Our Biggest Sale of the Year is Here!🎄 ➔

Here’s to the dads of all girls, whose lives probably aren’t the way they pictured it.

Here’s to the dads who attend tea parties while wearing crowns and sporting pastel-colored friendship bracelets to work. Here’s to the guys who kiss dollies good night and laugh when co-workers tell them they have glitter in their hair. Here’s to the men who sit through impromptu fashion shows instead of watching the big game.

Here’s to the dads who teach their daughters to box out in basketball or use their bodies in soccer or how to field grounders. Here’s to the dads who take their daughters fishing and for three-mile runs and to the Indy 500. Here’s to the dads who used to dream of watching sons play football, but now cheer the loudest for their daughters at weekend cheerleading competitions. They still teach them to throw perfect spirals, too.

Here’s to the dads who believe you don’t have to be a man to be handy and teach their daughters how to change tires or fix a running toilet or mow the lawn. Here’s to the guys who encourage their daughters to play in the mud and then let them paint their nails. Here’s to the man who cheers on other women, so his daughter doesn’t just hear that she can be anything she wants, she sees it firsthand.

Here’s to the dads who don’t complain that there’s never any hot water or there’s hair in all the drains or that high-pitch squeals often come with the territory.

Here’s to the dads who don’t check out during puberty, who try to remain close to their daughters during this awkward time. Here’s to the fathers who shut down the shame the world casts on young women and don’t mock the hormonal and body changes young girls often face.

Here’s to the men who don’t try to intimidate their daughters’ suitors, because they feel confident they’ve raised strong girls who know their self-worth. Here’s to the dads who empower young women. raising them to be fierce and determined, but also kind and well-intentioned.

Here’s to the dads who model how a woman should be treated by respecting their daughters’ mothers. Here’s to the dads who don’t seek power by marginalizing or using force against someone else.

And here’s to the dads who are raising strong women, yet understand that this also can mean there are a lot of tears too—and they have no problem with the fact that they often will never know why anyone in their house is crying.

Bonus points if they show their daughters that real men sometimes shed tears, too. 

But most of all, here’s to the dads of all daughters who upon hearing the unending comments like . . . 

“Dude, you are so screwed, wait until they: 
want all the clothes, or 
the boys start coming around, or
they better get their shotgun handy, or 
get their periods at the same time, or 
get married and you have to pay for all the weddings, or
any of the million inane things people will say over time. . . 

Who simply respond: “I love being a dad to my girls. I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available for pre-order now!

Pre-Order Now

Whitney Fleming

Whitney is a mom of three teen daughters, a freelance writer, and co-partner of the site parentingteensandtweens.com You can find her on Facebook at WhitneyFlemingWrites.

Sometimes Growth Is Tangible, and When It Is You Hold On Tight

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mom putting bike helmet on child

I never expected my sign to come in the form of a plastic bag. As a parent, you’re told over and over how fast it all goes, to cherish these times because they’re gone in a blink. You see the gradual changes in your kids as they move through milestones. One day, they can hold their own spoon. They begin stringing words into sentences. Their ages are counted in years and no longer months. You watch these things happen every day, but I didn’t realize some transitions would come in tangible ways, like a grocery bag filled with wet swim...

Keep Reading

Some Nights They Need You a Little More

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy sleeping, color photo

Some nights they need you a little more, mama. Because of the bad dreams or the bogeyman they are adamant is under the bed. Because firefighter daddy’s schedule leaves him missing goodnight tuck-ins and bedtime stories several times a week, sometimes leaving them a little needier and more emotional. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. RELATED: I’ll Lay With You As Long As You Need, My Child Because they are sick. Because they feel safe in your presence. Some nights they need you a little more, mama. It’s not always easy. It’s not always (okay, hardly ever)...

Keep Reading

Sweet Babies, I’ll Be There

In: Kids, Motherhood
Two children lying in bed, color photo

When your world is calm and peaceful, I’ll be there. When your world is chaotic like an ice cream shop on the hottest day of summer, I’ll be there. When you need a Band-Aid applied and a boo-boo kissed, I’ll be there. When you want to perform in your Frozen microphone like you’re performing for a crowd of 20,000 people, I’ll be there. When you feel lost and alone, I’ll be there. When you feel you have nowhere to go, I’ll be there. RELATED: I Will Always Be There When You Need Me, My Son When you need a pep...

