Raising kids is hard enough already, and raising girls is somehow harder. In the world we live in, women face a lot. We know this, as mothers, and we know what our little bundle of joy will have to face in her growing years. It’s our job to protect them, but as they grow older, it gets harder to shield them from the hardships of life. As we raise them, we see familiar things we expected and tried to prepare for, but we’re also introduced to new aspects we never expected. It’s easier said than done to get ready for these issues before they arise, even those we think we’re ready for can really throw us for a loop. It can really make us appreciate our own mothers for everything they went through with us!
Boys aren’t exactly easy, either. Raising kids at all is a struggle. However, girls seem to have more things they have to go through, and we try our best to support them and keep them safe. It’s an impossible task, no matter what we do they’ll be hurt. Their feelings will take a blow, they’ll have to deal with things we can’t even help them with, it’s painful to see them hurting and not be able to do anything. It’s heartbreaking, really. But as they grow and mature, we continue to grow and mature, too. This article will cover some of the many, many adventures you’ll face with your daughter. And even this won’t prepare you entirely for everything, surprises still arise and things we can’t even imagine will come up.
20 First Night Home
The first night home with a new baby is always harder than we expect, even when we’re already prepared for it to be hard. While it’s not entirely different between boys and girls at this stage, it’s still frightening and exciting to have this new human here, waiting on us, relying entirely on us for anything. In the hospital, we have nurses and doctors everywhere, ready and willing to help with any teeny tiny thing that we might be worried about. At home, we’re on our own, relying on ourselves to know and do everything.
It’s terrifying, but it’s not impossible to do, even if it feels like it might be sometimes.
It’s okay! Take a deep breath and step back a moment, calm down and remember – you can do this. It might take time before you get comfortable with it, but you can do it. Like with anything, practice makes perfect, even with raising kids. You have to be careful, mistakes can hurt them more than say playing baseball and practicing, but you’re way more capable of doing this than it may seem. Just follow your gut, be gentle, keep them fed and changed, and you’re going to do fine. You’re just starting out with her, things only go up from here. Then down a little as there are times when things get tough. But they come right back up again, don’t worry!
19 Brushing And Fixing Her Hair
Girls usually have long, beautiful hair. It doesn’t usually start out that way, though some babies are born with long hair. Typically, there isn't much to do for our little girls’ hair at the beginning of their lives, but it’s still good to use a soft bristle brush to get the peach fuzz the right direction. As their hair grows, we find more options, as well as more issues with their hair. As the hair gets longer, we have to start using some skill to brush and fix it. It’s not little fuzz we can push to one side and call it done. They have tangles and want to rip things out of their hair or add more things to their hair, make it look how their growing personalities want.
Invest in a nice brush, not all brushes are created equal! Find one that works for your daughter’s specific hairstyle, thickness, and texture. Some brushes are better for thin hair, other’s for thick hair, some work well with curls and others will rip curled locks out of their head. It’s not easy, but you’ll find one that works great. You know how to brush your own hair, but brushing a kid’s hair is different. They move like crazy, get food in their hair, get crazy and you have to carefully work through the strands. Just take your time, be patient, and remember how sensitive their little heads feel.
18 Finding An Outfit For Holidays
Typically, dressing boys for the holidays is simple. They just need a button shirt, even jeans look dressy with a button shirt, easy and simple for the holidays while still looking dressed up. It’s entirely different for girls. They need a top and a bottom, plus accessories. They have to have something pretty, especially if we want people to know their bald little heads belong to a girl not a boy, since it’s hard to tell with babies.
First, there’s the outfit, sometimes a dress, sometimes a onesie and pants. Then they need shiny shoes, some kind of headband, and, depending on age, jewelry. We also have to take every piece into heavy consideration, since during the entire event people will be commenting on whatever we pick. Some comments are nice, saying how cute the baby is dressed and such. Some aren’t so nice, asking why we didn’t do this or that instead.
It can be frustrating, but it happens every time.
To help with this issue, we need to try and remember. It’s your own baby, not their baby. If you want to put your kid in PJs you can, if you want to deck them out in the most fancy clothes ever, go for it! If someone comments – and they will – just try not to let it bother you. Tell them you picked it because it was cute. You can even tell them if they don’t like it, they can buy the next lovely dress instead. If they want to put you on the spot, you put them on the spot too.
