Having four daughters is a gift, a blessing I wouldn’t trade for anything. I love the bond of sisterhood and understanding how my children are wired in ways my husband will never fully comprehend.
On the other hand, it’s a lot of pressure. That’s how I feel at least. Being the same sex parent makes me the primary role model, the standard of what a grown woman should be. If I were perfect, I’d be okay with this, but seeing that I have countless flaws, bad habits, and tendencies I’m not proud of…well, suffice it to say I don’t want my girls to grow up just like me. I want them to be BETTER than me.
I want my good qualities to stick and my bad qualities to roll off. When they leave my nest at age 18, I want them unscarred by our mother-daughter arguments, so strong in their identity that any negative remarks I make in weak moments won’t dig under their skin so deeply they’ll need therapy to recover.
Problem is, I can’t choose what rubs off. For better or worse my influence is a package deal. Even if my daughters make a conscious effort not to be like me, I’m their default setting. I’m the voice they’ll carry around in their head for a long time. And while their father has a major influence, too (I wrote about fathers and daughters here, with more to come on that), I’m the one who spends the majority of time with them as their daily lives play out.