August 10, 2015

8 Things Moms of Young Daughters Have to Look Forward To (Really!)

I am a mom of two daughters and no sons. 

And when you are a mom of daughters and no sons, here are two things you hear a lot:

#1: “So, when are you going to try for a boy?”
#2: “They’re cute now, but just wait until they get to be teenagers.”

To #1, I usually responded, “Actually, we’re not going to try for a boy. We’re going to try for a goldfish instead.”

To #2, I usually made some sort of conciliatory “I know” noises while my mind frantically whipped up all possible worst-case scenarios lying in wait for a mom of girls who would eventually hit puberty.

I didn’t particularly look forward to my girls’ tween and teen years. But now that I’m camped in them, I realize something: I should have.

I have one 11-year-old daughter and one 16-year-old daughter, and it is fabulous.

Yes, there is drama. Yes, there are hormones. Yes, there is crying. But enough about me. (Just kidding. Okay, not really.)

And while it is true that I’d be able to get that fancy farmhouse sink I want for my kitchen if I got paid psychotherapist’s fees for the emotional rehab I do after school every day, I’ve discovered that having a tween or teen daughter is a joy-ride in the best possible way. Here are 8 of my favorites...


1. When you are trying on a mail-order dress the color of a tangerine and you aren’t sure if it makes you look stunning or like an orange sack, you summon your daughter for an assessment. With no prompting or coaching, she takes one look and says, “It makes you look like an orange sack.” So then you know.

2. You have a handy reference guide for the meaning of such phrases as “on fleek.” (Spot on? Hits the mark? I think. But maybe not.)

3. When you shop with your daughter, you actually shop. Often in the same department. For clothes you might share.

4. When you are out shopping with your daughter, you may see, for instance, a “performance-gear” hoodie in a gorgeous aqua color that would boost your workout efficacy by at least 50 percent. You comment (within your daughter’s hearing) “I want that” but do not buy it because it is not on sale and you don’t HAVE to have it. The next time your husband takes your daughter out to lunch, she tells him, “We have to go to the store and buy mom a birthday gift. She wants a hoodie. I know exactly which one.”

5. Instead of preschool-era rounds of Princess Memory, et al, you get to play games you would actually choose on your own and which do not make your head explode.

6. You no longer host playdates in your home; now you facilitate hang-outs at the mall. Your daughter and her friends “shop” while you lounge somewhere in their vicinity and drink a fancy coffee drink and read a magazine and do not make eye contact and do not show any sign you know them. All of which they are fine with and, in fact, insist on.

7. You have a chick-in-residence with whom you can watch flicks your husband won’t touch.

8. Your daughter sometimes puts up social media posts about how she loved spending the day at the beach with you and will remember it for a long time. And by the time you have finished reading the post, 16 years of motherhood have been 100% worth it.

I’m very aware I’m nowhere near “done” raising my girls. Anything could happen. And the beach/movie/mall days when everyone loves and even likes each other are balanced by an equal number of days when we are completely annoyed with each other. 

I also know so many moms have genuinely agonizing stories about raising their older daughters, and my heart truly breaks for them.

But you’re supposed to write what you know, and this is what I know so far: my answer to the “just wait until they get to be teenagers” comment should have been, “I’m looking forward to it.”


           

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Postscript:

#9: Your tween/teen daughter may someday make cookies while you are working on your blog. Then she might say, "Don't come into the kitchen yet. I want to clean up." At which point you have cookies AND a clean kitchen and are glad you did not give up on said child when she was in her "terrible 2s" stage.

Also, #10: As a counterpoint to brutally honest but useful fashion advice (see #1, above), sometimes your adolescent daughter will look you over when you are dressed to go somewhere other than the grocery store and will say, "Mom! I love that outfit! You definitely don't need to go on What Not to Wear." Which, you are well aware, is as good as it gets in the mom-compliment department.

Looking for more mom lists? Click on over to Mamalode, the original landing site of this post, and you'll find an entire category called, appropriately enough, "Mama's List." 

Gratefully linked with some of these lovely sites...

44 comments:

  1. This is such a great list! So much encouragement...and reality!...mixed in here! Sounds like you're doing a great job with them. Thanks for taking a little of the fear and dread out of the coming years!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rebekah! I've really enjoyed all the different stages of my girls' lives, but I am loving their older years more than "popular opinion" would generally suggest is usual. :) Blessings to you, fellow mama!

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  2. I love this so much I'm going to be pinning it. I will always remember your advice about the dressing room and this is so encouraging because I never had a sister so the idea of having two girls is intimidating to me. This is such great list though. I know how to respond now to those comments, and the daughter that wanted to clean up the kitchen must be just like my daughter who is 5 now. She's my opposite when it comes to cleaning up (which means she does it).

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    1. Well, Natalie, bless your sweet heart. Thank you!!! Your little cleaner-upper sounds like a doll. How fun that you are going to be raising sisters! I love that my girls have each other, even when they are not always entirely "appreciative" of the blessing. All their lives, I've preached to them, "Girls! You love each other! Your friends will come and go, but your sister will always be your sister!" Of course, they are always wildly awestruck by my obvious wisdom. ;) Thanks for stopping by...so happy for you that you have so much to look forward to!

