I’ve believed Tiffany’s words from the start.
“So my first time on your blog,” she commented, “and I’m hooked!” Sometimes you get sweet first comments like this. And then the person never comes back. I won’t find blame in this. You don’t know what life holds.
A year later, and she’s still leaving comments and has moved into that inner circle of bloggers you can rely on to read you if the rest of the world decides not to.
Tiffany, who writes the blog Sounds Like Life to Me, is here today, on my birthday, to talk about raising a girl. You should check out her blog. She writes lovingly of life with teenagers, critters and and amazing husband.
And she’s become an amazing friend.
Give her a warm CD welcome, and remember to visit Sounds Like Life to Me.
Eli and I met earlier this year through a mutual blog we both read. Then to my surprise, he emailed me out of the blue in regards to participating in his “In 6 Words” post that he hosts every month.
Since that time, we have bounced emails back and forth sharing stories about youth, kids, life’s complications, our home state of Colorado and our addictions to caffeine. A fabulous friendship has developed in just a short period of time and I couldn’t be happier about it.
Eli is an inspiration to so many and just an all-around nice guy! When Eli invited me to guest post, I was not only honored but also thrilled to accept. I may have squealed a little even like one of those teen heartthrobs because his blog is kind of a big deal!
I am nobody famous, just a gal with a little blog that has become a really fun hobby and outlet for me. I have a small following which is really awesome and have made some pretty amazing friends all over the world.
We bounced some ideas off each other and decided we both liked discussing the challenges of raising a daughter. My mind started turning as to what points I should touch because on any given day, my daughter and I experience a range of entertainment between each other.
I have to say though at the end of the day, my daughter is a pretty amazing young lady. She is growing fast than I care for, while at the same time someone I look forward to calling my best friend. For now, I am still mom. ☺
The greatest challenge I have in raising my daughter is that she is now the age I was when my own mother left me, leaving me with nothing except loss, which is a story for another day.
I had nothing to go on in regards to the relationships between a mother and a daughter because my own relationship was so tainted and foul. I’m just kinda winging it at this point.
So many of the things I went through at this age, I have seen my daughter go through and what I wouldn’t have given to just have my mom there.
Let’s begin with mornings!
My daughter’s idea of getting up on time is only after the 3rd time in which I have threatened her very existence if she doesn’t %($& get up! This is usually greeted with a snarky “ooooookay, I am up” because it’s my fault that I am now a raging lunatic.
Clothing, where to even begin?
We go from “hell hath no fury like teen girl who can’t find just the right outfit in the morning causing the biggest meltdown of the century” to “the sun is shining and life is perfect because I caved and she is now sporting something from my closet because she has nothing to wear.”
I recently had to go shopping for new clothes because I literally have nothing to wear. The ability to share clothes with my soon to be 15-year-old is nice. The hiccup is when I want to actually wear something of mine that I know she has claimed as her own.
I have to venture into her room and pray it’s clean and hung up, verses somewhere lost in a sea of clothes that is her bedroom floor. The struggle is real folks!
Emotions & those evil pesky hormones!
I feel as though I have literally stepped on board the “Crazy Teen Train” with my daughter.
Within just a few hours of her waking up, we experience the following: hatred which s l o w l y transitions into mild irritation, followed by her seeking approval and then finally, happiness and love for all!
Patience, my love for her as well as coffee, keep me from locking her away like Rapunzel some days. Sometimes she forgets whom she is talking to and it’s usually in front of a friend.
What is it about having a friend over that gives a teen that little bit of courage to be lippy? Is it because they think they look cool?
It never ends well for her because she is reminded very quickly who she is talking to and that negotiations are over.
I am usually immediately greeted with an apology, eye roll or heavy sigh. To which I respond “I know, sucks right?” which just ticks her off more but makes me giggle. I’m mean that way.
Two years ago this past summer my daughter tried on a two-piece bathing suit and what I like to call booty shorts, because well, they are. She pleaded with me on our drive to the mall to let her look at these items and I agreed silently praying that she would hate them.
Thank the stars and heavens she wasn’t ready for them! She peeled them off just as fast as she put them on. This last summer, we did this whole trip again only this time we came home with two bikinis, three pairs of tasteful short shorts for her and a bottle of wine for me.
My daughter is 5’9, all legs and only 14! She looked amazing in everything she tried on. I had to text her dad to warn him and tell him to remain calm. The last thing I needed was a meltdown from him.