Keep Reading

I’m in the Big Little Years

In: Kids, Motherhood
black and white photo of little boy and little girl standing in a window together

I’m in the big little years. It’s when you’re no longer in the tender season of babies and toddlers—those sweet, smothering, exhausting years of being constantly touched and needed . . . . . . but you’re not yet in the big kid years—navigating boyfriends and driver’s licenses and bracing your heart for the impending ache of an empty nest. I’m somewhere in between. I’m in the years of having littles that aren’t so little anymore, but still need you for so much. They have big feelings. Big ideas. Big dreams. But they have mostly little problems (even though they...

Keep Reading

1-Year-Olds Are Wonderful

In: Baby, Kids, Motherhood, Toddler
1 year old baby smiling

Newborns—who doesn’t love them?  The captivating scent of a brand new baby, their fragile little bodies laying so delicately on your chest. Everything that comes with a newborn baby is just absolute magic. But have you ever had a 1-year-old? I used to think the newborn phase was my favorite, nothing could ever be better than having such a tiny helpless little human rely on you for absolutely everything. I could hold my newborn for hours, soaking in every tiny little detail before it became nothing but a beautifully distant memory. But I’ve realized it’s 1-year-olds who have a special...

Keep Reading

My Kids Are All in School Now and It’s a Little Lonely

In: Kids, Motherhood
Woman looking out window alone

I had just dropped my children off at school. All of them. My youngest has just started full-time. It was my first full day on my own since she began, and I had really been looking forward to it, so I took myself into town to do a bit of shopping and grab a coffee. Just me. The kind of days dreams are made of, right? I could suddenly breathe again.  I only had myself to answer to.  I got my latte and something to eat. And then I cried.  My eyes filled with tears as I sat in the...

Keep Reading

I Love You Even When I Say I Don’t

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter touch foreheads

“I love you even when I say I don’t.” These words came out of nowhere from my 5-year-old. I was standing in the bathroom with her (we still don’t like to go potty without mommy standing right there), and she wouldn’t look at me while talking to me. You see, my 5-year-old and I have been in more spouts than ever before. She’s found this new attitude in her first couple months of kindergarten, coming home with new phrases including, “No, I don’t want to–you do it.” It hurts my heart, makes me frustrated, and leaves me asking myself where...

Keep Reading

Big Questions at Bedtime Don’t Require Perfect Answers

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and child at bedtime

Last night at bedtime, my son asked why everyone has to die one day. The thought of my sweet 7-year-old grappling with the weight of such a question hurt my heart. He looked so small tucked under a fleece blanket, clutching his favorite stuffed panda. How could the same little boy who just started second grade wearing a space backpack stuffed with bright, wide-ruled notebooks ask such a thing?  Perhaps my children are more aware of the inevitability of death than other kids their age due to the passing of various family pets over the past few years, or perhaps...

Keep Reading

If Someone Needs a Friend, Be a Friend

In: Friendship, Kids, Motherhood
Three kids with backpacks, color photo

“If someone needs a friend, be a friend” it’s the running joke in our family. My husband will say the phrase to our four kids when discussing certain life situations in a lovingly mocking type way. They’ll all look at me and chuckle. I giggle a little myself at the corniness of it. But I always add, “It’s true.” It’s a phrase I’ve used more times than I can count. To teach them all to be includers—the kind of kids who look for the kid having a bad day and seek to brighten it, the kind of kids who stand...

Keep Reading

Sometimes the Middle Child Just Needs To Feel Like #1

In: Kids, Motherhood
Mother and daughter smiling, color photo

This morning, I had a girl home with me. My middle child. There have been so many times she has felt sick, and she’s had to either sleep on our floor or stay in her bed because her little sister didn’t understand why she was getting kicked out of the bed and would scream at the top of her lungs. So many times she is schlepped to soccer practice or musical practice—that’s not for her. She has to stay after school for an extra 15 minutes at the end of her long day to pick up her older brother who...

Keep Reading