17 Kid She Has A Crush On
It can be concerning when our young daughters first come home gushing about someone from school. Some school pal is suddenly spoken about more, brought up more often. They have a familiar tone in their voice that you can recognize like you’ve used yourself when talking about someone you have a crush on. They seem too young no matter what age they are, you can’t believe it, and even start to worry something could be wrong. Why would they be interested in crushes so young? Is it normal? Is something wrong? Should I call someone, bring them to the doctor and make sure everything is okay!?
Don’t worry! Take a deep breath and try to relax. It’s entirely normal, honestly! Kids can start to get crushes as young as four years old and it’s entirely natural and normal, there’s nothing to be worried about. Though you will worry, because you’re a parent and they’re your baby, and you want the best and most safe thing for them.
We know how most crushes end, in heartache. There’s the risk of the kid not liking them back, which is fine and we need to teach them it’s fine, but it’ll still hurt. You should just sit your kiddo down, explain the ground rules though, in case the other kid does like them back. Explain how your daughter should act if the other kid doesn’t like them back. They shouldn’t try to pressure the other kid into hanging out or anything, of course, and they need to learn that now, especially before they get older and it becomes a real issue.
16 Trying Makeup/Nail Polish For The First Time
Kids like to get into everything they can, it’s just part of their nature. They also want to copy everything you do and be just like their parents with doing fun things. It can be frustrating or cute, depending on what they’re getting in to.
Many kids see their parent put on makeup, and want to try it out. Being so young, we typically say they can’t. They’ll make a mess of it and, honestly, why start them so young? Let them be a kid, right? Well, they have minds of their own and will do what they feel they should or could do.
Including getting into makeup, putting it on “just like mom” does, and usually doing an adorably bad job of it.
When your kid starts to show interest in your makeup, try to let them have some freedom with it. Show them how to put light makeup on, or be silly and use bright colors. Keep your makeup put away where they can’t find it if you can, to keep both it and them safe, and let them use it while supervised. There are also dress-up makeup they could use, designed to be safe for kids. Still supervise them, but let them go wild with it! They just want to copy you and be like you. It’s sweet really, even if we want to preserve their childhood as long as possible.
15 Having A Tea Party Or Playing Dress-Up
It might not seem like a big thing, but there’s something special about that first dress-up tea party. They don’t know what to do yet, still forming the idea in their minds. They just want to go crazy getting dressed up in fun clothes and playing pretend with you. They picked you to do it, they’re excited to share their happiness and creativity with you specifically. They want you to get involved, with feather boas and tiaras and the whole shebang! Maybe you’ll just play pretend, maybe you’ll paint nails and get silly while having fun. Whatever you do, it’s special the first time, and special every time for them.
It might feel silly to get dressed in funny clothes and goof around, it might seem unimportant. But it’s really important to encourage their creative side and let them have fun. Plus it’s a great time to bond with your child, doing activities of any kind really helps build that bond with them. Just let loose, have fun! How many times will you be able to be a kid again before your sweet little girl grows up “too much” to play pretend and do tea parties? They’ll be grown before you know it. So, get the feather boas out and have fun with them!
14 First Mean Kid Who Picks On Her
Our kids getting hurt in any way is always hard on both us and the kids. Kids don’t always get along, there will be some children who don’t like your kid. They just clash or don’t connect well and there’s no chemistry between them. One may start to pick on the other.
There’s nothing we can do to help keep this from happening to them, no matter how hard we try or how nice and polite our kid is. The only thing we can really do is pick them up after they’re knocked down and try to comfort them. Explain that, maybe the other kid is having a hard time at home or in school, and is lashing out. Maybe the other kid was bullied and is bullying now.
There’s no excuse for it, but there are reasons and motivations for it.
Other than comforting them and explaining how to defuse a situation, how to try to make a new friend out of a bully with kindness, we can contact the school. Bullying is a huge problem and one we shouldn’t ignore. It can drive kids and teens to depression and it really damages their self esteem and self worth. Don’t demand they simply toughen up, contact the principal or teacher and bring it up to them. Work with them to defuse and help the situation. Don’t ignore it, bring it to an official’s attention so it can be dealt with quickly and successfully, help your kid and the other to move past this and be better for it.
13 When She Asks Why Girls And Boys Are Treated Differently
Men and women are treated differently. Men make more money than women, and especially women of color or part of the LGBT will be treated and paid worse. This doesn’t begin when we get into the real world and start working at a job, it starts as children. And our kids will notice the difference, and our daughters will ask us about it. They will see it happening and ask why. Why do they have to be treated differently just because they’re a girl? Why is this happening? And why can’t you fix it?
