Have you ever taken your daughter/s on a mother-daughter date? I recently took my two angels and WOW talk about surprises! I didn’t expect how the date would boost their self confidence (or mine!). Ladies, we are the number one role model for our daughters. They observe everything; our behaviours (the good, bad and ugly), our conversations, facial expressions and often mirror our inner feelings and values. Writing the Happy Wife = Happy Life article made me reflect. What kind of role model am I in my current exhausted, cracking the egg and throwing it in the bin instead of cooking it for lunch state? (see http://bettybutterblog.com/happy-wife-happy-life/) How is my confidence right now? I need to look deep within as my self esteem is portrayed to my daughters sub/consciously in what I eat (comfort i.e. chocolate/icecream or nourishing eating), what I wear (comfort verses confident clothes), how I talk (tone, emotion etc), my behaviour and even how I look at myself in the mirror.
It made me think about my own self care. When did I do something with my hair other than twist it in a bun at OMG the sun hasn’t even come up yet early (I know tut tut, get some sleep!)? When did I last dress up? It hit me hard. If I don’t show my angels how I look after myself how will they learn? This made me think about self care, getting dressed up with my girls and doing something special; having a mother-daughter date!
“I have a idea!” I said putting breakfast on the table “you know how Daddy and I have special date nights [translation = eating dinner alone at home once a week after the kids are in bed]?” “Yes” they replied. “Would you like go on a mother-daughter date this morning?” “YES!!!” They screamed excitedly and started giggling. I thought their little hearts would explode. It melted my heart. We took our dog for a walk and talked about what we could do, wear and how to do our hair.
Dressing up – a confidence boost
Back at home my angels chose party dresses! Unfortunately I had to redirect Número Duo’s choice of thick winter stockings suited for a Scandinavian winter than the expected 35 degree day! I told them both their choice in outfits was great, saw the proud sparkle in their eyes and confidence grow. I explained how everyone is unique and dresses differently but the important thing was to feel comfortable within yourself.
Don’t forget the hair!
There is something special about lovingly brushing your daughters hair and reminiscing about how quickly they are growing up (remember Donna (Meryl Streep) brushing Sophie’s (Amanda Siegfried) hair for the wedding in “Slipping through my fingers”?). As I brushed I said “Girls, your hair is so pretty, soft and shiny. You are doing a great job looking after by brushing it and eating healthily”. “It must be the almonds!” said Número Uno. I think my angel’s inquisitive nature and quest to make sense of why they have dietary requirements mean they know more about food than most. I was surprised and smiled proudly from the inside out – it can be challenging explaining to children why they are different! It helps that they love almonds and thanks to answering Número Duo’s “what do almonds do to your body?” know that they are good for nails and hair (answering the “what” questions is amazing!). Ladies, the girls hit home that knowledge = empowerment = increased self esteem!
As I brushed their hair we tried different styles; pony tail, braids (single, double, half head and fishbone), piggy tails and finally I emulated the aurora band (http://bettybutterblog.com/aurora-hair-band/). We giggled as we looked at ourselves in the mirror, we looked like Greek Goddesses! All we needed was the vine leaves and togas! We danced and laughed around the lounge room while we waited for our hair to set. Our hair looked fantastic, similar to Sophie’s! My angels absolutely loved that our hair looked the same. I proudly told they looked beautiful and how clever they were.
Ladies, I tell them they are beautiful frequently, but balance it with traits such as being proud of an achievement or new ability.
Food – keep your body healthy
I whizzed up two banana smoothies (with their milk/dietary replacements) and packed their favourite morning tea (for if the cafe food was not intolerant/allergy friendly). They jumped around excitedly as they watched me pack. All the while I thought about the lesson I was sharing – look after your body by eating healthy (tolerable) food.
My angles chose a local cafe with red funky chairs they had been eyeing off. I found something we could eat (hooray – dietary needs met!!), ordered and found some red chairs to sit on. Food delivered, banana smoothie poured, we ate, drank and laughed. We giggled as we remembered the antics of the morning, dressing up and how fun it was to be having morning tea at a funky cafe. We also decided that we are going to have a toga party soon inspired by the aurora band! We talked and I listened (REALLY listened). My eldest opened up about her school fears and my youngest explained how much she was missed daddy [he has worked away the last twelve months with weekend visits, except for the two month overseas marathon at the start of last year] and how it gave her nightmares. They looked like they really appreciated talking and being listened to. I felt grateful for this special opportunity.
Our date definitely brought us closer together. The girls now talk about it frequently and now have their own short list of other “date ideas”.
My angel’s mother-daughter date ideas – from the mouths of babes!
- Have a toga party and eat Greek food (they love my Greek inventions! Wear the aurora!!)
- Picnic at the park (in party dresses) – they described a high tea!
- Lunch / dinner at a restaurant – they now have a short list of places we drive by!
- Ride our bikes/walk along the river then have a picnic
- Cook fancy food together, dress up, make an Instant Restaurant (think My Kitchen Rules! I put one episode on and they watched it with me) and eat.
- Go to the zoo and feed the animals
- Go to the beach and build sandcastles
- Have a birthday party with games (when it’s not your birthday!)
- And lastly, this one made me laugh so hard I had tears streaming down my face….
- Go to a tropical island and four wheel drive on the beach, camp, build sandcastles, cook a roast chicken in the camp oven and go fishing! (“No mummy, without daddy.” They said earnestly “this is our mother-daughter date”).
Ladies, there is no doubt the relationship between mother and daughter has powerful effects on self esteem. You are everything to your daughter – and the biggest role model! You need to look after yourself so you can be the best version of yourself. We need to teach our daughters self care so they can be the best they can be. Go out on a special date and celebrate your relationship and build confidence! You may be surprised and don’t forget your camera and take a few shots and make a special photo album to celebrate the memories.