Mothering daughters is so much more than sparkles, shopping sprees, and princesses.

It’s so much deeper.

It’s being in awe of how strong her personality is, and if it isn’t, it’s giving her the tools to build confidence to become strong, so she’s never afraid to use her voice to stand up for herself and others.

It’s watching her nurture her siblings.

It’s seeing yourself in her, as she tries to replicate your warmth while also using her own instincts. It’s watching pretend play consist of making a sick baby doll soup or rocking a crying baby doll to sleep.

It’s receiving a hug when you’re feeling sad without having to ask for it because she considers your feelingsso you can only hope that’s a sign she won’t contribute to the mean girl culture.

It’s a lot of tears because there are so many emotions.

They don’t always make sense either. But it’s learning to sympathize with how she feels and letting her have that cry no matter how silly we may think those tears are.

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It’s being aware of the pressure society puts on women and making sure we don’t perpetuate them. It’s not talking about our body insecurities in front of her. It’s never commenting on her size. It’s letting her know her worth is in who she is and what she does, not her physical appearance.

It’s letting her know mental health matters above all else. It’s keeping an open dialogue with her about your own struggles to show her how you take care of yourself, so she emulates you. It’s showing her there’s no shame in asking for help because no one’s perfect—it’s actually the brave thing to do.

Even though we’re the ones raising them, our girls continuously remind us of what’s important in this world . . .

Like to laugh at the little things that often hold us captive on the carousel of overthinking.

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Our girls help us by just being themselves because it doesn’t matter what the PTA president thinks of us—just what she and her siblings think.

Mothering daughters is so much more than sparkles, shopping sprees, and princessesand we should hate when people reduce them to these surface items.

Our girls make us look inward because they’re complex.

And because of our daughters, we’re much better women.

Previously published on the author’s Facebook page

Dani Sherman-Lazar

Dani Sherman-Lazar is an eating disorder advocate, Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to three daughters. Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED and like it on Facebook. Her book Living Full: Winning My Battle with Eating Disorders is available on Amazon.