In our current world, boys aren’t supposed to emote while girls are expected to be overly emotional and “too sensitive”. Girls are expected to mature faster, do more sooner, take on responsibilities while boys get to keep being young and immature. Girls are expected to be smarter, more pressure is thrown on them and makes them have to work harder. It’s unfair and there’s no way we can change things alone. We can only explain to them that life is hard, it’s unfair and you want things to be better, but life is cruel and the only thing she can do is try to make it better for others with action. If a teacher is treating girls differently, talk to them about it. They might not even realize they’re doing it. Comfort her, let her know she’s as great and worthy as any boy in the world, and try to help make changes, even if it’s just one classroom at a time.
12 The First Real Fight/Argument
It can be hard to fight with your kids, but nothing really counts as a fight until they get to their teens. As kids, we have arguments and discussions with them, explain how they can’t do something. They might throw a tantrum or two, but eventually, we win out and things are good and happy. As teens, it’s entirely different. With hormones and their own attempts at finding who they are, learning about themselves and trying to become their own person, it’s a lot harder.
They’re much more headstrong, little discussions can become full-blown arguing without warning or reason.
There is no one right way to handle a moody teen, but there are plenty of strategies. If they feel you’re not listening to what they have to say, or are belittling them, they get even more defensive and frustrated. If you don’t give them a chance to at least explain their side of things, things will escalate even more. They have all these new feelings, they’re still navigating through how to manage their emotions. Try to remember they’re not little babies who you can make listen anymore. They’ve grown into teens, and you need to give them respect just like they need to respect you. It’s not easy, but take a step back and remember, you’re the adult and they’re the kids. They’ll make mistakes, and you’re the one who’s mature enough to take a deep breath and think before you speak. They’re learning from you.
11 When You First Notice How Much She’s Like Mom
Both as a baby and as a teen, you’ll be constantly amazed by how much they want to be like their parents. Little girls especially follow in their mother’s footsteps, wanting to be just like her. Whether it’s cleaning, working, or even dressing like mom, they’re our little mini-mes! As they get older, it becomes more than a superficial likeness. They’ll start to act like you, speak like you. They answer the phone and people think it’s you. They give you a look and you know it very well from your own face. Some kids embrace it, are very happy to be just like their parents. Some kids try to fight it, they want to be their own person, after all.
While flattering, it can also be a little startling to see how much they’re like us. We start worrying about all of our faults and shortcomings, hoping they don’t take after that part, too. We want to brag about it, but being teens, they don’t take too kindly to us making any sort of fuss. The only thing we can do is enjoy it in private, not make a comment to them and embarrass them. Talk to your partner, friends, even other family members if you wish, but consider not bringing it to your daughter’s attention. She might like the comparison, but there’s a big chance she won't.
10 When Womanhood Begins
We know it’s coming. If they have a uterus, they’ll have a period one day, too. We know it’s coming and we try to prepare for it. We get pads and tampons, psych ourselves up for the uncomfortable discussion about it, all while trying to keep in mind that there’s a chance they’ll be nothing but angry, weepy balls of teenage emotions. We know how we’ve dealt with them, we’ve had them for as long as we can remember.
But chances are, we’ve forgotten what we felt in the moment, how we handled it all the first time.
Relax, it’s going to be fine. It’s just a period. They’re going to be alright and so will you. It can be difficult to deal with a moody teen already, add in a dash of menstruation and an extra load of hormones, and you’ll feel like you’ll never make it. They feel this way too, though. Remember to consider their feelings, not just how hard it is for you to deal with. They’re going through cramps and bleeding, plus the new and confusing stage in their life. Be open with them, let them know how it was for you, too. It’s all a natural part of life, and things will be okay. Explain how to safely use a pad and tampon, how to dispose of them, offer them safe pain medicine to deal with cramps and bloating. Just be honest with them and offer them as much help as you can, you’ll both do great.
9 The First Broken Heart
As young girls, it’s all just silly puppy feelings, they might get sad if their little buddy doesn’t like them back or has to move schools, but they’ll recover quickly. As teens, everything is much more intense to them. They like someone, somehow it escalates to love without reason or warning, and then they lose that love and are really upset. With how amplified things are in their expanding emotions, it can feel like the end of the world to lose that first “love”. They’ll swear they can never feel that way for anyone else, it was the one and only time they could ever feel like that and no one will ever make them feel that way again. They’ll never recover or be the same again!
