I don’t know about you, but my daughter grew up way too fast.  One day I was plaiting her hair, discussing which Disney Princess is our favourite and tickling her back to sleep.

The next? I’m watching her pack her own school lunches, reminding her to set the table and secretly hiding her iPhone so she will actually engage in a conversation with me.

mum and tween daughter
Photo: alenkasm/bigstock

Where oh where did my little girl go?

Once upon a time, my daughter was my tiny best friend who was always by my side. There was no one in the world she would rather hang out with.

And truth be told, there was no one in the world I would rather hang out with either. She’s funny, kind, sweet and always up for an adventure. She’s still all those things, but our adventures are definitely fewer and farther between.

My daughter hasn’t gone anywhere. She’s in the other room as I type this, most likely on her iPad. But she’s not by my side constantly anymore. She’s not asking me what I’m doing or suggesting that we play Barbies.

mother and daughter - to my daughter
Photo: alenkasm/bigstock

Although I do love the person she’s becoming, I also really miss my spunky little sidekick. Even though she’s still my BFF, I think I’m at least third down on her BFF list.  Possibly fifth – it really depends on what’s happening with her group of friends at school.

I may be her #5 BFF, I’m still her #1 mum. And, as her #1 mum, there are a few important things she needs to know.

To my daughter before you get any more grown-up

Please remember these important life lessons. And, to all the mums with little girls that are growing up way too fast, feel free to pass these along to them as well.

1. Choose to be kind

Be anyone, go anywhere, do anything. Just be kind along the way.

2. Cry as much as you’d like

Scream, yell, break things, fall to the ground and curse the skies. Just be sure to wash your face, clean up your mess and get up off the floor after. You don’t belong down there.

3.  Be less sugar, more spice

And only as nice as you’re able to without putting too much pressure on yourself or compromising your beliefs. It’s okay to say no, to stand up to arseholes and to let your inner b*tch out, especially when someone deserves to meet her.

4. Travel light through life

Keep only what you need. Too much clutter just weighs you down. But take lots of photos along the way.

5. Stop with the “can’t” and the “should”

Yes, you can. So do. Yes, set goals of things you ‘should’ do. Then work towards them.

6. Happiness takes work

It’s not a permanent state. It takes effort every single day. But it’s the things in life that take work that are most worth it.

7. You’re the boss of you

Your body, your rules.

8. Pain is part of life

But suffering is a choice. It’s all about how you choose to handle this pain. Grin it, bear it, accept it, beat it.

9. You don’t NEED a man or a woman

But it’s okay to want the right one.  It’s also perfectly okay to tell the wrong ones to bugger off.

10. Always ask

It never hurts to ask. The worst thing they can say is no.

11. Practice gratitude every single day

You have enough. You ARE enough.

12. Be polite, be patient, be pure

‘Please’, ‘thank-you’ and ‘I’m sorry’ go a long way. But only when the time is right – don’t fake it. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Insincerity is never a good look.

13. Let yourself chill out

There’s nothing better than a mid-afternoon nap.

14. Never doubt yourself

You are AMAZING. Trust yourself and your instincts. If someone makes you doubt yourself, walk away. And don’t turn back unless it’s to give them the middle finger.

15. You can’t control other people’s actions

But you can control how you react to these actions.

16. Jealously can bring out the ugly in anyone

Try not to let it get to you. And whatever you do, don’t back down because you’re afraid it might make others jealous of you. Let the haters hate – you just keep on being awesome.

17. Love yourself as much as I love you

A lot of people love you and many more will. But this means nothing if you don’t love yourself too.

18. Believe it or not, there is a positive in every situation

Sometimes it’s obvious. Sometimes it takes a lot of digging to find it.

19. I am always right behind you

No matter where you go, what you do, how many friends you make, boys you date or hearts you break, I will always be right here.

Through happy times, sad days, good decisions, poor choices, I’ll never stop loving you, supporting you and cheering you on, even when it’s a tad on the embarrassing side. I’m your #1 mum and your #1 fan.

20. No matter where you go, you can always come home

And there will always be a tub of ice cream in the freezer with your name on it. You’re never too old to need your mum.

Or share a tub of ice cream with her.


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Author

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna now lives in Far North Queensland with her tribe. When the mum-of-three is not writing, you can find her floating in the pool, watching princess movies, frolicking on the beach, bouncing her baby to sleep or nagging her older kids to put on their pants.

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