Dear Daughters: Life Lessons for Our Girls

dear-daughters-main
Image via Galit Breen

Being a mom of girls has meant different things to me at every stage.

When I was pregnant, I imagined braiding hair and smoothing skirts, glittery clips and shiny ponytail holders, flip-flops and ballet flats, nail polish and lip gloss. All of these imaginings of my heart did, indeed, come true.

A few turns of the calendar pages later, I hoped for whispered secrets and endless giggles, tied shoes and the passing of “I can do it myself.” (I'm still waiting for that one!)

I've learned that it doesn't really matter what my girls like or do, as long as they feel comfortable in their own skin and find and see and be the beauty in this world, whether it shows itself in the words they pen, the art they paint, the circuits they build, or the math they solve.

We've embraced skinned knees and grass-stained jeans, the dismissal of anything–and everything–pink and the true-blue love of Legos, science experiments, and bugs. My goodness, so many bugs.

As I've come into my own as a mom, I've learned that it doesn't really matter what my girls like or do, as long as they feel comfortable in their own skin and find and see and be the beauty in this world, whether it shows itself in the words they pen, the art they paint, the circuits they build, or the math they solve.

This unyielding belief that beauty and goodness is theirs for the taking–and the giving–is what will helps them find their shine, and as their mom, that's what's important to me.

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I asked five mothers to share what they most wish for their daughters, whispered letters of love and shine. When I read each of these women's Heart Words, what I loved most about them is how they threaded together even though their backgrounds and their stories are all quite different. It was a perfect reminder that more often than not, we're more alike than we're different, and our focus lies in the heart.

dear-daughters-nicole
Image via Nicole Morgan

Nicole Morgan blogs at Sisters from Another Mister, a blog bringing sisters of the world together stemming from the belief that we may not have been sisters from the start, but we are sisters from the heart.

About her wish for her girls, Nicole says, “There are many things I wish for my girls, but above all, I would love to raise my girls to be compassionate. Having empathy for others and showing kindness where you can brings out your inner beauty in what has become such a materialistic world.”

dear-daughters-wendy
Image via Wendy Bradford

Wendy Bradford writes about parenting twins plus one and various topics including eating disorders, mom rage, and depression for the Huffington Post, other media outlets, and her personal blog, Mama One to Three.

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About her wish for her girls, Wendy says, “My daughters will fare well if they are resilient. It is a trait I do not possess in equal proportion to my insecurities, and I know it has made my journey into adulthood, and specifically motherhood, more difficult. Life can be unfair and inexplicable at times. The only antidote is to be able to overcome setbacks and disappointments and losses, however great they may be.”

dear-daughters-jessica
Image via Jessica Watson

Jessica Watson blogs at Four Plus An Angel about life after loss with two triplets, a teenager with autism, and a rainbow baby.

About her wish for her girls, Jessica says, “I want my daughters to be confident girls. I hope they are happy with who they are and don't look to others to for that happiness, but find it within themselves.”

dear-daughters-allison
Image via Allison Slater Tate

Allison Slater Tate writes at her blog about her life and her family.

About her wish for her girl, Allison says, “The one trait I want her to have is empathy, which I think leads to an ability to be kind and to love freely. Everything else will come or work itself out. I want her to love people and to show it well.”

dear-daughters-kristen
Image via Kristen Levithan

Kristen Levithan blogs at Motherese, where she shares cultural commentary and musings on modern motherhood.

About her wish for her girls, Kristen says, “Like most of us, I'm sure, I want my daughter to be strong and confident, but above all else, I want her to be resilient. I tend to be thin-skinned. I take things too personally and spend too much time ruminating over my missteps. I want my girl to know that even though life is full of hills and valleys, we can control how we react to those changes in the landscape. So much of our own contentment comes from being able to navigate those changes with grace, letting go of the bad and embracing the good.”

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Dear Daughters: Life Lessons for Our Girls

Galit Breen is the bestselling author of Kindness Wins, a simple guide to teaching your child to be kind online; the TEDx Talk, “Raising a digital kid without having been one”; the online course Raise Your Digital Kid™; and the Facebook group The Savvy Parents Club. She believes you can get your child a phone and still create a grass-beneath-their-bare-feet childhood for them. Galit’s writing has been featured on The Huffington Post; The Washington Post; Buzzfeed; TIME; and more. She liv ... More

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