Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Raising a Daughter

Remember when your kids were younger and all they wanted to do was spend time with you? And all you could think after 8 non-stop hours was “can’t I even PEE in peace??”. Flash forward a couple of years and suddenly you’re all sniffly because you can’t even buy 8 SECONDS of together time, right?

Not me. My kids want to spend ALL their time with me and we never fight or argue. My life is awesome and you’re doing something wrong.

HAHA!!! Almost fooled you, didn’t I?? You were thinking that I was some kind of sanctimonious witch bragging about my wonderful life and teens, right?!

Y’all, please. I wish I could go for 8 seconds and NOT have someone screaming at someone else.

So what can you do to put some of the wonder and magic back in your relationships with your daughters? How about take them on a date? One on one, mommy and me, the skies the limit kind of date? Let’s recycle some of your old “toddler” dates into newer versions that are so awesome that they will never say no:

Play Hooky: Yep. Both of you. Don’t tell them about this ahead of time. Just one morning go about your normal day with the exception of you both just blew off your day. Sleep in, stay in your PJs all day, eat cupcakes for breakfast and brownies for lunch. Watch chick flicks and put on deep cleaning masks. Talk or don’t. My girls get a guaranteed hooky day for their birthday but I try to not make it ON their birthday so there’s an element of surprise to it. It’s a great way to reconnect and make it just about them.

Glamor Puss: Go get a makeover at the Mac counter. It’s still as fun as when they did your makeup when they were little but with much better results. The only thing teen and preteen girls love more then playing with makeup is trying to make YOU look better. So for once, make it a positive conversation. And while you’re at it, why not try something new and fun?

Play Dress Up: Go to the mall and hit the stores that you love to ooh and ahh over but can’t afford and have a ball. Pick out the best outfits you can find, feel the fabrics and see what looks amazing on each of you. Pick out the “if we won the lottery” outfits and then take selfies in the mirror! Great way to get inspiration for which fashions look good on you and then if you can’t afford that line, go to TJMaxx and replicate it for cheaper!

Have Tea: If you’re lucky enough to have a tea room in your town, go have tea with your girl. If you’ve never been to one, they’re awesome. Usually in an older home, in the historic part of town and each room of the house is decorated with antique tables. Your menu consists of teas and finger sandwiches and mini desserts. It really is a lovely experience. If you really want to add to the experience, wear a hat. Not a baseball hat but a lovely, Easter bonnet kind of hat..

mommy and me date ideasArts and Crafts: You can either get your Pinterest on at home or go make a mess someplace else. My goal this year is to do a pinterest night with mine once a quarter at least. Mackenzie especially loves to find crafts to do on Pinterest and we had a blast doing several at Christmas last year. We also like to go to the Wine and Design kind of places and have quite a few of our masterpieces hanging around the house.

So there you have it! Just because they’re ignoring you on a daily basis doesn’t mean you have to have it happen EVERY day! And yes, I realize that if you have boys this list may be sexist, but hopefully it will spark you to think of your own ideas of ways to update your former mommy and son dates. I’d love to hear what you would do!!

This post was originally featured on Kristen’s blog, Four Hens And A Rooster. Photo via

Well here we are… it’s back to school time again. This is our 11th first day of school and we have 6 more to go before we’re completely done. I love the first day of school more than I love the first day of the new year but not why you think. To me (and most moms) this day is really the start of the new year. We have fresh new day-timers, pencils, notebooks and a chance to make a good great first impression.

The first day of anything is always a day full of excitement and nerves. From the first day of school to the first day of college to the first day of a new job. How do you make it easier and calm those nerves? I have no idea.. I usually just take a deep breath and wing it but every year, I try to have little pieces of conversations with my girls and hope that somehow, someway, it makes them feel better and sets them up for success.

Save the Drama – Not even your mama wants it. If there’s one thing that is detrimental to your success, it’s drama. It is so easy to get sucked into the drama and so hard just to walk away. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Trust me, when you look back on it one day, you’ll see that nothing good comes from drama or gossip.

Stay away from trouble – In the wise words of Maya Angelou, if you see trouble coming across the road and get away. You can always tell the bad seeds from the good seeds and while that bad boy may seem hot and exciting, the best thing that you can do is just leave him alone.

Make friends – If you see someone without a smile give them one of yours! I know it sounds cheesy but the best thing you can do sometimes is to extend some kindness to someone who is new or might be having a bad day. Think back to a time you were the new kid and someone did the same to you. It’s a scary world when you think you’re all alone.

Do your part to stop bullying – Don’t be a bully and don’t let others bully other kids. Bullying is an epidemic in our schools right now and it is almost impossible for teachers and school leaders to keep up with it. Do your part and if you see someone being bullied or being taken advantage of, be the big person and step in to help them.

Get involved – I promise you school is a lot more fun if you’re involved in things other than just your circle of friends. Join a club! Whether it’s a social club, an academic club or something like robotics, expand your horizons and widen your circle. You will be a better person for it.

Care about your grades – I know it seems silly to say in the sixth grade that grades are important, but they are. While the grades may not end up on your high school transcript, you need to develop good study skills as well as how to juggle a bunch of things at once. When you get to high school and the grades do matter, you’ll be better prepared to hit your goals.

