Here’s a little secret: Before I had kids, I thought I was destined to be a boy mom. Having sons seemed easier and more fun and I really was hoping to avoid the drama of raising girls. Truthfully, when we found out our first baby was a girl, I was a little shocked, confused and straight up scared. To help me get used to the idea, I started writing out a few different things that I’ve learned about being a girl that I hoped my daughter would take to heart. Fast forward to the present and I now have two little girls that I love dearly and I cannot wait to pass these four random truths onto them.
1. Your Body Can Do Amazing Things.
Our culture communicates endless messages about the female body every single day. But what I want my girls to understand the most is that their bodies can do amazing things. From accomplishing athletic goals to growing, birthing, and feeding babies, the human body is simply incredible. With that great ability comes an ever important duty to take care of our bodies. We must treat our bodies well and use them the right way. We do need to exercise and we do need to eat well, not so that we look good, but so that our bodies can perform to their highest ability. When we do this, we are rewarded multiple times over. It’s simply thrilling.
2. Finding the “Right Man” Is Important, but Becoming the “Right Woman” Should Be Your Main Focus.
Little girls and teenagers everywhere are obsessed with finding “the one.” Almost every movie carries this theme and somehow it becomes the ultimate mission. But what no one is telling these girls is that marriage is very hard work regardless of if you found that one perfect guy or not. And even if you have carefully chosen who to marry, you will not be able to control his actions. The only thing you can control is yourself. So I can’t wait to start teaching my girls (hopefully by example) about what it means to be the “right woman” for someone else. I hope they learn what it means to be selfless, giving, and loving no matter what. I hope they learn how to be strong and deal with conflict effectively and respectfully. I know these are things that I have to work everyday to change in myself so I pray that they see that and start working on it in themselves immediately so that one day they can bring it to a beautiful marriage.
3. Watch Out for Common Denominators (and Definitely Don’t Be One)
This wisdom comes from my own mother and is something I have lived by since I was a young girl. She taught me that in the world of girl drama, there is often someone who seems to be involved in disagreements with almost everyone. She may claim that other people are always the problem, but the fact that she has trouble getting along with so many different people makes her what my mom called “the common denominator” and likely, all of her relationships will be a little bit rocky.
Unfortunately, common denominators are also often popular personalities making them hard to spot and making it easy to want to be friends with them.
First of all, I hope to teach my girls that good friendships require you to be loving, invested, and encouraging toward other people. Secondly, I hope I can help my girls understand that a friendship with a common denominator is ok to pursue but only with the understanding that it may include drama. And ultimately, if this drama is too much heartache for my girls to handle I hope they can confidently and lovingly distance themselves from that person and seek out more prosocial friends who understand what good relationships look like. These friendships can be hard to find but are so worth it!
4. How You Feel Matters but How You Act Matters Most.
It’s no secret that many young girls are highly emotional creatures. It’s part of their beauty. But culture tends to deal with strong emotions in two opposite, extreme ways. Either we completely disregard a woman’s emotions, calling her hysterical or we highly validate those feelings and encourage acting them out.
I want my girls to know that neither of these options are acceptable. I hope they always believe that they can tell me how they feel, even if those feelings are exaggerated, selfish, or hard to understand. One of my deepest desires is to work through those emotions with them. But it’s very important to me that they know that just because you feel a certain way does not mean that you can act like it. Emotions are not the end all be all, they are not absolute truth, and they are not more important than how we treat others. I hope they can be brave when they feel scared, persevere when they feel hopeless, and most importantly, love when they feel angry.
I’m sure being a girl mom is going to be full of challenges and this list doesn’t even scratch the surface of all of the things I’m going to have to try to teach my daughters. But writing them down has helped me organize my thoughts and feel more prepared the day that I’ll need to address these issues.
What would you add to the list?? I would love to hear it!