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17 Things Nobody Ever Told Us About Raising Girls

For expecting mothers there is this romantic idea of having a baby girl. As soon as they know they are pregnant a lot of moms (not all but many) start fantasizing about beautiful dresses, lacy socks, bright colored flowered headbands and of course beautifully decorated baby rooms with all the girly trimmings. There’s this excitement attached to the idea of creating a tiny version of you as a mom; a tinier and prettier version that you can play dress up with, and surround with everything that is precious, and lovely. Doesn’t that sound fantastic? It’s like this urge to somehow create an oasis of sugar and spice and everything that is nice for your wee little one to begin her existence within.

Having two daughters of my own, I can say through experience that it is lovely. For the first year it was everything that I had hoped for, I had the pretty outfits and the trendiest strollers and toys and baby dolls... and then things started popping up that I had never considered. Things that I was not quite prepared for when I said all those silent prayers many years ago during my pregnancies. I have been thrown off balance more times than I can remember over the years raising my baby girls, but my euphoric dreams of a couple of perfect little ‘mini me’s; though still intact, have definitely evolved.

Let me give you a few ideas to consider before you start planning out your perfect baby girl’s life...

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17 You Will Spend A Lot Of Time Checking Their Parts And Asking Questions

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It starts when they are a baby, and you need to learn the proper way to clean up after their dirty diapers. There’s definitely more concern involved with cleaning a little girl because of all the little crevices and there’s the fear of spreading from the back to the front. Only a couple years later you are teaching those same wiping techniques to your daughter. And for some little ones, this can take time to sink in; there’s many more fun and exciting things a little one would prefer to be doing...but it’s a necessary lesson that must be learnt. You would think that it ends there until the dreaded puberty but there is so much more; infections, itchiness, redness, irritations, bug bites on inconvenient areas, discharge, and pain. And every time she complains about one of these you need to try your best to alleviate her worries and yours by taking a look, offering suggestions, asking questions to pinpoint exactly what is happening and to know when it’s time to take her to the dreaded doctor.

It’s a scary experience for a mother, not to mention a father, to help negotiate your daughter through the growth and development of her little woman’s body.

16 You’ll Freak Out When She Officially Becomes A Woman

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It’s a day to celebrate when the dreaded moment comes and your daughter gets her first period. It’s dramatic and traumatic for her, but once things settle down and you’ve shared a tub of ice cream, you can finally share with her so many things that you didn’t think was appropriate before. You can talk to her more like an equal and use words that are not masked with non-threatening, cutesy slang. You can tell her the truth about having babies, and why our bodies bleed once a month. You can deepen your friendship by sharing your own personal stories of your first period, your first kiss and your first love. It’s a scary time for everyone but also a time that both of you will never forget.

You can teach her about maxi pads and tampons, you can explain to her about the hormonal changes that will occur in her body...some fantastic that will initiate feelings she has never felt before, and others that will leave red, embarrassing bumps on her face and pains deep within her belly. It will connect you in a way that neither of you have experienced up to this point. You will understand her embarrassment and guide her through the best that you can, and she will look to you for support more than she has ever done so before.

15 Hide Your Makeup And Jewelry

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I would say that this one is more of a pet peeve of mine. When you have a daughter sooner or later nothing of yours will ever be solely yours ever again.

The makeup that she sees you put on especially for a date night or special event will suddenly go missing when she is tall enough to reach the medicine cabinet. It will get hijacked and destroyed when she decides that she is old enough to look and do what her mommy does. And even before that happens, your jewelry will slowly, piece by piece, no longer be yours. She will ask for a necklace here and a ring there...she will use them all and dress herself up just like her mommy because she thinks that she can.

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She will believe that she deserves to use your things because she knows that you love her and that you will give her your seat on the bus, or your water if she’s hot...so she will believe with her whole being that your makeup and jewelry, two of your very favourite things you use to transform yourself from just mom to MLF is also hers.

And so, eventually, you will learn to lock them both up...or buy her lots of her own.

