Daddy-daughter dates are happening all of the time, everywhere. And that’s great. We want to see that. We want to see men who are dads stepping it up and devoting their time to their dear, impressionable young daughters. But the truth is, just as much as a father needs to dine with, talk to, and listen to his daughter, so does her mother.

When our children are young—and even into their adolescent years—many of us focus on each parent spending time with the opposite-sex child. Daddies and daughters do their thing as mothers and sons do the same. While I wholeheartedly agree my little man needs one-on-one time with me, and that my princess deserves time with her first-ever prince, my role in my daughter’s life is of the utmost importance, as well. 

You see, while daddy-daughter dates are great for a lot of reasons, there are just as many (if not more) reasons that mothers need to date their daughters:

Mothers and daughters tend to live a sort of parallel life. Your young daughter more than loves you, she is enthralled with you; and yes, this is still the case despite her eye-rolling and the sass she may sling. The mother-daughter connection is so intertwined that whether you realize it or not, she is modeling much of her behavior and mannerisms after you. During the daily hustle and bustle of activities, you are not always mindful of your words and actions. Spending one-on-one time with your daughter at least a few days a month helps to ensure that you are exuding to her the values in yourself which you want for her to be upholding as well.

Daughters learn from their mothers what love is supposed to look and feel like. And, unfortunately, love is not always going to look pretty. Nope, it is not always going to be wrapped in a tight, beautifully-shaped bow. Sometimes love looks tired, even exhausted. Sometimes love looks frustrated or impatient. Sometimes love looks perplexing. And that is because love is all of these things. Love is confusing, and there are many types of love. There are also many things that look like love but are not. One-on-one mommy and daughter dates are necessary so you can show her and talk to her about what love is, and answer all of the many, many questions that she will have about what it’s supposed to be.

The gift of a mother’s time is the biggest compliment to her female child. Parents are busy and mothers, who are typically requested of most by their children, are extremely busy. Giving your daughter the gift of your uninterrupted time and non-distracted presence is the greatest compliment you could give her. Taking your daughter out on a mommy-daughter date will build her self-confidence more than you can imagine. By devoting your undivided attention to her and your outing, she will take away just how important she is and just how important she deserves to feel. I’ve shared before that the greatest gift a father can give to his daughter is to love her mother; well, here is the advice I am going to leave you mothers with: the greatest gift you can give to your daughter is your time, even when you are short on it.

Remember mamas . . . 

The laundry can wait.

The dishes can wait.

Your work can wait.

That phone call or text, it can wait, too.

Who can’t wait and who shouldn’t wait is your daughter.

Don’t make her wait. Take her out on a date this week and every week if you can, and you will forever reap the benefits of raising a woman who knows her value in this world and will demand to be loved in the way she deserves—in the way her mother loves her.

 Originally published on Everyday Family 

 

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Nicole Merritt

Nicole Merritt is a mother of three and the Owner and Founder of jthreeNMe, an imperfectly authentic peek at real-life marriage, parenting, and self-improvement. jthreeNMe is raw, honest, empowering, inspiring, and entertaining; it’s like chicken soup for those that are exhausted, over-stressed and under-inebriated, yet still utterly happy. Nicole's work has been featured by Scary Mommy, The Good Men Project, BLUNTmoms, Thought Catalog, Everyday Family, Motherly & many others. You can follow Nicole at jthreeNMe and on FacebookPinterestInstagram & Twitter!

Your Youngest Child Will Always Be Your Baby

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

The baby of our family is no longer a baby.  She turned five this year. She talks a mile a minute, rides her scooter on one leg with no hands, and is learning to read. She’s sweet and creative and has the best sense of humor that makes me belly laugh daily. She has long, strong legs, and her round toddler cheeks have morphed into something more mature. All remnants of babyhood and toddlerhood have long since gone from her. She is all little girl—a kid with the world at her fingertips, ready to explore everything life has to offer. I watch in wonder...

Keep Reading

I’m a Helicopter Mom Learning to Become the Place They Can Land

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child

My daughter places a paper in front of me on the kitchen counter, looking up at me expectedly. My eyebrows lift in question before reaching down to pick up the wrinkled sheet. Next to an empty line awaiting my check mark reads: My child has my permission to attend the field trip. The child is my kindergartener. The field trip is on a school bus. The school bus will travel into the city. Over an hour away. Without me. Two steps to my left sits a pink and yellow backpack. Next to it, a sequined lunchbox. The lunchbox is making...

