When I think about the fact that I am a mother of three daughters, I feel precisely two emotions:
Overwhelming gratitude that I have the opportunity to have these three daughters in my life, that they have each other, and that I get the joy of watching them giggle together and brush their hair and create and read…
And then total fear.
Because oh my gosh, it’s not an easy thing to be a woman in this world now, is it? I feel a bit terrified that I am the person responsible for teaching them important things like How To Be A Girl or you know, how to believe that they are beautiful, even when the world tells them they are not?
From body image to shaving to periods to how to walk the correct way when you’re alone at night or dress in a bar or have a career, it feels like everyone has an opinion about what’s right for women. And it’s so hard sometimes when I consider that I have three little girls counting on me to show them a woman’s worth and value. Because the truth is, I’m not sure I even have it right yet.
Which is why I turned to the pros, my fellow mothers of daughters, who shared what the most important lessons they hope to impart on their daughters are:
- “That she is beloved and precious…worthy of respect and love.” — Kristel Acevedo
- “That in life you will have smiles, tears, good and bad days, so always have a plan to go to, but to laugh more and don’t sweat the small stuff. Be proud of who you are.” — Sheila Bohnett
- “To be content, secure, and kind.” — Meg H.R.
- “Always know your worth.” — Amy Fraser Tackabury
- “The same message my parents instilled in me: to have the confidence to pursue your dreams and work hard, and your parents will always be there to support you, no matter what.” — Joy Symonds
- “It is not your job to make people happy. You can do nothing about how other people feel, only your response is up to you.” — Jessica Lemmons
- “To know that if Jesus walked this earth (as GOD) and couldn’t keep everyone happy, there is no way we as mere humans could. And it isn’t our job. Find what it is that you were made for and go for it!!! And to not take frustrations and stress out on your body but to love your body. You only get one!” — Bonnie Byrd
- “The friends you choose will play a big part in who you become so surround yourself with people you admire. And love yourself, imperfections and all.” — Tasha Newcomb
- “The “handyman” skills my mom learned from her mom and in turn taught me. I love being able to fix, build, and install things myself! Dated a bit, but my grandma told my mom “when it breaks, your husband will probably be at work, and when he gets home, he’ll be too tired. So your best bet is fixing it yourself.” — Sarah Huston
- “That her stubbornness will take her great places in life, if only she uses it the right way.” — Laura Delagarza Gruenwald
- “That ‘no’ is always an acceptable answer.” — Lauren Pope
- “Teaching my daughters to rely on themselves, and not anyone else, especially a man, is an important goal for me as a mother. I want them to be determined and to never give up. And to know they can conquer whatever they want with their own skills/talents.” –Liz Makedonsky
- “Be fearless.”– Braunwyn Windham-Burke
- “You don’t have to be everything for everyone all the time. It’s ok to say no and take care of yourself. Can’t pour from an empty pitcher.” — Hollie Pascoe
- “Take care of your skin!!!” — Sarah MacFee
- “Be yourself. Who you are is perfect. Let nobody but yourself dictate or influence your weight, style, mood, or hobbies.” — Megan Bishop
- “To be gentle with yourself and love yourself through it all. You don’t have to do everything yourself.” — Kelley Markland
- “There is nothing more powerful than a woman with confidence.” — Philippe Morgese
- “That there is nothing she can do, nor is there anything anyone can do to her that could ever lessen her dignity. Her profound worth is a constant. She and others can choose to live according to the truth or not to, but in no way do their choices change her value.” — April Jaure
- “You are worthy of love and happiness no matter what mistakes you make in life.” — Mandy Lange
- “Respect yourself, if you don’t know one else will.” — Tracy LaGasse
- “Be the best you can be! And be kind!” — Genny C.
- “Not everyone is going to like her in this life therefore, the most important thing that she can ever do is love herself.” — Akemi Sue Fisher
- “Don’t try to be who you are not. The world needs you to be courageous enough to be yourself. That and surround yourself with people who make you want to be your best version of you.” — Kristen Mersino
- “In a world of unrealistic body expectations size and shape do not define you as being beautiful. It’s your kind actions and what’s in your heart that will show how beautiful you truly are.” –Amber Hyek
- “The only life worth living comes with a few good mistakes.” — Megan Sayers Chapham
- That she is beautiful no matter if she wears leggings, jeans, sweatpants, or nothing at all. She’s 3 (practically 4) but thinks she’s only beautiful right now if she has on leggings, we are definitely working on it.” — Danika McCormack
- That worrying about what other people think is a big, fat waste of time–except her mother.” — Becky Bracken
- “Be happy with you. Lifetime happiness and satisfaction looks different for everyone for some it’s a little house and a couple kids for others it’s a gypsy life full of travel whatever it is find your happiness and be true to that.” — Jenny Maul
- “Always pay close attention to how the boy you are interested in treats his mother. If he is disrespectful to her he will almost always be disrespectful to you! And never say something about someone that you wouldn’t say to their face.” — Ericka Granata
- “Work hard to achieve what you want to achieve. Natural talent will only get you so far in the world. Also, be brave. I missed some opportunities because I wasn’t brave enough to take a few chances.” — Nicole Brabant
Image via j&j brusie photography