I usually fall in line with the ‘Break the Rules’ parenting (especially when falling down a mommyblog rabbit hole while I should be folding laundry) but the longer I do it, the more I realize that rules are bullshit. Most recently it was a ‘How Not to Raise a Daughter’ list that ruffled my feathers. Maybe it’s because I’m an older first-time mom, maybe it’s because I’ve become quite the little conformist, maybe it’s just because I’m crotchity, but I don’t want these dumb rules for my kid. I hope that when my daughter picks her path in this life she isn’t swayed by arbitratily contrived lists of dos and donts based on someone else’s lame experience. I hope that she isn’t shamed into a place that she’d rather not be. I hope that I will have raised her to be exactly what she needs to be at all times. I hope she knows that I’ll be there when she’s not. I hope that she’ll be good in all she does. I hope. I hope. I hope.
To my daughter:
Baby, quit your day job and be a mom full time if you want to. I’ve never been happier in my whole life than I am watching you get mad about not being able to stand up inside a cardboard box. If I had the privilege of doing that everyday, I couldn’t turn it down. If you can and want to stay home… do it. If you love your job with your whole heart and want to work, girlfriend, go back to work. There are so many people in your village that love you and your child, we’ll help you both grow as much as we can. It’s important for moms to be happy too.
You are pretty. You’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and I’ll tell you that until my last breath. You’re also smart and capable and I’ll teach you how to be caring and cunning and wise. Don’t let people tell you that beautiful is bad and don’t you dare think that beauty is everything. But dammit, you’re the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen.
Be bossy. Be thoughtful first. Be smart and kind and do your best to change the way people think about bossy, but girlfriend, BE A BOSS.
I am human. I’m your mom and you probably will be a mom someday too and it’s hard. It’s messy. I am not without fault but man, I’m doing my best because I love you so much. Be human. Make mistakes. Admit them. Be humble. Always learn as much as you can.
Don’t listen to any list on any dumb blog. Be pretty and bossy and human all you want, baby. This world is yours for the changing.