Sunday, June 28, 2015


I thought of a new name to explain my girliness impairment. "Tomboy" brings up this image in my mind of a 10-year-old girl climbing trees and wearing jeans with holes in them.

No. That's not me. I'm not 10. So I've settled on "low-maintenance".

Here's the thing. I hate clothes shopping and decorating, I'm a mediocre housekeeper at best, I'd rather wear T-shirts and flip-flops than anything else most days, and I may never change my hairstyle until the day I die.

I am amazed by beautiful woman that put together outfits with matching jewelry and shoes. But my way is cheaper--I have 2 or 3 pieces of jewelry tops apart from my wedding ring. I buy a lot of my clothes at thrift stores, and I'm willing to wear the same styles for years at a time.

[I'm still on the fence about skinny jeans. Aren't some things better left to the imagination? Like thigh circumference?].

So how on EARTH is it that I find myself raising a daughter?

I used to think it's so I can help her avoid a lot of my own youthful pitfalls, including (among others):

-Don't wear your brothers' T-shirts if they are 3 sizes too big for you.
-Actually, don't wear your brothers' clothes ever.
-Even if you brushed your hair yesterday, you still need to brush it today.
-It's ok to own more than 1 pair of shoes.
-When the original color of your shoes is not identifiable, it's time to get new ones.
-For your own sake, you probably shouldn't let your mom (ahem, me) pick out your clothes.
-There's this thing called "outfits." Ummm... you're on your own. Google it or something.

But then I realized that maybe I'm raising a daughter so the world can be graced with one less high-maintenance woman. 

I'll admit that I find myself buying princess flashlights and umbrellas for Mary, dressing her in pink, and collecting for her an excessive number of bows (far more than my own accessory limit). We have tea parties with pink and purple cups, watch Disney princess movies, and she loves to twirl to music in skirts and dresses.

A princess tea party. Princess glasses.
Princess shirt. Excessive bows (I'm ashamed to say this isn't all of them). 
Then again, at a recent trip to a children's museum her happiest half hour was spent in the trucks room (she could have stayed there all day). Cars is one of her favorite movies. She loves trains and she loves pretending to fix things. She builds towers and loves to knock them over. I buy almost all of her clothes second-hand (seriously, she's just going to get stains on it within an hour anyway). She is hardly a prissy girl.

The truck room at the museum. "Horseback" riding.
The tower she's about to knock over. Loving her first roller coaster.

I wonder sometimes what kind of daughter I want to raise. I want her to be a little less awkward in middle school than I was. But I also want her to be confident and kind. I want her to be educated and well-read and loving and full of faith. I want her to work hard for the things she wants and to be grateful to people around her and to God. I hope she'll love music. I hope she'll love serving people.

And I don't particularly want her to be beautiful. I had someone at a grocery store once tell me that I should enter her into a baby contest because she was, I think objectively, a CUTE baby.
WAY cuter than I was at this age. 

I thought about it. And decided not to. Her looks are not her greatest asset and I don't want them to be. They are not wasted if they go unrecognized by the world.

There are plenty of beautiful women in this world. If she chases beauty as the source of her self-worth she will always fall short. Maybe that's the real reason I want to raise a low-maintenance daughter. I want her to find value in herself that doesn't require mirror time.

Or maybe it's just because I don't know how the heck to raise a girly daughter.

The first reason sounds more noble.


  1. Amen! I love this. And totally feel the same way about the baby contests - when Kate was a baby people told me all the time that I needed to put her in contests or modeling because her hair was so unusual and striking. Every time I was like - why?!?

    It's funny, too, because I've always thought I was sort of an interesting mix of "girly" and "tomboy" growing up but man, I'm totally a low-maintenance grownup, too. I don't even blow dry my hair anymore! ;-)

  2. As always, your post made me smile today. You're a wonderful mom, Camber!

  3. Oh, my dear, if I was *forced* to pick a relative to be the model to my daughters, it would be you.

    You ARE the epitome of "girliness" because "girliness" is just awesomeness. It's not makeup and haridos and nails and heels and fuss and primp and appearance and body display. It's education and wisdom and goodness and humor and health and all those other truly good things.

    Thank heavens there are women in the world like you who understand that raising girls is about raising good humans. You are doing an amazing job raising the fifth cutest baby ever. ;) (Understand that number will necessarily shift once I have granddaughters, but Mary will always be in the top 20.) :)