I wish mothers would tell their daughters how lots of men will desire to fuck them with no intention to stick around. It would teach them to develop a screening guide for worthiness of their cookies and save themselves lots of headaches and broken hearts. It could also prevent them from being a single mom.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth that not all men are good, not even their fathers. Especially their fathers. It would teach them that every man has baggage and dirty laundry. It would also teach daughters that no matter how much they would like to believe the men they love are perfect, they’d know they aren’t. They’d be able to better manage their expectations and to look forward to the hurt and obstacles that comes with imperfection.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about themselves. Truths like their daughters fathers weren’t their first choice for a spouse or their fathers weren’t their first sex partner. Tell them they were a mistake (if they were), and that not all pregnancies are planned. Tell them love doesn’t conquer all, and that money, provisions and the appearance of comfort doesn’t equate to happiness. Tell them that’s okay. Tell them love hurts sometimes mentally, emotionally and on not-so-rare occasions physically. Tell them about sex, how to have it, and that it’s okay to be satisfied.
Tell them it’s okay to learn how to satisfy themselves first so they can communicate to their lovers and spouses how to love them better. Tell them that not every man who asks for their hand in marriage or to have their children are worthy of such honor, and many aren’t equipped to take care of roaches let alone children.
It would teach them their mother isn’t Cinderella, and that she is human.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about the things she’ll see on television, in magazines, on social media, on billboards, and on the internet. It would teach them the world sells unreasonable expectations, pipe dreams, fairy tales, and fantasies that will have them chasing fountains of youth, expensive shoes that ruin your back and feet, and relationships that aren’t built to last because they aren’t built on a solid foundation. Teach them the power of marketing, and teach them not to fall prey to it.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about child rearing. It would teach them sometimes nature is stronger than any nurturing we could provide sometimes, and that raising children is a lifetime obligation. Daughters would know to expect little in the way of help from most significant others and spouses if they are in heterosexual relationships because most men are trained not to do housework, child and child rearing. They would also understand not all children will appreciate the safety and nurturing mothers provide.
Teach them children cost a lot. And that making a decision to have a child means if you’re poor, every minute of spare time and every penny you’ll earn going forward will go to the people you bring into the world, so don’t take the decision lightly. Teach them they’ll have the power to build up or tear down, and that those activities can be done directly or indirectly…with silence, choosing to turn a blind eye, keeping secrets, supporting abusers instead of your child, or choosing men over defenseless children. One wrong decision can change a child’s path. Again, choose wisely.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about how little time they’ll have for themselves, especially if they decide to marry, have children and balance a career. I wish they’d share the truth about the mistakes they made so their daughters won’t be running around like a chicken with their heads cut off trying to keep afloat by keeping or running smoothly all things happy at the cost of their physical and emotional well-being.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about the cost of achieving perfection and the toll it takes on women. There is no such thing as a “perfect” anything except whatever Mother Nature creates. It would teach them to stop chasing a life that’s unrealistic and unattainable.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about how evil other women can be to each other, and how at times, they’ll perhaps be one of those evil women. It would teach them how our to understand the power of our words and actions have consequences, and to be prepared for the backstabbing, throat cutting, gossiping, jealousy, and hate some women can exhibit.
It would teach daughters that we as women lie, oppress, manipulate, and terrorize other women and the world for that matter with their words and actions, that those actions have ruined many lives. They’d know some women do it consciously while others do it subconsciously. Teach them that there are a lot of women who could be someone’s dream (dream employer, wife, mother, teacher, spouse, lover, partner, or friend), but instead they’ve chosen to be a pretty nightmare.
Teach them they should strive to never be one of those types of bitches, ever!
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about fairness, and that there really is no such thing. Tell them fairness depends on the size of your bank account, the color of your skin, and/or the continent you’re born on. It would teach young girls and women, especially young girls and women of color, to expect less if your skin is Black, Brown, or Yellow. Teach her early and often that the world respects Whiteness if she’s White, and that she should realize her privilege. Teach her that she should not use her privilege to oppress, but to uplift. Teach her if she’s a Black or Brown daughter, become accustomed to not being trusted, always being a second or after-thought, to not be respected, and that she’ll fight everyday to be seen as a human being worth caring about.
Teach daughters they are going to be valued less (and paid less) than a man. Teach them Whiteness feminism matters, first and foremost, each and every time. It would teach women early the world isn’t fair, so don’t be shocked when they’re slapped in the face with this reality.
I wish mothers would tell their daughters the truth about their own traumas and abuse. They should tell their daughters about their sexual assaults at the hands of people they trusted, people responsible for caring for them and people in authority like close relatives, religious leaders, teachers, friends, bosses, and superiors. Perhaps it would teach them to protect themselves differently or to expect the unexpected when it does happen.
It would teach daughters how to protect their children from predators, and that there is no prototype for predators. It would help daughters understand why their mothers are the way they are, good or bad. Truth can solve many mysteries.
