Thursday, June 20, 2013

Link Thursday: Raising A Girl - 16 Things You Wish You'd Known

Hey peeps!

Sorry for yesterday - Blogger would not let me in! I had this post lined up about letting your readers down; guess I'll have to post it another Wednesday now.
And if it's not one thing, it's the other. Today, Twitter won't let me in, giving me it's huge whale picture instead. Growing tired of seeing that one!

Anyhow, it's Thursday, so it's time for me to post a linked article about something that's caught my attention lately.

I was browsing and came across this one. I don't have daughters (just son & stepson) and I don't think I'll ever have another kid, let alone a girl. So this one doesn't strike personally with me...but it does where my writing is concerned.

You see, I write about love, life, and relationships...and family, motherhood, can/will be at the heart of my plots. My latest contracted book, Bad Luck With Besties, finds the hero being the single father of a 14-yr-old daughter. The kicker? He is 31. Yep, he was 17 when she was born. Enter the heroine who, to be with him, will automatically step in as 'mum' to this teen, too.

Got me thinking - how much do we really know about bringing up daughters, especially those of us who don't have girls? How different is it from having little boys in your household?

This article answers those questions. Written by Jenna McCarthy and posted online on June 3, 2013 at the site, you can find the entire article in its original slideshow here.


Wish We'd Known: 16 Things No One Told Us About Raising a Girl

Even if you always dreamed about having a daughter, the experience can be completely different from what you expected. Here's what we wish we'd known about raising a girl

Jenna McCarthy on Jun 3, 2013 at 10:41PM

When you found out you were having a girl, you might have pictured spa pedicures and fancy tea parties and matching mommy-and-me dresses. Since you're a girl yourself, you probably figured you'd have the daughter deal all dialed in. But the truth is, your little lass will have a few surprises up her tiny sleeve. From relentless chatting to the urge to hoard to the nearly universal obsession with all things pink, daughters are a breed unto themselves. Here, a sneak peek into your future.

You'll Buy Her Stuff She Doesn't Need
Feathered hair bands, polka dotted tights, tiny pillbox purses, socks that look like ballet shoes: It won't be long before your tiny toddler has a more extensive accessory collection than you do. That's because when you buy it for yourself it's a splurge; when you purchase it for her, it's a need. (Well, sort of.) When something is impossibly darling and on sale, you may need help restraining yourself from buying her two or three. We've never heard any of our boy-mom-friends confessing they couldn't resist buying another dump truck tee.

She May Be Way Girlier Than You Are
Even if you've done your best to create a gender-neutral play space stocked with trucks, trains and all sorts of "boy" toys, don't be surprised if she develops a passion for princesses and Barbies and pretty pink ballerina gear out of the ether. No matter how hard you try to fight the stereotype, the combination of hard-wiring and clever marketing may just trump your efforts.

Her Desire to Borrow Your Heels, Jewels, Handbags and More Will Start as Soon as She Can Walk And Talk (And Grow From There)
"Going to Costco to get some coffee!" she'll announce, clogging along in your New Year's Eve heels (that, for the record, you rarely wear to Costco). In the toddler years this is silly dress-up at its best, so enjoy it. Soon enough she'll be wanting to borrow these things for real. Be prepared for battle.

You Might Be a Little Jealous of Daddy's Girl
Even if you're not particularly the type, it's hard not to feel tiny pangs of envy when you realize you're not the only female in your husband's life anymore. Oh, you’ll treasure their deep connection and delight in their daddy-daughter games and secrets, but sometimes you won’t love being on the outside of that circle.  And the first time she runs to him -- and not you -- when she's sad or hurt, it will be downright crushing. Just remember, that tiny little heart of hers has plenty of love to go around. You'll have your own unique time and activities with her, too (that will be deeply mysterious and possibly envy-provoking to dad).

Everything Starts Early
Sure, all kids are different, but girls seem to hit the major developmental milestones before similarly aged boys. Your daughter may be off and running while your friend's son is still struggling to master the crawl, or speaking in complete sentences while her boy-buddies are barely barking out coherent words. Rolling over, sitting up, blowing kisses, clapping hands, potty training, reading: Don't be surprised if she masters all of these and more before the boys her age. But try not to gloat too much; it almost always evens out in the end.

She'll Strike a Sexy Pose
She might be dancing or putting on a show, or simply just showing off her new Dora swimsuit when it happens: With her hip thrust out and her head thrown back, you'll do a cartoonish double-take when you realize she looks like a miniature way-too-sexy Victoria's Secret model. You've worked overtime to shield her from celebrity-studded magazines and teenager-y TV, too, so you'll be triply mystified as to where she learned this move. Your heart will break and you'll jump all over her about never doing that again. Ever.

Girl Drama Makes 'The Help' Seem Playful in Comparison
Before you have a daughter, it's nearly impossible to believe that any human being could get themselves thoroughly worked up over something as seemingly benign as, say, the part in their hair or the official words to "This Old Man." Oh, but they can. The vegetables touched the pasta. She can't find her other flip-flop. But she really really super-wants it!!! Eventually she'll chill out. In the meantime, lots of deep breaths.

