Things I Want My Daughter to Know

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Sometimes Love is Hard March 25, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 1:57 am

Baby Girl,

I want you to know that sometimes, love is hard.

You will love a lot of people in your life, Baby Girl, and each one in a different way.

Sometimes, love can be the easiest, most logical thing in the world, as easy as breathing. Loving some people is something you do without thinking. There will be people in this world you love before you ever actually meet them (like children, nieces and nephews). There will be people in this world you love for years after you last saw or spoke to them. It just happens. You can’t stop it, you can’t control it. You just love them and it’s just a part of who you are.

But that same uncontrollable love can hurt. There will come a time you will love someone you will not, and cannot, ever see again because they are gone. And that will hurt. It is hard to lose someone you love, no matter how or when it happens.

There will come a time that loving someone means stepping back and letting them live their life, including making their own mistakes and, at times, getting hurt, because that’s what’s best for them. And watching someone you love hurting is not easy or fun at all.

There may come a time when you are in love with someone who is in love with someone else. Let me tell you, Baby Girl, that sucks. There is no other word for it. It sucks, it’s hard and it hurts. And most of the time, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it because, once you love someone, it’s very very hard to just stop. You can’t exactly turn off your heart.

This is not to tell you not to love. Love with everything you have because the rewards can be amazing. But just know that you will have a few heartbreaks along the way. It will hurt. It will suck. It will be hard.

But you will make it through. We always do. It’s part of growing up and part of being alive.

I love you,

Mommy

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You Deserve As Much As Those You Love March 22, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 2:09 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know you deserve as much as those you love.

You will, as most people in the world do, want the best for those you love. You will want them to have the best of everything and to be happy and loved and treated well.

When living your life and going through situations, if you find yourself in a situation or circumstance that makes you uncomfortable, think to yourself: “Would I want my friend (or aunt or brother or Mommy or daughter or whatever) to go through this / feel this way / be treated this way?”

If the answer is no, don’t put up with it yourself.

The biggest instance of this you will likely encounter is the way other people in the world treat you. If you come across a person who treats you badly – where, were the situation different and it was a friend in your shoes, you would tell them to run, run away as fast as they could and never look back – give yourself the same advice, and, for once, take it, listen to it and run with it.

You are worthy of being treated well. You deserve to be treated well. You deserve to be loved.

You do not need to tolerate people putting you down, making you feel bad, belittling you, screaming at you, making you cry, or in any way making you feel like you aren’t the incredible, wonderful girl (woman) you are and will be.

Do not, I repeat, do not, allow yourself to remain in any situation you would not let your (hypothetical) daughter or your best friend remain in.

Be your own best friend when you need to.

And if necessary to extract yourself, blame me. Make me the bad guy.

I’m a Mommy. Sometimes, that’s part of my job description.

I love you,

Mommy.

 

No One Else Is Responsible For Your Happiness (Nor Are You Responsible For Theirs) February 12, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 4:30 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know that no one else is, or should be, responsible for your happiness, nor are you, or should you be, responsible for theirs.

It may sound odd, but you need to be happy and stable on your own before you allow yourself to make someone else’s happiness, stability, or mental state your problem. No one else can make such things your responsibility (though some people will try), you can only take such responsibility on your self. But you don’t have to. Remember that.

Live your life for yourself. Do what you want to do. Do not do the (non-important) things you don’t want to do. Do not feel obligated to say “yes” to invitations. Do not feel guilty about taking an earned day off or saying no to covering for someone else.

Do not force yourself to stay in relationships that you are not happy in.

Do not let people walk over you or use you. Do not take other people’s problems as your own and certainly do not make other people’s happiness your responsibility.

The only person you are responsible for is yourself.

Take responsibility for your happiness and your well being, and do not put others ahead of yourself all the time. You should be your number one priority. You should be the most important factor in your world.

You should make yourself happy because no one else is going to do it, nor should they.

Other people are not better off or more fortunate than you. You should accept yourself ad you are and be happy with yourself. You are an interesting, intelligent person. You deserve love and respect, deserve to feel valued and needed. You shouldn’t need others to tell you when you’ve done a good job.

Being yourself is not only okay, it’s incredibly important.

Accept criticism without feeling put down. It does not mean you are a bad person.

Admit to your mistakes. It does not mean you are weak. Everyone makes mistakes and if they tell you they don’t, they are lying through their teeth.

Do not hide your true feelings (or, only in situations where you know you should. Sometimes it is beneficial but, in general, don’t).

You are allowed to speak up for yourself and put your views across. You don’t need to worry what other people think about your views. You don’t need the approval of other people to feel good.

You should not feel guilty about saying what you want.

‘Love does not mean leaning and company isn’t security. Kisses aren’t contracts and presents aren’t promises.’ It is not someone else’s job or responsibility to take care of you or make you happy. Being a good friend does not mean being a doormat.

It is okay to be sad, hurt, or upset. It is not okay to allow other people to make you feel that way. It is your life and your responsibility.

Of course, I will always do anything and everything I can to take care of you and make you happy but I can’t do it for you.

