March 15, 2010

On having a daughter, and having me.

Little Schroeder

Eighteen months ago today.

I was feeling pretty great, powerful, and amazed at my Mother-Earthy-ness. I mean, I had my baby at home, on my bedroom floor, only light from candles by my bed and a flashlight in my midwife's hands.

I am WOMAN!

Eighteen months ago today I felt like there wasn't anything I could not do.

I need that reminder this day, especially, because I can't really think of much I can do well right now. I'm blinded by the glare of the many many many defects of myself, my wifely-ness, and my mothering.

Eighteen Months Ivy

Eighteen months ago today I was finding out what it was like to have a daughter. [I'll be honest, it's awesome.]

But it kicks my butt sometimes. I know that boys need a good example of a Mother just as much as girls

BUT


for me
it really kicked in when I had Ivy. Like, I can't fake my way through this one. I'm learning so much I never knew about myself. She is so much like me. She is so much like me. She could be like me.

And she can do anything.

I can do anything.
And do it well.

Beth took this one & I stole it because it's my favorite picture ever.


Ivy is 18 months old today!
Read our homebirth story.

50 comments:

  1. You, my dear, are amazing. Girls are a tough territory and I am finding that as my daughter gets older there are things that are so fun and things that are so high maintenance about her girliness. We can totally do this!! :) xo

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  2. You're amazing! Girl power! Woohoo!

    btw - cute pics of Miss Ivy!

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  3. Thank you for these words. As always spoken straight from the heart and into my heart!

    Hugs and love,
    Heidi

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  4. Ok, so I am suppose to be working, but I had to pop over and say how much Ivy looks like you in the picture of her on the pillow. JUST LIKE YOU!!!

    Happy Half Birthday Ivy!

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  5. OH YES. And as she gets older and things you say/do start coming back to you THROUGH HER you will learn to both LOVE yourself (because it can be very endearing!) AND see things you will want to obliterate from your personality (because OHMYGOSH do I really do that?!).

    Alex is like a little mini-me. Eye-opening to say the very least. What's great is that you'll have an amazing bond with her (at least until she's in her teens, ugh) (ugh ugh ugh!) and you'll be able to do it ALL together. Alex and I are currently helping one another to un-learn saying, "I'M STARVING." We had a discussion about it and both agree it's just the wrong thing to say, so now when I mess up, she says, "Mom, just say you're hungry. You aren't really starving." It's kinda awesome.

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  6. I only know girls so it's hard for me to compare, but I do have to agree - being the mom of girls rocks!

    Sending Ivy wonderful 18 month wishes today. :)

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  7. I totally understand. I had my first daughter (3rd baby) almost three weeks ago and it's humbling!!

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  9. I need some sort of reminder. I've been feeling something similar and it's tearing me apart. I blogged about it last night.

    www.littlegreenpastures.com

    Your Ivy is beautiful. That photo you posted of yourself yesterday shows just how much the two of you look alike.

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  10. i so know what you mean about not being able to "fake your way" through having a girl. my boy (grayson!) was and is such a beautiful distraction and i never questioned myself with him. with abby, however, it's different. it's like i'm more mindful to set a good female example for her because she is getting it, live in the front row, from me first. the pressure makes me want to be a ballerina and a truck driver all at the same time.

    i think you're doing an incredible job. she's a complete doll and that can't be an accident - i'm guessing she's a LOT like her mommy in all good ways.

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  11. Completely agree -- it is incredibly humbling to be the mother of a girl. I had a similar realization when my daughter was about the same age as Ivy; in fact, it is what led me to change the title of my blog to "Following In My Shoes."

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  12. What a beautiful reminder that you can do amazing things.

    Happy 18 month b-day to Ivy.

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  13. Happy Day to mom and Ivy, two beatifully strong gals ... growing and learning together!

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  14. It seems harder to parent daughters because we do see the reflections of ourselves. Whenever I want to moan about weight or say something self deprecating about myself I catch myself looking around to see if my girls are within earshot. I'd hate to hear them talk about themselves like that and they'll learn it from me!
    It's been an eye opening journey in that sense.

    But it's also SO fun to parent girls. To get down and be really girly with them... It's awesome. The fun is just beginning!

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  15. We're the opposite - three girls and only one boy (who's oldest, thankfully). I think they're both hard, in their own way.

    We have those bright yellow target ruffle leggings... was wondering what else we could work them with. (So thanks for always giving me style ideas - ha!!)

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  16. Wow you are my hero! Happy 18 months! and again WOW!!

    I am new to your blog and loving what i read!

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  17. Hey, that is a great homebirth story! Just wanted to say that I have those moments all the time with my nine-month-old son. He is learning everything from me. And I have a whole LIFE in my hands. It's terrifying and wonderful and I feel like my heart resides in two bodies.

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  18. She is getting so big! I can't believe it! I just found out I'm pregnant and hoping for a little girl! :)

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  19. You are awesome Steph and Ivy couldn't get any cuter. You are doing a great job and it is just beginning.

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  20. What a sweet post, you are and will continue doing an amazing job.

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  21. How has it been 18 months? Wow. What an incredible ride.

    And I think that the ebbs and flows of parenting have to allow for valleys and hard days and non wonderful days.

    It's ok, because we have Grace to fall into and wash us clean and prop us back up again.

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  22. I'm nodding my head, yes yes yes. Little girls... oh my. It's hitting more and more. It's amazing, and wonderful, but so much more emotional in ways.
    She's gorgeous :)

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  23. Stephanie,

    Ivy is beautiful. Inside and out. She gets it from you. But you know how she runs and then falls down and gets back up and runs again? It's because you taught her that. It's not about how many times you fall (or feel like you've failed), it's about how many times you get up.

