For the last two weeks I have had the privilege of being a guest speaker on a national radio show for Solomon University. The topic “Girl, you know you need a man, so stop frontin” was open and honest dialogue about a generation of women brought up with the misnomer that we don’t need a man. Now, before you guys think I’ve been kidnapped by aliens and replaced with a clone from 1950s, just hear me out. My mother and grandmother were strong chocolate mothers that felt it imperative that I further my education and buy my own house and my own car.
I heard I don’t need a man so much it became my mantra. I believed it. Bought it, hook line and sinker. Believed it so much I repeated to every man I dated at least 100 times, usually during a disagreement. By the time I met my husband, I had perfected the statement, “I don’t need you so if you are unhappy, then leave.” It wasn’t until he actually left one night that I realized the hurtful lie I had been screaming from the mountaintop.
It was a lie that built a mighty high wall of expectations, and dug a deep well of low tolerance. It created a thick layer of the heart that was difficult to penetrate. It was unfair and it was untrue.
The reality is I do need him. He keeps me calm. He removes my anxiety. He shares my pain. He salutes my achievements. He’s my parenthood partner and my eternal friend. Now, of course I am independent in the sense that if I had to go it alone, I could and I believe I’d do a bang up job. But it’s not how God intended for it be. My God wanted me to have someone to tap and say your turn in the middle of the night when the baby monitor beeps. My God wanted me to have someone that would listen nonstop to my baby stories with enthusiasm. My God wanted me have someone to laugh at my corny jokes and to think when my mommy brain kicks in and I forget what day it is. My God wanted me to have someone to step in with my children when I feel overwhelmed. I am convinced He did not intend for me to go it alone.
There is value in independence and self-confidence in your abilities. And there is a fine line between co-dependence and self-reliance. So how can I tweak the message for my daughter? How can I teach her the value of being able to take care of herself with the importance of being willing to allow someone to love her?
For the past few weeks my daughter has talked incessantly about marriage. “I’m going to get married when I get big,” she says. “I’m going to get married first, then have babies she says.” With concern, I try to figure out her attraction to marriage. She’s three. She shouldn’t be thinking about her wedding. Lord, please don’t let my daughter grow up to be one of those needy women, who have to be in a relationship to feel whole, I pray. Lord, please don’t let my daughter be boy crazy at a much too early age. Lord, please, Lord please.
And then it hits me, well actually my husband said there was no need to worry. He said she speaks about marriage because she sees it everyday. It’s a large part of her existence. Ah ha, so maybe I don’t need to lose sleep trying to figure out the perfect way to tweak the message on balance between self-reliance, independence and partnership. Maybe, I just need to live it and let her watch.
You can listen to the radio show at http://tobtr.com/s/3076721