Also, realize that, once you do have a child of your own, your mind will change about a lot of the above. Your child’s happiness is one of those things you will happily take on yourself and make your responsibility as much as you can.

Trust me on that one. Cause it’s not explainable.

I love you.

Love,

Mommy

 

High School Is Not The End-All-Be-All February 11, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 2:55 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know high school is not the end-all-be-all.

No, I don’t mean the school part. School and studying are important. Pay attention in school. Yes, it might be boring and you might think it’s pointless, but down the road, you’ll wish you’d worked harder. Go to college, even if it’s for a degree you are not quite sure what to do with. Once you leave school, it’s terribly difficult to go back and the day will come when it’s not really a possibility anymore and you’ll really wish you’d gone and graduated when you had the chance.

Okay, now that I’ve said that and made that qualification, the rest of high school — the “social part” — is NOT as important as the world would like you to think and as the movies would have you believe.

If you watch and follow movies and television and all that good stuff, if your “high school experience” isn’t perfect — if you don’t go to the best parties, have the most popular friends, join the “right” clubs, attend all the sporting events and, in general, be “perfect and popular” — your life will never be fulfilling and you will be miserable.

This is not true. In fact, if high school is “the best four years of your life”, you probably have a problem.

Not everyone can be the most popular girl in school. There’s only one and, to be honest, odds are stacked against everyone. Most people won’t be that person.

And that’s okay. To be honest, she’s probably not the happiest person in the world. Popularity, or trying for it, can be a very time consuming thing and tends to put you under a microscope for everyone else to just rip apart. You don’t want that. Trust me, you don’t.

It’s okay to not want to go to parties. It’s okay to not want to be friends with everyone. It’s okay to want to sit in the corner with your nose in a book and really not care about the silly politics of high school hierarchy.

It’s okay to not be perfect. It’s okay to be a “smart kid” and get good grades. It’s okay to skip football games or basketball games if they bore you (but it’s also okay to go to every one if you’re interested!)

If you are in a group or club that goes on a trip, it’s okay to not go because it’s expensive, or to not go purely because you just don’t want to or feel like it. It’s okay not to like everyone.

It’s okay if some people aren’t your friends. Not everyone in the world likes everyone else, sometimes — a lot of the times — for no real reason other than, well, they just don’t. It happens. It’s okay. Don’t sweat it and just enjoy those people you do like, you do have ful with and you do care about. Those are your real friends. Don’t worry about the others.

Believe it or not, high school is a lot of people trying to figure out who they are, what they want, and how to reconcile such things with reality. People who peak in high school (those for who “the best four years of your life” is true) are generally not going to be happy and well-adjusted adults.

I would rather be happy as an adult than have that “perfect” high school experience and be miserable once I’m older. I hope you can be a happy adult.

If you are popular in high school, that’s fine. If you are one of those people who is friends with everyone and goes to parties and sporting events and all that stuff and that makes you happy (as long as you keep up with your grades), that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with it and I will support you.

But if you are anything like me, there will be something in your mind very early in high school that says “that’s not what I want. I want to sit over there, read a book and not give a sh*t”.

That’s okay, Baby Girl. I will be in your corner and behind you. I wish I’d realized at 13 that it was okay to not be popular and I would much rather sit in the corner being a book worm than try to fit into a world I just didn’t exactly belong to. I would have been much happier, then and, probably, now.

It took me a long time to get out of and away from the things I tried to train into my brain in those four years. I don’t want that, or anything like it, for you. Ever.

I want better for you. You deserve better. You don’t deserve that.

Be what you want to be, Baby Girl, and I will love you. Don’t let them put you down or get under your skin. Be who you want to be and do what you want to do and you’ll be much happier.

Trust me on that one.

Love,

Mommy

 

Sometimes People Get Sick January 26, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 3:08 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know that sometimes people get sick.

Being sick is a fact, reality and part of life. It just happens. Your Nana will get sick. Your Momma will get sick. Both you and Baby Brother, at times, will get sick. It will probably suck. Sometimes, it can be scary (especially if the person sick is me or your Nana). It can be confusing when you are so young. But, usually and generally, it is and will be okay. Being sick happens.

Like I said, you will get sick over the years. It happens. I am sorry because it will not be fun, but it happens. Do not be afraid to admit that you hurt or be afraid to talk to someone if you think something is wrong or if you think you are sick. There are people that can help — there are people whose job it is to help.

Being sick isn’t always a physical feeling or physical symptoms. Sometimes it can be in your mind. If you think you are feeling or thinking things you should not, tell me. Or, if for some reason you are uncomfortable telling me (I’m your Mommy, I do understand and I do understand that it can be hard to talk to Mommy sometimes when you get older), tell someone — your Nana, your Grandma, your Gigi, a teacher, anyone at church — any adult. They will be able to help you or bring you to someone who can help you.

Do not try to “fix” it yourself. Do not try to be bigger than the sickness. Do not try to ignore it. It might just get worse and that’s not good. Take care of it before it gets unruly.

Now, I hate going into this part, but I have to: there may come a time when someone in your life gets sick in a way that really isn’t curable. It happens to many people, all ages, all everything. It can be scary. It can be frightening. It can be very and extremely hard.

