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I love being a mom of girls. I’m crazy about my daughters and can hardly believe I get the privilege of calling them mine.

I especially love being a mom of older girls. (I need something to wear! I hate my entire wardrobe! But hey…here’s a whole other wardrobe to consider!) 

But since the motherhood learning curve never does straighten out, here’s my take on what you might find to be true if you are–or might someday be–the mom of a daughter who dwells in the strange and wonderful world of tweendom.

  1. You’ve heard something like this come out of her mouth at some point: “I hate feelings. First, you’re a girl. Then you have these feelings. It all gets really messy. The only thing that got me through the day was that I knew I looked really cute.”
  2. If anyone needs you, you’ll be in the car. Driving her somewhere, or dropping her off somewhere, or waiting to pick her up somewhere.
  3. If anyone needs your daughter, and she’s not at school or at one of the places you’ve driven her to, she’s probably in her room.
  4. You blame the hormones. It’s the hormones. It’s definitely the hormones.
  5. You get it: middle-school cool is a powerful force. But wanting to fit in does not make your daughter any less of an independent, confident, unique individual who is secure in her own self worth. It just means that if her lunch “tote” isn’t acceptable, it’ll never see the light of day. (Or, as the case may be, the fluorescent bulbs of the cafeteria.)
  6. Your daughter amazes, perplexes, awes, frustrates, delights, maddens, inspires, and charms you. Often all in the same 24 hours.
  7. White tank tops and black hair ties are items you buy in bulk.
  8. There are all the bobby pins that have ever been produced in the history of the world. There are all the bobby pins you’ve bought in the history of your family. There are all the bobby pins under the couch cushions and on the floor of the car and in the laundry. And then there are all the bobby pins you will ever actually be able to find on any given morning. Which is possibly two.
  9. When you ask her if she has any math homework, you’ll really, really want the answer to be “no.”
  10. Whatever your daughter is reading, it’s quite possibly part of a trilogy that takes place in a futuristic dystopian society.
  11. #OOTD is a thing. (“Outfit of the day,” apparently.)
  12. You’ve got some ideas for tween versions of those children’s books you used to read to her when she was little. Alexandra Is 12, So Every Day Is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, maybe, or Are You My Mother—And Can You Pretend You’re Not When We’re Out in Public? See also Love You Forever (Even Though I’m Not Entirely Certain How Much I Actually Like You Right Now).
  13. You just don’t ask when your daughter spends 45 minutes choosing an outfit and comes out of her room wearing jeggings and a t-shirt.
  14. When she was a baby, you remember thinking you’d catch up on your sleep some day when she was older. Now you recognize that this is not that day. (See #4.)
  15. You have accepted that life runs more smoothly if “it” is clean. Whatever “it” is.
  16. What you can safely say on a school morning amounts to a pretty short list: 1)yes, I like your hair like that; 2)yes, I like that outfit; 3) yes, I can give you some money.
  17. You see someone across a room and think, “Who is that gorgeous, tall girl?” And then you realize she is your gorgeous, tall girl.
  18. You’re quickly figuring out that sometimes “fine” means “fine.” And sometimes it doesn’t.
  19. You’re beyond grateful that ice cream therapy works.
  20. Your tween says something and leaves the room. You and another family member look at each other in silent reference to whatever it was your tween just said. From the other room, she yells, “I can hear you two looking at each other about me!”
  21. You’re learning that about 90 percent of tween girl drama is not something you need to get involved in or, even worse, worry yourself sick over. For the most part, it smooths itself out if you just ride it out. (You understand, of course, that taking dark chocolate along for that ride helps a lot.)
  22. You’ve been told that you are “the best mother in the world” on account of late-night laundry service to wash The Only Pair Of Jeans That Will Work With Tomorrow’s Outfit. You speed-dial your attorney and ask him to prepare some sort of binding document in which your daughter swears to the validity of this designation. Because you well understand that you are The Best Mom In the World…until you are The Worst Mom In the World.
  23. You can’t believe how fascinating and beautiful and smart and talented and interesting your daughter is, any more than you can imagine life without her.

Elizabeth Spencer

Elizabeth Spencer is mom to two daughters (one teen and one young adult) who regularly dispense love, affection, and brutally honest fashion advice. She writes about faith, food, and family (with some occasional funny thrown in) at Guilty Chocoholic Mama and avoids working on her 100-year-old farmhouse by spending time on Facebook and Twitter.

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