.
xo

Cstargel said...

Paige - will you please be my mentor? I'm just back in town from visiting my sister this weekend and sending my 16 year old niece off to prom and everyone just kept telling me my 4 month old baby girl would be going to Prom before I knew it!!! STOP! I don't want it to go so fast.....

Amy said...

Oh Paige: my heartbeat is the same - I am about six years behind you with the ages of my three girls but so strongly want the same things. I so identify with that dancing analogy - and what is the purpose of all of this "fluff" we do if we mess up the one thing we were commissioned to do when those babies came into the world? Gulp. God help us to be the kind of mothers this generation of young people can find safe refuge with. Because its not just our cildren that need us. Its their friends and the ripples that follow down, like you said, through the generations. Bless you honey - I so enjoy the women of God that speak such wisdom in blog world. Wish it was in real life, coz hanging out would be bliss! Well, if you're ever down in this bottom corner of the world...come by! x

Maria Hanson said...

Whew. Mothering is tough and my daughter is only 3:) I think the fact that you pray about your mothering and you think about how your behavior affects them will serve you well. When they look back at age 30, they will respect you and the job you did as their mom. And when they have their own little girls, they respect you even more. Lovely post! This blog gives me so much encouragement.

Tara said...

Paige, this was a tender and touching account of how you are feeling right now, and that is why I love coming and reading your blog. You make me think and ponder about what kind of a person I am and how I am as a mother. You are an inspriration to me, thank you for your honesty. Your daughter is gorgeous and I am sure with your parenting and your love she will turn out absolutely perfect, in all that defines perfect for her. XO paige!

Jen Kershner said...

Tough stuff tonight Mama. I hear you on all of it. Our Maddie will be 16 in July. It's been quite a ride and I pray, and talk to her, and pray some more and there some finger crossin thrown in there too. We do the best we can but we have to know that we will make mistakes. You are so right to not try to be her friend. My mom was more of a best friend than a mom and that is not what I needed. You have a wonderful, sweet spirit and I know your girls see that.
Love, Jen

Julie said...

This is so beautifully written. There are so many hats to wear as moms, and distractions from what's really important.

I haven't followed Compassion's work in Calcutta, but I've been thinking about blogging about them. Years ago now we used to sponsor children through them. I've been feeling called to do that again.

Anyways, thank you so much for sharing what's on your heart. xo

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

What a beautiful post. My children are still young...I worry about being the kind of parent I need to be when they are older. Thank you for voicing your fears so eloquently.

Erin said...

I am not sure how I came upon your blog, but I have been reading it for some time. I am the mother of four sons and a daughter. Our beautiful 17 year old son, James, passed away in an accident 3 years ago---12 days after we returned from adopting our daughter from China. Today, your words rang so true to me. A tragedy like our families have suffered changes things so much. Everyone has a new reference point, I think. I have found it very difficult to be the parent that I used to be to my children, because I want desperately for them to be protected from more pain. I seem to have less "backbone" than I used to. My husband and I have very high expectations of our children, but I, like you, try hard to find a balance between being honest and authentic, and being a soft place to land. I love what you have written. I think I will read it to my husband. Has your daughter read it? I think she would surely feel your love and your devotion to her. Bless your heart. Fondly, Erin

Melissa said...

You always write with such heart and passion for your most important job. Your girls know that you love them, that's so evident. It is a tightrope,
and I know they appreciate you ability to walk it gingerly, admit mistakes and offer your ear. They will appreciate more when they are mothers themselves.

As a mom to a 4 year old, I have a few years to go before we get to this phase of her life, but your writing gives me such insight on what I will likely feel like and expect. Beautiful words.

Vintagesquirrel said...

Paige,
I loved this post (although I love all your posts.) You are so very right about wanting to be extra cautious when mothering our teenagers. I have three sons, 1 teenager (15), 1 near teenager (12), and an 8-year-old.

