Flexible working. Feminism. Fun.

Things I want my daughter to know about being a woman


1. Love your body, because you look great. Really.

People come in all shapes and sizes. You’re probably going to grow up to be short and skinny, and there won’t be much you can do about that. Given that I’m 5’3 and Daddy is 5’5, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be a short arse. And that’s fine. You come from a long line of short women, and we’re all pretty awesome.

As for your weight, my little somewhere-between-the-2nd-and-9th-centiles baby, you can’t put on much of it no matter how hard you try. You seem to have inherited Daddy’s ability to eat as much as you want and barely gain an ounce. He says that it all goes to his brain. I like to think the same is true for you and that you are a baby genius, even though you try to lick everything you see in public places.

Someday you may wish that you were bigger. Other girls may wish they were small like you. None of this wishing does any good. Accept yourself as you are, because you are more beautiful than you will ever know.

2. It’s nice to be pretty, but it’s not the most important thing.

You’re a really, really pretty baby. I know I’m not exactly objective here, but I’m not the only one who’s noticed. People are always coming up to me to tell me how adorable you are, mostly because of your big brown eyes. Those came from Daddy, so I can’t take any credit there.

Being pretty is great, but you know what’s better? Being smart. Kind. Creative. Compassionate. Spend more time on those traits and less time worrying about the state of your hair or how you look in your glasses.

(Yup, you’re going to have to wear glasses. Both Daddy and I are severely short-sighted. But that’s okay, because you seem to love glasses, given that you’re always stealing ours and putting them in your mouth.)

3. There’s no such thing as girl stuff and boy stuff. It’s just stuff.

Some girls are into pink, princesses and dolls. That’s fine. Some girls like blue, dinosaurs and trucks. That’s okay too. Pretty much everyone likes robots, because robots are the best.

My point is, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something or like something because it’s for boys. Do whatever makes you happy, as long as it’s not playing American football, because that sport is boring as hell.

4. Never feel like you need to wear heels. Or makeup. Or fake tan.

As a short person, you may be tempted to wear heels to make yourself taller. Resist this temptation. It’s better to be short and callus-free than a tall person with bloody toes who falls over all the time.

Most makeup isn’t worth the time it takes to apply it. Plus, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up accidentally wiping it off 10 minutes after putting it on anyway. If people can’t appreciate the way you look without it, fuck them.

Mascara is good, though. Mommy loves mascara.

You seem to have inherited my pasty white skin instead of Daddy’s Puerto Rican tan. Remember that there’s nothing wrong with being pale. Fake tan looks unnatural on people like us, because we clearly aren’t meant to be in the sun. I only have two shades – freckly white and oh-shit-I-forgot-my-sun-cream red.

Speaking of sun cream, always carry some with you. Even in the winter. You never know when the sun is going to sneak up on you.

5. Babies are great, but not every woman needs to have one.

I love being a Mommy. I’ve travelled, lived abroad and gotten degrees, but you’re still the best thing I’ve ever done. Having a baby opens you up in ways you could only imagine and encourages you to become a better version of yourself. Sometimes I’m so full of love for you that I think I’m going to explode, but in a good way, not in a I-just-ate-a-takeaway-curry-at-2am kind of way.

That being said, Mommy-hood isn’t for everyone. If it’s not for you, that’s totally fine. You can spend more time on yourself – taking holidays, reading, pursuing your interests. You can go out in the evenings without worrying about a babysitter or drink an entire bottle of champagne in the middle of the day, just because. You can be an auntie to your friends’ kids and spoil them rotten, then take them home when they start to drive you batshit crazy.

Do what’s right for you. I’ll be right there with you, thinking that whatever you do is the most amazing thing ever.

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