You can try to explain to them that it’ll be fine, there are other fish in the sea, all kinds of euphemisms to explain they’ll be okay. Chances are, unfortunately, they probably won't believe you. Use your own examples! Tell them how your first love went, how your first heartache was. Explain some of your failed crushes, but how you were able to get back up and continue on. The world didn’t end, you didn’t fall over and die, you were stronger for it later and things will be great. Even if it doesn’t feel like it’ll be okay, you’re living proof that they will make it through the hurt feelings.
8 First Talks Of “When I Get Married”
Little girls start talking about when they have a wedding from the moment they learn what a wedding is. They say how they want ponies and such, some fantasy wedding no one would ever really have. As they grow older, they start to form more realistic plans and ideas. They see weddings and people getting married, maybe even go to a wedding or two and see it in action with their own eyes. It’s an exciting time in a person’s life.
Of course, teens will want to start planning their own event, no matter how young they are and how far off their wedding is.
It can make us a little concerned to have our young teen talking about getting married. They have their whole lives still ahead of them and we don’t want them thinking of something like getting married yet! But telling them no will only make them more likely to do it, even if just spitefully. The best thing we can do is let them talk. It can be fun to hear their dreams and ambitions, their ideas of what they want their big day to look like. Maybe they’ll have realistic plans, or out of this world details. They might even have some of the same details we did in our own wedding!
7 When She Starts Talking About When She Gets To Have Kids
Just like with marriage, the idea of our teen looking into something so immense as having a kid can really shake us to our core. Chances are, they’re not meaning they want a baby right then and there. They've seen babies and just want to think about how life will be if they have kids later. Maybe they have younger siblings and it makes them consider how life will be as a mother. Babies are fun and enjoyable to have, sure, but they’re also endless work too. Many people don’t realize that until they have their own. So to a teen who’s only seen kids raised by others or maybe babysat a little bit but not as a 24/7 responsibility- it seems fun and exciting.
Of course, no teen is ready to have a baby of their own, not physically or mentally. It’s important to explain it to them that babies are cute and fun, but a lot more work than they seem. That they need to wait a long time before they have any of their own, and that you’ll be there for them when the time eventually does come. Don’t sell it too hard, or they won’t believe you. Just be honest with the amount of work involved, how much responsibilities come with having their own little baby.
6 She Wants To Go Out With Friends, Not Be Seen With You
You enjoy taking your little girl shopping with you, buying things with and for her, spending that time together while you have to run your errands. It’s especially enjoyable to get school clothes, helping her pick out her little outfits and making sure everything matches and goes together so she can have fun and look great too. However, as they get older, shopping trips with mom become less fun to them and more of a chore. Suddenly, they want to be dropped off to go shopping with friends, but not too close, she wants to walk to them and not be seen getting dropped off. You can bet you’re not invited, either.
This is a friends outing, no moms allowed.
It will happen, and it will hurt – more than you’re imaging it’ll hurt now. One day you’re spending time in a store with them, having a great time and laughing. The next, they’re rolling their eyes and sighing, insisting you drop them off from a distance and not follow them through the stores. It’s part of them growing up, finding themselves, becoming their own unique human. It really hurts, but it’s normal and not a personal reflection of you. Try not to let it bother you, give them a little freedom, and just keep reminding yourself it’s not about you yourself, it’s just a teen growing independent.
5 First Time She Wants To Make The Family Meal
As kids, they want to help us do things, play cook or measure ingredients and mix like they’re the best chefs in existence. It’s cute and fun to let them help us out, even if they make a little bit of a mess, it’s enjoyable to have that memory with them. It’s really cute how they work to do great, regardless of how simple the task is they take it very seriously. As they get older, they may get more into cooking. As they do, they’ll eventually get to a point of wanting to cook a family meal all by themselves. Which is sweet and exciting too, but filled with doubts and concerns of its own.
Of course, the best thing to do is allow them to do it. Maybe supervise them, but don’t backseat cook or criticize them. Offer them suggestions if they’d like, but give them this bit of freedom. They may mess it up, they might burn the dinner or undercook it, no matter how hard they try. But it’s the only way they can really learn is by practicing. Just keep an eye on things just in case something gets out of control. If you’re really worried about fires and such, tell them you’d like to do a supervised meal first. Be sure they know what to do in case of specific fires. Give them a quick cooking overview before you let them have a real go at it.