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  3. This is amazing! I feel like SJ and her preschool stage has been enough to make me want to enter a convent when she is a teenager but your list has made me look forward to her growing up.....but very very very....did I say very? slowly!!!! I am too sharing this post girl! It is AMAZEBALLS!!!!!

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    1. Thank you, Kristen! Were you a cheerleader in your former life? :) Hang in there...those preschool days can be beautiful but brutal. And you do indeed have many, many years ahead of you to enjoy and savor before t(w)eenhood sets in, but when you get to it, there will be much to love! :)

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  4. I've seen this all over Facebook and it is hilarious! I love it! Thanks for giving me a laugh this morning!

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    1. Well, thank you, Holly...that's good to know! :) And thank you for giving me wise food for thought as a public-school mom this morning. :)

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  5. I love this! I have an almost 3 year year old daughter, and almost 1year old daughter and another daughter due in 3 months. I keep getting bombarded with the horror stories about the teenaged years. This post, however, is more of what I need to hear, so thank you.

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    1. Jessica, congratulations on your soon-to-be trio of girls! How wonderful! What a joy it will be for you to see them grow as sisters. I don't think you should pay too much attention to those teenage-years horror stories. Yes, the tween and teen years are challenging, but what stage of parenting isn't? Nothing that matters that much can be too easy. You have much to enjoy and savor with your little girls, and much to look forward to in the future. Blessings on you both now and then! :)

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  6. I have a son but I can totally relate to the "when will you try.." All the time I hear, "Well now you just need a daughter" and I'm kind of shocked how people have the guts to say things like that. Now to say I wouldn't love a daughter - for all the reasons that you list! Especially not being the only girl in the house, ahhaha I actually saw a maternity shirt the other day that said, 'We're hoping for a dinosaur"

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    1. Oh my goodness, Morgan, don't even get me started on the "now you just need such-and-such to have a 'perfect' family" thing! ;) When my second daughter was born, we didn't know if she was a she or a he in advance, and I do believe when my OB announced "it's a girl," she sounded like she was delivering bad news! I wish I'd had that shirt you saw! :) May you be blessed with your little guy and with any other children who come your way. And BTW, you have much to look forward to with your son, a loooooong way down the road when he's a teenager. I'm already working on a "Why I Love Having a Teenager" list because I aspire to be an equal-opportunity encourager here at Guilty Chocoholic Mama! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking time to comment!

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  7. #6 is definitely something to look forward to. My 3yr old already loves shopping so I'm sure there will be lots of shopping together, and her shopping with her friends while I drink coffee, in my future. ;)

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    1. Heehee, Julie, that's the spirit! :) So much for you to enjoy now, so much to anticipate in the future. Thanks for stopping by and taking time to comment!

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  8. Aw! I loved this! I'm the mom of 11 (and 8 are GIRLS!!!). Is it not cool that we get to grow our own best friends?! Nobody told me that part! I'm reposting this on our blog FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/longladies

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    1. Thank you so much, Cheryl! I've just visited, liked, and left a comment on your FB page. Thank you so much for sharing! I feel rather inadequate in the face of your obviously superior parenting expertise! ;) But, I LOVE what you said about growing our own best friends, because I was just thinking about that. When our children are younger, we are told we need to be their parents, not their friends, and I agree. But now I am starting to see the transition to friendship, and it is delightful. Earlier this summer, I took my 11-year-old and her friends to a movie, but my 16-year-old came along as my friend! :) Thank you so much for encouraging me today...blessings on you!

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  9. So sweet! I can't wait until I can share shoes with my daughter. I borrow my mom's shoes all the time, and I'm an adult. It will also be a privilege to hopefully watch her one day follow Christ and raise children who follow him.

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    1. Absolutely! At the risk of overdoing an analogy, there is great joy is sharing shoes and even greater joy in sharing the journey of following in the footsteps of Jesus! :) Seeing my daughters make their own the faith my husband and I tried to etch on their young hearts is beyond wonderful. Blessings to you...thanks so much for stopping by!

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  10. I only have one daughter, shes 2 right now, and I have been one to dread the teenage years but your post made me think maybe they wont be all bad. lol! Sweet post! Thanks! Visiting from Mom's Morning Coffee link-up!

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    1. Yes, sweet mama, do not fear those years! :) Listen, when my younger daughter was 2, I was tempted to have a t-shirt made for her that said, "It's a good thing I'm the second child or I'd be the only child." She was "challenging." And she still is wonderfully unique and complex. But now she is also the tween from my post who made me cookies and cleaned up the kitchen! You have much to enjoy now, but also much to look forward to many years down the road. Blessings to you, and thanks so much for stopping by from MMC!

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  11. I love how you are looking on the bright side! We have two boys and are pregnant with a baby (unknown gender). I've been saying I want another boy so I don't have to deal with an emotional girl, but maybe I need to start being more optimistic!

