Josh & Danielle Files | 3 Things A Mother Can Learn from Her Daughter | Personal Post

I find myself in awe of our daughter Tenley many times every day. The way that God created her is amazing & awe-inspiring. She’s a masterpiece- a true work of art. Motherhood has caused me so much introspection. When I gaze into her hazel eyes, I see myself reflected & when I catch her looking at me & watching what I’m doing, imitating how I’m acting, or listening to the words I say even when I don’t realize she is paying attention at first, I am motivated every single day to improve myself & make sure I’m the best version of myself I can be. She’s only two. But she has already taught me so much. These are my current top three things that I believe every mother should learn from her daughter.

  1. You Are Enough Just the Way God Made You 
    Why do we (mothers especially) constantly criticize ourselves & make ourselves feel as though we’re not enough? We’re not savvy enough. We’re not put together enough. We’re not fashionable enough. We’re not enough for our kids. We’re not enough for our husbands. Our house isn’t clean enough. We aren’t fit enough. We’re. Just. Never. Enough. Why do we torture ourselves with these things? I look at Tenley & those thoughts don’t occur to her. She’s happy. She knows what it is to be content. Kids have a way of being satisfied with the little things. Deep down, they want our love, time, & attention. That’s it. Truly. God made you uniquely you. You’re a special individual. Just the way you are, you’re enough. I am beyond grateful that my beautiful daughter reminds me of this without even knowing she does so each & every day. I am a perfect mother for her because God chose me to be her mother. He put us together & I’m enough just the way God made me. [Don’t get me wrong; there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to improve yourself, and you should want to strive to improve, but your motivation to do so should be positive instead of negative. “I am loved & beautiful & so happy that I can continually be better every day” instead of “I’m never good enough; I need to be {fill in the blank- thinner, richer, more successful, prettier, etc}”. The desire for self-improvement should come from a positive place!]
  2. Be Confident
    Kids have so much natural self-confidence. Tenley played dress up with my sisters’ & my old prom dresses a couple of months ago (and she already looks so much more grown up since then. All the bittersweetness. . . but I digress. . . ) and the way she lit up was incredible. When I tell her she’s beautiful and smart and funny and kind and precious (and a million other compliments) she soaks it up with a huge smile. She doesn’t shrug or argue or try to deflect like so many of us do. A few weddings ago, one of the other wedding vendors we worked with was talking with us about our children and she asked how old they were. When I shared that they were 2.5 and 7 months (at the time), she said, “Wow! You look so great!” My immediate reaction was to say, “Well, I’m still 15 pounds heavier than I’d like to be, but thank you.” Why? Why can’t I have the innocent & wonderful self-confidence that Tenley has? The answer is that I can have it. It’s something that I have to constantly work toward since the world has tried to convince us all that we need to attain some “ideal” in order to be worthy. But *See Point 1, above. I am enough. I should be confident in that.things mothers can learn from their daughtersthings mothers can learn from their daughtersthings mothers can learn from their daughtersthings mothers can learn from their daughters
  3. Dream As Big As You Possibly Can Dream
    When Tenley sings, she’s the best singer in the world. When Tenley twirls around and dances, I can see that in her mind she feels like she’s the fastest twirler there ever was. When Josh throws her up into the sky (as she says), she thinks she can touch the moon. I realize that a lot of her confidence comes from the innocence and naïvety of being a child, but it is definitely something we adults can learn from! When she dreams something or imagines something, it’s as good as reality. If we chased our dreams with even a fraction of the gusto of a child, we’d all achieve everything we put our minds to doing! If we could quiet our minds of the fear of failure, we’d all go toward so many opportunities that we normally shy away from.things mothers can learn from their daughters

So many of the circumstances & occurrences in our lives from childhood to adulthood cause us to doubt ourselves & our abilities. The world will take every opportunity to beat us down, to convince us we aren’t special, to rob us of our natural creativity. We need to do our best to retain the innocence, the confidence, the kindness, and the contentedness of our childhood selves. Growing up doesn’t have to mean losing those beautiful attributes of ourselves. Take a lesson from Tenley today: you’re enough so be confident & dream big dreams! things mothers can learn from their daughtersthings mothers can learn from their daughters

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If you’re new to our blog, we’re Josh & Danielle. We’re married and we photograph love stories in the Youngstown, Ohio area & beyond! We also travel to Cleveland and Pittsburgh to photograph weddings, and occasionally we even get to go to a fun beach location for a fab couple! We met in 2005, got married in 2010, and have two beautiful blonde babies, Tenley & Kenton- a daughter (2.5) and a son (8 months). We love being outside and really love to laugh together and be goofy. God and family are our priorities. If you’d like to follow along with our fun, you can find us here:

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