14 You Will Never Ever Feel More Vulnerable

There’s nothing as scary as having a little girl. It doesn’t matter what age she is, how tough or smart or strong she is; it’s terrifying. You can do everything possible to teach them how to be prepared, have those conversations, make them take classes, and set strict rules and boundaries...but it still doesn’t feel enough. With all the craziness on the news these days, everything that we have access to on the internet; it feels nearly impossible to protect your child. Even as I walk my girls down city paths either early in the morning, or when we are the only ones there; I feel on edge. As parents we do everything we can to keep our children safe, but in all honesty, we don’t feel as safe with our children do we? Especially with little girls. It’s so unfortunate that these feelings exist but, it’s reality. As parents of little girls specifically, we have to be so much more alert and aware of our surroundings as we take them out. An outing that may be planned as family fun time, can actually become quite nerve-wracking and stressful for us parents. I feel more vulnerable with my two beautiful girls, than I ever did as a single female walking the streets of New York City or even during my first years of college and my initial big move out of my childhood home.

13 The First Shave Or Wax

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How do you teach your daughter, in a sensitive manner, that removing the hair from her legs and armpits are a good choice?

If your daughters are anything like mine, you may have been fighting them off of removing the hair for years...My girls saw me shave and wanted to do exactly the same as their mommy. I love that about them, but I also didn’t want them growing up too fast. They’ve got many years for self-grooming....

So at what age is it okay? No one knows better about what their daughters should do, than their moms. You’ll know when it’s time and that’s when you need to teach them how to do it just right. How to slowly drag the blade against the hair growth without ever sliding it sideways, to avoid the bumps that could cause bleeding, to avoid dull blades that could also cause bleeding, to use conditioner for best results and to not over shave.

It can be scary to teach your daughter how to groom herself like this but, if you don’t, then one of her teenage hormonal friends probably will and that never turns out well.

12 They’ll Make All The Same Mistakes You Did In Love

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You can probably still remember that first heartbreak if you think back to your much younger days. How all-encompassing it felt back then, how many tears you cried, how impossible it felt to get over it, and how your mom tried to console you. She tried her best to be there for you, to understand what you were going through and to offer her motherly comfort any way that she could.

Well, be prepared; your daughter will go through it just as you did. She will, unfortunately, make so many of the same mistakes that you did in love, and there will be nothing you can do other than offer your arms, your ear, some comforting treats and loving words of support. Also know that, no matter how prepared you think you might be; having your daughter go through heartbreak will be one hundred times worse than your own. Because you can’t fix it. You will do everything you can to make it less painful for her. You will try so hard to console her just like your mom tried to console you, but it won’t be enough. Your heart will break all over again...

11 They Will Notice And Copy Everything You Do

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From how you dress in the morning, whether it be for an office environment or a home daycare, to how you apply your makeup, what foods you eat, what you do in your spare time, how you speak to your friends and spouse, how you clean the house and how you end the day...she will take note and in more cases than not, she will recreate it. There’s no one more important of a role model to your daughter than you. You are there with her, for her every single day and she will hold you in the highest esteems no matter what.

In the same respect; she will also notice your mistakes. She will take note when you lose your temper or you eat badly, she will notice how you argue and whether you are physically active. And she will recreate everything that she witnesses. Why wouldn’t she? You are her example, her touchstone to what she should be as an adult, her example for how to live life as a woman.

And for a mother that is overwhelming, it creates a lot of pressure and is extremely daunting. Again, the best way to teach is through example, but it is at our worst moments that we teach them the most, and when we feel our weakest....

10 They Never Stop Talking

The first word your baby speaks is something of magic. It somehow validates the fact that this gorgeous little ball of cuteness does indeed hear the words and sounds that comes out of your mouth. It creates a certain amount of hope and even further excitement for the future, if that is even possible. It is the first time you get to hear the little voice and the personality bubbling out through that cartoonish sounding voice.

And if you have a girl, you can bet, that it will also be the day that marks the beginning of the end of silence in your house during daytime hours. It has been said that girls tend to speak sooner than boys. After being witness to both my girls’ early words and the little girls in my daycare...I would say that girls tend to speak sooner than boys in order to attempt to start releasing all those words they have filling up their heads. They probably start releasing those words as early in life as they possibly can because it will take more than a lifetime to get them all out. The words, oh the words!