It may seem silly, but… I know that you may think that you’ll never use certain pieces of math or English or science and you’re probably right. But in the meantime, not only do you have to learn them, but you have to do well in the classes – so do what you need to do to memorize it and pass the test with really good grades and then move on with your life. You can forget it all later when you do realize that no, you don’t need to know the Pythagorean theorem to survive in life.

I just dropped each of you off and I hope that you have a magical day. I hope this year is the best year that you’re ever going to have until next year and then I hope that year is the best year that you’re ever going to have. Smile, make new friends, make great memories, but most of all – learn and have a good time and know how proud I am of each one of you.

I love you,

Mom

This post was originally featured on Kristen’s blog, Four Hens and A Rooster.

When I found out during week 20 of my second pregnancy that I was having a girl, I was over the moon. I remember repeating over and over to myself, “I’m going to have a daughter.” And during the first four years of my daughter’s life, I often found myself repeating, still amazed, “I have a daughter.”

As I write this, she sits on the floor dipping a corndog in ketchup while dressed to the nines in her Little Mermaid garb–-including the red wig. I look at her and revel in awe. She realizes I’m staring and says, “I love you, King Triton.” My heart swells and I reply, “I love you more, Ariel.”

Like you all, I too have many dreams for my daughter. She’s just 4 but already I dream about the life-long possibilities in front of her. I dream of the day we celebrate her college graduation. I envision her in many roles as an educated adult. Renowned concert pianist. Accomplished brain surgeon. Prima ballerina assoluta. Brilliant teacher. CEO. Philanthropist. Successful entrepreneur. Loving mother. Leader of the free world.

When my daughter asks me what she will be when she grows up, I can confidently tell her the sky is the limit and there will be no glass ceilings to break.

When you’re a parent, you get lots of advice.  And if you know me, you know that I hate unsolicited advice. I hated it when I was single and people told me how to find a husband. I hated it when I was pregnant and people told me how I should take care of myself. I hated it when my kids were small and people told me how to discipline them. Unless I walk up to you and say “Excuse me, random stranger – could you please tell me your thoughts on ____________ ” I really don’t want to hear your advice.

But what if you’re the parent in a unique position? Like having more than 4 kids or having all your kids be of the same sex? When you have daughters – especially THREE daughters, you tend to get a lot of “advice”. People have said some pretty ballsy things to us over the years.  Things that when it comes out of their mouths you cock your head to the side and think… “did you REALLY just say that?!” and then shake your head because yes, yes they did.

So here they are in Letterman style and depending on my mood, my responses.  Sometimes I even say out loud…

Top 10 Things You Don’t Say to Parents of Daughters

10. How will you afford three weddings? (We’re telling them marriage is overrated and if they still insist, we’ll pay them to elope)

9. How do you deal with all the hormones? (We lock them in their room and let them pull each others hair out)

8. Is your favorite color pink? (No. My favorite color is black and I wear it constantly.)

7. How do you deal with all the cattiness? (We bought a dog.)

6. Aren’t you worried they’ll get pregnant? (The chastity belts help ease my worries)

5. How do you afford all the stuff they use like makeup and hair things? (They don’t eat anymore so we just use grocery money)

4. Your husband needs a shotgun. (He’s got plenty.. makes gift giving easy)

3. Oh man… your poor husband. (He’s in jail from owning all those shotguns)

2. Are you going to go for a boy? (That was Cassie’s job. She failed us as you can see.)

and the number one thing you don’t say to the parents of all girls:

1. Boy, I’d hate to be in your house when it’s “that time of the month”

Yeah… every time I get that last one, it still awes me. Especially when it’s combined with #3. My response to them is usually “Don’t feel sorry for him, feel sorry for me! He leaves.”

Originally posted at Kristen’s blog, Four Hens and a Rooster.

Like all of you, there are so many things I want to teach my young daughter. I want to share mistakes I’ve made in an effort to spare her the same heartaches I endured. But I have a bit of a different take than others on when our girls should know what lies ahead.

In February, our family celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday.  It occurred to me just days before while planning the party that I may already be behind the eight ball. So I’m going to step it up, beginning today.

Most who know us will tell you my daughter is nearly a carbon copy of me—right down to the knocked knees, stubborn but optimistic behavior and the deep, raucous laugh. Me, only brunette.

Here are 5 things I want my daughter to know, right now:

1. You don’t have to be me.
You’re your own person, and I adore your individuality. And I truly love your brunette hair.

2. Love your body now, and always. Understand there is no good or bad, just healthy.
I remember when I was 13, I had already vowed to eat nothing but fruit, and I weighed myself constantly. I grew up believing I needed to be better than who I was. In this case, slimmer. I don’t want that for my daughter.

3. You’re already intelligent.
I make a conscious effort to acknowledge my daughter’s intelligence and passion, before complimenting her appearance. She doesn’t need to be ‘made’ intelligent; she simply needs to absorb life to enhance her God-given intellect.

4. You have the right to be heard. You have the right to be independent.
What more needs to be said here?

5. It’s okay for you to play, to use your imagination, to dream.
I believe happiness and success come from that very place within.

I could go on with this list infinitely, but I’ll stop here with 5 and invite you to share more with us in the comments below.

What do you want your daughters to know, right now?