    You'll get up again if you haven't, because that's the kind of woman, wife, and mother you are. But, no pressure. Sometimes when we fall, it is a relief to know that we can cry and just lay there. We don't have to get up right away. Eventually.

    xo.

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  24. Having a daughter after two sons really stopped me in my tracks and I remember thinking: What do I do with her!!! Well now that she is almost nine she is such a fun lovable companion. I think I breathe because of my daughters!!! My little guys just slipped into my life and were loved totally but there were far more things to understand about myself and to deal with... when daughters came along!!! Gotta love our kids, whatever they are, in such a crazy way!!! Happy 18 months to you - and I love her sitting, watching photograph!!!

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  25. Ah yes, 18 months. Around here we call it "the age of maximum cuteness." And Ivy is certainly living up to that! :)

    I think we all have feelings like you're having, being a mother is hard. But from what I can see, you are doing a pretty fabulous job! Hugs!

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  26. I want so many things for my daughter, and I want her to love herself... this forces me to love myself...it's a work in progress.

    I've said it before but I'll say it again...Ivy is adorable!! B has the same piano:)

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  27. That is a good point. All of the things that I find amazing about my daughter are the things she inherits from me. And yet, I don't see the amazing wonder in my OWN abilities... Why is that?

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  28. Happy half birthday to sweet Ivy! :) My husband texted me today to remind me it's his half birthday as well!

    I completely know what you mean. I struggle often internally if I'm showing my daughter enough, giving her enough. I just want her to be a happy and strong woman, and to be quite honest, there are days that I'M not a happy nor a strong woman, and I really wonder can I do this? I adore every second I've spent with her, and more than enjoy watching her become her own wonderful little person, despite my many faults. She's teaching me to be more me than I've ever been before! Enjoy every moment with your little girl!

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  29. I feel exactly the same way. beautiful post!

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  30. So lovely! I had my girl in my bedroom too, with just lamp, covered in a red shirt for a nice glow and a flashlight ^_^ What an experience! I think about it every single day!

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  31. So beautiful. I just had my first girl, 4 months ago and totally beginning to unpack those same feelings. Such a new and beautiful territory. Such a blessing.

    Your little one is so precious. Enjoy every minute.

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  32. Oh that is so funny!! I wrote about how my baby girl is like me as well. Tonight! And I had not even read this yet. :)

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  33. having children, girl or boy, never gets old! Ivy is beautiful! Carter, Noah and Gray are so handsome! It's tough stuff, training them up right! Yes, there is something about a girl that makes you want to be a better woman! There's something about children that make you want to be a better Mom! Good job Steph!

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  34. Never thought about how you learn so much about yourself when you have children, but it's true! She's beautiful, and you're amazing!

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  35. she could be like me. {4 of them could be like me.}

    oh, what GIFTS we've been given. what hard, awesome gifts FULL of responsibility.

    and i'm so tempted to click on your home birth story again, but i CANNOT. {not right now!!}

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  36. Yes, dads turn their sons into men. Moms turn their daughters into women. When I learned I was going to have a daughter, that reality hit me hard.

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  37. You are so awesome.

    Happy 18 months to Ivy.

    I swear she gets a little more gorgeous everyday.

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  38. Stephanie, she is SO beautiful!

    ~Ashley C

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  39. I totally feel you on this! Girls bring out a whole different side!

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  40. agreed there is just something about girls and their mamas!

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  41. That IS an awesome pic! What a sweet face. Tell me about it, girl. I have 3, count them 3, daughters (two of whom are teenagers.) Mercy! I can't even be OLD enough to have teenagers. All I know is I grow as they do. I'm learning as they learn. You're so right...we can do this.
    (Ha- I'm having a good day.)

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  42. I really want to have my next baby at home, too. I would love love LOVE it if you could direct me to a place that has reliable, honest, supportive info. A book or a website, or anything that you felt really helped you through it, and helped you get there without feeling doubtful. And as always, your post was absolutely wonderful. Steph, you are such an amazing woman. I want to be a mother like you, and I hope that I can someday be the mom to 4 that you are. You're what I look to when thinking about incredible mothering. SO inspired by you.

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  43. ugh. I have 2 daughter and this post spoe to me. {in a good way}

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  44. So true and so well put! You truly are amazing...thank you!!

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  45. I think about this stuff a lot. About how if I had a girl, I'd know what to worry about and expect and wait for so much more than I do with my boys. That because I'm not a boy, and never had brothers, that I have no idea what's coming around the bend. And even though I see myself in one of my sons SO MUCH, it's still different because he's a boy. So although I don't have a daughter, I'm with you on the three sons and I can imagine the difference that you write about here. And? If I'm totally honest, I have to admit it's a little hard to read because I think there is a little part of me that is holding on to the possibility of a little girl. (shhh. don't tell.) :)

    xo elizabeth

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  46. just to clarify - I'm not pregnant.:)
    I just meant that I feel a twinge of envy when I see you with your little girl at the end of (the familiar) three boys. :)

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  47. I needed this reminder! I'm so much more conscious of setting a good example for Bug; however, it was just revealed today that Wog is adopting a sarcastic, bossy and impatient way about him. I know it's not all that uncommon for a 3yo, but today I heard an echo of myself and I don't like that one bit. It's made me feel really down about my parenting skills. So, thanks for the encouragement that I can do anything! :)

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