Becoming a girl mom has no doubt changed my life for the better. We wanted more than anything to have the "picture perfect" family with one girl and one boy, but when we made our plans, God up in heaven started laughing. As if anything in life is going to go according to OUR plans, right? We asked for what we thought we wanted, but instead received exactly what we needed.
We were destined to be girl parents, specifically to these two incredible little girls who have already taught us so much in their first 3 years of life. Although much of this advice can apply to any new parent, here's my top advice as a girl mom!
Only buy zippered onsies. You will not use the snaps. You'll thank me at 11pm and 1am and 3am.
Start watching Bluey now--don't listen to anyone who tells you it's for the kids, it's actually for the parents.
Buy the dolls and the kitchen toys, but also buy the mechanic set and the tool kits.
When she is giving you attitude that can only be rivaled by your own, don't crush her spirit...she's going to need it.
Let her be a Daddy's Girl. She might say daddy first, but she will still rely on Mama for so many things in life.
Buy all the coveralls--they aren't just for the boys!
Let her dance in the front row during the worship service, even if the Pastor gives you a hard time, and even if you are embarrassed.
Don't give in on the important things, once you do it can feel impossible to go back.
Listen to your instincts--if something feels wrong, no one else's opinion on the matter is important.
Find your tribe and don't be afraid to ask for help.
If you want to nurse your baby, don't give up in the first two weeks. It might be miserable, but it gets easier.
A hug and a kiss can make any boo-boo better.
Talk to her about everything, even if you don't think she understands yet, she will be talking back before you know it.
Enjoy dressing her up when she is little, because she will develop an opinion on her sense of style fast!
Get in the photos and videos, even though you won't feel photo ready for a while. Their first few years go by so incredibly fast, and someday you'll wish you would have more to document it.
Take videos of the little moments, especially the sounds--one day they will be the things you look back on with the most fondness.
Pray for and help your spouse when you can. Life with littles is hard whether you are Mom or Dad, and you need each other's support. Mom might carry the baby and do the majority of the care for the first year, but Dad is feeling the pressure of this life changing time too.
Mama, be careful how you treat and talk about about yourself in front of her. You are modeling self love and acceptance even from the beginning, and she is paying attention. Dad, be careful how you treat and talk to mama in front of her. You are teaching her what is acceptable behavior from loved ones and her future spouse.
When you can, let her make her own decisions. Let her pick her own clothes (even if you don't like them), decide what toy she wants to play with, or pick what she wants to eat for lunch. She doesn't always get what she wants, and that is important to learn too, but when you can, let her decide.
Tell her she's beautiful, but not only when she is "dressed up". Her beauty does not come from the pretty clothes she wears but from her heart.
You won't enjoy every moment of your parenting journey, but that doesn't make you a bad parent.
If you are able, don't turn her down if she wants to cuddle and lay in your lap. These moments become less and less often right before your eyes.
Empower her to solve her own problems, though she may need help accomplishing tasks.
Pray with her and for her before bed. She may not be able to speak at the beginning, but she will pick it up faster than you can imagine.
My husband from the background chimed in just two tidbits of advice:
Dad, give mom a break whenever you can.
Have patience. LOTS OF PATIENCE.
Remember that you are not just raising a little girl, you are raising the woman she will become. Extend grace and love whenever possible, and enjoy every single moment you get with her, because she is a blessing.
The days are long, but the years are short.
"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." - 1 Samuel 1:27