Twelve years ago when I found out I was pregnant with a girl I was excited. I grew up with three sisters so I knew girls; I knew I would have this girl mom thing down. Visions of sparkles and hairbows filled my daydreams when I thought of my future daughter. The sparkles and hairbows were there, but she outgrew them in the blink of an eye. Soon I realized being a girl mom was about so much more.
Being a girl mom is the most rewarding and challenging thing I will ever do in my life. My daughter and I are doing our best to navigate the tween years together.
4 Lessons from a Girl Mom
Here are four things I have learned along the way.
Be Her Fierce Advocate
Being a girl mom gives me the advantage of thinking about my own experience growing up. I have some understanding of what my daughter is experiencing and how she may be feeling as she’s navigating life. One of the things I knew about my mom when I was growing up is that she had my back no matter what. She would, and did, go to bat for me during times in life when situations became too heavy for me. My daughter knows she can come to me when she needs someone to talk to her math teacher about ensuring she is being challenged. I hope as she grows and the issues she faces become more challenging she knows I will always have her back.
Support What She Loves
My daughter loves sports. She loves watching them. She loves playing them. She loves talking about them. I was not a sports person, unless you count the fact that I had a poster of Tiger Woods in my bedroom in high school.
As it turns out, my daughter loves basketball above all else. So, now I love basketball. Ok, that is an exaggeration, but I know a lot about basketball now. Because it is important to her it is important to me. One of my favorite early pandemic memories is when she and I watched The Last Dance (the edited version) on ESPN.
You may have read my last post about being a Skater Mom, also something I knew next to nothing about two years ago. I just secured our tickets to the Dew Tour. I can tell you the best skateparks to go to on any given day.
Embracing the things that your daughter loves not only gives you a common interest to share but also shows her you support her in pursuing the things that make her happy.
Give Her Space
Tweens are a trip mamas. One minute they want you to sit next to them on the couch and watch TV. The next minute you are possibly the last person in the world they want to see. I feel like this is especially true for girls as they are navigating lots of physical and hormonal changes during this time.
It was hard for me when she wanted to talk to her BFF on the phone or hang out in her room on Friday night as opposed to our pizza and movie tradition. But you know what? Sometimes I want to be alone too. Sometimes I want to talk to my friends. I have to respect that as she grows up she will look to others for companionship, just like we all did.
Give her Autonomy
As a girl mom, one of the things I think is most important is to let our girls be who they want to be, not who we imagined they would be. A large part of establishing who we are is through what we wear.
I had six good years of her being fine with wearing what I picked out for her. Her hair was always brushed and her shoes always matched her outfit. Today my girl has her own sense of style that is truly unique. She doesn’t care what her hair looks like and her socks don’t always match. I have learned to let it go and let her be herself.
For me, this autonomy also extended to giving her the permission and freedom to form her own opinions on the world at large. We have honest discussions about things as she is forming her own opinions of the world. It is so very cool to see who she is becoming!
Sometimes I look at my daughter and am in awe of the fact that I get to be her mom. She is my best friend, my ride or die, my final two alliance in this life.
Every day may not be perfect, after all, we are mom and daughter. We have our share of disagreements.
I have gotten my fair share of eye-rolls (obviously karma sent directly to me from my mom) and annoyed “Ok, ok mom” or even the dreaded “Whatever mom” that I take in stride. I know that it is part of the deal. My role in this situation is to show her the grace I expect from others when I am frustrated. She needs to know we can disagree and get frustrated with each other but that at the end of the day we love each other regardless.
Being a girl mom is the best. I cannot wait to see the fierce woman she will one day become.