9 It’s Not As Easy As You Think To Dress Them

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The adorable outfits available for little girls these days are enough to melt you where you stand in the store. And everyone wants to buy you at least one when they know you are having a girl. It’s fantastic! It’s almost as good as receiving the outfits for yourself. That is; until they are old enough to make their own choices...which is about a year and a half. So enjoy that first eighteen months, because as soon as they can say no, they will be refusing those heart melting, gorgeous outfits in order to exercise their choice making rights. You will go from picture perfect outfits to clashing colours, too many patterns, opposing stripes, and anything else that couldn’t possibly go together.

And it doesn’t end there. As girls get older they insist on experimenting with their fashion style. They need to try on eight different outfits before they choose one, they refuse to wear anything that their parents suggest, and they add accessories that will remind you more of a themed photo booth shoot than anything they should actually leave the house wearing. Fashion is really the beginning of the end for you as a parent of a girl. Unless you are willing to release her fully to the fashionista demons, it may take you twenty years or more before you can go shopping together again.

8 Your Things Will Slowly Disappear

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As mentioned priorly; nothing that is yours is ever yours again once your daughter is old enough to reach it. Whatever it may be. She sees what you wear, write in, cook with, play with, use in any manner...and eventually she will take it. It doesn’t matter how many times you ask her not to, or warn her, or even threaten her...it’s her job to try to be just like you. Both a gift and a curse. She will admire you, love you, and also want to be you in every way that she can. And so your belongings will slowly start to disappear. You will look for your chap stick and it won’t be where you keep it, your favourite skirt will no longer be hanging in your closet, your staple eye liner will go missing, and you will know why.

At first, when you give birth to your daughter you won’t fathom this idea but as the years progress you should be able to foresee this...you should be able to see the signs that eventually she will be wearing your clothes, your makeup, and anything else that may be a part of your daily routine. After all, you are her one true example of being a woman...who else would she steal from?

7 At Some Point, You Will Probably Be Jealous Of Them

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I look at my eldest daughter’s body and I wonder if I ever had a figure as lovely as that. I can’t help it. I even find myself staring sometimes, which funnily enough I noticed my own mother doing when I was younger. When I was a teenager I had this idea that each generation is more attractive. That somehow that was a rule that was unavoidable in nature and therefore you should wait as long as you can before you have your own children. As an adult, I realize that that is not actually the case but, if I could have sported my daughers’ perfect little bodies...let me see what I would be willing to give.

I wouldn’t say that I have yet actually felt jealous of my girls per say, but I am certainly envious of anyone’s youth. I watch my babies and I am so darned envious of all the experiences they still have waiting ahead of them. I am envious of their possibilities and I am envious of everything that we are determined to do to open as many doors as we can for them.

Yes, I guess I am jealous. I am actually jealous of my very own offspring, and they still have many years of growing and learning to go. I’m in trouble.

6 Sass Starts Early On

As early on as three years of age my youngest was telling me how she hated me, that she didn’t want to live in the same house with me, and that I was just S.T.U.P.I.D. Now that it is a bad word in our house, I don’t care how old my kids are...but when she’s shovelling the sass look out! Every girl isn’t the same. My first daughter learned her manners and how to curb her patience but maybe that was because I had more energy and time to teach her...maybe that was my fault for wanting two...but now the sass is rapid.

And it makes me feel resentful. After everything I give them, sacrifice for them, splurge on them...and yet the sass is always directed towards me...the mom. And then I have moments in which I question whether it was all worth it...when I wonder if I should have had kids...when I wonder if I’m good enough for them. All because one of my daughters exercises her right to speak as she chooses. She recognizes that she is a strong, young woman and she speaks just as strongly as she plays lives.

She dishes out the sass no, but I know without a doubt that she will live just as strongly as she grows...

