What Motherhood Means To…Chelsea

When we found out at the ultrasound appointment that day that I would be having a baby girl, everything changed. Not just the color we’d now be painting the nursery and the fact that we could cross out one entire column of potential baby names.

You see, a baby girl was much more of a responsibility for me than a boy would have been. This girl was going to look up to me, she was going to learn from me. Not that she wouldn’t learn from and look up to her daddy as well, but I was who was going to show her how to be a girl, a woman, a lady.

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Tenney Photography
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Tenney Photography

Being a role model to a precious girl is not something I take lightly. I know over the years that she will watch my every move. She will see how and what I eat. She will watch me get dressed and ready for the day – hearing any and all scrutiny and praise I give myself as I look in the mirror. She will watch me speak to strangers, best friends, and my spouse. She will see how I react to an elderly lady who needs help with groceries, a homeless man on the corner, and a wounded baby bird in the backyard. She will see me read my Bible, hear my prayers, and stand beside me as I sing during praise and worship.

She will watch every little thing that I do. Her entire life.

Things I’m aware she’s watching, and things I’m not.

You see, I had to learn to love myself in a different way than before. I’d always thought, “people should love themselves; they should be happy in their skin, proud of who they are”. Well now those things that I’d merely thought before, became who I was.

When my daughter sees me look in the mirror I want her to see pride. Not in a conceited way, but in a way that will make her look in the mirror one day too, shoulders back, smile on her face, ready to conquer the world! A look that means she knows it’s so much more about the inside than the outward appearance that truly counts.

I want her to see me eat healthy, but indulge when I really want to because while it is so important to put the right things into our bellies, it’s also important to treat our sweet tooth every once in a while for the plain old fact that it makes us smile.

When my daughter sees me interact with others, anyone and everyone, I want her to see love. So much love. I want her to see my love for her father, my husband, during a disagreement. I want her to see my love for someone struggling to pay for lunch, love for the person who cut me off in traffic, love for our new neighbors who just moved here from another country, love for the new teacher at her school.

And more than anything I want her to know that she can look me in the eye and tell me anything and I’ll support her with everything I have in me. I want her to know that I’ll protect her and love her with every ounce of my being for as long as I live. I want her to know that she is and always will be good enough, and sometimes even better, than anything and everything she sets her mind to. I want her to look me in the eye and know that there’s no love that compares to what motherhood means to me and how so very thankful I am that God chose me to be her mom.

Photo courtesy of Cynthia Tenney Photography
Photo courtesy of Cynthia Tenney Photography

My name is Chelsea and I’m the blogger behind And Then Life. I am former teacher, turned stay-at-home. My husband and I have one daughter and a handful of rescue pets. Aside from spending time with my family (fur babies included) I live for traveling, watching Friends on repeat, and sneaking the occasional donut (or two!)

Photo courtesy of Chelsea McKinney
Photo courtesy of Chelsea McKinney

You can find me on Instagram and Twitter!


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