She has a keen sense about those she surrounds herself with. She has a huge heart and the ability to make friends and be friends with everyone but only keeping a few close at hand.
Drama seems to find her from time to time, but I have watched her effortlessly remove herself from situations or reach out for help when she knows she’s in over her head. I do not intervene unless she asks for help or I feel it is necessary for her own protection.
Her choices in friends have yet to disappoint. I hope this trend continues well into her young adult life and that I am always just a phone call away.
This one is simple, boys are stupid and she doesn’t need that kind of complication yet.
School and Grades!
A year ago I honestly did not think either of us would make it out of middle school alive. She is a freshman now at the same high school with her big brother who is a senior. The beginning was a bit rough and I was truly concerned.
Then something happened. I made her go to parent-teacher conferences with me which she has done before, but something about this round was different.
The teachers spoke to her, not me, but her. They addressed her and made her aware of their perception of who they envisioned her being as a student and some were shocked when her grades didn’t match their perception of her.
The transition has been awesome because it isn’t about grades anymore, it has become about her and what others see. Regardless of what I want from her, she has to be the one to want the same and more!
Motivation plays a key part in my daughter’s artistic abilities. I have watched her become an amazing artist over the last few years and now that she is in high school, the projects are bigger and more challenging.
She will text me thoughts and I will toss some ideas back to her and just wait.
I can give her all the ideas in the world, but until she discovers the tiniest of details, the work is stalled. Sometimes, all it takes is an event, or word, or image to light that fire under her and she takes off and the magic this kid makes is breathtaking.
# # #
Growing up, moms are the perfect image of what a princess really looks like. Moms teach girls how to dress, how to do their hair, apply makeup along with learning the importance of personal hygiene because as women, we really have to do a lot to maintain a girly appeal.
They teach us how to behave like a lady and when appropriate, show our horns. Then there is that terrifying change a girl must go through when she becomes a woman. All the evils our bodies must go through, how to handle the emotions and find an outlet when all seems lost.
Being a girl is hard! There are days when nothing is going right, nothing fits right, our hair is fried, our skin itches and the silliest of things cause a complete and total meltdown.
A girl just needs to cry sometimes over nothing and when it comes to moms and daughters, having a mom to just sit and cry with you, best thing ever!
It sounds like you’re doing a darn good job raising that daughter. I’ll bet you found quite a contrast between that and raising your son!
Yvonne, my kids are like night and day. My son on his worst day has been easier to handle than my daughter. That isn’t a bad thing, it is just the way it is. I am sure many parents can relate too. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
I often wonder what it would like to have a son …
It was cool to see her daughter’s progression through the photos, too.
Hey … Happy Birthday, Eli. 🙂
Hi Tiffany. While I can’t first-handly relate as a parent, I see it with my sister and her daughters. Thank you for sharing.
Hi Eli. Happy Birthday, youngun.
My pleasure! Thank you for reading 🙂
It’s 1:54 in the morning. I’d like to say, “Don’t ask!” But instead I’ll tell you both that I’m up finishing my own post for tomorrow. I didn’t plan it that way. I just couldn’t sleep. So there you go. But this. THIS! This post made me cry. Maybe it’s the hour. Maybe its the wine. It’s not the chocolate. 😉 It is this beautiful story about mothering your daughter. And perhaps even more powerful for me is that you are mothering your daughter without a mother of your own. My story is different. But I relate wholeheartedly. Thank you for this gift of a post. XO
Aw, thank you for reading! I tossed and turned all night last night making me hate my 4:30 alarm this morning. The coffee is strong this morning! Thank you for the kind words, I am so glad you could relate in some form or another. I have to say that I have surrounded myself with moms who have girls – older in fact – that I lean on when I am faced with a situation with my daughter that I am just at loss of how to cope with. Maybe tonight we will all get some solid zzz’s
I could use some catching up on ZZZs – how’s that for a cool way to celebrate a birthday?
This post goes to show you how much of parenting can be innate.
Awesome post, Tiffany!
I am very sorry that you had to grow up without your Mom – however it seems like your “winging it” is actually “nailing it”!
Now what I need you to do is to write the exact same post about raising a boy! Mine is 7, and i will pretty soon need some wise advice…
Happy, happy birthday, dear Eli! ♥
Thank you Tamara, no apology needed though. We can’t choose our parents and the experience taught me that not all mom’s are meant to be moms.
I can totally write a post about raising boys! I loved all the Nerf wars and PS3 games I played with my son when he allowed me too. There is a big difference for sure between the two genders.
my girls get in plenty of Nerf wars and LEGO Star Wars on the Wii, too.