5 They Will Love You More Than Anything Even If You Screw Up Royally With Them

I’ve seen this many times. I’ve seen the less desirable moms hold their daughter’s love and attention even if they make the worst possible decisions. It’s not about who you are, as much as I really want it to be, it’s about you being their mom. If you are a little girl’s mom, she will look up to you in more ways than you can possibly imagine. She will love you even if you are arrested right there in front of her eyes...because you are her mom.

I see that, and it relieves the pressure I feel just a little bit. I’ve never been in handcuffs, or even received a speeding ticket, but I screw up...every single day. I feel guilty about the choices I make as a mom every single day, I worry about how I’m guiding my girls and what I could be doing differently and what they will remember of me every single day.

But they still love me. They still fight over holding my hand and sitting on my lap, even if I’ve lost my patience and yell when I know I shouldn’t have. They love me even when I don’t really love myself. And that is worth having at least one daughter if not more.

4 Don’t Be Fooled- They’ll Always Know More Than You Think

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It will start when she is young. When she believes that she is the first to ever have a first communion or to know the five times table. And it will continue from there. She will fight to prove that she understood the relationship between Canada and the United States more than you ever did, or where Japan is on the world map or why it is cheaper and easier for us Canadians to go to Cuba than our neighbours; the Americans. She will lecture you and demand to teach you and fight to prove that her views are correct.

This is a time to revel because she has the confidence to prove herself, to fight for what she believes, and she has the words to keep speaking when people have told her to stop.

You want to be the one to teach her all the important lessons but the thing is...you won’t be able to. She will have other role models, other strong women who will teach her about the world we live in and eventually she will learn more than you will. She will know more things than you can wrap your brain around and you will have to be okay with that...because it’s no longer about you. It’s about her. And what you can support her and encourage her to explore...and to try...and to be.

3 You Will Want Them To Be Better Than You

You will push her more than you wanted your own parents to push you. It’s only because you want her to be better. You want her to have more opportunities, to be a voice of strength for women, represent more than you ever could.

With just these wants that you will project upon your daughters, they will be better than yourself.

Even though she is only an offspring of yourself, you will want more from her than you ever gave to anyone else. You can expect very little else than what you gave...and yet, it is not enough to prove that you’ve chosen someone who has their stuff together. That you expect little else of what you’ve accomplished, of how you’ve ‘turned out.’

We all want more for our children than what we had the opportunity to experience. All of us. Just, not all of us speak of it.

2 You’ll Eventually Sync Up

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So as our little girls learn to accept their undeniable futures...the changes to their bodies, and their emotions and everything else they can’t prevent...as they spend time with their moms, they slowly accept what they cannot change. And then all of a sudden...they become their mothers. We did, didn’t we?

They will sync up to our periods, and experience the same moodiness and emotional trauma that we’ve experienced over the years. And we will find ourselves trying to comfort mini-er versions of ourselves while still trying to maintain our own sense of well being.

This is something I didn’t expect. Although, it makes sense. Just as our closest girlfriends sync up with us over the years, our beautiful daughters will do the same as we try to guide them through life’s insane tribulations. At least that way we can share our monthly materials, our pain killers, and our period survival secrets and our days of giving in to it all and just refusing to leave our bed kind of days.

It’s not so terrible that our little girls eventually sync to our body schedules. It makes it easier for the other sex to survive in our house, for us to share in our pain together, and for the grocery bill to be maintained to some extent.

1 They Will Be Your Bestest Friend

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After all the heartache and disappointment; after all the fights, and uncomfortable chats, the struggles and temper tantrums; after all the good times, sweet snuggles and tender moments; your daughter is and always will be your bestest friend. There is no one else who you will know as well as your little girl; having been there from the very moment she entered the world. You will see every bit of her development; you will understand her heartbreaks and her triumphs. You will see her and understand her as you witness her stepping through life close to your own footsteps. And the fantastic thing about having a daughter, although she will have her moods and her need for space from you and relationship troubles and insecurities, is that she will empathize. She will understand who you are and where you are coming from because she will be gifted with the ability of empathy.

You probably won’t always get along. I actually worry about that often with my girls; worrying that our opinions or tastes or emotions may get in the way, but there is no one as close to me in my life than those two beautiful humans.

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