Earlier this week I saw post after post about International Women’s Day, which is apparently March 8th. As a mom to three daughters, I enjoy the chance to stop and think about my own womanhood. To celebrate it, and to thank God for creating us to be who we are. In my case, it also meant snapping a picture of the pile of little ballet shoes sitting on the stairs.
I read an article from Christianity Today this week too, about how we need to “Stop Assuming Dads With Daughters Are Disappointed.” I loved the article, partly because when we announced that our third and final baby was a girl, we received a few very disturbing comments. One woman (a fellow woman!) said, “Oh, well, that’s okay.” I mostly loved the article because it challenged us to stop the “nefarious mythology” that seems to pulse below, suggesting that “if we got to choose, everyone would choose boys.”
International Women’s Day and the wonderful article about dads and daughters have had me thinking about how being a mom to three girls has changed me. One of the biggest things I’ve realized is that having daughters challenged me to take my own femininity seriously. As I stare down the next 18 years of raising women, I’ve had to think through my own womanhood. I’ve grown into myself as they’ve grown. I’ve thought about what it means to be a woman as I’ve been given the task of mothering three of them.
As a result, I’ve embraced my femininity in a new way. As I celebrate it in them, I celebrate it in myself too. I’ve noticed little self-expressions that would have looked differently a few years ago, even stereotypical things like picking the pink running shoes when they’re an option, or going with the bright floral wallet instead of a simple black one. But it’s also looked like being thankful for my strength, my courage, my sensitivity.
I want to encourage my daughters to embrace these parts of their own personalities as well. I want to train them to thank God for the way he’s created us as women.
I’m so thankful for the ways that my three girls have pushed me in engaging my femininity.
But, as the Christianity Today article points out, having daughters has a deep effect on men, too. “The Daughter Effect,” which is when a man’s ideology and his heart changes toward women for no other reason than that he has a daughter, is a real thing. It shouldn’t be a surprise that having daughters makes men more empathetic to women in general, but it is certainly fun to see it come out in research.
As mothers of daughters, we are raising little women, but these little women are having a profound impact on us as well.
What a powerful thing it is to see God using our daughters to shift the hearts of both mothers and fathers toward the beauty of the femininity and womanhood God has instilled in us.