You'll Relish the Excuse to Read 'Black Beauty,' 'Nancy Drew' and Judy Blume Again
The minute you crack the spine of one of your childhood favorites, you'll be transported directly back to that magical time. Still, you'll pick up details and nuances you either missed the first time around or forgot about entirely.

You'll Hear Her Scolding Her Baby Dolls or Stuffed Animals and Cringe Because She Sounds Exactly Like You
"Do not speak to me in that tone of voice," she’ll insist to Pink Bunny. (Brown Bear, Fuzzy Lamby and Supersoft Giraffe will get the same treatment.) She'll administer stern warnings and lengthy time-outs and you'll laugh (and cringe) as you watch her relish the pint-size power play.

It'll Break Your Heart When Her Chunky Baby Thighs Turn Into Long, Lean Kid Legs
The change is so gradual that you may not even notice it happening. But one day you'll grab onto one of those gams, all ready to pretend-sink your teeth into its meaty flesh, and you'll realize the rolls are gone. Vanished! In their place will be taut, strong limbs that look like they belong on a colt. While you'll pine for the thigh-nibbling days of your past, you'll appreciate her newfound ability to keep up with you when you walk.

She'll Likely Go Through an "I'm Only Wearing Dresses" Phase
Somewhere around the age of three, she'll develop definitive ideas about what she wants to wear that may or may not be in alignment with what's clean, the weather, standards of decency or what happens to be in style at the particular moment. Just when you've rid her wardrobe choices of anything that doesn't have a skirt, her preference may just change to some other curious thing (an inside-out tank top, leopard print rain boots, a bikini top over a turtleneck) for the next stretch. The sooner you realize it really doesn't matter, the happier you both will be.

She'll Hoard... Everything
Pinecones, rubber bands, hair thingies, erasers, flower petals, bottle caps, sea glass, stray buttons, dead bugs: If she can stuff it in a baggie, she'll never tire of collecting it. It's an evolutionary nod to her gatherer-girl roots and she honestly can't help it (much the way her brother likely won't stop slaying imaginary beasts). In other words, be prepared to find these stashes all over your house for the rest of ever. (Hopefully you'll locate the baby-carrot baggie before it putrefies into liquid blue mold.)

You'll Fight Over Her Hair Constantly
It's in her eyes. It needs a trim. You like it up, she likes it down. Yes, she has to wash it. No, she's not going out of the house with that rat's nest on her head. Fine, you'll curl/straighten it just this once. No, she can't do it herself. The hair wars will last as long as you let them (translation: until you realize that it's just hair and decide to surrender). The good news: Eventually she's likely to see the light and realize that clean and combed really is the better look.

She'll Be the Beauty Standard by Which You Judge all of Her Peers
You wouldn't admit it out loud for a lifetime supply of free Spanx, but you'll secretly think she's the most beautiful creature ever to be born. You might even feel bad for her playmates, whose pretty little faces still can't hold a candle to hers. It's normal and healthy to feel this way, but be sure you tell her how smart and kind she is, too -- lest her dazzling head swell to unfortunate proportions.

She May Be a Born Manipulator
Moms with kids of both genders insist that it's their darling daughters who seem to know how to get what they want with a mere look. Do we see right through it? Absolutely. Does it work? Although we don't like admitting it... sometimes it does. (Dads in particular confess they are powerless to resist "the look.") She may have even picked up the move from you (ahem), but the fact that she is already aware of her feminine power can be downright disarming.

You'll Feel a Little Bad for Moms of (All) Boys
When you get together with your mommy friends, you'll wonder if the boy-moms are secretly jealous that you have a girl. (Your close friends might even admit as much to you.) After all, you get to shop for dainty nursery decor and darling dresses and go for manicures together while they're stuck digging for worms and discussing back hoes. Alas, the tables may turn when you find yourself butting heads with a hormonal teenage daughter and your friend is chilling with an even-keel mini-man, so enjoy your day in the sun while it lasts.


From Mauritius with love,



Kathy Bosman said...

I've got one those, lol. What a lovely post to read. My daughter doesn't match all those things. She has two older brothers and has somehow not adapted all those dress-up, handbag and shoe fetishes. She loves her shorts, T-shirts and sports shoes. I've given up encouraging her to wear dresses and skirts. But oh how I can identify with the hair battles! We've had plenty of those. Although on the outside she's a little tomboyish, inside she's all girl.

Zee Monodee said...

Lol, Kathy! Funnily, I think having one or more elder brothers turns little girls into somewhat of a tomboy mode, and out of the girlie world. I grew up with an older brother, and I was always in jeans and T-shirts. To compensate, my mum would dress me up like a meringue when we had to attend weddings, lol.

But still, inside, girls will be girls. Hug yours for me, will you? :) xoxo