They would understand perps can be men and women. They’ll be wealthy, middle income, and poor. They’ll be smart and dumb. They’ll always be in a position of power before the act occurs. And don’t forget to describe what a position of power is. Teach daughters perps will be drunks and they’ll be sober. And that some will have criminal backgrounds with hints of violence or as predators but most will not.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters how to be themselves, and that sometimes their today selves won’t be their tomorrow selves. It would teach them they can’t be someone they weren’t created to be.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s not a bad thing, They’d know we all need help from time to time. It would teach them they don’t have to be a superwoman.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters to have their own money, no matter how good their provider is. At the drop of a dime, shit can change, and she may need to flee for her life. Her spouse could suddenly die, or her spouse could decide to leave her for someone new. She needs to be able to land on her feet or have a way to care for herself and her family when that time comes. Write, bake cakes, do crafts, sew, babysit, sing, cater, knit, do something. Have a hustle. Always.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters to enjoy life and not to let it pass them by. Be fearless, explore, dance, eat, cry, travel, laugh, and love. Their daughters need to know there is only one life to live, and rarely are do we get a chance for do-overs, so make it count. Teach them now good friends are to come by, and teach them the qualities of a good friend.
Teach them to cultivate their friendships, because in their worst hours are better with a crew of best friends. Teach them their spouse is not their best friend. Their spouse is their spouse. Teach them to have your own friends, to create boundaries, to respect personal space, and to enjoy time away from everyday life sometimes.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters to be comfortable being alone, and that sometimes, there won’t be any children in their futures or a knight in shining Armour coming to save them. Marriage isn’t for everyone and neither are kids. And that’s okay. It would help daughters live life without false expectations, to the fullest, without pressures from the world and without regrets.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters how to teach people how to respect them, and how important it will be for healthy relationships. It would teach daughters that if they don’t set boundaries and teach the world how to treat them, they may run into people who’ll treat them like shit. Mothers should also teach their daughters that while words matter, actions matter more. When a person shows you who they are, believe them, per Maya Angelou.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters about their intuition, and how they should learn to trust it more. It would teach them how to avoid some not so easy to spot mistakes (i.e. choosing bad friends, dating a cute yet, no good guy/gal, or selecting a job that’s a bad fit).
I wish mothers would teach their daughters about the flaws in marriages, the ups, and downs or the ebbs and flows of sustaining marriages or relationships. Teach them how you may fall in and out of love, or sometimes you wish you would have made better/different choices. Tell daughters how they could have spoken out more, had sex more (or less), and that sometimes you check in and out of a marriage mentally to preserve your sanity. Tell her husbands cheat and flirt (a little or a lot), and wives do too. Teach her about personal space, and that everyone needs some, including a spouse.
I wish mothers would teach their daughters about money and finances. Teach them how to live below their means so that when hard times come they’ll eventually be okay. Teach them to be wary of big dreams and big dreamers. Talk to them about rainy days, hard times, poverty, wealth, and that there is no shame in lack. Teach them about trends, how to select a job or career, and that working is the only thing that will ensure they’ll have what they need, so get used to working. It would teach them to spend their hard earned money wisely, to invest in things that matter, and to consume with intent. It would teach them to estimate their own worth and to not settle for less. It would teach them to appreciate work, and value hard work.
It would teach daughters to have varied skill sets to accommodate this unpredictable economic climate we now live in, and to be satisfied with herself, not stuff. It would teach them not to do stupid things they are not ready for like buying a home they are not ready to maintain financially or capable of maintaining physically in case they marry a pretty-provider instead of a doer. Daughters would learn sometimes it’s better to invest in themselves rather than into real estate, especially if they are fragile mentally. Tell them a roof over the head is what’s most important, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s rented or owned.
Teach daughters owning isn’t for everyone, and is impossible for most. Also teach her being house poor is a death sentence and a bigly stupid idea for a young person (or an old person for that matter).
I wish mothers would teach their daughters that we women don’t always get better with time. We get fat, our hair thins, our teeth fail us, our skin changes, we forget, we go through peri-menopause and menopause, we get sick, our digestive systems change, and sometimes some of us die too soon. It’s life, and it’s real. Teaching them early will help them embrace it later.
Mothers, please teach your daughters, or the world surely will. Daughters are done a great disservice when we fail to prepare them for the real world. Life is not a fairy tale, nor is it a dream. Young women need these disclaimers before they find out the hard way, making some of us old bitter women.
Young women, if your mother is June Cleaver, find somebody else’s mother who can speak fearlessly about real life experiences. Living life without truth and perspective is like having sex with someone you don’t know without protection.
Without protection, your life and path could be changed forever! Having the tools to make informed decisions and good choices are essential to spry young ladies growing to be beautiful old, wise women.
Marley K., 2018
Have anymore things to add to this list? Are there things you wish your mom told you? Please feel free to post it below. I’m going update it from time to time with new things I discover. Life is hard, and we all need help to navigate this thing. Doing the same things over and over again is insanity. Break the cycle.