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    1. Oh, congratulations, Laura! And how special that you are raising brothers! A trio would be just precious, but at least now you have a hint that if you are instead blessed with a daughter, you need not fear her teen years. In general, I think teenagers get a bad rap. And as I long to be an equal-opportunity encourager here at GCM, I'm mentally working on a gender-inclusive (by which I mean not just for those with daughters, NOT anything else!) list tentatively called, "What I Love About Having a Teenager"! :) So glad we "met" each other via Christian Women Blogs!

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  12. Love your stories about your daughters! I'm sure there will be many more to come :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I am looking forward to the years ahead...challenges, hormones, shopping, beach days, and all! :) Thank you for stopping by today!

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  13. I'm the mother of 6 girls, ages 1-13, and heard that "trying for a boy" thing too many times. Your list is spot-on. I loved every word of it. My older girls are getting to those points you make and I'm loving them. Such a great read for me tonight!!! Sharing.

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    1. Aw, thank you for your sweet and encouraging words. What a lovely gaggle of girls you must have! I am so happy for you and the sweet times you have to enjoy now and in the years ahead. I certainly know there are challenges (I pray for renewed strength every day when my girls get home from school), but the joys have surprised me in a lovely way!

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  14. Aww, I loved this! I have two girls (7 and 4) and I've heard all the "just wait until they're teens" remarks. It scares the living daylights out of me because I remember what I was like as a teen - and it was nasty!

    I appreciated hearing the upside!

    Thank you for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop).

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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    1. Hahaha, Jennifer...I feel your fear, but take heart: you have the benefit of experience from your teen years to add to your new wisdom as a mom who is no doubt trying every day to do the right thing with your girls. So, there is much to look forward to down the road! :) Yes, it is hard--but what stage of motherhood isn't to some extent? I hope to encourage other moms of girls (and, really, of teens in general) that the joys of parenting are not lost when your child gets to an age that end with -teen! :) Thanks for hosting the lovely #SHINEbloghop! Love it!

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  15. As a mom of two little girls, I love this!! I look forward to every phase (because let's face it, whether it's boys or girls there are always tricky parts) with my girls! Thanks for linking up at the Thoughtful Spot Blog Hop! :)

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    1. Oh, enjoy your sweet little girls, Alison! You are so right: parenting always has some tricky to it...alongside the terrific! So glad to have found the Thoughtful Spot!

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  16. Brilliant. Thank you for your post. I always get the "are you done, not going to try for a boy?" and the "4 daughters :-O just wait until they are teenagers" Well yes actually I cannot wait until they are teenagers. It is going to be great! Even if sometimes it isn't great it will still be great. Just as now they are all a handful with being 9 and under but such a blessings and such a joy, when they aren't being painful. Looking forward to a clean kitchen and laundry washed and folded and some girls to go shopping with.

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    1. You are brilliant, Tamryn! Yes--great even when it's not! I love your wisdom of of appreciating the full range of motherhood, which reflects the rest of life! Thank you for visiting & commenting!

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  17. Great post - my girls are 4 and (almost) 7 and I imagine the day that most of these things come to pass. My are already well into the shopping world (every weekend they want to go to the mall), my girls watch cooking shows all the time (I hope the cleaning part develops too!) and playing games I like - oh, so can't wait for that! We're delving into card games now, so there is definitely hope!
    I shared this on my FB page: www.facebook.com/modernmomslife
    ~Jessica aka Modern Mom

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    1. Thank you so much, Modern Mom! So excited for you and your girls and all you have to share now and in years to come! Headed to your page now!

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  18. I love this post! My daughters are now 20 and 12, and I'm so happy they're mine! I found you on the Coffee & Conversation blog hop. :)

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    1. That is just precious, Wendy! Your girls must be so happy they are yours! Thanks for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment!

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  19. Elizabeth, Thanks for sharing this... With 2 daughters (25 and 11) it really hit my heartstrings! And we're featuring it on tomorrow's Coffee & Conversation!

    Have a terrific week :-)

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    1. Wow! Thank you so much! How exciting! And congratulations, mama of the bride!

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  20. Hello Elizabeth! I have several years before my girls will be "so grown up" like yours but I totally see it in my future. Actually, my 3 year old soon to be 16 year old is already giving me fashion advice….so I guess she is doing #1 already. BTW, It's so nice to "meet" a fellow blogger in Michigan =) We need to connect sometime before we get snowed in!

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    1. Lyn, it's so great to meet you, too! Michigan mom bloggers, unite! :) And I'm so glad to know that your daughter is already in training as your fashion advisor!

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  21. My daughters (no sons) are 1.5 and 7.5. So this post made me cry. Because it's wonderful. Amen. :)

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    1. Aw, Mary,your comment makes me cry. Because it's so sweet. :)

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  22. I love your posts! I always end up laughing out loud. I'm looking forward to enjoying these moments but holding on to the ones I have too! Merry Christmas to your beautiful family. :)

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    1. Awww, thank you, Kristi! You are too kind. Yes, do look forward to many precious mother-daughter moments in the future even while you are drinking in as many in the present as you possibly can. Blessings to you and YOUR beautiful family!

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I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!