Tuesday, July 15, 2014

For Mothers of Daughters

I have to confess, when I found out that I was having little girls, I was absolutely elated. Visions of matching dresses and bows swirled in my head, but in 13 years, I’ve learned that there is much more than fluff to having daughters. It’s been a wonderful adventure! People always told me to enjoy every moment and not to rush a “stage.” And they were right. Each age is beautiful and I’m eager to continue my motherly journey as my girls enter the teen years.

Here are 10 things that you need to know about being a Mommy to a daughter.

1. It really is fun to match! I loved to wear matching Mommy and Me outfits with my daughters. Call me crazy, but I was drooling over matching Laura Ashley outfits in the early 90's when I didn’t even have children. There was never a doubt in my mind that we would match sometimes…as it happened, my daughters loved it! Although they went through a brief phase around age 9 or 10 where they did not want to match me, lately they’ve been looking for ways for us to wear similar prints or styles.


2. Keep them in smocked dresses as long as you can. Unfortunately, the window of opportunity for beautifully smocked dresses is relatively short. Although Natalia and Alexia would humor me (and their grandma and nana) by wearing smocked dresses on holidays, they were pretty much over it around age 7 or 8.


3. Hair is very important! My girls LOVE to have their hair styled and braided in a million different ways. From the time I could get a bow in their hair, they wore a bow every day. Even at almost 13 years old, the girls still wear all of their bows…they just wear them differently than they did as little girls. They still love for me to help them with their hair and play with each other’s hair from time to time. If your daughter is involved in dance or cheer, you’ll have to become a quick expert in hair styling. Believe it or not, I got a lot of great tips and hair style ideas after watching an American Girl hair styling DVD!

Some of the bow collection

4. A box is still the best toy! Helping your daughter to develop a great imagination is a wonderful gift that you can give to her. A huge, oversized box is always a great toy for a snow day or a rainy afternoon. With some markers and scissors, an ordinary box becomes a house or a boat, filled to capacity with girls and their dolls, stuffed animals, and other treasures.

5. Every girl needs a bag. I don’t go anywhere without my purse. I encouraged my girls to take a quiet activity or book with them in a small bag when we would go in the car or out to eat. From a very young age, my girls took a bag full of surprises with them wherever they went. They often insisted in bringing their babies or dolls and often wanted to wheel them along in a tiny stroller. I almost always obliged their request and believe that their caring, nurturing personalities are a result of the care that they took with their babies and materials as little girls.

6. With a daughter, you’ll have a perfect excuse to re-read some of your favorite Judy Blume and Nancy Drew books. I love to talk with my girls about what they are reading. It’s a great way to have a conversation with them about so many important issues. I really like the Best of Blume: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret/Blubber/Iggie's House/Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself, some of Judy Blume's best books all in one. 


7.When you’re not reading, have a movie night with your daughter and watch some of your favorite John Hughes movies. What better excuse to see Jake Ryan in action than a night of movies and popcorn with your daughter. But I have to warn you, it’s funny to watch movies like Pretty in Pink and Sixteen Candles from the “mom” point of view. My girls were shocked by the smoking and teen drinking in the movies and said that the characters were making “bad decisions.” Ha! You can get Sixteen Candles (Flashback Edition) on Amazon for about the same price as an old Blockbuster video back in the day.


8. Sooner than you can imagine, your daughter will want to share clothing with you. We were getting ready to go to a wedding and I couldn’t find a sweater and necklace that I wanted to wear. I’ll give you two guesses as to the whereabouts of the items…on my two daughters!

The Shared Closet

9. Share secrets with your daughter. I love the relationship that I have with my girls. So often, we can communicate with each other without saying a word. A glance or gesture is worth a thousand words. It makes a simple trip an adventure. My girls also know my expectations for them with one look in my eye.

10. The hardest part of being a mother of daughters is being able to let them go…and grow. Just this week, I had tears in my eyes as I was driving away after dropping them off at sleepaway camp. They’re experts at sleepaway camp and have been going away since they were 7 years old. But it is never easy for me to leave them. One of the things that I appreciate most is that my parents let me have travel and camp experiences from a very young age. It helped me to make decisions for myself and to grow as a person. The girls are very mature and responsible and I feel that these unique experiences have helped to shape their character. I am not looking forward to the day when they both go to college, but realize that it’s just another milestone along the journey.

The girls' cabin at camp



4 comments:

Karen said...

That is a great post! I love being mom to my girls especially after 8 years of only being a boy mom. Enough will trucks and trains and welcome princesses and tea parties.

Living Life in the Lowcountry said...

One other thing that I do with my daughter, that I feel has helped her be so open and honest with me, is that I just listen. Even when she is telling me things about her friends that make me want to shriek in horror, I just bite my tongue and listen, with no judgement. My husband is amazed at how much the kids tell me and I remind him that as soon as they share something with him he starts in with a lecture, I just listen.

linda said...

This is such a sweet post, and one can clearly see you have a very special relationship with your girls. Love that first photo of the three of you in matching pink Lilly.

Kathie Truitt said...

This is beautiful. And for what it's worth, as the mother of a daughter who is about to turn 30 in a few weeks, you are doing it exactly right. Bless you.

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