models anyone?

My daughters have been talking to me about male role models lately. It seems they don’t have any. I wonder how this will affect their lives.

Daughter #3 told me that she and #2 were discussing the issue and figured out the only positive role models they have who possess a “y” chromosome are teachers…oh, she said, “and Ron.”  I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry and honestly I did a bit of both. 

Ron is one of the group leaders from the bereavement support group we attended up until May of this year and the girls love him. The beautiful part is he loves them too. When we left the retreat we attended a few weeks ago, I walked up to him and said “My girls love you. Please don’t abandon them. Every man in their lives has ended up disappearing.” He promised he wouldn’t go anywhere. We shall see.

My ability to trust is damaged to put it mildly and while I know I cannot change the role model situation for my daughters or for myself, it doesn’t alter the fact that I would love to with all my heart. 

D#3 wrote an email to her father. She told him how she felt about him disappearing from her life again. I was proud of her and know how hard it was. Her father replied that he was laying low because someone was giving him a hard time and he couldn’t deal with it. She wrote back that he didn’t address the issues she brought up and wanted him in her life. He sent back a note that blamed his absence on me.

I was amazed to hear all three of my girls talk about this email exchange in such a mature, thinking manner. It was obvious from the discussion they were all terribly hurt by their dad’s disappearance and it was equally obvious that they knew exactly where the responsibility for it belonged. 

I wish I had a magic wand. I wish I could use it to “fix” this. I know I cannot. I hate that. I worry about the male influence on their lives. If the only example they have is bad, what does that mean for their future experiences with the male of the species?

Their list of female role models was longer than you would believe. For that I am grateful. I hope it’s enough that they have many, many women who love them. I hope they know how blessed they truly are. Gawd, I love my girls.



11 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jumpinginpuddles on Sunday, August 27, 2006 at 4:22 am

    this sounds like a tough situation to be in, but your girls sound so mature, just a hint though dont let them use Tom Cruise as their next male role model because umm well just because ….
    Sa’de (found your blog from “A safe Place”)


  2. Traci, sometimes all we can do is our best. I’m glad they have good female role-models. Maybe this and lots of discussions about how a woman should be treated by a potential spouse will go a long way. You’re such a good Mom, Traci. This counts for so much.


  3. I think you are a kick-butt mom!


  4. It is hard for kids to grow up without good role models of either gender. On the other hand, it is devastating when they have negative ones around. In our society there are too many of both kinds of situations with divorce and frequently repeated remarriage (or having repeated changes of unmarried partners). But I think when those kids are fortunate to have a strong, consistent single parent, they can do well, despite the odds. Seeing that one parent make good choices does wonders for the kids. Just keep doing what’s right for you, and the girls will learn a lot about how their lives should look. T’ain’t perfect, but it’s a good start. Good luck for lives filled with happiness for all 4 of you.


  5. Given the way they’re discussing the recent exchange with their father I think they’ll do just find. They might be a little jaded and perhaps more cautious to give their hearts too freely.. but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing.

    You’ve modelled a strong independent intelligent woman to them and that’s what they’ll grow up to be.




  6. Posted by The Boston Pobble on Wednesday, August 30, 2006 at 9:46 am

    I have So Many thoughts running through my head about this post. Instead of turning this into a group therapy session that ends with us cryng, hugging and singing Kum-Bah-Ya, let’s just say “I understand. I really, really, REALLY understand.” Sounds like your girls are doing well ~ and you’re doing well by them ~ though. Hold onto that.


  7. Your girlies are so incredibly wise. Me thinks its because their mommy is one terrific role model!


  8. I’m from the thought that girls don’t really need male role models, but that’s just me!


  9. wow several things.
    thanks for the banner over there.
    There are smaller vbersions if you would like.
    I had no idea you had put this here.
    Thank you.

    anyhow… The realization about our childrens fathers
    comes all on it’s own as they grow. This is why I knew
    from day one that I would never bad mouth their dad
    to them. They would know who he is all on their own and
    I hated that fact. I defended him so many times to the kids
    as they were growing up. I had no father in my life and I wanted
    them to believe in dads. It is such as shame that I was right.
    He would say too that I am to blame for how they see him
    now. He would be wrong.

    It was wonderful, what you said to Ron.
    I hope he comes through for them.

    sorry I haven’t been by….
    too much work, not enough playtime.


  10. Hello Traci-friend! Big stuff swirling around, huh? Your last line says everything — you DO love your girlies, and somewhere deep inside they know it. They will know what love is because they experience it from you every minute of their lives, and as they move into adulthood, they will realize they are worthy of love because you love them. Please don’t underestimate the power of YOUR love to them. Sure, having a positive adult male can add another dimension, but it’s additional. Don’t forget that you are loved, too. You can’t give it to them unless you have it for yourself. And Traci, you ARE loved.


  11. But the thing is sweety, you have fixed some things. The proof is that they are able to articulate their feelings. They are taking steps and not allowing themselves to fall into the traps.

    You did good doll.


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