You can lead a horse to water,
but you can’t make it drink!
Yes, this is my daughter who was drug to the quilter’s guild every Tuesday for 4 years starting at age 10. The same one who was made to sew and cook, even though her heart was not in it. Now she is sewing curtains for her new home, on her new sewing machine (a bridal shower gift!), not because she has to, but because she WANTS TO!
I watched her today work her machine as she begins to make her soon-to-be-house a home. I can’t begin to tell you the joy it brought me, and then to watch her find satisfaction in her work because she had the skills to do what she needed to!
Emma was my most domestically resistant daughter, I think in part because she had an older sister who excelled at everything! It makes the one living in the shadow find other ways to stand out. I remember so many times her complaining about having to go to the quilter’s guild every week. Olivia enjoyed it, Emma did not.
I can’t remember how many times I told her, “You do not have to enjoy it, you do not have to do it for fun or profit, BUT I want you to know HOW to do it. I want you to be able to do it well enough that you CAN do it if the ‘need’ were to arise. I want you to be able to teach your daughter one day.”
The same thing applies to her cooking. Olivia is an excellent cook, she has surpassed me by a long shot. Emma can cook the basics, she knows her way around the kitchen and she can shop, but her heart has never been in it.
She wants to be a good wife, she WANTS to be a good homemaker, so now she is getting serious and she is making up for lost time fast! She now has a reason, she is seeing past herself and she is realizing her duty, her calling as a wife and keeper of her home. And let me tell you, it is a beautiful thing to watch this young woman come alive in her domestic skills! She is even finding her own passions that she is excelling at, like learning about natural healing.
So my point for you moms of struggling girls, keep leading them to the water, keep teaching them. THAT is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, you make sure they are exposed to and taught what they need, even if it is just the basic skills of cooking, sewing, money management, shopping, homemaking, etc… And then when they get thirsty they will begin to drink on their own, learning as much as they can as fast as they can, because then they will see that now it is up to them! No excuses! And won’t you be glad you gave them the building blocks to excel?
I never want to hear one of my grown daughters say what I have heard from SO MANY mothers, “…but my mom never taught me those things.” I hear it all the time when I teach or speak. If you don’t know how to do certain things it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to seek out resources or other teachers to ensure that your daughter can drink when she is thirsty!
As a good parent you make sure your children can read, write and do math, but I challenge you to view basic, practical skills to be just as important! Make a list of what you think your daughter should know before she sets up her own home. It will take years just to learn the basics, so start young! Here is a list we came up with. Has Emma mastered all of it? No, but we had a goal, and she has a good base to build the rest of her life on. Here is a list for boys.
Press on mothers…press on!