If it happens, it will suck.

If it happens, please do not be afraid to talk to me, Gigi, Grandma, or Nan. We’ve all been there. We lost your Grandaddy to a disease that nobody could fix. Hopefully, before it hits you in any way, we will be able to cure anybody and everybody of anything and everything. But there’s no guarantee of that. I will be there to listen. I will be there to hug you. I will be there for you to scream at because, if it happens, you will be angry. I will understand, I will hug you, I will listen and I will still love you.

Please don’t ignore being sick. It’s never a good idea. (Trust me on that one.) If you ever even just feel “off”, feel free to tell me. It’s probably your body trying to tell you sometime, to show you something it needs — even if that “need” is just rest.

Love,

Mommy

 

Sometimes Bad Things Happen to Good People January 19, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 4:06 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know that, sometimes, bad things can happen to good people.

People get sick. It’s a fact of life. Sometimes, people get really sick, to the point where they have to be hospitalized, or even to the point where there doesn’t seem to be hope in the future. And sometimes, there isn’t. Sometimes we lose these people.

But that doesn’t mean the people were or are bad or that they did anything to deserve being sick. It doesn’t mean you, or any of the people that loved them, did anything to deserve what losing the person does to them. It just happens sometimes.

It sucks. But it happens.

There are also going to be difficult times in your life. Everyone has them. There are going to be moments, days, weeks, sometimes even months or years when you are going to be in a bad situation or have bad things happen and, during that time, you are going to feel alone. You are going to wonder what in the world you did to “deserve” this. You are going to wonder what these bad things are pay back for.

And the answer to all those questions is, simply, nothing. Bad things happen. There are times when you will feel like you can’t do this anymore, can’t keep moving and can’t go on. You will feel like you are pushed to the edge and anything else would break you.

But let me tell you, that’s not true. God does not “let” or “make” things happen to people, but He also isn’t going to leave you alone completely. Even if you feel like there is no one else there for you, He will be. Sometimes, He trusts us to handle things on our own much better than we think we can, but He knows we can do it. And, just knowing that, will often give me the strength to handle it and go on.

Someone, somewhere, is always on your side and will help you and be there to catch you if you fall. Sometimes, that someone will be me. Sometimes, it might be your Nana. Or your Gigi. Or your Daddy. But someone will be there.

None of this is to say, however, that such times are easy. They may be part of a bigger plan, or may not be something happening in retribution, and may not be more than you or we can handle, but that doesn’t mean they don’t suck, and majorly. They do.

It just means that, at some point, it will pass and there will be light again.

You just have to keep breathing and keep watching for it.

Love,

Mommy

 

Weight is Just a Number January 14, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — rlginny @ 5:00 am

Dear Baby Girl,

I want you to know weight is just a number.

This is an important one, Baby Girl, so I want you to be sure to remember it.

You are, at the moment, and most likely always will be, a rather small girl. There is nothing wrong with that. Baby Brother is probably going to pass you, both in height and weight, before I know it and, again, that is okay. There is nothing wrong with being petite.

However, I want you to always remember that there is no “perfect” weight. You are female and, as much as I hate to admit it and wish it on you, you will be subjected to society’s idea of the “perfect” woman — some super skinny model who isn’t healthy and has a body that isn’t realistic for any normal person, both in height and weight. Dollars to doughnuts, that model’s doctor isn’t happy with her “numbers”, because I guarantee you she isn’t as healthy as she could be.

As long as you are healthy — meaning a doctor says you are healthy — the specific number of your weight and height should not, and do not, matter. Do not kill yourself trying to be the smallest size. Do not let a number rule your like and what you eat. Don’t be afraid of scales. Or food for that matter.

Food is your friend — even fried or sweet or fattening. It’s all about moderation, portion sizes and good choices. Don’t deny yourself some food you want just because you “shouldn’t” eat it — you’ll just eat around the craving and end up munching down more than if you’d just allowed yourself that small piece of cake or a small serving of french fries. It’s not about denying yourself foods; it’s about portion sizes and balanced diets.

On that note, don’t trust restaurant “portions”. There is nothing wrong with not clearing your plate at a restaurant. In fact, most places, you really shouldn’t. So many restaurants give you more food and more calories in “one” meal than you should ever eat in a day. Restaurant meals are meant to be used as left overs! Also, don’t be ashamed or embarrassed to ask if you can order a smaller portion, or even from the kids menu. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to eat that much food.

Listen to your body. It will tell you when it is full. Once you’ve eaten your meal, wait for five minutes to see if you really want seconds. If you’re still hungry, eat more.

Don’t force yourself to eat at specific times. There is nothing wrong with just eating when you’re hungry and not eating when you aren’t hungry.

Don’t eat just because the food is there.

It’s not hard to eat healthy. You can eat anything you want, Baby Girl, and (assuming you aren’t deathly allergic to it or anything) it won’t hurt you. It’s all about portion and moderation. (But seriously, don’t forget to eat your vegetables; they are good for you. No, french fried are not really a vegetable. And candy apples don’t count as a fruit.)

Love,

Mommy