4 Her First Political Rally
When our daughters are babies, we fight these sorts of fights for them. We take on the battle for a fair life for them. We struggle to try and keep them safe and make the world a better place for them. Some of us go to rallies ourselves, we’re involved in the fight directly, we take action to try and change the world. Our kids see this, our daughters see us fight and maybe they don’t understand, they’re too little to get how any of this will affect them when they’re grown. But as they grow and learn, they will understand.
Most will want to join you, be part of the change too.
Encourage them! Bring them to rallies with you, let them see how things are, how many people are with them and want to help make things change, too. They will no doubt want to go by themselves at some point, show you they learned well, they know how to dance to this beat, they can fight too. It can be hard to let them go anywhere alone, especially a rally with so many people. It’s important to let them have the freedom though, to let them have the chance to prove themselves. Go with them, of course, let them know you’ll be there but at a distance. They’ll get their freedom and get to prove themselves, but you’ll also get the reassurance that they’re safe, watching over them as they fight.
3 When She Moves Out
When we hold our little baby girls, everything for the next 18 years goes through our minds. We know they’re going to have ups and downs, happiness and sadness. We hold them and want to protect them, and as babies and young kids, we can do that. Even as teens we can do more to shelter them than when they’re adults. But the day will come, no matter how hard we try to avoid it, that they will move out. Maybe we’re happy to see our little birdies fly out of the nest, spread their wings and soar. But there’s a pain there too, knowing they’re old enough to be on their own is frightening. Seeing them go, it’s hard not to run out in front of the truck and plead with them to stay.
There’s nothing you can do to stop this. No amount of getting ready for the day will prepare you, either. You can’t make her stay, you can’t stop it from happening, you can only support her and set up the foundation of a great new home life away from you. She’ll be around a lot still, she’ll visit and call you. She will miss you as much if not more than you miss her, even if it doesn’t seem possible with how much you ache for her presence. But it’s what you’ve been raising her to do all these years. You’ve prepared her for this, you set the first stones of foundation for her to go out on her own one day and be her own adult. It’s painful, it’s scary, but all you can do is be there for her, help her, guide her. You can do this, you’ll make it through, no matter how hard it seems to believe right now.
2 She Actually Gets Married
She’s already moved out, she’s living her life her way, with your teachings guiding her but doing her own thing. It’s still terrifying to think about–no matter how long it’s been since she moved. Now, she has someone important in her life, someone she loves and who loves her, who she wants to spend the rest of her life with. You watched her prance around in your clothes, wanting to be an adult, pretending to be grown up. You held her as she cried after heartaches of rejected loves, you watched warily as a new love interest peaked up in her life, as she moved on and opened her heart back up to the risk of getting broken.
Now, she’s settling in with someone, and everything’s changing again.
It’s an incredibly happy occasion! You’re ecstatic to see how things go! You want to help her and be there for her and with her for the event! Share in this moment with her. Be there for her. She’ll be stressed planning things, she’ll ask for advice, she’ll need you to help her even if she insists she can handle most of it alone. Don’t butt in, but be there, offer help, at least hang around close so she knows you’re there. As the day approaches, she’ll feel an onslaught of emotions, mostly happy, some terrified or scared. Maybe even a little sad. You will too! Remember though, things are going to go great, for both of you. It might be hard to know your little girl isn’t little anymore, but she’s still your baby, and you’re still her mommy, no matter how old she gets or how her family status may change.
1 The First Time She Tells You She’s Pregnant
You’ve gone through so many firsts with your baby. You’ve watched her grow from a tiny little thing to a full-blown adult. You’ve tried your best to protect her, keep her safe, show her how to grow into a great adult. You've set the foundation for her life, you’re there for her, you’re helping her whenever she lets you. Then, one day, she tells you she’s going to be a mother now, too. She’s pregnant. You can’t believe it! A new precious life is being made, forming in the person who you once carried in your own womb. It’s unbelievable to see this circle complete finally, to see the ends meet and how life renews itself. You have a wealth of knowledge you want to share with her, guide her like you used to.
It’s incredible and you want to fill her with all the information you have from being pregnant and having a baby yourself! You want to scream to the heavens how excited and happy you are to be a grandma and know you’ve done well with raising your baby because she’s going so far in her life. She’s accomplished so much, and you set that foundation that she built on. But remember! Don’t get pushy! Don’t get overbearing! Remember how you felt when people, even your own mother or mother figure, would overwhelm you with too much information or too much advice. Let her know you’re open for questions or guidance, give some tips as she brings up concerns. But also let her know you’ll take a step back, too.