Why did I have a daughter?
Growing up an only child I often daydreamed about having an older brother. I never really wished for sisters, but the older I’ve gotten I have become truly jealous of those women in my life who have strong positive bonds with their sisters.
Fast forward to when I was married and expecting our first child. My husband and I both so badly wanted to have a son. He was just excited to have a boy to rough house with, and I was excited to create a family like I had always dreamed up… boy, girl…etc.
We both hoped for a boy so long that we really couldn’t agree on any girl names – it was impossible. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were standing in the room in my inlaws basement (where we were living saving up for a house at the time) and we were both getting ready for work. I stopped, turned to Rory, and said, “We aren’t having a son, it’s a going to be a girl.”
We were still a week away from our ultrasound to find out the gender. I was expecting Rory to turn and say something like, “don’t say that!” But instead he turned and said, “I know. I’ve been trying to figure out how to bring it up to you.”
We instantly stopped discussing boy names. It was so impossible for us to agree or even like any girl names so we made one up. The next week at my ultrasound when the doctor announced it was in fact a girl, Rory and I both named her right then and there belly-jelly and all. Her name was to be Brecklee.
I’m a firm believer that the Lord gives you what you need not what you want. I instantly started daydreaming about girl things, all things pink, and beautiful dresses and bows. The idea of having a son seemed like a long past thought. Everything was going to be perfect for our Brecklee Kate.
As Brecklee grew I started to assume that the reason why we had a daughter was because I wouldn’t know what to do with a son. Being a girl and an only child things like dresses, bows, braids, dance, nails, all came naturally to me. It was an easy transition into motherhood having a daughter.
Once more, I secretly assumed that her amazing talents were given to her because I wasn’t capable to help her to the extent she needed. Silly I know, but don’t we all have those secret doubts about our ability to parent? It was things such as talking in sentences by her first birthday, reading at the age of two, her natural ability to lead and be self dependent, and her over-achieving nature in all things physical.
Her casual and effortless success at everything has been intimidating to me as a parent many times. But now with her 7th birthday only a few weeks away I’ve come to realize another reason why this blessing of a daughter was sent to me.
Being a mom has been one of the best things I’ve chosen to do with my life. I don’t regret it, ever. I don’t know what I’m doing most of the time, and I certainly fail daily at something. But I don’t stop trying.
Then I have a “human moment” where I just give into my personal weakness and let myself fall apart. It usually is just a good cry to release stress but in those “human moments” when I can’t seem to pull myself together to be an adult, to be a good mom, or to be a good friend or wife. In these adult-meltdowns I periodically have, my daughter is the first one there to pick up the pieces and remind me that it’s okay to have rough days.
I don’t have meltdowns on a regular basis and it is never anything more than a good cry, but even in the moments of daily life I see her amaze me with the wisdom she possesses at just 6 years-old.
With each of my children I have wondered why they were sent to me, what can I do to help them succeed in life, and what will I learn from them? I know without a doubt that the reason it took us longer to get pregnant with #4 had nothing to do with us as parents or with our fourth child. It had everything to do with our 3rd child Aspen. She is a hand-full, and yet her little spirit would not have adjusted well with a new baby if she was any younger. She may still struggle with the transition, but I know without a doubt, she will be an amazing big sister to her baby brother in a couple of months.
The reason this is all coming up today is because over the past 4 days me and our three children have been sick; an not just a little sick. My husband is on week three of a work trip in Asia, and though we’ve been troopers and this trip has flown by, being 7+ months pregnant, parenting three kids, and doing it without extra hands to help has been overly exhausting.
Today, my emotions bubbled over when I had to wash and change bedding for the 7th time in 5 days. There are already mountains of laundry to be done, garbage cans full of tissues to be emptied, medicine bottles and caps that need cleaned, and dishes that need to be washed. Not to mention at some point I really just need to disinfect the entire house.
In the midst of my emotional-sleep-deprived-laundry-meltdown (I blame it partially on my pregnancy hormones) my 6-year-old daughter gathered up her brother, all of their items that were out, cleaned up her room and got the two youngest ones calmed down and put to bed without being asked. She then brought me tissues, offered to get me a drink or give me a backrub, and hugged me and went to bed. It wasn’t 15 minutes later when I received a note that was slid under my bedroom door that just said she was sorry I was having a rough day, she loved me, and if I needed anything just to ask her.
This. This is why I had a daughter first. This sweet spirit in this little girl is what reminded me that I am ok and that even at my low points at being a good mom/housekeeper or apparently a nurse, that I’m not alone, and that I have these three little spirits who love me, no matter my shortcomings.
I’m not just meant to be there for them, but they are here to teach me as well. They are why I became a mom, they are why I have the best days everyday, their father and them are the why to everything I do and everything I enjoy.
But having a daughter has meant a lot to me. Understanding and remembering what it was like to be her age, knowing she is so much stronger than she thinks. I just can’t help but be proud of her and hold her close. Having her as a daughter has made me a better person and has given me the chance to be a mother to more kiddos!
I’m grateful for each of their sweet spirits and what they bring to our lives and our family. But I know that Brecklee is a large part of the why I will be a successful mom – not because she was the first child that blessed me with the title “Mom” but because she will be the one to teach me how to be a better one as I go.
April 30th of every year I celebrate what I call my “Momiversary”. It was the day that I was able to quit my full-time job and be a stay-at-home-mom. Something I had wanted from the beginning, something I longed for, but had no idea how to accomplish. This year will mark my 7 years since becoming a mom, and 5 years being a stay-at-home-mom. This year I will be celebrating in a different way than past years. This day means more to be than mother’s day or any other event, because it was when I started truly learning how to be a better mom from an adorable 2-year-old every single day.