Thursday, February 14, 2013

Teaching my girls to be a good wife...

I posted a challenge on my FB wall to dad's of little boys. It was a selfish challenge really because as a mom of two little girls I want to make sure that there are a generation of little boys being raised to be a good husband. I challenged my friends to shower their wives with love in front of their sons. Show them how to love a woman. Show them how to be a good husband because in 25 or so years my girls are going to need husbands that are as wonderful as their daddy. Sometimes I think God gave us little girls because of my husband. He is a fantastic girl daddy. Not that he wouldn't be a great daddy to boys but I think every little girl needs a daddy that treats them like they are the most fantastic thing that's ever walked the earth. One who takes time to make them feel special, disciplines them in a loving just way, and treats their mother with respect. I think that these are the most important jobs for the father of little girls. Again this is what I know about.
Upon reading my challenge on FB, one of my dearest friends posed a question to me and inspired (i.e., suggested) this blog post. He said "I'd be interested to hear what you do to model for your daughter what it means to be a good wife." At first I thought OK this will be easy I will blog about it right away. And then I tried to think about it... and it was hard. I think I am often focused on being a good mother and a good wife but I don't outwardly make sure my girls know what that means. I think this is very important! So I have issued myself a challenge. I was looking for something to do for lent. I didn't want to just give something up. I'm sick of that. I give up coffee and on Easter morning the first thing I do after church is guzzle down an extra large Starbucks... I am also on a mission to get healthy so I have already given up almost everything that I would normally give up. So here it is... I will spend the next 40 days actively trying to show my daughters how I love their daddy. Here are some of the ways I show my husband I love him and how I plan to show this to two small children.

 -I want to point out when I am doing something special for their Daddy. I often see something I know he will love and I slip it into the shopping cart. When we get home I find a quiet moment to sneak it to him just to say "I love you" Often this might be a kit kat or something else I know they will steal if they see so I do it discretely. Instead I will say "Let's get a kit kat for Daddy they are his favorite!" I have seen this work before with my 4 year old who will be out and ask "Can we get this for Daddy I know he loves them" This is one of the more obvious tasks that I can outwardly show my girls.
 -I want to point out to them the little things their Daddy does for them and does for me. I do try to do this often and I think it's very important. It's not important for them at this young age to realize that not every daddy does the things theirs does but I want them to know its special. My husband attends every play date he is allowed at, takes them on fun adventures every weekend, runs to the store even on very cold nights because they or I am out of something. So I want to make sure to say to them "Wow aren't we lucky that our daddy took us to the Children's Museum, or brought home fruit snacks because he knows you love them, or made us breakfast Saturday morning!" And although it is my love language and not his to need to hear these things it is a good reminder for me that he is a very good man. It is important to remember my husband (and their husband, and your husband..) chose YOU to be his partner.  He chose to do these nice things for them.  I am so proud of my husband that he chooses to spend time with us.
-I want to go on more date nights and instead of sneaking out I want them to know that I am going because I want to spend special time with daddy just like I spend it with them. I also want to continue our new tradition of eating dinner at the dinner table uninterrupted with him. Often the girls eat dinner early because they are hungry earlier and it keeps them busy while I cook for us(Yes I am a short order cook. I don't mind it) We have been making a point of sitting together and telling them that they can sit with us or play nicely but we are eating and we are not getting chocolate milk, changing tv channels etc during that 20 min or so. I also want to make sure they see me kiss their daddy, hold his hand, sit with him on the couch. Although they may not realize the importance it will stick with them.
 -I want to make sure to not place blame on him in front of them, or defer punishment to him. This is the one that will be most difficult for me. I have a habit of this and it drives my husband crazy. I really really need to stop. It's not that I demean him or put him down but I do say things like "Don't make me tell your dad" like he is going to discipline them so badly when really he is quite the softy in that department. I know this is a standard parental line but I think that it is one of the worst. The last thing I want them to do is fear their dad over something as minor as leaving some toys out.
 - I want to pray for their Daddy. I know I am late to the game on educating Bear about praying but she has been taking a lot of interest in the things she is learning at church so I think instituting some nightly prayers are well overdue and I want to make sure they know that I consider him and them God's greatest blessings in my life. I'm sure more ideas will come into my head as the next month goes on and hopefully I will get a chance to share them with you! If you have any ideas of things I am missing please share! Especially if you are the parent of a little boy and want to make sure I am raising my girls to appreciate your son. If there is something you have found makes a big difference in your marriage let me know. I look forward to hearing from you!