6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

We always want our children to think the best of us — just as much as they want us to think the best of them. Have you ever sat down and thought about what exactly you want your kids to remember most about you when it’s all said and done? The reality is this — so much of how we are can become how our children are. They absorb so much of us, from our behaviors and habits to our likes and dislikes, even when we don’t realize they’re watching and listening.

As a single mom raising an only child, I really feel the weight of all I do. Worrying about caring for her and having the entire financial burden on my shoulders sometimes makes me think I’m going to break, but I don’t. I keep carrying on and doing my thing. And that’s just one of the things I want her to remember about me: that I never give up, no matter how hard life gets. I take the punches like a big girl, and I dish it right back, fighting and appreciating the little things in life.

Here are the six big things I want my daughter to always remember about me.

Read More: 6 Things I Want My Daughter to Remember About Me, Even After I’m Gone

Love Is Never-Ending,

Laura

My Kid Is Too Young to Go to Your Kid’s Makeup Parties

I’m conflicted.

I am a walking contradiction.

I own probably seven shades of the “perfect red” lipstick/gloss. I know of almost every beauty trend that women over 30 can pull off without looking foolish. From cleansing oils and the latest trends in exfoliation — Korean rice enyzmes, anyone? — I love beauty!

As a child, I devoured my oldest sister’s drawers, picking through and trying out her lipsticks. Wet n’ Wild. Brucci. CoverGirl. Maybelline. From jingles to brand names regarding makeup, I knew them all. Besides, I grew up with four other women, and there was plenty of makeup to be had. Yet when I hear about all the makeup parties and clearly gendered “girls’ parties” that kids have these days, I feel conflicted.

Read More: My Kid Is Too Young to Go to Your Kid’s Makeup Parties

Conflicted,

Laura

Magazine Tells 8-Year-Old Girls How to Choose Bathing Suits For Their “Body Type”

Summertime is almost here and that means, bathing suit shopping. I will rock a bikini, but I must admit that finding one that suits my top-heavy body with my boyish hips can be a pain. It doesn’t matter if you’re thin, thick, or in-between:

Many women struggle with bathing suit shopping. 

After a few weeks of baring my pale skin, though, I get used to it and enjoy being in the Summer sun and air, but I must admit . . . I doubt if I look OK in my suit. I criticize myself, and I find flaw after flaw, but I say “To heck with it,” and I embrace the things I do like and hope that I am not embarrassing myself. Being confident as a woman is important. You’ve got to love the skin you’re in.

It was so much easier bathing-suit shopping as a child. My mom would take me to the store, and I would pick out whatever fit my little girl fancy:

  • Stars? Yes! My favorite suit for a year was a purple one with big bold white stars
  • Characters? Smurfette? Yes, please! Bring me that one-piece with the big blonde blue Smurf character, and pronto, Mom!
  • Hot pink flowers? So summery. Yay!

Read More: Magazine Tells 8-Year-Old Girls How to Choose Bathing Suits For Their “Body Type”

Enough is Enough,

Laura

To My Daughter on Her 5th Birthday

The day is finally here. You’re 5!

It’s not 13. Sixteen. Twenty-one.

But 5, it seems so . . . so big! A birthday of 5 means the end of preschool days. Swimming on your own (almost). Running free at the park and not looking back to see me, unless of course, you want to impress me with something you’re doing.

Five means you’re still a child, but yet you’re so independent.

You put on your own clothes. You set your own plate. You get your own drink from the fridge.

You feel less like my baby and more like my girl.

Maybe it’s that you’re my only child, but 5 feels so wonderful and bittersweet. In short five years, we have lost our family (from divorce), rebuilt new ones (you with daddy and you with me), lost our home — and we made a new one, you and me. I went to work and you went to preschool after our former day-to-day loveliness of being together for two and a half years at home.

Read More: To My Daughter on Her 5th Birthday

She’s My Best Girl,

Laura

No More Cinderella: Why Teaching Your Daughter to Tolerate Nastiness Is a Bad Idea

Cinderella is a lovely tale. The poor girl ends up victorious and a princess! Not too shabby of an ending. Of course, Cinderella has to endure torture and the life of an indentured servant up to the bitter end in which she’s finally set free of her terrible life. In the recent revamp of Cinderella, the main character goes on and on about being kind and having “kindness.” Truly, Cinderella is admirable. Being kind constantly to people who treat you terribly — well, that requires some vicious kind of fortitude, doesn’t it? And isn’t she a great example for our girls? To show them that kindness and turning the other cheek are the right things?

Well . . . sort of.

See, I think it’s important to instill in our girls that kindness is key, especially if we expect others to be kind to us, but Cinderella isn’t just kind. She’s a doormat. She never sticks up for herself. She takes it and takes it . . . and takes it! Is that really the example we want our daughters to follow? No. I don’t think so.