I just wanted to share with you this fantastic book I'm reading, "Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy" by Michael Bradley. It has really helped me be a better parent to my boys. The author talks about how our children crave structure and stability. And, most importantly, that they need us to be their parent, not their friend.
If you've not read this one already, I highly recommend it.
As always, I love to hear about your girls (probably because I'm the only female in this household!)
-Michelle

Rebecca Frame said...

this is beautiful paige and so relateable for me right now.

i have been pondering the same ideals about parenting and trying not to take is so lighty but to be proactive and preventative...

i am grateful that you wrote this...it has really touched me.

i think you are a wonderful example of mothering...

i am blessed to have found your blog last october.

have a wonderful rest of your week.
rebecca

mimi charmante said...

Although your blog is titled "simple thoughts", I rarely find anything simple about your posts. You are one of the most eloquent writers and every time I read your writing, I am inspired. Your girlies four are so very fortunate and blessed to have you to lead them through their childhood, and then to have you stand beside them when they go out on their own.
I would say continue doing exactly what you are doing - it seems to be just right.
xo

Kelli said...

Oh Paige, I can so relate to this. I have 3 teenage boys (19, 16, and 14). I struggle with this everyday it seems. I pray constantly that God will show ME how to show THEM unconditional love without approving bad behavior/choices--it is so,so hard! I was wondering this week if this will ever change. I'm thinking that it may always feel like this--even when they are older and on their own with their own families--I truly wonder if it does get easier??

Thanks for a great post--I so appreciate your blog!
Kelli

B said...

Hi I came across your blog by way of a mutual bloggy friend. I can so relate to this post, my eldest is 17 and off to Uni soon and I can't believe the time is here so soon. You really struck a cord when you said we need to hush and listen to them. I know I am an over-bearing Mum and up till now it didn't matter; she was my child and would have to listen to me. But now she is a young woman and I need to remember that and just be quiet and listen. Thanks :O)

debra said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like you are doing a great job. :)

Rebecca Frame said...

hey paige....

make sure to stop by before friday evening...having a little Lollia giveaway at my blog...

best wishes for a wonderful wednesday!!
rebecca

JerriR said...

Paige what a wonderful post and you efforts will pay off! You can never go wrong by keeping your kids close to Jesus and in his care. I just saw that Kasey(who's blog I follow) gave you the advice that I have used to raise two children (18 & 22) who have turned out to be more than I could have ever asked for. "For every action there is a consequence"-good choices(hard work, servanthood, etc,)=sucess, bad choices(laziness, selfishness, etc)sometimes =life's painful lessons. Thank God for grace! Keep up the good work! I love your story!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Just found your blog and enjoyed reading it.
I hope you will stop by and visit me. The May give away has started....and next week I will be blogging from Disney World.

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Paige,

You so beautiful wrote about the fears that I have. Even though my baby is only 5~ thank you for sharing your heart and your words. I pray that God will lift you up as a mom and may we all as mother's be successful where it matters.

Hugs,

Krista

3 Peanuts said...

Paige...what a heartfelt and loving post. You seem to be such a GREAT Mom. I know that I learn form you with each of these posts. i especially love hope I remember this post as I start to head into the teen years with my oldest:)

Kim

Jeanneoli said...

Everything you wrote I was shaking my head with you. My children are still so young and I have thought about all that they have forgive. I was just talking with my husband about all we forget growing up...but we have remembered the one bad thing that was said or done. I keep on praying that the Lord will make us wise. This job is so scary sometimes. Your heart is so exposed and honest that you are praying the same thing. Your girls are so blessed..even if they don't know it right now...they will "rise up" someday "and call you blessed". I will be praying with you.

Lana said...

Paige ~ though I have only one daughter, I have 2 sons as well and everything you say can be said for raising sons too. Over the years I have had so many of the fears that you have expressed. Through it all, we strive to do our best with God's help and guidance. Our children are not perfect, and neither are our we. Thank goodness the Lord realizes that and is such a forgiving Father.

I hadn't been to visit your blog in quite a while. It's always a joy to visit, to read, and to see all the lovely photos.

Have a lovely afternoon...

T said...

I came over from the wild raspberry blog and you have such a lovely site!

I'm just starting to dip my toes into the wild arena of teendom! Your post was beautiful and a true testament of what a mother needs to be for her children!

I'm looking forward to coming back here - often!

sa said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,a片,AV女優,聊天室,情色,性愛