I believe the scariest reality of knowing a child is coming, is also knowing that she has the full potential of being all that I don’t like about myself. Staying home with her will be such a joy, but it also comes with such a responsibility. She will learn how I speak about others, how I view others, and will watch those moments of impatience. For example, when Jordan and I were first married, I stuffed the oven drawer full of casserole dishes. I pulled and yanked and had a meltdown over not being able to open the drawer. Jordan, with all his patience, took one dish at a time from the drawer until it was empty. This doesn’t stop at the drawer. This side of frantic craziness can happen with a pile of hangers that attach themselves to one another or when the sheets are in a ball at the end of the bed. My daughter will see this moment of frustration and imitate it. I will tell her, “Why are you getting upset over something so little?” I am afraid of what she could say right back to me.
I also despise the fact that I don’t stand up for myself as often as I should. One thing I have realized since I have been pregnant is that I have to stand up for myself because I am also standing up for my daughter and family. I have seriously been the most compliant and passive person most of my life because I assume I am considering others before myself. As I have gotten older, I realize that you have to teach people how to respect you and how to love you. That doesn’t mean you go around starting arguments with people, but just that you sweetly remind people of what you need. Our daughter needs to see someone stronger than what I am.
Sarcasm has definitely been an ugly side of me. When people walk into a room with a green streak in their hair or when someone is completely awkward, I am the first one to chuckle. No I don’t go on and on about their appearance, but I certainly make sure that I point out the weird qualities of another. I had someone close to me tell me a few years ago that the quality I speak of is the worst side of me. It is the side that points out the flaws of others and not reflecting that back on myself. I am basically not seeing people through the eyes of Jesus.
It is ironic to me that I taught for 6 years and told my students how to be better people by not making fun, not isolating others, and acting in obedience. That is what scares me. I am telling them how to be someone I am trying to be myself. I guess that is how it feels to be a mom. You teach them to be better people than what you are, but you risk exposing the ugliest sides of yourself. By having our daughter, I am risking her becoming like me.
There was one part where Paul the Apostle stated, “Imitate me as I also imitate Christ” in 1 Corinthians 11:1. That is a bold statement. I don’t believe it came from arrogance or pride, but that he knew he was following God to best of his ability and therefore could be used as an example of how to imitate Christ. Can I truly say that to our daughter? Could I truly say “imitate me as I also imitate Christ?” I see and hear of all these stories of women that teach their daughters how to pray, how to memorize Scripture, and how to be confident in who they are. I admire all of you that go above and beyond to make your sons and daughters follow after God’s heart!
The fact is, I feel completely unworthy of such a precious gift. You all see the best sides of me because I won’t let you see the worst. I could go on and on of my mishaps and failures. As I prepare for this little one to come into our lives, I truly don’t know if I can tell her “imitate me as I also imitate Christ.” I am going to fail, but I have to have the faith to know that God entrusted me to be her mama. I cannot say that I always imitate Christ or that I am a perfect example of character. I can at least hope that God moves enough in me that our daughter sees the best attributes of who I am. I can at least tell her how I have failed in friendships so that she learns to be a better friend. I can tell her how wrong I am so that she can learn to be better. Ultimately, that is all I want. I want her to be more of a God fearing and God loving girl than I could ever hope to be. I don’t want her to be like me. I want her to be like Christ.