Sugar and Spice, and not Always Nice: The Strong Will of Girls

Every time I chat with another mother out in the world I hear this: “My daughter…she’s just so ugh! So strong willed!”


“She’s got a mind of her own. She’s stubborn.”

As the daughter of a barn burner–thanks Candid Kay for the phrase–  I’ve had the same struggles. The head-to-head battles with my daughter over the most inane things and at times, it is frustrating.

But that said, I’d rather her be a stubborn mule than a “go with the flow Fanny,” and here’s why:

girls playing

Back in the 50’s, women simply had to excel at homemaking. In the 70’s, more women were going to college and fighting for their rights to party, so to speak. Nowadays, women are expected to be Superwomen.

Superwomen: dominatrix of the home, school, and work front. High-achieving. Career- oriented. DIY diva. Top chef.

We’re not just allowed to be homemakers or career women– we have to be both. And in a day and age where sex starts to sell as young as 9– (check out pants with words on the ass. Really? For a 9 year-old?) we need our girls to be tough. We need them to be tough, to negotiate, and to command a presence when out in the world.

This doesn’t mean that they should be bullies or dictators, but it does mean that we want our girls to be strong because this world is not going to be nice to them. It won’t do them any favors. The world will expect more and more…and more of them. They have to grow up to be able to handle this pressure, decide which “causes” to align themselves with, and delineate between the media’s image of female bodies and their image.

So when people comment that well, “Little girls aren’t always sugar and spice and everything nice,” I say:

Damn Right.

I don’t want her to be everything nice. I want her to be nice when deserved, and a little mean when warranted.

I’m not raising a doormat. I’m raising a woman.

With Spicy Hot Sauce and Savory Treats,


12 thoughts on “Sugar and Spice, and not Always Nice: The Strong Will of Girls

  1. Sally says:

    Well said! When it comes done to it, girls need to be stronger than boys on average if they want to survive everything life decided to throw at them. Better a fighter than a doormat.

  2. Olivia FitzGerald says:

    I did a similar post to this called ‘Sugar and spice and all things nice?’ I question this because my daughter knows her own mind, like her mummy and she loves bugs, worms, snakes, lizards and all manner if slimy things I couldn’t touch!
    Agree with you entirely on raising strong girls.

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