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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 

 

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!

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