Read More: No More Cinderella: Why Teaching Your Daughter to Tolerate Nastiness Is a Bad Idea

Teach Her to Stand Up For Herself,

Laura

Why Having a Bossy Girl is a Good Thing

We all know that it’s annoying when someone constantly bosses us around. We also all know that sometimes girls can be bossy. This is discussed, hashed out and paraded around like all the other stereotypes about girls and hey, it’s a pretty true stereotype.

But it’s also an unfair stereotype.

We love to drag girls through the mud for being bossy and b*tchy at a young age, but we find it heroic, amazing, sexy, and “part of the job” when a man or boy is bossy.

He’s being a leader.

Our girls are being bossy little tyrants.

Enough already.

As a grown woman with a bit of bossiness to her, I am the mom of a girl who is also bossy. Sometimes, it’s absolutely annoying. Through action, example, and discussion, my daughter and I go over the importance of leading and taking turns. Giving other people a chance to take charge and why we should try playing other people’s games, etc. She sees my happy and strong friendships and I try to model by example as best I can.

 

Read More: Why Having a Bossy Girl is a Good Thing

Praise our Strong Girls,

Laura

3 Awkward Feelings Tween Girls Have and How You Should Empathize

The other day I heard a woman at work complaining about her tween. Apparently, the tween was upset about her appearance and being a real pain in the you-know-what about what she was going to wear. Is this annoying? Yes! In fact, raise your hand if you’ve dealt with an annoying tween and her fashion quirks and tantrums. I bet a lot of you have palms stretched to the sky. Me? I’m still in preschool territory navigating younger tantrums, but when I heard this woman and her valid complaints, I couldn’t help but feel empathy for the tween.

It’s hard today to be a tween or teen. Social media. Smartphones. Technology. Kids are way too knowledgeable about adult life and adult problems. Marketing and the media have girls dressing like women before their time, in my opinion, and every time a tween or teen girl turns around, she’s being sent home for wearing the “wrong clothes.” If I thought puberty was hard in my time, it’s doubly so now. We are all so far from that time, though, that as parents and as people, it’s sometimes hard to remember those icky feelings of tweendom, like these:

Read More: 3 Awkward Feelings Tween Girls Have and How You Should Empathize

I’ve Been There,

Laura

Why You Shouldn’t Always Tell Your Daughter She’s Pretty

I hear myself saying “Oh, that looks very pretty” or “I love what you’re wearing” or “You’re very pretty” when I meet or see a little girl I know. It’s a knee-jerk response conditioned from years of growing up around five women and one man (my dad) who worked in the garment business and knows how to speak to women. One of the first things almost everyone does when they meet a woman is compliment her appearance.

Pretty, pretty, pretty, pretty.

You look great. Fabulous. Did you lose weight? I love your shoes. Where did you get that dress? I really like your mascara.

She’s such a pretty girl. What a beautiful girl you are!

Read More: Why You Shouldn’t Always Tell Your Daughter She’s Pretty

Tell Her She’s Strong,

Laura

What Happened When a Kid Called My Kid Fat

I was picking my daughter up from aftercare, but once again, she didn’t want to leave. She was sitting at a little preschool-size table with one of her BFFs, and they were drawing pictures together. She had on leggings, a t-shirt, and a puffy zip-up vest. As I coaxed my girl to hurry up, her little friend pointed at my girl and said while laughing, “She’s so fat!”

Instantly, my blood tingled. I felt my face get a little hot.

“That’s not nice. We don’t say that to people. She’s not fat,” I said sternly with a voice that indicated I meant business.

I didn’t yell or say anything else, but the little friend looked at me with a face that read somewhere between, “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that,” and “Wait, what did I do wrong?”

Finally, she said, still laughing, “Her vest makes her look fat.”

My daughter barely noticed the whole conversation and simply got up to go home as if nothing had happened, but something had happened.

To me.

Read More: What Happened When a Kid Called My Kid Fat

Raising My Girl As Best I Can,

Laura

How To Raise A B*tch

I am not a B*tch all the time, sadly. I am a go-getter and I am usually straightforward about how I feel, but I don’t assert myself like a B*tch does. Why would I want to be a B*tch you ask? And what is a B*tch, B*tch? Well, to the outside world, the word “B*tch” has a negative connotation: a nasty woman who tears others down and selfishly only acts in her own interests. A B*tch cares about nobody but herself!

But I’ve re-framed the definition to be positive and I’m recommending — yes, recommending — that you raise your girls to be b*tches. Here’s how:

Read More: How To Raise A B*tch

If You’re A Bitch Say, Hell Yeah!

Laura