You’re a lucky man Eli!
Tiffany, guess what, I found a post on mothering boys: http://todaysmama.com/2015/11/12-things-i-know-about-raising-only-boys/comment-page-1/#comment-103843
This is fabulous! #1 doesn’t seem to change as the get older either, why?
Totally a girl mom here and mine are still fairly young, but your part about making it through middle school gave me a bit of hope as a part of me is always worrying for what is to come. So thank you for that! 😉
You’re welcome Janine, I really cannot lie about how much we all hated middle school. It’s just an evil period of time but we made it and you will too!
It’s how you earn your stripes around here, Janine. I love seeing the fresh-faced kindergarten parents and think, “wait until middle school. Hell, wait until fourth grade!”
I’ve made it through middle school – twice. I’m still standin’.
Happy Birthday Eli!
Thank you a million times over for inviting me over to your blog! Has it really been a year??? Time sure flies when we are lost in thought eh?
That last quote you included is spot on, love it!
Thanks Tiffany! Thanks for such a great post, and for sticking around. Glad you liked the quote!
Thank you for this Tiffany. And thank you, too, Eli. Loved it. This will probably inspire a post called “A Boy and His Dad” from me. While raising boys can be night and day different than raising girls, I can easily relate to everything written here. I can say I am nervous about middle school. Thankfully, we’re still four years from that!
Sometimes, the kids get an early start on middle school behavior, Eric. (I however haven’t gotten an early start on a guest post.)
The attitude coming from our 8 year old is worthy of a 15 year old! And no worries about that guest post. I’ll post it whenever you finish it 🙂 You can’t rush perfection. 🙂
I’m aiming for publishability and minimal shame to my people, Eric.
My pleasure and I honestly went into middle school thinking I survived it, we can do this. My biggest battle were the grades for both kids.
When the grades matter most, that’s when the road gets tougher.
First off, happy birthday Eli! Your just 2 days ahead of my son (will be 13 on Friday). Secondly, I very much enjoyed Tiffany’s post. I can definitely relate to a bit of it, even though my child is a son. This part particularly resonated with me: “What is it about having a friend over that gives a teen that little bit of courage to be lippy? Is it because they think they look cool?” Yes! What the heck is with them? I love that you shared your daughter’s talents with us. I am impressed. Looking forward to checking out your blog.
Thank you and yes, it is funny to see how far she or her brother will push me forgetting that I really don’t care who they have over, I will call them on their lapse in judgement. I was never like that, every .
Thanks Susan! You’ll love Tiffany’s blog, too.
YAY!! Hi Tiffany!!! I can’t believe two of my favourite people in the same place. It’s like it’s my birthday instead of yours Coach. 🙂
Tiffany this is such a beautiful story of you and your daughter. I just love seeing the relationship between the two of you detailed here. It reminds me so much of my own relationship with my mom, and made me all emotional. And, I think you got this no problem! I am definitely tucking away all this wisdom for when my turn comes. 🙂
We did this just for you, Rore. Someone told us there would be money involved.
LOL. How about all the maple syrup and/or poutine you can stomach? 😉
I’d go for that!
Ah, she’s so gorgeous! The paint splattering is pretty much amazing.
My daughter is six. I will need your wisdom. She already passed the age I was when my father passed away, although I’m a second born and my son isn’t quite there yet.
I do like watching my daughter go through her milestones much better than I think I did. And it will be interesting to see when she does something with trouble, that I did seamlessly.
Ah, life and love and daughters.
Life, love and daughters – I wonder if it’s all that different than having boys, or a mix.
Tiffany was fortunate to find you and vice versa.
It looks like she’s done a great job or raising her daughter and her daughter has done a great job of teaching her how to be a Mother.
One question for the author, I’m just wondering how long she had to be a princess for because we just did year #3 and guess what she wants to be next year…
Journeys of The Zoo
Definitely glad our blog paths crossed!
Wow, this is a beautiful post, Tiffany. You sound like an amazing mother, seriously. You got that teen shit down!! My daughter is in her early 20’s now but still the emotions can swing pretty fast. It’s great your daughter has an interest in art and that will definitely be a wonderful creative outlet for her forever. Nice to meet you, Tiffany.
Nice guest post, Eli! Happy Birthday to you!! My apologies for not getting my 6 words in this last time 😦
Lisa – I’ll send you another one again. I’d love to have you back in!