Keep Reading

Six Feels So Much Bigger

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl with horse, color photo

Six . . . Six is only one number more than five,  one grade, one year . . . but it feels so different. Five is baby teeth and new beginnings. Five is venturing out into the world, maybe making a friend. Meeting a teacher. Learning to ride a bike. Six took my breath away. Six looks like a loose front tooth—tiny and wiggly, soon to be replaced by a big tooth, one that will stay forever. Six looks like a bright purple bike zooming down the driveway. RELATED: When There Are No More Little Girls’ Clothes Six looks like playing...

Keep Reading

You Were Meant to Be Our Oldest

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Brother holding little sister on back

Dear oldest child, Thanks for taking one for the team. You’ve probably thought by now that Dad and I really have no idea what we are doing. You’re not wrong. Please don’t misunderstand, we have goals and ambitions as parents. We’re trying to raise you to be a healthy, positive, and contributing part of society. But you are—and have always been—our guinea pig. You are the test subject to this whole parenting thing. Each new phase you encounter brings another new phase of learning and growth. Unfortunately, with that comes growing pains, and you often take the brunt of those....

Keep Reading

The Bittersweet Reality of Your Baby Turning 5 Years Old

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Little girl lying on living room floor, color photo

Those first five. Those precious first five years have flown by. I blinked and here we are. I look back and think about all the times I wanted these days to go by faster. The times I couldn’t wait to get to bedtime. The days I wasted being irritable and angry because sometimes being a mom is just too hard. But now? Now, I wish I could have slowed it all down. Savored it a little longer. A little harder. That beautiful wild child who fought like hell from the moment she was born has been burning that fire ever...

Keep Reading

The Petrified-Squished-Spider Stage of Motherhood

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Bug squashed on windshield, color photo

There is a squished spider corpse dangling from the inside of my car windshield. I don’t know how long it has been there. Not because I don’t know when the time of death took place, but because I’ve lost track of the number of days it’s been a fellow passenger of ours. The burial service is past due. And a cleaning of my vehicle is so long overdue, if it were a library book I’d be banned from the library by now. When my husband removed his hat one evening while driving and used it as a spider swatter, he...

Keep Reading

Listen to Their Endless Chatter Now So They’ll Talk to You as Tweens and Teens

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood, Tween
Mother and young daughter talking on the couch

I’m a talker. I’m a spill-the-beans, over-sharing, rambling on about my latest fascination chatterbox. I love words, and so do my kids. I’ve spent over a decade listening to my kids share—often, as they all talk at once. They go on and on about their day, rambling about how their sibling has been driving them nuts, their shenanigans with their friends, and never-ending factoids about video games. So many words, so many significant and yet simple thoughts brought to life in our bustling conversations.  Sometimes I love all the chatter, and sometimes the sheer volume of it drives me to...

Keep Reading

Dear Kindergarten Graduate, My Hand Will Always Be Yours to Hold

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood

Tomorrow you’ll graduate kindergarten. You chose the perfect shirt for the occasion. It’s a blue and white button-up. “Get one with big checkers, Mom, not little ones,” was your request. I know it’ll make your eyes pop from under your too-big red graduation hat. It’s going to be adorable. You’re going to be adorable.  You’ve been counting down the days. You’re ready and, truthfully, I am too—even though I’m so often in denial about how quickly this time with you is passing. Didn’t you just start crawling? How is it possible you’ll already be in first grade next year? RELATED:...

Keep Reading

You Were Made to Be My Oldest

In: Child
Mom and three kids

You are my firstborn. My big. The one who made me a mama. The one who started this whole crazy, beautiful roller coaster ride the day I found out you were on your way. I remember tip-toeing to the bathroom before the sun rose and taking a pregnancy test. The flutter of excitement in my heart turned into a flutter in my growing tummy within just a few short months. And now here you are, seven years old and more incredible than I imagined in all my wildest dreams. You amaze me every single day with your humor, kindness, and...

Keep Reading

I’m a Kindergarten Mom at the Bottom of the Hill

In: Child, Kids, Motherhood
Boy holding hands with his mother, color photo

The local elementary school is perched atop an obnoxious hill. It is customary for kindergarten parents to walk their children to the top of the hill as the rest of the grades, first through fifth, having earned their badge of capability and courage, walk alone. Car line is off-limits for kindergartners, which means it’s a walk in whatever weather, whenever school is in session type of vibe. My oldest misses car line. I miss it as well. It’s so simple, convenient, and most importantly, warm and waterproof. But my youngest is a kindergartner, so for the last several months we’ve...

Keep Reading