Monday, April 14, 2008

Raising Daughters

Just what do we tell our daughters? Mollie has seen a change in our marriage over the past two years. She can see and sense that Nick and I are closer now. We talk more, we do things together now, I consult him about things where I used to just do my own thing and assume it was fine with him. I never really thought about it.

Often Mollie seems half-amused, half-exasperated with us. We get the occasional gagging noise when we kiss or hug. If we happen to go together to take her somewhere or pick her us she always asked “Why are both of you going?” When we answer, “We just wanted to spend so time together” we get the exaggerated eye roll.

What really has her bewildered these days is when Nick will say to me “You have to go to the gym today” or “You can get on the computer after you put away the laundry” or “No snacking in your chair.” Even if it annoys me a little at times, I really like it because I feel so noticed and cared for. How do I explain this to Mollie?

For myself I love the aspects of DD in our marriage. I would like a little more at times but I can’t suggest this for my daughter. I have no reason to think she is a spanko. I have no idea, but I don’t think so. I want my daughter to be strong and independent, to think for herself and not to allow anyone, man or woman, to tell her what to do. That statement doesn’t sound much like a spanko does it? I have to feel this because I have no idea what kind of yahoo might turn her head in the next 10 years or so. I have no doubt that since she has a good head on her shoulders she will someday end up with a man as fine as her father. Let’s face it, though, before we find Prince Charming we have to wade through many frogs!

Now days I occasionally get “Mom, why are you letting Daddy tell you what to do?” I am not sure she wants to hear the real answer yet. The real answer is “I have known this man for 27 years. I have had decades to learn how intelligent, loyal, kind, thoughtful and loving he is.

I have gone through gaining my independence and fighting all my battles alone and I have come to a point in my life where I can trust this man I love to care for me, to relieve me of many of my burdens and make me feel safe. Because of this we have grown even closer and more in love that ever. We still decide important matters together as we always have but now I just feel more loved and protected because I realize he is there and I can turn to him. He won’t let me get down on myself or overwhelmed with the petty problems in life. He has ways now of focusing me on what is important in life – him, me, and our relationship.

I am not ready to say all of this to Mollie and she certainly doesn’t want to hear it. So when she asks I just shrug and say “Dad’s head of the household." She usually answers “Whatever, but I’ll tell you – no man is going to tell me what to do!” An excellent answer for a 15 year old girl! If she would like to revisit the discussion after she has been happily married for many years, I hope she brings it up.

Written by PK at 6:12 PM

7 comments

7 Comments:

At 11:05 PM, Blogger Lori said...

I think it's good that your daughter is seeing this interaction. I'm a bit disappointed that my sons are not. Oh it happens here, but one son is only home about 3 weeks out of the year and the other is rarely here and when he is, he is in a different room playing video games or doing homework. I would like it if they saw the difference in us. Who knows, maybe they have and haven't voiced it.
Hugs,
Lori

 
At 4:46 AM, Blogger Paul said...

PK, so Mollie is 15 and a wise head on her shoulders.
She is noticing, that's good, later on she will think back and the classic bulb will light up, ah, she'll say. maybe we should try that.
Love and warm hugs,
Paul.

 
At 5:34 AM, Anonymous Sara said...

What a very lovely post PK! Your description of the feelings of being capable and independent and yet needing to be taken care of are very familiar. My daughter is 19, sees us too, and I also have mentioned the head of household idea. She thinks "it is dumb". That's ok. I would have too at her age. I think by example we offer our children a marriage plan as an option. They have to make their own way, but they do watch and learn. I just truly hope my daughter finds her way to this level of fulfillment!

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger grace said...

I think my daughter has noticed, but she also notices that I am independant in my own way. She has asked why I always ask Dad, and I always say it's because we are a team. I don't make it about him making the decisions, I make it more about us making the decisions together.

You have a strong lady on your hands! I think she gets that from her MOTHER!!!

HUGS!
grace

 
At 9:01 PM, Blogger Marcus said...

I think you've raised your daughters well, if that is Mollie sees things, then she is a wise young lady.

All I can say is that the best couples I've seen over the years are the ones where both spouses (or is that spice? mouse-mice) share in decision making. Your relationship only succeeds if you both agree this is what you want.

Hugs,
Marcus

 
At 9:50 PM, Blogger New Beginnings said...

Lori,
I am glad she is seeing a change. LJ has noticed it too even though he is not here and he has commented that he is very happy for us.

Paul,
The change is obvious. I do think some day she will ask me what changed. I guess I will know what to tell her at that time.

Sara,
That is the over all hope for our children - that they find the joy in marriage that we have found. Our way works well for us but I guess it's not the only way.

Grace,
I like the way you put that 'more about us making the decisions together'. That is what we do now and I feel like I used to leave him out of things before.

Marcus,
Mollie is not prefect, but I am very proud of the way she is turning out!

 
At 10:41 PM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

What a lovely, thoughtful post. I love hearing about the interactions you have with your children and about your relationship with your husband. It is really nice that they have seen the closeness you both have gained even if they do not know why. :-)

 

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