Daddy-daughter dates are happening all of the time, everywhere, and that's great!
We want to see that.
We want to see men who are dads "stepping it up" and devoting their time to their dear, impressionable young daughters.
But, the truth is, just as much as a father needs to dine with, talk to, and listen to his daughter, so does her mother.
When our children are young – and even into their adolescent years – many of us focus on each parent spending time with the opposite sex child.
Daddies and daughters do their thing as mothers and sons do the same.
While I wholeheartedly agree that my little man needs one-on-one time with me and that both my princesses deserve alone time with their first ever prince, my role in my daughter's life is of the utmost importance as well.
You see, while daddy-daughter dates are significant for a lot of reasons, there are just as many (if not more) reasons that mothers need to date their daughters.
Here are the top three reasons why us mothers need to “date” our female children.
** Mothers and daughters tend to live a sort of parallel life. **
Your young daughter more than loves you, she is enthralled with you; and yes, this is still the case despite her eye rolling and the sass she slings in your direction.
The mother-daughter connection is so intertwined that whether you realize it or not, she is modeling much of her behavior and mannerisms after you.
During the daily hustle and bustle of activities, you are not always mindful of your words and actions, so spending purposeful and directed time with your daughter -- at least a few days a month -- helps to ensure that you are exuding, for her observation, the values in yourself which you want for her to uphold.
** Daughters learn from their mothers what love is supposed to look and feel like. **
And, unfortunately, love is not always going to look pretty.
It is not always going to be wrapped in a tight, beautifully shaped bow.
Sometimes love looks tired, even exhausted.
Sometimes it looks frustrated or impatient.
Sometimes love seems perplexing.
And, that is because love is all of these things.
There are many types of love and if it's confusing for us in our adult-age, imagine how much more baffling it can be for our daughters.
There are also many things that look like love but are not, and these one-on-one mommy and daughter dates are necessary so that we can show them and talk to them about what love is while answering all of the many, questions that she will have about it.
** The gift of a mother's time is the biggest compliment to her female child. **
Parents are busy; I know.
And, mothers, who are typically the ones being incessantly beckoned, desired and needed by their children, are especially busy.
Giving your daughter the gift of your uninterrupted time and non-distracted presence is the greatest compliment you could give her.
Taking her out on a mommy-daughter date, it will build her self-confidence more than you could ever imagine.
By devoting your undivided attention to her and the outing/adventure you have embarked on, she will take away just how special she is and just how accepted, happy, and at peace, she deserves to feel.
I wrote another piece about fathers needing to love their wives as they want their daughters to be loved, concluding that the greatest gift a father can give to his daughter is to love her mother.
Well, here's some advice I'll leave you mothers with, including myself, with the hopes that sharing this with you reminds me of the very same:
The greatest gift we can give to our daughters is our TIME, even when we are short on it.
The laundry can wait.
The dishes can wait.
Work can wait.
Phone calls, texts, and social media checks can wait too.
Who can't wait and who shouldn't wait, is your daughter.
Don't make her wait.
Take her out on a date this week and every week if you can, and you will forever reap the benefits of raising a woman who knows her value in this world.
She will grow and demand to be loved in the way she deserves — the way her mother loves her.
This article originally appeared on EverydayFamily and was later republished by CafeMom and InspireMore.