It’s no surprise raising children has its challenges.

‘But let’s be real. We are our own breed for a reason’

Duh! But how is it raising daughters? Let’s just say, interesting!

I’ve always wanted daughters. I mean, the obvious being that I am a mother who would’ve loved nothing more than to dress my girls up in matching dresses and clothes, hold hands and tell each other how much they love one another, every. single. day.

But let’s be real. We are our own breed for a reason. My daughters since they were born were pretty well behaved; listened when spoken to, cleaned up after themselves, ate their food without wearing it, let me trap their heads between my legs so I could put braids in their hair, and always came in for hugs and kisses by the minute. And as they got older, the wonderful world of emotions came into the mix.

Girls at a young age have more body image issues than ever before. It became quite apparent to me that when my 5 year old at the time (now turning 15), didn’t want to go to dance class because she didn’t like the way she looked in her bodysuit. WTF?!? I was stumped. Literally, didn’t even know how to respond. So I did what any mom would do and sat her on the counter and talked to her. I showed her how my body was different from hers, how her sisters bodies were different from hers, and no matter what piece of clothing we have on them, we are all meant to look different and THAT itself, IS BEAUTIFUL! I also felt that the conversation was going too deep for a 5 year old, so I also used butterflies as an example to being different, yet they are magnificent and stunning.

At that point, I made it my mission to speak freely with my girls about being proud to be themselves, hold their head up high, don’t fight dirty, pick your battles, love your war wounds and be grateful for the simple things like breathing fresh air and drinking clean water. It seems obvious that us moms would aid our children when they hurt. But with girls, it’s consistency and patience that works. As a result, my little ladies and I, have these ‘let it out’ talks. When one of us is feeling ‘blah’ (as I call it, where you feel a little down, but for no particular reason), we all come together and just talk the emotions through. This helps open the door for other hot topics going on in their lives that they might not otherwise want to share. It also allows me to check in (without being overbearing), on any red flags that might cause greater concern.

As I watch my girls transform into young ladies, I see them becoming those beautiful butterflies…all individually gorgeous in their own way. Like a mother duck though, I still have to scoot them into line and ensure they’re not trying to break off too far before I can heard them back, but I also have to let them experience trial and error.

One thing is for certain – I’m not here to be my child’s friend. I am their parent! Which also means, teaching them to respect their elders. Sometimes my emotions get in the way of being rational, and the ol’ “get to your room” is in order. But I don’t go too long before talking to them, apologizing for my outburst and explaining why I got upset. You have to be human around your kids. They need to see that their parents too deal with ups and downs and it can all be resolved by talking it out.

Daughters take patience and tact. Lord knows if you look at them the wrong way (as teenagers), they’ll get upset. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our family is strong and tight. We are perfectly imperfect and we’ve overcome a lot, so our story is colorful and full of emotions.

So as I begin the process of passing the ‘life’ baton to my ladies, I hope one day they use my takeaways’ as being nothing more than a mother who would do anything to protect and guide them. Naturally, as I write this, I’m about to break up an argument between my two oldest. Someone get me a drink STAT! Now this is real life (head shake)!

Duh! But how is it raising daughters? Let’s just say, interesting!

I’ve always wanted daughters. I mean, the obvious being that I am a mother who would’ve loved nothing more than to dress my girls up in matching dresses and clothes, hold hands and tell each other how much they love one another, every. single. day.

But let’s be real. We are our own breed for a reason. My daughters since they were born were pretty well behaved; listened when spoken to, cleaned up after themselves, ate their food without wearing it, let me trap their heads between my legs so I could put braids in their hair, and always came in for hugs and kisses by the minute. And as they got older, the wonderful world of emotions came into the mix.

Girls at a young age have more body image issues than ever before. It became quite apparent to me that when my 5 year old at the time (now turning 15), didn’t want to go to dance class because she didn’t like the way she looked in her bodysuit. WTF?!? I was stumped. Literally, didn’t even know how to respond. So I did what any mom would do and sat her on the counter and talked to her. I showed her how my body was different from hers, how her sisters bodies were different from hers, and no matter what piece of clothing we have on them, we are all meant to look different and THAT itself, IS BEAUTIFUL! I also felt that the conversation was going too deep for a 5 year old, so I also used butterflies as an example to being different, yet they are magnificent and stunning.

At that point, I made it my mission to speak freely with my girls about being proud to be themselves, hold their head up high, don’t fight dirty, pick your battles, love your war wounds and be grateful for the simple things like breathing fresh air and drinking clean water. It seems obvious that us moms would aid our children when they hurt. But with girls, it’s consistency and patience that works. As a result, my little ladies and I, have these ‘let it out’ talks. When one of us is feeling ‘blah’ (as I call it, where you feel a little down, but for no particular reason), we all come together and just talk the emotions through. This helps open the door for other hot topics going on in their lives that they might not otherwise want to share. It also allows me to check in (without being overbearing), on any red flags that might cause greater concern.

As I watch my girls transform into young ladies, I see them becoming those beautiful butterflies…all individually gorgeous in their own way. Like a mother duck though, I still have to scoot them into line and ensure they’re not trying to break off too far before I can heard them back, but I also have to let them experience trial and error.

One thing is for certain – I’m not here to be my child’s friend. I am their parent! Which also means, teaching them to respect their elders. Sometimes my emotions get in the way of being rational, and the ol’ “get to your room” is in order. But I don’t go too long before talking to them, apologizing for my outburst and explaining why I got upset. You have to be human around your kids. They need to see that their parents too deal with ups and downs and it can all be resolved by talking it out.

Daughters take patience and tact. Lord knows if you look at them the wrong way (as teenagers), they’ll get upset. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our family is strong and tight. We are perfectly imperfect and we’ve overcome a lot, so our story is colorful and full of emotions.

So as I begin the process of passing the ‘life’ baton to my ladies, I hope one day they use my takeaways’ as being nothing more than a mother who would do anything to protect and guide them. Naturally, as I write this, I’m about to break up an argument between my two oldest. Someone get me a drink STAT! Now this is real life (head shake)!

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