That's what people often say - with a slight groan - when they learn that I’m the mother of four amazingly active boys.
And it’s true. I am busy. Terribly busy at times.
But you know something?
It’s no less demanding being a mother of four lively girls. In some ways even more challenging than a pack of wiggly, grubby boys.
Oh, they are lovable dears, to be sure. Darling, giggly, charming, determined, and, well, more complex.
Boys might bounce off the walls, bring home bugs and snakes, but girls . . .
Girls can be complicated.
But now my little girls aren't so little anymore. Even though we still play and laugh together, they are well on their way to womanhood and it's a joy to watch.
So I've been thinking about what we've learned together over these years.
I've been considering what's equipping them for their future.
And what's helping prepare our daughters for the rich and beautiful life God has for them.
One of our daughters was a screamer.
Whenever she got hurt – she screamed. When she was afraid, she screamed. When she was upset, excited, mad – you guessed it, she screamed. We honestly wondered if we’d find her screaming on her wedding day.
She’s also our intuitive and insightful one and we love that about her. But the girl needed to get a grip in order for anyone to be able to hear all that loveliness down inside her. Not that we wanted to make her tough; we just wanted to make her strong.
Now she often laughs where she used to scream - a much better approach to life, don't you think? She also boldly shares her love for Christ wherever she goes.
It takes a lot of strength to be a woman.
If you’re raising a daughter to assume a princess-like attitude (“Like . . . it all revolves around me”), how is this possibly preparing her to be a wife and mother?
Not very helpful, I'm afraid.
I might be queen of my home, but this particular Queen finds she has to scour bathtubs, wipe bottoms, sort massive mounds of laundry, and basically take care of a whole bunch of people.
If you're grooming your daughter for royalty, she's likely going to be in for a significant adjustment. With her future in mind, one of the mottos we're working toward around here is “Service with a smile”.
Being a godly woman involves cheerfully serving others.
Maybe your daughters are naturally sweet, but the girls in our home - including me! - have had to learn to be nice.
A sharp, biting response. A cat with claws out - who wants to come home to that?
So we're working on sweetening up and finding it takes practice - and lots of it. When something harsh or snitty slips out, we get to go back and try it again. Often the content isn't even the problem, it's the tone we need to change.
A pretty woman turns ugly real fast when she snaps and snarls.
And sweetness makes a woman beautiful.
Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. ~ Prov. 31:25
So yes, we're still laughing and having a lot of fun together. With these lively, complicated girls of mine.
And we're looking forward to the rich life God has in store for them.
Starting right here and right now.
Lisa Jacobson, Club31Women