Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mom and Daughter.

(I couldn't think of an appropriate title for this. But this has been stuck in my head for a couple days now. I knew the only way to get it out was to post it.)

Growing up I had low self-esteem, a need to help people and a desperate desire to be liked. I just wanted to fit in somewhere. I never wanted to hurt anyone's feelings which often led me into situations I didn't want to be in. I ended up into situations that changed my life. They also led to lower self esteem and the cycle continued. I had many unhealthy relationships that I would never want Ellie to have. I dated men who were disrepectful, abusive, and some who (unknown to me) did hard drugs. Men who used me for money, my car, my virtue, my self respect and anything else they could get.

I was constantly looking for "love." There is a quote from a movie that describes how I was perfectly "I would rather be with someone for the wrong reasons than alone for the right." I never wanted to be alone. I always had to have a boyfriend. I don't know why. I knew my family loved me. I can't say I ever lacked for anything. I'm not sure if I was just an easy target once who then became an even easier target.

Now that I have a daughter I worry about her constantly. I don't want her to go through even half of what I went through. How do I raise a daughter who respects herself, who is able to stand her ground, who is sure of herself and willing to what it takes to protect herself? I guess what I'm wondering is how do I raise a daughter who is the complete opposite of me?

Don't get me wrong, I don't want her to be mean or a jerk but I do want her to be a strong woman. I want her to know that she has self worth and that she can stand up for herself. I want her to never be afraid to say no. I don't want her to be a bra-burning feminist but I want her to be comfortable enough in her own skin to be okay being single. How do I teach her these things when I still have low self-esteem and a desperate need to be liked? How is that an example to my daughter?

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Anonymous said...

I have often wondered what it would be like to raise a girl, and the differences of raising a boy. I think the fact that you are thinking these things now is very much to your benefit. Your experience will be your best way to help her. My parents were always very honest with us about the mistakes they made, and what they learned from it. Now don't get me wrong....I don't think you should tell here EVERYTHING, but I think it helps to know your parents are human. What I know about you is that you will do what is right for your daughter when the time comes. You are an amazing mother, and what Ellie needs will come naturally to you.

Erica said...

This is a hard one but since I have a 13 going one 21 lol who to be all honest is a very good kid. I reallyt hink talking to your daughter, having her friends over for little parties and for sure SPORTS. To me a bored mind is a dangerous mind and with sports and other things that are planned keep the mind from wondering. I soo love your honest open minded blogs. You will be raising a wonderful daughter and sons I can just tell. My teenage years where not the best either but I really think my mom just gave up and said I cant control her. I am all up in Shelby's business she knows it. I just now gave her texting which she knows I read but she dont tell her friends, I also read all her aol aim and she just got her 1st myspace and I read that I always talk to her about things and we are bff's. Being a young mother helps too I think cause her friends are very open and honest with me. I just know u will do a wonderful JOB. Love ya Mel

Allison said...

I'll add my two cents, even though I haven't even hit this with my own kids yet.

I've always been pretty self confident. I don't know why, its not like I had everything going for me. But my Mom was very vocal about things. She was always telling me how smart I was, or how pretty I looked. And she just set an example. She didn't let anyone walk all over her, and so I noticed that.

I'm sure that just by teaching Ellie not to care what other people think, and by building her up, she'll be just fine!