We all see the influence of the women in our lives. Our friends, our family, our mothers. But do we see our own potential?
Dr. Liz Hale shares how you can recognize your own reach.
The Influence of a Woman:
On Her Husband:
Earlier this week, a husband turned to his wife and said “you have no idea of the power you have over me. You are my elixir.”
-Medicinal or magical potion.
-A preparation able to prolong life indefinitely.
“When you reach out and touch me, wink at me, touch my tush as you walk by, throw me a compliment, it means the world to me.”
“Life is worth living!”
“Every dragon I slay for you and our family feels worth it!”
Parenting styles/differences can separate people. When a manly man is loud, rough around the edges, directive to his kiddos, this can turn off a woman who doesn’t know the power of accepting his strength.
Imagine a child running to mom saying, “Daddy’s being mean again; or yelling at me.” Now this can provoke the protective Mother Bear who then doesn’t feel too happy with the Daddy Bear because she too doesn’t like his gruff tone.
“Remember For Better & For Worse?” We have the power over our mates, whether we use that power for better or for worse.
You never correct a spouse while they’re being unloving. Leave the room while you can still hear what’s going down so you stay involved. But if kids see your furrowed brow, it’s over! They have learned from your reaction to that other parent that that Daddy or Mommy is a monster.
Defend Your Spouse!
When the angry incident is over (minimum of an hour) go up to your spouse and say, “How are you? Can we talk over what just happened?” “Honey, I get it! This kid has done XYZ 100 times and you are beyond frustrated. I so understand! I’m with you on the fact that we have to do something about this.”
Continue: “And let me also ask you; whenever I have yelled at you or been unkind to you, and I know I have, have you felt loved by me? Have you ever liked it? (Of course the answer will be “no.”) Our kiddos hate it just as much.”
You two then need to work out a way to give this child consequences because that’s how the world works.
Parental tension scares kids! Show me a depressed child or teen and I’ll show you a child who feels tension at home. It’s like living every day with the threat of a bomb going off. Rats who live with tension in cages actually go insane. Kids who live in houses with tension either fight or withdraw, become depressed or become cutters.
Have a key phrase when things get too tense. Turn to each other and say, “It’s You & Me, Baby. You & Me! Nope, we’re not going to lose our minds or our connection over these kids, it’s you & me!”
On Her Child:
There is no greater good in the world than motherhood. The influence of a mother in the lives of her children is beyond calculation.
The emotional foundation mothers give their children is foundational to life.
The profession of motherhood is all about influence. Intentionality is SO important during the years of raising a family. Be intentional about your own healing from life’s hurts. Be intentional about taking care of yourself. Be intentional about investing in your marriage. Be intentional about being unconditionally loving. Be intentional about parenting. Be intentional about your home. We cannot underestimate the power of a mother’s love, the value of home and the significance of a mother’s intentional presence in the life of her children.
A mother has a profound and lasting impact on the development of a young child’s brain, teaching them first lessons of love, shaping their consciences.
If love is withheld, children will look for it in a million different ways sometimes throughout their lifetime until they come to peace with their past.
Search your heart; identify places where you may be affected by the relationship with your own mother. You and I are deeply affected by the relationship with our mothers and one of the most powerful gifts we can give our children is our own emotional health.
On Other Women:
I came across a powerful blog written by Kevin Nielsen entitled “The Power of Womanhood.” (Click here) It’s a must-read; the power of womanhood through the eyes of a man.
He shares about being in the delivery room with his wife who is about to give birth to their son. He said, “She lay there uncomfortable, sweaty and tired, doing something that I as a man will never be able to do. She was beautiful!”
And then the moment of truth came. Baby boy was on his way. The doctors and nurses (all women) swarmed to offer strength and encouragement as his wife pushed – all eight women encircling a ninth – a communal power of strength and womanhood.
Watching from just a few steps away he recognized his own inadequacy in that moment. He was not needed. His wife was supported and lifted up by the women around her. His wife’s individual strength in putting her life on the line to bring life to their child was far greater than his. And the strength of all those women when shared together was a power even greater still. Women gain power through mutual support and that is the true power of womanhood.
In Kevin Nielsen’s words, “there are circumstances in life which men will always be the weaker sex. Women have a type of strength that men will never know. Women have power to change the world.”
On Her Family:
I was raised in a very small family with just one older sister. Ben was one of 5, however, so I was blessed to glean many nieces and nephews and grand nieces and nephews through marriage. For the rest of my life, I’ll be learning how to be a better “Auntie Lizzie.” (I love that title).
As I embrace this role in my newer family I often turn my thoughts back to the Aunties in my life who have blessed me. I am learning to be better as I channel memories of being with them through the years.
The aunt with the greatest influence over my life is my Aunt Trudy who I’ve had the pleasure of living around since moving to SLC over 15 years ago. I can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a powerful influence on me. Recently, I came upon some tender letters of love and encouragement she had written to me over the course of my life. She knows about the highs and lows of my life. I was a flower girl in her wedding and she played a major role in my wedding.
I try and channel Aunt Trudy when I love and interact with my nieces and nephews. I remember the power she had and continues to have in my life. And she has SO many traits I would like to emulate.
Aunt Trudy taught me how to make Strawberry Jam. She even gave me permission to make it a little differently than hers; her family likes it smooth and my family prefers it chunky. But as I make it and give it to my friends and family, I always tell them, “This is Aunt Trudy Jam!” It has such meaning behind it.
I hope to influence and inspire my nieces and nephews the way she has inspired me and share with them some of my favorite life “recipes.”