There are a lot of lessons we can learn from all the different women in our lives. This week I’m sharing a few lessons I’ve learned from my own daughters and how they’ve changed my perspective on life.
We can learn from our daughters (and other women in our lives) about qualities needed to make a life that matters
Lately, I’ve been thinking about the lessons I’ve learned from my adult daughters about the qualities that contribute to making a life that matters. I wanted to take just a few minutes to share my thoughts.
“Our daughters are the most precious of our treasures, the dearest possessions of our homes and the objects of our most watchful love.” ~ Margaret E. Sangster (late 19th/early 20th century poet, author, and editor, including of Harper’s Bazaar)
Meet my daughters
- Rachel – Turned 41 earlier this year; mother of 4 daughters of her own. She started college after graduating from high school, then left college after that first year to travel for a few months singing. Soon she married and started a family. Two years ago, she decided to go back to finish her degree, wanting to be a middle-school choir teacher. Last week she graduated summa cum laude and has been offered the teaching positions she’d hoped for!
- Ashley – Age 30. She married her husband just as the COVID pandemic was starting. She’s the mother to a son who’ll turn 1 year old soon. She attended college near home after graduating from high school, living on her own, working and going to school. A few months into her senior year she was offered a job that she left college to take, and then met her now-husband.
What I’ve learned from them about qualities we all need to make a life that matters
1. Determination (“firmness of purpose; resoluteness”)
- Rachel – holding her family together and doing what’s right for her daughters despite financial and personal; her commitment to finishing school and giving it her best effort while still caring for her family.
- Ashley – sticking by her principles and her determination to help her husband build the business he started before they met.
2. Persistence (“firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition”)
More of the same from them both. They’ve both faced obstacles in achieving their goals; they’ve had some failures, but they pick themselves up and keep trying.
3. Resilience (“the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”)
- Rachel-Family crises and personal heartbreaks that she has had to overcome.
- Ashley-Last-minute changes to her dream wedding because of COVID and multiple pregnancy losses early in her young marriage.
- Rachel – loves to celebrate Christmas and family events, even during tough or busy times.
- Ashley – celebrates holidays, her husband’s achievements, and her son’s milestones.
5. Dedication (“the quality of being dedicated or committed to a task or purpose”)
- Rachel – dedicated to her girls–supporting them in their interests, attending their events, advocating for them when need, making a better life for them. She’s also dedicated to her siblings–(typical oldest child!) determined to stay connected despite the fact that they live far apart, always makes the trip up here when one of the others comes to visit.
- Ashley – dedicated to her husband and son. She works alongside her husband to build their business and cheers him on at races.
- Ashley knows what’s important to her and isn’t afraid to stick up for it, even if others disapprove or expect something else from her. She has confidence that she knows what’s right for herself and her family.
- Rachel knows she can make major changes in her life in her 40s, including starting a new career as a teacher; doesn’t mean she’s not scared.
One other note:
Although I’ve talked here about the daughters I gave birth to, I have to also mention my daughter-in-law, the wife of my middle son. Holly endured several crises in her life before she met Ben, including losing her own mother at an early age. Yet I’ve watched with admiration how she’s carried on, quietly demonstrating her own resilience and determination, as she’s built a life of love and joy with our son and their little boy (and she’s expecting a little girl this summer).
Here is a quote I read recently —
“A daughter may outgrow your lap…but she will never outgrow your heart.”
I’m fortunate and blessed to have the daughters I have, all of whom I’m so proud of.
I’ve talked about my daughters because they and their qualities have been on my mind. But whether it’s our daughters or other women in our lives, if we are observant, we can see demonstrated in the women we know the qualities we can cultivate in our own lives as we seek to make meaningfully productive lives.
What do you think?
What qualities do you see demonstrated in the women you know that help in making a life that matters? Post your suggestions in the comments section below or in The Productive Woman Community Facebook group, or email me.
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